The Setback: Heat and Strong Sun
Make sure an outdoor venue offers some shade or air-conditioning (tent rentals can include portable air-conditioning systems). If the location is outdoors with minimal shade, keep the ceremony short and sweet and have cold water bottles, fans and umbrellas on hand for guests. Sunburn can give the term "blushing bride" a whole new meaning— consider wearing a moisturizer and foundation or powder that contains SPF.
The Setback: Wilting Blooms
Have flowers delivered the day of the wedding and make sure there's a refrigerator on-site to store them before the ceremony starts. When your photographer isn't snapping away, have a friend or bridesmaid hold your bouquet in a shady spot, or place it in a vase of cool water. If your blooms will be exposed to the summer heat for an extended amount of time, keep a spray water bottle on hand and give them a light misting every hour or so.
The Setback: Summer Showers
Even though summer is your best bet in terms of weather for outdoor weddings, you should always have a backup plan in case of extreme heat or rain. "Summer showers are a big risk in most areas," Lee says. “Always, always, always have a plan B covered area." Reserve an air-conditioned indoor venue nearby or a tent and portable air-conditioners.
The Setback: Bugs
"Beware of bugs!" Lee says. "They're thriving at this time of year and may be a nuisance to guests." Have an exterminator or landscaper spray a few days before to avoid a mosquito or gnat infestation. Stock up on bug spray and other bug repellents. "Light citronella candles and tiki torches around the perimeter to deter buggies," Lee adds. If the ceremony or party is outdoors, have a communal basket of repellent at the ready. For a more display-friendly alternative to bottles of drugstore spray, try Aromaflage—insect repellent in pretty bottles that looks and smells like a fine fragrance. It's perfect for displaying on tables and in bathrooms.
The Setback: Competition for Venues and vendors
Summer is prime wedding time, which means you'll face competition from other to-be-weds for popular venues and vendors. Book early. As soon as you get engaged, start looking for venues and reserve any must-have vendors. It's also a good idea to start reserving spaces for your surrounding events. Since your vendors will be booked up with other weddings throughout the summer, take advantage of their more focused attention and time by working ahead on the plans during the off-season months rather than making most of the big decisions in the weeks before your wedding when they'll be working events every weekend.
The Setback: Few Free Weekends
Between long holiday weekends, summer vacations and other weddings, convenient wedding weekends seem few and far between. Send save-the-dates extra-early—nine months or more before the wedding—to get your day marked on everyone's calendar. And think twice before scheduling your wedding for a long holiday weekend. Not only do many families have long-standing plans, travel expenses tend to peak then as well. "Keep in mind you'll be competing with other summer weddings your friends may get invited to, since it's such a popular time of year," Lee says. Make your day stand out from the sea of other summertime soirees with special touches.