May, June and July consistently rank among the most popular months to get married. These months typically provide pleasant weather, and if it does rain, it’s often in the form of a brief thunderstorm.

But summer weather can be extremely hot, and while a sunny, warm day may be perfect beach days, such conditions are not always ideal for weddings, especially weddings that take place outdoors. If wedding-day weather threatens to be very hot, explore these methods to staying cool.

• Choose a later start time. A late-afternoon wedding may be the way to go in the summertime.

The temperature usually drops a bit in the early evening, even though the sun won’t set for a couple of hours. That lingering summertime sun allows the bride and groom to enjoy an outdoor ceremony and still take beautiful outdoor photos.

• Rely on shade and proximity to water. Shade can be your friend when the sun is blazing. If your outdoor wedding is in the early afternoon, keep temperatures under wrap by seating guests beneath umbrellas or inside a tent.

• Tie the knot near the water. Breezes off of the water also help combat the heat, so a lakeside or beach wedding can make hot temperatures more manageable.

• Wear breathable fabrics. Opt for lightweight fabrics instead of heavy gowns and full tuxedos for the bride, groom and wedding party. Cotton and linen allow air to flow through clothing, helping people to stay cool. Light colors also will help deflect the sun. Bridal gowns made of chiffon, silk or satin may feel luxurious and help tame the heat.

• Have beverage tables. Keep canisters of cold beverages at the ready so guests can easily quench their thirst. Fresh lemonade, iced tea and water with a few sprigs of mint can help guests ward off dehydration.

• Make fans and hand these out to guests. Homemade fans of thick cardstock and popsicle sticks can keep guests comfortable. Such cards can double as thank-you messages or ceremony programs.

• Tailor the reception menu to the weather. A large, heavy meal may not be what guests are hoping for when temperatures are especially hot. In such situations, provide some cool, light fare, such as chilled salads or cold soups, as first courses. Sorbet can be a cool palate cleanser, and grilled meats and vegetables will make for a satisfying, light main course. Ice cream cake may be a decadent option in lieu of more traditional wedding cake.

• Choose hairstyles and makeup wisely. Brides may prefer up-dos to keep hair off of their necks and allow for breezes to cool their bodies. Rely on makeup primers and powdered foundations so that makeup does not melt in the heat. Waterproof cosmetics are adviseable so that perspiration won’t cause makeup to run.

Summer weddings are preferable, and couples can take several steps to make sure they’re both beautiful and comfortable.

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