How Can You Beat the Heat with a Summer Wedding in Pittsburgh?
Personalized chilled towels, extra fans and an infused-water station can all help couples enjoy their day and keep their guests happy.
With summer upon us, outdoor wedding venues are preparing for their busiest season. But what do industry insiders recommend for keeping your guests — and yourselves — cool and calm despite the heat?
Emily Daniels, event manager at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, says one of the best ways to beat the heat is to provide chilled towels. Couples can DIY the towels or purchase them (these lavender options are very popular, Daniels says) and ask their venue to store them in the fridge until guests arrive. Renting additional fans to circulate the air and making sure your guests have a shady spot where they can cool off are also good ideas, according to Daniels.
She also recommends an infused-water station.
“A station where guests can get as much hydration as they need, and have some fun flavors like cucumber or lemon water, is always a lovely touch,” she says.
When Jamie Ponter and Peter Smith tied the knot at Armstrong Farms in Butler County on June 25, 2022, they wanted a fun and casual wedding where their guests could move around and enjoy dancing without the heat being a concern. Jamie says the venue’s layout was very open with air-conditioning and wide barn doors, which allowed their guests to do just that.
There was also a nearby cottage that Jamie, Peter and close family used if they needed to sit and cool down.
“We really enjoyed having it because it was air-conditioned and secluded, so you could get away from everyone for a few minutes,” Jamie says.
Originally from Beaver County, the couple knew they wanted to have a summer wedding because of the often harsh winter weather in Western Pennsylvania.
“We were a little bit concerned with it being an outdoor wedding, but I think we’re both go-with-the-flow people,” Jamie says. “If it rains, [if] it’s hot, we knew we would make the best of it no matter what the weather looks like.”
Jamie and her bridesmaids prepared their looks with the possibility of humid weather in mind. Jamie sported a full updo hairstyle and wore airbrushed makeup. Her bridesmaids wore chiffon dresses from David’s Bridal to avoid visible heat effects such as armpit stains.
The biggest advice from the bride was to stock up on water for guests, as the two ran out on occasion.
“People were drinking more water than we anticipated,” Jamie says. “We thought our families would drink more alcohol.”
Jamie also recommends that brides and bridesmaids talk to their bridal shops about cooler options for dresses, especially if the wedding is completely outdoors. Armstrong Farms venue manager Kristi Sherge recommends avoiding long dresses during the hot summer months.
Sherge also suggests considering the time of day for the ceremony because of the heat and having personal fans to hand out to guests.
Jamie says her wedding was incredible and she doesn’t think the possibility of a hot day should scare people off from hosting a summer wedding.
“We got so many compliments about how beautiful it was, how great of a time people had,” Jamie says. “Everything was set up absolutely beautifully and perfectly.”