Warm Weather Event Trends
A shift into warmer weather brings various changes to the wedding and event industry. From outdoor summer events to seasonal menu updates, businesses must remain aware of summertime updates and how they can prepare accordingly.
There are a variety of warm weather trends to expect this year, especially as weddings pick up speed and the industry bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what you need to do to ensure you’re ready to take on new couples and provide an exceptional client experience when planning outdoor summer events.
Consider the weather
Warm weather can be a bit unpredictable — one minute it’s hot and dry, and the next it’s rainy and humid. That’s why you’ll want to double-check the forecast for each of your weddings.
“Weather is always a consideration when it comes to outdoor events,” notes Nora Shells, co-founder of Rock Paper Coin and founder of Bridal Bliss. “From rain to wind to heat, they all need to be planned for. Put a tent on hold, consider flooring if muddy grass is a possibility and buy washcloths that are returnable. You can put these on ice for a good refresher if it’s super hot out.”
Regardless of the forecast, weather can be unpredictable, so it’s best to be ready for sudden changes!
Incorporate refreshing treats
To stay cool in the summer heat, couples should consider offering a variety of summertime treats for guests to enjoy. Though there may not be air conditioning in the great outdoors, these refreshments will allow individuals to cool down as they remain outside.
As Sarah Blessinger, owner of Kindred Weddings and Events, suggests, “Warm weather trends include cocktail hour treats like shaved ice, popsicle carts, or ice cream vendors. Incorporating snacks to help your guests stay cool during a warm wedding day is a great idea. You could even have a fun water dispenser table with different flavors infused to encourage your guests to stay hydrated during the day.”
Patricha Pike, event planner, and venue manager of Meadows Event Center, seconds the idea of offering refreshments. She adds, “If it’s an outdoor wedding ceremony, make sure there’s a beverage station with infused water to keep guests hydrated. Offer parasols or umbrellas for shade. And since you have a Plan B, take the party inside if it becomes unbearable.”
Take things indoors
Sometimes, warm weather simply isn’t bearable for an all-day outdoor summer event. If this is the case, know that it’s okay to move things indoors and have a backup plan.
Similar to Pike’s recommendation, Kimberly Sisti, owner, lead florist, and planner at SISTI & CO, shares, “If the high temperature threatens guest enjoyment, consider moving one part of your wedding indoors. Depending on the time, ceremony and cocktail hour often happen while the sun is still up. If it’s not possible to shade your ceremony area, consider moving cocktail hour to a colder spot so your guests will have some respite from the heat.”
With health and safety on the line, couples need to communicate with their guests regarding the weather and how they can adequately prepare for an outdoor summer event. As a wedding professional, meet with your clients to discuss additional options should the weather derail any original plans?
“To prepare your guests, communicate honestly and upfront with them on your wedding website,” says Blessinger. “Let them know your celebration will be outdoors, and you recommend cool weather clothes, wearing sunscreen, and drinking lots of water.”
Alter start times
If your couples are getting married outside, suggest a shift in their timeline, so they’re not getting married when it’s too hot. Their guests will thank you!
Victoria Lartey-Williams, owner and lead event planner at Victorious Events NYC, recommends, “Try to avoid setting your ceremony start time for the hottest part of the day, which is usually mid-afternoon in most places. Instead, consider an early evening start. The temperature will have cooled down a bit, and everyone will feel much more comfortable. And you’ll also give yourself more time in the earlier part of the day for a more leisurely beauty prep or to just relax.”
Prepare for outdoor summer event elements
Outdoor ceremonies and receptions are beautiful but can come with their fair share of external factors. Make sure you consider these outdoor summer event elements with your couples before signing any contracts.
“You don’t want to forget critters, as sometimes they like to be a part of the festivities as well,” says Sheils. “Stock up on bug spray or have citronella stickers available for guest use to ensure everyone is comfortable.”
Casa Marina Event Layout using Allseated VISION+
5 Mistakes To Avoid When Planning An Outdoor Summer Event
A big part of mapping out a successful outdoor summer event is the careful planning that goes into ensuring clients and guests are comfortable, hydrated, and enjoying themselves. Without further ado, here are five things you’ll want to avoid when looking ahead to this year’s summer celebrations.
Sourcing without heat considerations
When temperatures rise, you need to be careful about what you’re sourcing for design and décor — not everything is weather-friendly (especially when you consider those surprise summer showers!).
“You will want to work with a florist that has a background of working with heat,” says Laura Maddox of Magnolia Celebrates. “Someone who knows which florals will hold up for a day like this, as opposed to which florals are better left inside or on a cooler day. You might also find that, when selecting rental furniture or other items, you want to avoid the surfaces that will keep the heat in. Trading leather lounge furniture for wicker cushioned couch, for example. Something still functional and comfortable, but not so warm on the bare legs that will be plopping down on it.”
Forgetting about hydration
Hydration is key all year round (particularly at booze-heavy celebrations), but it’s especially critical in summer when dehydration can lead to a health emergency. Cold, non-alcoholic beverages like water, lemonade, and iced tea should be on hand for guests to stay cool and refreshed throughout the whole event.
“More drinking water will need to be provided since guests will go through it quicker in warmer temperatures,” assures Kristen Gosselin of KG Events & Design. “It would be the most effective to provide a water station so that guests can help themselves at their leisure instead of crowding the bar, or avoiding lines at the bar and dehydrating themselves as a result. You’ll also need to account for more items. 500 pounds of ice in the spring will go a longer way than it would in the summer, so 700 pounds may be required in summer to yield the same product.”
Not thinking the menu through
Food seasonality is key when planning a menu — nobody wants a hearty chili or heavy steak when the sun is beating down on them. Keep it cool and refreshing, with spreads of vegetables and fruits to add flavor to the hydration factor.
“In warmer weather, it is nice to have a mix of room temperature and refreshing hors d’oeuvres alongside any hot hors d’oeuvres you might be serving,” explains Janice Carnevale of Bellwether Events. “Summer is the time to skip the charcuterie board and, instead, serve a raw bar on ice. If you are having a seated dinner while outside, consider a chilled soup as your first course. Also, keep the wedding cake in a climate-controlled area until absolutely necessary — sometimes just before guests enter the reception, sometimes just before the cutting.”
Opting for outdoors-only
Most venues have indoor/outdoor spaces, so when possible, design one of the indoor spaces for a place guests can go for a reprieve from the heat. Remember: your guests’ comfort is of the utmost importance, so do what you can to keep them at ease.
“We often don’t move the guests outside to sit down until about ten minutes before the ceremony starts to keep things cool,” shares Meredith Commender of Significant Events of Texas. “We often provide them with hand fans (that sometimes double as ceremony programs) as well as cold drinks. We try to keep the ceremony on the shorter side. We opt for indoor cocktail hours following (the) ceremony so that guests get relief from the heat right after the ceremony ends.”
Overlooking the sun’s placement
Summer means longer days and later sunsets, which plays heavily into where the event is set up and how the timeline is planned. The sun’s placement throughout the day will impact where a tent gets constructed, where the food is laid out, and how a photographer plans an approach.
“Consider where the sun is at the time of the event,” encourages Mary Angelini of Key Moment Films. “The sun can be harshest in the summertime, so be familiar of the location of the sun setting and the path of the sun in relationship to the setup of the event. Locate where the guests will be facing and make sure they aren’t facing the sun. Sunset can cast harsh shadows, so it may be wise to consult with a trusted photographer or videographer to discuss the ideal setup before finalizing the location of events.”
With summer around the corner, take some time to run through your outdoor events and ensure that everything meets expectations. Keep these tips in your back pocket to ensure that each and every summer event you plan is comfortable and welcoming to all who attend.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.