It’s Getting Hot in Here: Wedding Day Climate Woes & Things to Consider | srichardsonphotos.com

Updated: Jul 22




(photography by Sharde Richardson)

I’ve shot many weddings but none was as hot as the one this past weekend. And as southern native, that’s saying something. We ‘down south’ girls don’t mind a good sweat, however, I’ve gotta draw the line when my knees begin to weep. But after all that sweating and weeping, it got me thinking (and researching) on how future summer brides should be thinking about their big day during a heat wave.


1. What’s on the menu: did you know that TX cattle ranchers are selling off their cattle in record numbers? And it isn’t because they’re strapped for cash. Temps have reached well above 108 degrees for consecutive days with no rain in sight. Cattle graze in grassy pastures and it’s their main source of nutrition. High temps and lack of rain does not green pastures make.


If your menu includes beef, you may need to brace yourself for sticker shock. During this heat wave, farmers will have to find more expensive ways to feed their livestock and, unfortunately, those expenses will probably be passed on to the consumer—you. If you’re on a tight wedding budget, you may need to consult with your caterer on cost effective ways to feed your guests. This may include veggie entrees, seafood, or other food sources not drastically affected by the heat.


2. Keep cool: I guess that’s obvious, right? The UK is experiencing record breaking temps that pose a danger to thousands of people—especially the elderly (think of grandma and grandpa). With temps soaring into the triple digits, you need to be strategic about where and when you’ll say “I do!".


If your wedding is taking place in the summer, you may consider a venue that has a beautiful interior space with reliable A/C. If your vision calls for outdoor scenery, consider having your nuptials take place later in the day (evening) when the sun is lower and the temp is cooler. Provide paper fans for guests or ask if the venue has large industrial fans they can use to keep you and your guests breezy. Also, encourage your family and friends to bring bottled waters or have some waiting for them at their seats.


(photography by Sharde Richardson)

[ Bonus: tying the knot later in the evening not only keeps you cooler, it also gives your photographer a chance to take some amazing sunset portraits of you. If you're in my neck of he woods, summer weddings are nicest a tad after 6PM, and fall weddings are primed for 5PM. Most portraiture happens after the wedding and trust me when I say, there’s no greater task than to get a bride and groom dressed in full wedding wear to smile in 100 degree heat. ]


(photography by Sharde Richardson)

3. Leave a day earlier than planned: Did you know it’s not safe for planes to fly in extreme heat? I didn’t know this but a quick search shows that extreme heat makes the air thinner, which in turns makes it more difficult for the plane to fly. Why is this important? Perhaps you’re having a destination wedding in some beautiful, exotic location and your flight (along with your photographer, make-up artist and hair stylist’s flights) is delayed because of extreme heat. Now imagine the airline can’t reschedule those flights until the next day (the day of your wedding—gasp!).


Instead of a care-free day, where your wedding day team is absorbing all the stresses for you, they are instead rushing you off a plane to a resort to get ready to walk down the aisle. Not very romantic, huh?


(photography by Sharde Richardson)

4. Anticipate regulations: Climate lockdowns? Sounds like something from a dystopian novel, I know. And trust I’m not trying to scare you or fear monger. This is a highly speculative point but I’ll try to make it based on what we’ve already been through.


If the pandemic taught us nothing else, it illustrated with great clarity that most countries infrastructures are woefully inept to handle catastrophes. In the case of extreme heat waves that could harm thousands of people and inundate local hospitals with patients suffering from heatstroke or heat exhaustion, would it be unreasonable to expect state governments and local officials to put ordinances in place to prevent such occurrences? The answer is a toss up—fifty-fifty. There's an adage that I've heard folks say, "If you stay ready, you ain't got to get ready". This is why I suggest staying on top of any new regulations that concerns your desired wedding venue (especially outdoor ceremonies) and the number of guest allowed to attend.


I hope I’ve given you something to consider when planning your summer wedding. Stay cool, friends!


Sharde

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