Image Credit: Rose And Spear Photography

Morning and happy Friday! We hope you have all had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend. Can you believe August is almost over? The summer has flown by but what a summer it has been! We have seen some amazing weddings, organised an epic bridal shoot (more coming very soon), experienced some incredible temperatures and launched a brand new festival style wedding venue in Kent. As far as summers go, 2018 has been pretty damn good!

This summer has also seen us team up with tipi and marquee wedding and event planner, Katie Slater of Songbird Weddings. She has been sharing her expert advice on all things wedding planning since July and has already proved to be an invaluable addition to the Festival Brides team with her top tips for planning a festival wedding. Today, she is sharing her top tips on surviving a heatwave wedding – something that many of our readers have experienced this year!

If you are planning a summer wedding for 2019 and beyond, then these tips will stand you and your guests in good stead for coping with the heat. Especially if the temperatures sore to above 30 degrees again. Here’s hoping!


Written by Katie Slater, Songbird Weddings

Hello again! This month I have decided to talk about heatwave weddings. We have had a scorcher of a summer this year. So for those of you whose weddings are imminent (and you are hoping the great weather continues) or for those of you planning for next summer here are my top tips for planning for a sunny wedding day!


One – Drinks…

Image Credit: Kirsty MacKenzie Photography

We think a lot in the planning phase about the alcoholic drinks menu we are offering our guests. If, you are likely to have a hot wedding, you will also need to think about your non-alcoholic offering. When people get to your reception after the ceremony they will be hot and bothered and will want a refreshing drink. If when they arrive you have a cold and refreshing non-alcoholic drink I guarantee your guests will thank you for it. Don’t worry, once they have cooled down and re-hydrated they will be ready to party again so you can bring out those cocktails later on.

Order double the ice – just trust me. Guests will want ice in everything and you will use way more ice than you had planned for on a hot day. At a wedding recently, I was taking glasses full of ice to the dinner tables for guests and once one table had one, everyone wanted it!


Two – Reception…..

Image Credit: Hall & Co

Just like we plan for a back up reception area for wet weather, you will need to think about your options if it is really hot and sunny. Make sure there is some shade for your guests during the reception drinks. People will gravitate to the shade when it is really hot and they are dressed in their finest. It also might mean that people are keen to get seated more quickly so talk through your schedule with your planner and/or caterer and make sure that you can pull forward the food (or at least the starter) if people are desperate to sit down and get out of the sun.


Three – Suncream….

You will be surprised at how many of your guests will come to your wedding unprepared when it comes to suntan lotion. Set up some sun cream stations with sun cream, fans, cold water and anything else to keep your guests cool and hydrated. You could even create little welcome baskets at your ceremony area with suncream, fans and water to keep guests cool.

Four – Your Structure…..

If you have an open structure, like a marquee, stretch tent or sperry then you will need to think where the sun will come in. If the sun will come in one side of the tent, then try to plan your table spacing so that there aren’t any tables set up in that space. You do not want any of your guests to have to eat their meal sat in the direct sunlight. If you do not have the space for that, consider parasols or other options to give them shade whilst they eat.


Five – Drink Service….

Image Credit: Hall & Co

Ordinarily at weddings you put wine on the tables for guests to help themselves. As we all know, white wine should be served cool and red wine at room temperature. However, if it is a hot day your wine will quickly warm up. In this situation, I recommend that you switch to served drinks. Get your catering staff to pour out the wine. That way, your wine can be kept cool and served only when it is needed. You will need to check with your catering team that they have enough staff working to do that should it be necessary.

Six – Photography….

In really hot and sunny weather you get more harsh light which can be unflattering. Speak to your photographer about when and where to do your couples photos and build that into your schedule. It may be, that they suggest doing the photos later on in the day when the sun is not so bright.  Photographer, Kirstie Mackenzie recommends that in bright sunlight you find shady areas at your venue to take pictures or alternatively move the photographs to later on in the day. Photographers will talk about the golden hour which is the hour before sun set. “In the golden hour the light is much softer which means you can do more with it. The downside, however is that you may not be looking as perfectly turned out as you were earlier on in the day”.


Thank you so much for all of the questions that are coming in. We will do a whole article to address bands/djs etc and the timing of entertainment and an article on festival weddings on a budget so watch this space…

Do you have a question for Katie, our expert planner? Please send it to

top tips for surviving a summer heatwave wedding faye amare photography

Image Credit: Faye Amare Photography


Katie founded Songbird Weddings which specialises in planning outdoor weddings across the UK. Katie also founded and runs the Rustic Wedding Show which is an immersive wedding show  aimed at creative couples. Visit her website at


Wedding beauty on its way!

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