While a backyard wedding can be fun, elegant and offer lots of design opportunities and cost-savings benefits, your guests' comfort on your wedding day should be top of mind.
You won’t be able to control the climate, but there are many ways to aid your guests in warm, outdoor temperatures. After all, there's nothing worse than attending a backyard wedding reception where you're uncomfortable the whole time.
Learn More: With 73% of weddings taking place during the warmest months of the year — May to October according to The Knot’s Real Wedding Study — finding a way to keep your friends and family from overheating during a backyard wedding should be one of the top priorities on your wedding to-do list.
7 backyard wedding ideas to cool off your wedding guests
1. Offer Cool Drinks Before & After the Ceremony
If you're having a backyard wedding, your guests could be sitting in the sun for at least 30-45 minutes. The best way to beat the heat is to provide ice cold beverages to sip on during the ceremony. This could be as simple as ice water with lemons or cucumber slices, or cocktails and cold cans of beer.
Here is a fabulously refreshing, budget cocktail to offer your guest on their way to watch the ceremony:
- Ranch Water for a Crowd -
●2 bottle Blanco Tequila
●4 liters Club Soda
●1 cup simple syrup
●1 Bottle lime juice
2. Provide Cooling Accessories
This is one of our favorite backyard wedding ideas to cool guests off. Offer your guests goody baskets with Summer wedding necessities upon arrival.
These baskets can include things like paper fans, parasols, hand-held fans, cold water misters, 30-50 SPF sun lotion and even bug spray for an evening wedding outside when the mosquitos are out. Everyone loves a little free gift, and this is sure to set things off right for your sunny backyard wedding ceremony.
These cooling accessories can be in a welcome basket as guests arrive at the ceremony location, or placed on each seat at the ceremony. Either way, your guests will be so appreciative you went the extra mile to keep them comfortable.
Here is a sample gift bag to consider for a hot day:
●2 paper fans,these can be customized to commemorate your wedding
●1 travel sized tube of sunscreen
●1 pair fun, plastic sunglasses (also customizable)
●Small bag of candy or snacks to tide over your guests
3. Set up Some Sweet Treats
Between the ceremony and the reception, there's usually a bit of waiting time. To keep your guest list cool and entertained, have a sweet treat set-up. This can be as simple as buying boxes of popsicles and keeping them in a large cooler on ice, or as elaborate as hiring an ice cream truck to show up and serve cold scoops.
With a little extra effort and planning you can even make your own popsicles to pull out and impress your guests! An easy and refreshing idea is a watermelon popsicle, and it’s only two ingredients! All you have to do is buy the molds and sticks to freeze them and you’ve got a gorgeous, refreshing treat to offer.
(makes about 30 popsicles depending on size of molds)
●2 large watermelons
●Blender, and a fine mesh strainer
Method: cut the peel off the watermelons and dice up the flesh into chunks. Add these to a blender in batches and blend on high to make watermelon juice. Strain the juice through the strainer and discard any thick pulp that’s left over. Juice all the limes and stir into the watermelon juice. Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds and freeze for at least 24 hours. Serve as is, or with a sprinkle of Tajin for a tangy, slightly spicy refreshing treat.
Whether this be a quaint little ice cream truck or a popsicle stand, what better way to say "let's start the party!" You’re sure to find a vendor in your area that can serve up some ice cream or popsicles if you don’t want to make them yourself.
Need more ideas? Read our expert advice on 10 ways to spoil your AirBNB wedding guests
4. Create Areas for Shade
If backyard wedding tents aren't in the plans, consider creating a shady spot. Whether that be a cabana style lounge area or a mini tented cocktail space, having a sunshine “escape” is key.
You can find great large pop-up backyard wedding tents at Costco and discounted suppliers that won’t break your bank and provide lots of cool shady space for guests to escape the heat. It can be a great place to put the bar or appetizer area, not only so people know where to go to find those things but also to make it pleasant for those working the station and also the guests.
5. Think Twice About Your Seating Rentals
During a hot sunny day, there’s nothing worse than sitting on a burning metal seat. Instead, plan to rent wooden, plastic or cushioned seating, all of which handles well in the heat.
If you're going for a rustic farmhouse wedding in Texas, find a local vendor of hay bales and drape them in fun tablecloths or fabric for the perfect rustic seating arrangement. After all, happy wedding guests equal a happy couple.
6. Plan to Have at Least 1 Location with Fan or A/C
If the backyard wedding venue you've chosen has both indoor and outdoor space, plan to have one indoor space secured with air-conditioning and insulated walls. This will be a necessary spot in the hot summer heat for your guests who don’t fare as well with blistering sun or humidity. Even if you don’t have an indoor space with AC you can outfit a walled tent enclosure with lots of stand up fans to get the same cooling effect. Place a water station with lots of ice in this area to really create a get away from the heat.
If you do have an indoor space, make sure you have clear signs pointing to where your guests can beat the heat and take a rest. This climate controlled escape will allow your family members and friends to take a moment to cool down from being out in the sun and get back to the dance floor.
7. Think Twice About Your Menu
On an 80° day, serving soup or a hot pasta dish may not be the best choice.
One of our favorite small backyard wedding ideas is to match what’s on your menu to the temperature. Offer chilled foods like fresh salads, a raw bar, and pasta or chicken salads.
Here is a mid-summer menu that’s guaranteed to keep your friends and family satisfied and cool, while still being an elegant wedding dinner.
●Shrimp and crab cocktail with lemons and fresh horseradish sauce
●Crostini with roasted grapes whipped blue cheese
Main, choice between:
●Chicken salad with green beans, potatoes, olives and honey mustard herb dressing
●Cold Steak salad with grapes, pistachios, crumbled feta and herb dijon dressing
Pro tip: bonus points to the bride and groom who make sure their guest list is aware of a dress code! What better way to stay cool than to dress for the appropriate weather. Let your guests know if they will be standing on grass! Footwear is always a factor. If you opt to not provide guests with shade make sure you let them know on the invite to bring a hat, sunglasses or to be aware of the weather.
Interested in hosting your backyard wedding at Olde House? We’d love to be a part of your big day. Book now
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