Summer in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina is like nothing else. In my opinion, it is an experience that everyone should have once in their life: beautiful warm weather, breathtaking sunsets, and fireflies. I love living here in my small town of Waynesville. And one of the perks of being a local wedding photographer is that we typically have light up until 9:00 PM! It is no wonder summer is a popular time of year to get married.
If you are planning a summer wedding let me share some tips to help you take advantage of our lovely season here in the mountains.
Tip #1 Plan a Later Ceremony
When you think of summer, you may think about late evenings out with friends on the patio. Or a long walk with your fiance as the golden hour approaches. These are some of my favorite things to do during the summer months. However, many couples often plan their ceremony around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. Then their dinner starts around 5:00 PM. This is the hottest part of the day when the sun is at its highest level in the sky.
Trust me, with the sun overhead, it is not flattering light, and it creates harsh shadows.
My tip is to push your ceremony back to a little later in the evening when things start to cool off. This will inevitably make everyone more comfortable, especially if you are wearing a heavy wedding gown with multiple layers.
If you push your ceremony back a few hours, it will ensure that by the time we move into your formal and newlywed photos, we are capturing the golden hour of light. The most beautiful sunset colors begin the hour before sunset, not at dusk.
Now let’s move on to a tip to help keep your groom and groomsmen cooler during your summer wedding.
Tip #2 Choose Lighter Colored Suits and Fabrics for the Guys
I often see bridesmaids dressed in light-flowing, comfortable fabrics in the summer months, but not the guys. Most of the time, the gentleman wear darker suits in navy, black, etc. I always feel sorry for the groomsmen because I see them uncomfortable in outdoor ceremonies sweating in their suit jackets. And often, the groom is suffering along with them. It doesn’t make for flattering images at all.
That is why I suggest the groom and groomsmen choose light-colored suits. Lighter colors reflect the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them, which makes them more comfortable.
Think about when you wore a black teeshirt outside on a summer day instead of a white one. It makes a difference!
Or, you can do as some of my clients do and not use suit jackets at all. A trend I have seen over the past few years is adding colorful suspenders over a dress shirt. If you don’t like suspenders, you can also use suit vests. It’s a fun idea that takes the pressure off the guys.
It isn’t just the guys who suffer from intense heat in summer; delicate flowers wilt quickly in extreme heat.
Tip #3 Use More Greenery and Less Delicate Florals for Décor
I get it; we all scroll through Pinterest and ooh and awe at the breathtaking tablescapes we see. But you may not know that most of what you are viewing are staged style shoots. I do them all of the time for venues and wedding vendors. Sometimes we all get together to push our creativity and see what we can create for marketing. However, we work on our timelines and stage what you see at the most opportune times of the day. This isn’t always an option when working on an event such as your wedding day.
Some flowers do not do well in heat, and if you are having your wedding and reception outdoors, you may come to your table and see them hanging their sad little heads.
That is why I highly suggest having at-length decisions with your florist about which blooms hold up well and which do not. Also, don’t be afraid to use more greenery! Greenery holds up better in varying weather extremes, and as a bonus, it is LESS EXPENSIVE!
Florists love the opportunity to play with greenery, and you will be surprised at what they can come up with. That’s why we all enjoy working weddings is to let our creative souls shine!
Nevertheless, all weddings are beautiful in their unique ways. I have been actively capturing weddings for over six years now, and I hope some of my observations and tips will help you plan the celebration of your love story. And if you are looking for a professional wedding photographer, feel free to view my portfolio here.
Enjoy the sun!