Ah, my Spring babies are up and flying and earning their keep, now. Everybody’s frisky and pristine. The loft is a breeze to clean. And even though the birds’ feathers are but a year old, they’re moulting and will have brand new "clothes" by the end of August.
Today may be the first day of summer, but, I got a taste a couple weeks ago. I don’t recall that Saturday, June 9, was all that warm, but my Sunday, June 10, weddings–whoo hoo! Batten down the air conditioners! Sunday morning was okay, but by the afternoon…let’s just say I was lucky enough to scout out some prime real estate in the shade. But, the guests had to sit on plastic chairs in the sun!! From the Worst Case Scenario Department–Years ago I did a wedding in a park. And not only was it July, and not only was it in the afternoon, and not only were the chairs set up in full sun, and not only were they folding chairs, and not only were they metal, but they were black metal, too!! Wow. Sizzle. Ouch.
Summer is a lovely time for a wedding, but you have to be ready for all that it could mean. You can check the Old Farmer’s Almanac or consult your psychic, but you will never know until the day of what temperature cards you’ll be dealt. So here’s a couple suggestions, especially if your ceremony will be outside:
1. For gosh sakes, get the guys some hankies. A beautiful linen handkerchief would be a lovely gift from the groom to his posse, and something every sharp(ly) dressed man should carry anyway. I did a wedding one summer and here were all these guys, big guys, mostly shaved heads, POURING sweat. And not a handkerchief on one of ‘em. For all our benefit, get the guys some hankies. Or I’m going to have to start carrying a roll of paper towels just to get me through the summer.
2. Even if you’ve already written the check for your outdoor wedding site, go on over there and sit in the sun. Take a lookie at your watch and time how long it takes before you feel your brains cooking. Smells kinda like barbeque. Subtract 10 minutes and that’s how long your outdoors-in-full-sun ceremony should take.
3. Pretty please, start on time. Your polite guests will start arriving, at the most, 30 minutes before you’re scheduled to start. If they are SO polite as to go sit in the chairs in full sun and you start 20 minutes late, they’ll have been sitting there over an hour by the time you are pronounced husband and wife. If you begin to smell barbeque and it’s NOT on your reception menu, wind it up. Quickly!
4. Please take a moment to review my "Notes…" entry "Heat Wave" and "Heat Wave, Part II". You don’t want anybody fainting at your wedding. Order some pretty parasols to offer the ladies. Ask me if you need help finding them. You could even print them with your names and wedding date and they’d double as favors/keepsakes. During the summer, I don’t leave home without a parasol. I’m losing brain cells fast enough as it is.
5. Get some chaircovers for any chair that doesn’t already have a fabric cover. The guys can usually hang with an uncovered chair, but the fashionistas and the young’ns will most likely be sitting bare legs to chair, and we all know how uncomfortable that is.
6. This bears repeating. Please, please don’t make me look at an ice chest or plastic rope handled tub at your wedding. Buy something nice. If you’re into color, Target has some good sized ones in yellow, blue, and pink. I almost bought a couple, but I’m holding out for that beautiful floral embossed aluminum one. I know it’s out there!
7. Ice. Lots.
8. Prepare yourself for the inevitability that your guests won’t venture forth to the wedding site until your wedding coordinator starts cracking the whip saying the ceremony is about to start. They will be anywhere BUT sitting on those chairs in the sun. And if it’s really hot? You’ll have to SHOVE them out the door. That’s just the way it is, so plan on it. One way to encourage them to come down to the wedding site is by setting up a beverage stand. Make it really pretty with nice linens and beautiful dispensers, and preferably tented if there are no trees to provide shade. Stock it with LOTS of iced tea, lemonade, and water and use really pretty dispensers. Don’t run out. Assign someone whose sole duty is to make sure those dispensers stay full. Put the parasols in a pretty stand next to it.
9. Check out those misters I mentioned in "Heat Wave, Part II", if your reception is going to be outdoors, as well.
Got questions? Who ya gonna call? I’ll be WAI-ting!
The Dove Lady collects vintage linen hankies and almost always has a hand-tatted lace one in her purse. But, since she doesn’t perspire, it’s used mostly to open doors in public. And while she won’t loan it to sweaty men, she has been known to offer them the respite of her parasol.
And she would rather parch and get eaten alive by vultures than drink fake lemonade.