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Tips for Planning Your Perfect Outdoor Summer Wedding

From the glow of a late sunset to welcomed warm breezes, hosting an outdoor wedding during the summer can be a magical experience. However, this time of year can also be tricky to navigate with low temps at night and high humidity during the day

To help you get the most out of your outdoor wedding, we asked the Boston Wedding Group—the city’s largest planning network of the region’s top experts—for tips on planning the perfect summer soiree whatever the weather.

Small additions can make a big difference. Michelle DeVoe Owner of Demiche Beauté in Melrose suggests embracing summer’s flora and placing small fresh flowers throughout your hairstyle. You can also keep wavy locks in place during a hot day by adding a few hair extensions for extra volume. And an updo is always an elegant way to beat the heat, so add a little lift.

Photo Credit: Miller Studios

If it’s not the heat,  it’s the humidity,  and that moisture in the air can sabotage your wedding hair. For dream-worthy locks, Debbie Welch, the Owner of Studio 9 Salon on Newbury Street, says go with the flow. “When having a summer outdoor wedding, it is best to try not to manipulate your natural hair texture too much. When the expectation is to defy the elements, it is most likely that Mother Nature will win,” she explains. It’s best to polish naturally curly hair with an iron to assure less frizz, while anti-humectant hairsprays can be helpful in maintaining a look that lasts. “I also suggest straight hair be put up, or at least half up, to assure the style doesn’t fall flat during the night,” she adds.

Photo Credit: Person and Killian

Your guests aren’t the only ones affected by warm weather. “If the guests are sweating, the cake will be too. When hot humid air hits anything cold there will be condensation,” warns Ellen Bartlett, Owner of Brookline’s Cakes to Remember. “Don’t expect to see that matte finish you see in the magazines. There will be at least a little ‘glow’ to the cake, if not little rivulets.” If your wedding is in the peak of summer (think July and August), work with your designer to come up with a design that will look gorgeous despite the heat. And if your cake is made with perishable ingredients like cream, eggs and butter, keep it refrigerated until show time at the reception.

Photo Credit: Person and Killian

With long daylight hours, there will be plenty of time to take gorgeous photos during a summer wedding. “The best time for capturing film and photos of the couple is going to be at ‘golden hour’ – about an hour before the sunset when the light often becomes magical,” says Amanda Gosselin, Co-Owner and lead filmmaker at Boston’s readyset[film]. Schedule your ceremony and family portraits to end at least an hour before sunset. And don’t let bad weather rain on your parade. “If it is an overcast day, don’t worry,” she says. “The clouds provide ideal lighting, and you will have beautiful film and photos all day long.”

Photo Credit: readyset[film]

With summer full of natural bounty, take some time to see how to incorporate these into your arrangements. Jeri Solomon, Owner Jeri Solomon Floral Design in Stoneham, suggests bringing elements of the outside in. “Use fun elements like herbs and moss in tin containers, branches and even a splash of bright fruits such as lemons,” she says.

Photo Credit: Jeri Solomon

Since summer is a popular time of the year for weddings and so many people go away on vacation during this time, The Catering Sales Team at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy suggests sending Save the Dates to your guests so they can officially mark their calendar. When it comes to printed reception materials, work with your invitation vendor to design escort cards that won’t fly away if it’s windy, such as a seating board or favors with escort cards tied to them. Provide pashminas or throws in a basket for guests to bundle up should the weather get chilly and talk with your venue rep about outdoor heaters so guests can stay comfortable.

Photo Credit: Person and Killian

Whether your celebration will take place on sand, cobblestone or grass, General Manager at Waltham’s SuperShag Dance Studio Andy Fishel suggests practicing your first dance in a similar condition. “It is always optimal to rent a floor for outdoor weddings, but if that’s not possible make sure you practice at least once on similar terrain,” he says. Make a date night and go to your favorite beach, garden, or wherever you can pretend you’re at your Big Day location. Also important is doing a dry run with your actual shoes to prevent any surprises, like too-tall heels or slippery soles.

With these expert tips for planning your outdoor wedding, your summertime nuptials will be nothing less than spectacular.