Wedding Receptions in Cornwall and Devon

Keeping Cool at Weddings

How to keep cool at weddings

God bless Mother Nature! And heed this (weather) warning.

The forces of meteorology will do whatever they feel like on W-day - and should you be treated to blazing sunshine, ensure you're prepared with these stay-cool tips

Despite most of us spending weeks (pah! months) praying for a light breeze and a venue dappled in golden sunshine on our wedding day, it's imperative to have a plan B. Rain can fall, the winds can blow and even the sun can shine a little too brightly. While we spend most of our time worrying about the rain turning up as an uninvited guest, we rarely consider what might happen if we get too much of a good thing. But how much is too much?

Life Photographic

Sunshine on a rainy day

The ceremony is over and everyone spills outside for drinks and canapes - it's such an exciting time for you and your guests and the skies look glorious! But it's two hours before the wedding breakfast, and it's 360� sunshine and 30-degree heat...
Sensitivity to temperatures can vary hugely from person to person, but on average, above 25 C and some people will start to get uncomfortable, by 28 C, it's pretty much everyone, and by 30 C it won't just be the flowers that are wilting.

It's worth considering the potential impact of a scorcher of a day on your photography as well. Most photographers will tell you that although you may want blazing sunshine, for your images it's less than ideal. Your guests will have a light film of shiny sweat on their faces (sadly more whoa than glow), they may look flushed, or even already sunburnt, and if you stand them in the wrong place, you'll have an album full of squinting faces. So what do we do if the sunshine balance tips the wrong way?

GRW Photography

Hello, sunshine
You can't plan for every potential weather anomaly, but you can make some decent preparation. We teamed up with Jenny Granlund from Jenny Wren Weddings & Events ( to discover her top tips for managing days that are a little too sun-kissed.

- Check the forecast (a lot). Be sure to start checking the long-range forecast from about two weeks beforehand. This will help you organise any last minute plans or purchases.

- Hydrate. Make sure cool, refreshing drinks are on hand for everybody. A complimentary glass of bubbly is great for feeding the party atmosphere, but not so good for hydration levels. You can't go wrong with jugs of good old-fashioned iced water.

- Drink to that. Jenny does offer a word of caution. "Drinks dispensers are great, because your guests can access them as needed (again, make sure it's not all booze!), but also be aware that sweet drinks can attract insects. Light some citronella candles on the tables to keep them away."

Liberty Pearl

- Position photos. When dealing with the sun at its highest point (between 11am and 2pm), the light points almost straight down, and doesn't make for particularly flattering photographs. Your photographer will position your guests so that the sun is behind them (or off to the side). This may not have the background you imagined, but will mean you can at least see your guests' eyes in the photo album.

- Time photos.
If you need to move the photographs to after the wedding breakfast, just talk to your photographer about it before the day. Keep in mind that they'll also want to get some time with you and your new husband or wife for the couple's portraits - so figure out a plan to make it all fit. (Also be aware that your guests will have had a few drinks by then, so it might take a little longer than you expect!)

- Stay shady. Not something people tend to think of when looking at venues - you don't want everybody retreating to the bar! - but if there's nothing available at the venue, you can create your own by adding parasols to outside seating. Or if you're providing your own drinks, how about putting the tables under a gazebo?

Maxi Photography

- Keep the kids cool. Children can't regulate their body temperatures as well as adults (especially when they're toddlers) and, more to the point, they can become ratty when hot or dehydrated! So to keep strops to a minimum, Jenny suggests hiring a yurt or tipi for them to play in: it can also provide a place for them to nap and get out of the midday sun.

- Prop it up. Relatively inexpensive, you can purchase a few props that can help keep everyone comfortable. Suntan lotion is essential, especially for the children. Or for something a bit more fun, Jenny suggests incorporating these into wedding favours. "Brooklyn Bridal ( has a great range of hats and handheld fans, you can even get them personalised with your names and the date on."

- Choose ice. Canapes are yummy, but in the baking sun, it's worth having some alternatives. Jenny has some fun suggestions: "How about ice lollies instead? These could be handmade with frozen edible flowers in or served from a traditional ice cream trike or van. Cecil On Ice ( offers fantastic ice cream cocktails."

Stewart Girvan

- Cover your bases. Ok, so you can't prepare for everything, but you can be as ready as possible. It doesn't cost a lot to put these small contingencies in place and if you need to justify the cost of any additions, you can always give them as wedding favours!

So if you look out of your window on the morning of the big day and see some cloud cover - rejoice! Sunshine can give your day a sense of freedom and summertime fun. But if you do wake up to a day bathed in blazing sunshine (the sun dance worked, then!) just be sure to treat too much sun as cautiously as too much rain...

Keith Riley

words Chris Wasey

Copyright Wed magazine 2017