Handling the Heat of an Overseas Wedding
Sunshine weddings abroad are very romantic with beautiful venues, stunning weather and fabulous backdrops. The devil can be in the detail however, between a very good wedding abroad and an absolutely picture-perfect affair. As creatures of a varied and largely damper, darker climate, most Brits don’t fully appreciate, and often under-estimate, the effect of unlimited and strong sunshine on an all-day event. Here are a few tried-and-tested tips for surviving and capitalizing upon the most sought after asset of any tropical wedding destination; the sun:
Battle-ready Wedding Flowers
Choose flowers that are of local origin or those that thrive in hot or tropical environments such as orchids for example. This will prevent your bouquets and displays from sadly wilting half way through your ceremony.
Do Us A Wedding Favour!
A great wedding favour in hot countries is the personalised bottle of water or personalised sunscreen – you’ll be surprised at how gladly such a practical favour will be received by your guests. Another fun favour for weddings abroad in the sun is the humble ice-pop. Refreshing, cheap and easy to source with the ability to colour co-ordinate with your wedding colour scheme… your guests will love this simple yet thoughtful touch.
Keep Yer Hair On
Opt for an ‘up-do’. Long, flowing, tousled locks are great if you have a light breeze and dry heat that keeps perspiration at bay. However, in reality, many countries that get hot, also get humid in the summer months. Team that with a lot of nervous energy and rushing around to speak to all your guests and you may find your lovely loose curls sticking to your neck and back. Wearing your hair up can be a safer option for flawless photos for weddings under the sun.
Avoid the Crispy-fried Congregation
Time your ceremony wisely. In Malta for example, weddings tend to be held later in the day when the more intense heat has started to subside. If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, it is kinder to your guests to avoid the midday hours but if you must hold it in the peak sunshine hours, make sure you have ample shade available and allow for canopies at your ceremony to prevent your guests from burning.
Dive Straight In
Plan for chaos! If you are holding your wedding reception on a beach or near a pool for example, don’t underestimate the Great British desire to jump in fully clad! Hot sea or pool-side weddings invariably end up with a number of guests in the water once the alcohol takes effect. This is great fun and leads to some funny stories round the breakfast table, but it can pull up a night short once people find they are dripping wet and slightly uncomfortable after the initial grand gesture. If you have a wild bunch of friends, warning them in advance that they may want to bring a swimsuit or change of clothes could keep the party going longer.
Wedding Cake Carnage
Don’t over-order on food. If you are laying on food stations, a buffet or canape style wedding food, think carefully about how much you need. While you never want to fall short, there is a tendency for people to eat less and drink more in hot weather. Your local wedding vendor or planner will probably be able to advise you on numbers based on their experience of other weddings in the heat that they are very used to. Think carefully also about the make-up of your wedding cake; icing or chocolate will melt very quickly if you are not in an air conditioned room. The local caterers will have a lot of experience of making wedding cakes fit to last until the big slice.
3, 2, 1… Squint!
Think artistically about where and when the photos will be taken. While part of the appeal of a wedding in the sun is to show off the amazing blue skies, consider the inevitable sun ‘squint’ that may creep across the entire wedding party’s faces if you time/position yourselves poorly. Any photographer worth their salt should address this, but also consider the glorious sticky, honey-tinted light that occurs, particularly in Malta, as the sun starts to recede. This can make for some insanely romantic and flattering pictures that you may not capture in the brighter, harsher sunlight of the day.
Play the Long Game
Offer long drinks. While bubbles are a must at all wedding celebrations it can be a nice idea to offer long drinks as well as wine and beer at hot weddings overseas. A fun option is a mojito station offering refreshing mint and/or strawberry mojitos with plenty of ice to cool your guests down. These work very well at garden or beach weddings, adding nicely to the tropical, relaxed ambiance.