How to Choose a Summer Venue
30 Jul 2021 •7 min read
1Remember: the last thing you want is for your guests to be hot and sweating.
“When searching for a summer wedding venue, the biggest thing to keep in mind is the weather. Depending on where you are getting married, you have to take into account how hot it can get during the day. You have to think through whether your venue is all outdoors or if there is any shade for your guests, especially during the ceremony. The last thing you want is for your guests to be hot and sweating and sitting directly in the sun all day. Ask the venue a few key questions like: do they have indoor options, umbrellas on site or covered patios, AC, or if you can bring in certain rentals to provide your clients with more shade to make them comfortable. It's all about the guest experience and making sure that you and your partner are not overheated throughoutthe day.” -Kari Dirksen -CEO + Lead Planner, Feathered Arrow Events
2Think about the plan ahead of time.
“Here in the South, summers are HOT. Make sure your main reception space is fully air-conditioned, and if your ceremony is outdoors, start at 5:30 pm (or later) to avoid the mid-day heat. Have plenty of water readily available for your guests, and don't forget to keep yourself and your wedding party hydrated throughout the day! We've had couples give guests pretty parasols and ceremony programs that can be used as hand fans; both are fun ways to keep guests cool and shaded from the sun.” -Kara Brewer, Owner, The Barn of Chapel Hill at Wild Flora Farm
3Make sure to know your venue’s rental period!
“This may allow couples to have an evening ceremony start time versus early afternoon when the sun is the hottest. Feel free to also ask for contact information of brides that had a date at a similar point in the year at the same venue. This can give you a prime example of how the day worked for them and give insight into what things they would have changed looking back.” -Sarah Silicato Jones, Venue Director, Vanderwende Acres
4Ask if the venue takes any precautionary measures to prevent the influx of unwanted insects during the summer months(e.g. mosquitoes and flies).
“The summer wedding season is one of the busiest for wedding venues, so couples should try to be flexible with their wedding date or plan well in advance to secure the date of their choice!” -Sarah Silicato Jones, Venue Director, Vanderwende Acres
5Make sure you are well aware of the rain plan.
“We love a good open, outside summer venue, but make sure your venue has a rain plan that you love! While we want that midsummer weather, sometimes Mother Nature has a different plan. Making sure you are well aware of the rain plan is key when choosing that summer venue. This means understanding rain tents you may have to rent that you didn't budget for or adding extra decor to make everything cohesive. More importantly, if your ceremony location can still be in the same location if it rains. These are all important questions to ask when you are venue scouting!” -Erica Trombetti, Infinite Events
6Make sure that the venue is near good accommodations for your guests and is relatively easy to get to.
“We always encourage our WedBrilliant couples to consider timing, location and amenities first! For timing, think about what's important to you: do you want to have some or all of the wedding outdoors? If so, narrow down your acceptable timeframe to those drier and warmer months. Many other couples will be considering timing first, too, so make sure you make this decision and then start talking to venues about availability! Then consider venues whose locations make the most sense. Are both your families in one town and you want as many family members as possible to come? Some venues will offer a little discount for couples who are "local," so it never hurts to ask! Maybe you've always dreamed of getting married in Italy and know a destination wedding is for you. Factor in the cost to travel to the destination when considering where you'll have your wedding, so that you ensure as many guests as possible can join you. No matter where you get married, make sure that the venue is near to good accommodations for your guests and is relatively easy to get to.
Ensuring your guests arrive at the venue happy and ready to celebrate will make everything go that much smoother! And then focus in on amenities that are important to you and your sweetie. Do you want to play golf with friends the day before you say "I do?" Would you like to get glammed up on-site at the venue? Is a big space for a dance floor crucial? These are the pieces of the venue search that are just as important, but often overlooked. Make it easier on yourselves in the long run, and identify "nice to have" amenities and "must have" amenities and then arm yourselves with that list when you start to narrow down! WedBrilliant lets you search for venues around the country and post all your wedding needs for venues to submit proposals on! This easy tool can help you kick start this amazing process!” -Melissa Wilmot, Founder & CEO, WedBrilliant
7Look for a venue that offers both indoor and outdoor options.
“We recommend selecting a venue that will complement or enhances your overall design goals. If you are desiring an outdoor wedding during the summer, consider venues that offer shade for ceremony and reception to ensure your guest experience is pleasant. Or perhaps, consider a venue that offers both indoor and outdoor option just in case you need to go on to a plan B due to extreme heat or rain.” -Weddings by Susan Dunne
8Get your travel information on your wedding website early!
“Summer weddings in seasonal locations can feel like a vacation for your guests, but they may not be prepared for the 3-or 4-night minimum stays they may be up against! Get your travel information on your wedding website early so guests are prepared. (And consider a nice welcome gift for the long wedding weekend, it's sure to be a hit!)” -Jamie & Stephanie, Cape Cod Celebrations
9Keep in mind that tents can get very hot.
“Summer weddings can be HOT! Be sure that your venue has shade, or better yet, air conditioning! Going with a tent? Tents can get very hot, even though they provide shade. Ask your tent company if they have fans that can be installed to help move the air around, your guests will thank you!” -Jamie & Stephanie, Cape Cod Celebrations
10Stick to an indoor venue to make sure your guests and flowers don't wilt in the heat.
“Summer weddings are beautiful. However, we recommend finding an indoor venue to ensure your guests and flowers don't wilt in the heat.” -Karese owner of Detailed Floral Design
11Have a weather plan!
“There are so many details to consider when choosing a summer wedding venue. First things first: weather. Regardless of where your wedding is taking place, rain and/or heat are something to consider. Have a weather plan in place when booking your venue, soyou are not put in a bad position without a solution the week of your wedding.” -Nora Sheils, Founder of Bridal Bliss and Co-Founder of Rock Paper Coin
12Make sure to find a venue that can accommodate your count.
“Always consider capacity. While we typically guesstimate that 80% of an invited guest list will actually attend, we've had 100% attend in the past! So, make sure to book a venue that can accommodate your count. No one likes to be uncomfortably close with others, especially in a post-COVID era!” -Nora Sheils, Founder of Bridal Bliss and Co-Founder of Rock Paper Coin
13Ask how many weddings they book in a day.
“Ask your potential venue how many weddings they book in a day. Is it a wedding factory pushing events in and out, or will it allow for a drawn-out setup and breakdown through the weekend? No one wants to compete with another couple for an epic photo backdrop!” -Nora Sheils, Founder of Bridal Bliss and Co-Founder of Rock Paper Coin
14Nothing tops an air-conditioned space.
“Your wedding planner will make magic happen wherever you end up hosting your big day, but nothing tops an air-conditioned space. It’s a win-win for both guests and vendors to celebrate fully without looming fears of heat-related illness, or too-drunk guests. If you do opt for outdoor, ensure there's plenty of shade. If you plan with older guests in mind, all guests will be comfortable. Also remember your attendants (as well as yourselves!) More upscale attire tends to breathe less, and excessive sweating can be dangerous (and a symptom of heatstroke).” -Ashley Lachney, Owner of Alston Mayger Events
15You should always consider the top factors: weather, overall guest comfort, and sunset times.
“Top factors to consider when selecting a venue is the typical weather for that time of year, overall guest comfort and sunset times. Most venues are busiest in the summer months and offer their "regular" pricing (price considerations are more likely to be available in the colder and darker months). If opting for a clear tent, take the sun into consideration for wedding timing. You don't want to host your wedding in a greenhouse! If guests need to walk to get to the outdoor spot, consider offering golf cart transportation to help them out. If any outdoor setup is involved, if budget allows, it is ideal to consider flooring for logistics and the most polished look. Lighting is also a huge consideration to help people navigate any outdoor areas once the sun goes down.” -Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides