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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hosting a hot wedding in Spain


As the UK sees the hottest weather for 12 years with temperatures reaching over 30 degrees it appears the country is going into a meltdown as people suffer the heat to carry on with their daily lives, working, travelling, commuting, etc.  

I have read the news tonight and seen images of commuters proudly displaying the fact it is over 30 degrees in the tube stations and people are being treated at Wimbledon for heat stroke. 

This seems an ideal opportunity to do my blog post about hosting a wedding here in Spain during the summer months as our temperatures throughout the late part of June, July and August never really drop below 30 degrees.

Inland such as Seville, Cordoba, Madrid, etc can often be over 40 degrees or even hit 50 degrees during August.

If you think it is hot in London, come to Seville in August!  Most of the residents have left the city and are on the coast!  It is currently past midnight here and still 33 degrees in Marbella.

Which brings me onto my blog post about hosting a hot wedding.

To ensure your guests do not remember your day at that awfully horrendous hot wedding in Spain you do need to consider their needs, often I get brides telling me we cannot wait for hot weather it rains all the time here and we will be fine, our guests will love it?!  

I have just completed a run of weddings where we have had quite a few guests suffering from heat stroke and had to leave due to feeling ill so here is what you can do to protect the damage.

1. Do make sure your guests are comfortable and if travelling, book air conned coaches and transport to your wedding.  Also often I see brides book vintage cars, whilst they look fantastic for your photos, do check if they have air con, you don't want to turn up at the church looking like you have just run a marathon.

2. Think about offering bottles of cold water to your guests as they travel to your wedding or wait for your ceremony to begin.  

A lovely idea as guests assemble at your wedding venue is to have a ice cold lemonade and water station offering refreshing drinks to keep them cool as they wait for you to rock up.  

Whilst this is practical if you are hosting your ceremony at a venue this may not always work for a church service so providing small bottles of water are the way forward.

3.  You must provide shade for your guests. If the venue does not naturally have shade do make sure you have parasols provided.  I could not think of anything worse than being asked to stand for an hours cocktail in searing sunshine.

4.  Many of our weddings in Spain like to incorporate the Spanish fans, abanicos, as either favours or just to hand out at ceremonies.  Do consider these as not favours but necessities to hand out as your guests gather for your ceremony.  Spain is notorious for fans and there is a reason why!


5. Whilst we are inundated with beautiful ideas on Pinterest do be practical about what is achievable for your wedding in a hot country.

A good example is you cannot have a buttercream icing cake, flowers will have to be considered carefully so do take advice of your florist, make sure the bridesmaids and groomsmen are dressed in cool fabrics, etc and consider that any chocolate favours will melt, sweets will become sticky messes and your guests fingers will be semi permanently glued together for the evening if you offer anything slightly sweet or sticky!

6. Do consider your ceremony time, there is a saying and it is for a reason, Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.  

A ceremony at 2pm in the afternoon here in Spain during the summer will be a killer heatwise.  Try to organise your ceremony from about 5pm, even later in mid summer, it is not unusual to host a ceremony here in Spain at 7pm when the heat of the day has dispersed.

7. Lastly but definitely not least do not keep your guests waiting.   

Whilst it is fashionable for the bride to be late, if you are asking your guests to be seated in a hot climate do not keep them sitting there for longer than they have to.  

We had this recently at a wedding near Ronda where the bride got lost travelling to her mother's house, having already reiterated to her not to be late sadly she was 30 minutes late.  

By the time she arrived her guests were so hot we had to open up the bar and take them out the ceremony area until she arrived, later a few of the guests became unwell and had to leave the reception.

We know you come to the Mediterranean to enjoy the sunshine and hot weather but do also consider many of your guests are just not used to the heat.  They are wearing formal clothes and have no means of cooling themselves down unless you provide it.

Finally do also bear in mind your suppliers are working for you in what is considered extreme conditions, although to be fair we are used to it, but do take time out to make sure they are catered for with drinks and snacks. 

We saw a soldier pass out today in the UK looking after Prince Charles, you don't want your photographer or wedding planner doing the same on the most important day of your life so do look after the team behind your day.

I hope this advice helps with hot weddings in Spain!

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