9 Tips for Summer Weddings

Everyone thinks of summer as the time to get married, but wedding bells ring all year round here in Hampton Roads. (Actually, come to think of it, I’ve yet to photograph a wedding where they actually rang church bells!) Since the climate here is (usually) not too extreme, couples can choose to get married in whatever season they please, and fall is becoming increasingly more popular for Virginia weddings! Here are my best tips for your wedding day, season by season!



Have a plan for extreme heat. Have chilled water bottles or a lemonade station for guests. Ask your venue if guests can wait indoors until just before the outdoor ceremony starts. Ask about large fans or portable AC units for your tent or choose an indoor reception space. 

Choose fabrics carefully. If you’ve always wanted a heavy silk ballgown, a summer wedding might not be right for you. Also consider skipping the vests for the guys or choosing a lighter fabric for their suits. Choose a light, flowy fabric for the girls’ dresses.

Schedule your ceremony for the early evening (right before dinner time), so you’ll miss the hottest part of the day. (We’ll also stick with shaded areas for portraits!)

Avoid dark or metal chairs for the ceremony unless you add cushions as these will get very hot sitting out all afternoon.

Ask your florist about flowers that will withstand the heat without wilting.

Bug spray and citronella candles can also make a big difference in guests’ enjoyment of the wedding day.

Use fan-shaped wedding programs so your guests can stay cool during the ceremony.

Choose lighter cocktail hour food, like shrimp and veggies instead of cheese and other food that might melt. This is a great time to get creative with fruit tarts and frozen cocktails.

If your reception is outdoors, make sure to tell your baker so your pretty buttercream cake doesn’t melt.