Written by Wedding Planner Katie Slater, Songbird Weddings for Festival Brides

Hello again! This month I have decided to talk about heatwave weddings. We have had a scorcher of a summer this year. So for those of you whose weddings are imminent (and you are hoping the great weather continues) or for those of you planning for next summer here are my top tips for planning for a sunny wedding day!

Ice cream van hire

Sweet Ally Scoops


Hall and Co Water Display

We think a lot in the planning phase about the alcoholic drinks menu we are offering our guests. If, you are likely to have a hot wedding, you will also need to think about your non-alcoholic offering. When people get to your reception after the ceremony they will be hot and bothered and will want a refreshing drink. If when they arrive you have a cold and refreshing non-alcoholic drink I guarantee your guests will thank you for it. Don’t worry, once they have cooled down and re-hydrated they will be ready to party again so you can bring out those cocktails later on.

Order double the ice – just trust me. Guests will want ice in everything and you will use way more ice than you had planned for on a hot day. At a wedding recently, I was taking glasses full of ice to the dinner tables for guests and once one table had one, everyone wanted it!


Just like we plan for a back up reception area for wet weather, you will need to think about your options if it is really hot and sunny. Make sure there is some shade for your guests during the reception drinks. People will gravitate to the shade when it is really hot and they are dressed in their finest. It also might mean that people are keen to get seated more quickly so talk through your schedule with your planner and/or caterer and make sure that you can pull forward the food (or at least the starter) if people are desperate to sit down and get out of the sun.


Set up some sun cream stations with sun cream, fans, cold water and anything else to keep your guests cool and hydrated.


If you have an open structure, like a marquee, stretch tent or sperry then you will need to think where the sun will come in. If the sun will come in one side of the tent, then try to plan your table spacing so that there aren’t any tables set up in that space. You do not want any of your guests to have to eat their meal sat in the direct sunlight. If you do not have the space for that, consider parasols or other options to give them shade whilst they eat.


Ordinarily at weddings you put wine on the tables for guests to help themselves. As we all know, white wine should be served cool and red wine at room temperature. However, if it is a hot day your wine will quickly warm up. In this situation, I recommend that you switch to served drinks. Get your catering staff to pour out the wine. That way, your wine can be kept cool and served only when it is needed. You will need to check with your catering team that they have enough staff working to do that should it be necessary.




In really hot and sunny weather you get more harsh light which can be unflattering. Speak to your photographer about when and where to do your couples photos and build that into your schedule. It may be, that they suggest doing the photos later on in the day when the sun is not so bright.  Photographer, Kirstie Mackenzie recommends that in bright sunlight you find shady areas at your venue to take pictures or alternatively move the photographs to later on in the day. Photographers will talk about the golden hour which is the hour before sun set. “In the golden hour the light is much softer which means you can do more with it. The downside, however is that you may not be looking as perfectly turned out as you were earlier on in the day”.


Thank you so much for all of the questions that are coming in. We will do a whole article to address bands/djs etc and the timing of entertainment and an article on festival weddings on a budget so watch this space…

Do you have a question for Katie, our expert planner? Please send it to katie@songbirdweddings.co.uk