15 Last-Minute Ideas for Your Hot and Sticky Summer Wedding

Keep cool during Washington's swampiest months.

As we settle into the dog days of summer–Washington’s swampiest months–it can start to infringe on you and your guests’ enjoyment of your outdoor wedding festivities. But have no fear–there’s plenty of ways to keep everyone cool and entertained along the way. Here’s 15 ideas you can try right now.

1. Help them stay cool with ceremony programs that double as fans.

Photograph by Sarah Bradshaw Photography.

2. Or just have a basket full of handheld fans nearby for guests to grab before they find their seats.

Photograph by Michelle Lindsay Photography.

3. Plan on parasols for your bridesmaids so they can carry shade with them during the outdoor portraits.

Photograph by One Summer Day.

4. Don’t wait for cocktail hour to serve some cooling beverages.

Photograph by Kurstin Roe Photography.

5. For an outdoor ceremony, leave custom sunglasses on every seat for guests to wear during the “I do’s.”

Photograph by Terri Baskin Photography.

6. And offer handkerchiefs for happy tears—or mopping up sweat, as the case may be.

Photograph by Rebekah J. Murray Photography.

7. During cocktail hour, keep everyone hydrated with a flavored water bar.

Photograph by Nessa K Photography.

8. And serve up crisp watermelon slices instead of hot hors d’oeuvres.

Photograph by Eric Kelley Photography.

9. Offer up lawn games to keep your guests’ minds off the summer heat.

Photograph by Dominique Attaway Photography.

10. Supply flip-flops for the dance floor to keep it cool and casual.

Photograph by Eli Turner.

11. And whatever you do—don’t forget the citronella candles to keep away mosquitos.

Lamplight TIKI Triple Wick Citronella Candle Bucket, $12.99 on Amazon.


12. Bring by Pleasant Pops for a frozen treat.

Photograph by Nessa K Photography.

13. Or Captain Cookie for some ice cream sandwiches.

Photograph by Timmester Photography.

14. Or just pass ice cream bars on a bed of ice.

Photograph by Wani Olatunde Photography.

15. End the night on a sweet note: roasting s’mores over a summer bonfire after dark.

Photograph by Dominique Attaway Photography.

Related: 28 Awesome Ideas for Your Georgetown Hoya Wedding

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.