I know there is so much to think about with any wedding, and even more with a marquee wedding but it can really pay dividends if you put some thought and planning into contingency planning for ultra HOT weather on your wedding day, as well as wet weather. If you have been receiving my newsletter for a while now (sign up if you don’t yet receive it) you will have read all about my tips for contingency planning for wet weather but have you considered what you might do if there is a heatwave? A hot wedding day can effect so much more of your wedding than wet weather in a weird way. Consider the storage and preparation of the food, the installation and survival of flowers, dried out, solid ground can be a nightmare for hammering marquee pegs into, the comfort and safety of your guests – extreme heat and sun can be paralysing and dangerous! Not to mention the extra insects that heat attracts.

marquee wedding hot weather

Your Guests on a Hot Wedding Day

Keeping your guests comfortable is one of the major priorities as you don’t want anyone passing out from heat exhaustion or sunstroke – I know this sounds dramatic but with marquee weddings the likelihood is that you will be in an open piece of land  with little overhead, so for most of the day your guests will be in direct sun. Here are some top tips to think about including in your HOT weather contingency plan…
  1. ⛱️ Install extra shade – this could be an extra marquee/gazebo/hanging canopy/freestanding parasols or even some hired in trees. You may also want to think about rearranging your timings a little if you can to make sure your guests aren’t standing around outside in the hottest part of the day. You might even want to embrace it and have a basket of baseball caps and sunglasses handy that guests can sport to protect themselves from the overhead sun!
  2. 🚰 Hydration – keeping hydrated is super important in very hot weather. Consider handing out ice-lollies while your guests are waiting outside the church or before the ceremony, make sure there is loads of water available and if you can get it cold then even better. It can be really useful to buy a bulk stash of individual water bottles and pop them in big tin baths of ice so guests can help themselves or have large kilner jars with water for guests to help themselves to. I would avoid sugary drinks as they will attract insects who love the heat – just to add to the problems! You may wish to increase the amount of cool beers you are offering as these always go down well in hot weather! Make sure there is loads of extra ice for drinks too (chilling and to go in them).
  3. 🧴 Lotions and Potions – for a marquee wedding you will probably have some portable toilets for your guests so it is a really lovely touch to include an emergency basket of useful lotions and potions for guests to use if they need. In hot weather include sun lotion and after sun and a really good insect repellant and bite cream, body spray and deodorant are always crowd pleasers.
  4. ☢️ Handheld fans – I am often asked about having air conditioning units installed in a marquee for a wedding and to be honest I don’t think this is really that effective for the investment. Having some small handheld fans however, can be really useful and some cans of instant cooling face spray. Having large floor fans can be too much and end up blowing decor and table arrangements all over the place – avoid if you can!
  5. 🐳 Embrace the heat – what everyone really wants in the heat is to get WET! What about having some cooling foot baths/paddling pools dotted about for guests to dip their toes into or go the full hog and have a water fight!! It may be messy but it would be cooling and fun! You are bound to get some fab pictures out of it!!
  6. 🕝 Timings – just like if there is wet weather forecast, have a hot weather contingency plan and timings will be a key factor in this. Considering your guests is paramount. Most likely your wedding will have a wide age range of guests, from young children to the older generation so think about not having your guests standing in the heat of the day for long periods of time. Have chairs/benches scattered around, switch your timings so group photos are not in the middle of the hottest part of the day – shift them to a cooler time, such as early evening.
  7. 🦶 Feet – the first thing a lot of people want to do when it’s hot is kick their shoes off. A wedding day will be no exception and the chances are guests will have their finest heels and lace up leather shoes on – not great in hot weather! Two points here: 1) make sure the ground is free of debris and sharp items which could cause injuries and 2) have a stash of of flip flops for guests to use.

Bride in sunglasses

Your Wedding Suppliers on a Hot Wedding Day

Let’s not forget the suppliers who have to work in this heat, here are some ideas to make sure you get the best out of them when hot weather strikes!

  1. 🍰Cakes – depending on how close to your wedding date you are when you know about the weather forecast, you may wish to chat with your cake maker and understand the implications for them. This could be things like avoiding buttercream or dairy cream, having a fridge large enough to store the whole cake in so it is only exposed to the heat at the very last moment or rearranging schedules so that the cake is delivered as late as possible and isn’t left sitting in a warm marquee for hours and hours! Depending on your ingredients this could have a massive health impact so do check it out! You don’t want to poison your guests!
  2. 🍹 Drinks – Ice, Ice and more Ice! you may be making ice-cubes to use for your wedding yourself or purchasing as much as you can from the supermarkets but in hot weather you will need even more than you had originally planned!!
  3. ❄️ Chilling facilities – if your catering team has a chiller van then great! But check what can be stored in it, for example if you need to chill extra drinks or even the cake then they may not have space allowance for this so you may need to hire another large chiller or an extra fridge. Your catering hire company can help with this. Also bear in mind that the chillers and fridges will need to be powered and can be very draining on your generator so double check you have enough power and fuel if they need to be on for longer than originally estimated.
  4. 🥀 Flowers – One wedding I worked on last summer was in a clear roofed marquee and let me tell you it was hot! It was like a greenhouse and the poor flowers really did suffer! Putting flowers out as late on as possible will definitely help keep them looking as fresh as you can but this may not be possible given the timings for your day so do speak to your florist and caterer. Hanging installations will be the worst effected as in most cases these would need to be done the day before to allow for tables to be laid in time and given the nature of them they can’t be watered!! If they are in water soaked oasis then your installation will be heavy so make sure your marquee company okay the weight to ensure it is all safe. As a little note, even if you go heavy with foliage rather than flowers they still need water so hot weather will equally effect them. Your florist may be able to suggest some drought resistant/low water consumption flowers and foliage which could withstand the heat better. It is definitely worth considering.
  5. 🍽️ Food – as per my point above about food poisoning, your catering team should be all over this! Making sure that food is prepared at the right temperatures, stored and then served at the right temperatures is so important! Again, if you have the flexibility you may want to look at making your menu more hot weather friendly, so reducing the amount of food impacted by the heat and increasing the amount of cooling foods such as chilled salads rather than serving hearty, hot dishes. The same will apply to your evening food, a cheese platter may sound delicious but in really high heats, inside a marquee, sitting out for any period of time it will melt and could be a health concern so double check.
  6. 📸 Photos – a blazing sun for photos will make everyone squint which doesn’t make for great shots so I would definitely suggest you speak to your photographer and consider scheduling in group shots later in the day to avoid this.
  7. 🎻 Musicians – be aware that some instruments won’t tune properly in extreme heat. Always make sure you have somewhere undercover for your musicians to play, especially if they are entertaining your guests during the afternoon, before the sun begins to dip.