Is it simply too hot for black-tie attire?

By Alyssa Brown
July 01, 2019

Summer weddings are absolutely beautiful occasions, especially on a day when there's a cool breeze blowing. When you're choosing a dress code months in advance though, it's hard to know whether your wedding day will be hot, hot, hot or pleasantly cool. Will male guests in tuxedos be sweltering and sweaty in their clothes? Will the bridesmaids be wishing for shorter, flowy dresses? Rather than depend on the unpredictable weather to define your dress code, here are the cues you can look to ahead of time.

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Take Cues from Your Venue

Your venue is the most important factor to take into consideration when determining your wedding dress code. Alia Wilson, wedding planner and co-owner of Firefly Events, says, "I don't think that season dictates the dress code as much as the place and time of day. You can certainly do a black-tie dress code in the summer if you're getting married in the evening in an air-conditioned ballroom, for instance." Conversely, an outdoor venue in a tropical beach setting lends well to loose-fitted clothing and a less formal approach to the dress code. If you know your guests will predominantly be indoors with air conditioning, you have more flexibility with your summer dress code and formality.

Consider the Timing

The start time of your ceremony should impact your decisions. Wilson says, "A more relaxed dress code is always going to feel more appropriate for an afternoon wedding, no matter what the season is." A summer wedding might have full sunlight as late as 9 p.m., which means you can encourage your guests to wear that afternoon-style attire like short dresses and suits made with light fabrics.

Hot Summer Tip

Whichever dress code you go with, summer is a great time to offer a freshening-up station, in or near the restrooms, for both men and women. You can include face mists, oil blotters, dry shampoo, spray deodorant, and subtly scented natural sprays for anyone who's struggling in the heat and didn't bring along their own refreshing kit. To add a little something extra, you might also have a few pitchers of cucumber and mint ice water, a refreshing herbal tea, or chilled cans of coconut water. As host, you can't ensure everyone will stay hydrated and looking their best, but you can always make it easy and convenient for your guests to freshen up on a hot day.

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