Cyprus weddings can be very warm. If you are marrying out on the beach, or just on one of the hotter days, both you and your guests will be feeling the heat a little.
Enjoy these tips to keep everyone feeling comfier and stay looking good.
1. Choose the right time of day
On the very hottest days in July and August, most local couples marry late in the day, letting their wedding flow straight into the cooler evening.
2. Stay hydrated
On the day of your wedding, it can be a dizzy rush, it’s easy to miss meals and not drink enough. Plan to ensure you drink a lot of cool water and make sure it is available for everyone all through the day. Ask your planner to organise ice buckets out with nice cool non-alcoholic drinks in. Get inventive–water, iced tea, lemonade or a refreshing sparkling punch.
3. Avoid alcohol
We all know that alcohol dehydrates us. For sure have a fun glass of fizzy with the bridesmaids, but keep on the soft drinks until the reception. Most people underestimate the combination of drinking and heat. Alcohol causes the blood vessels in your skin to dilate, which then triggers sweating.
4. No melting makeup
The local makeup artists know what they are doing. If you are doing your own makeup, go with a matte primer, avoid liquid makeups, invest in a good waterproof mascara, and finish with a setting spray. Don’t miss our special article on makeup we are writing soon!
5. White brollies
Big white brollies are great for keeping you and the bridal party out of the sun, between venues and while you are walking to the ceremony.
6. Antiperspirant vs. deodorant
Deodorants protect you against odour, antiperspirants protect you from sweat and odour. Watch out though, most antiperspirants contain aluminium as the active ingredient which can stain fabrics. There are antiperspirants available that do not contain aluminium, try these at home first.
7. Move chairs apart slightly
When the chairs are laid out for the ceremony and meal, try to get a little of space between them. An extra few inches means that your hot guests won’t be getting even hotter by being pushed up against each other. In the evening, to make sure your guests are comfy, don’t squeeze too many guests around each table, if you have space, use a few more tables.
8. Don’t wear a thin shirt
Brides will spend a fortune on dresses, yet often the simplest of men’s clothing is usually totally overlooked. Invest in a cotton shirt, and the groom will look great, even when he gets hot. Thin shirts show everything that’s underneath them, and this gets worse when sweaty.
Don’t forget the sunscreen. The strong sun doesn’t know it’s your wedding day. There are some excellent “All day” sunscreens you can apply first thing in the morning, once set, you are ready. We use UltraSun or P20, although there are lots of great brands. Try these at home, to check your skin is ok with them before your wedding day.
Some couples provide a bottle or two of sun cream for guests to re-apply through the day too.
Importantly, on the run-up to your wedding (and afterward too), it’s important to stay on top of looking after your skin and protecting it from the sun.
10. Provide fans & parasols
There are loads of options here, and your guests will really appreciate them too. Fans can accessorise your wedding. We have seen bamboo, lace, and even fans that have a personalised order of the day on them. Parasols are a delicate touch for the ladies too.
11. Provide sunglasses
Cool for the photos, and useful for the guests that forget, some couples provide sunglasses for guests.
12. Stay in the air-conditioning for as long as possible
Most hotel venues will keep guests inside where it is air-conditioned until the very last moment. The weddings to be careful with here are beach weddings. If your guests arrive by air-conditioned coach, keep them on it as long as possible. We are all used to this as vendors in Cyprus, however, if you are organising things yourself, you will need to bear this in mind.
13. Don’t be fashionably late
Your guests will not appreciate you being fashionably late if they are sitting in 40 degrees on the beach! Timing is everything with weddings on a hot day.
14. Provide lots of water
Ask your planner or hotel to pop great looking ice buckets out, with nice bottles of cold water in them. Cool water should really be on hand all day long for you and your guests. If you choose the right buckets and pretty water bottles, they can blend in with your wedding theme perfectly.
15. Give time for guests to change and freshen up
This is one of the best tips that gets overlooked. Between the daytime and the evening, while you are busy having awesome photographs taken, give your guests a chance to freshen up, change a shirt, or get changed into an evening outfit. This will mean your guests will be super fresh, and ready for the evening reception.
16. Have a spare shirt
Guys, don’t order one shirt, order two, and change shirt just before the reception. You will absolutely thank us for this.
17. Have a change of dress for the evening
Many brides slip out of their big wedding dress, changing into a lighter number for the evening. This gives you the chance to really freshen up, and at the same time be cooler for all the dancing in the evening. Slipping away just after the first dance is a popular moment to change the dress.
18. Choose the right Suits
A suit with a waistcoat and jacket sounds hot, but are perfectly bearable for the ceremony, afterward removing the jacket really lets you cool down whilst looking good.
Going with the waistcoat option means that, if the men coordinate changes with each other, they will all look great, and have two options to cool off through the day. They can remove the jackets, then if needed remove the waistcoats too. When you are suit shopping, work with the tailor, and look at how each option looks, i.e. trousers and shirt, then add the waistcoat, and add the jacket.
Suits that are half lined are cooler than fully lined. Linen is a great fabric in the heat, except it wrinkles fast. If you love ironing, linen is great, otherwise, choose cotton or lightweight wools. Choose natural breathable fabrics.
19. Hire an ice cream cart
Hire an Ice cream cart. There are loads of options ranging from Ice pops, ice creams, sorbets, and gelato. Your guests will love it!
20. Have a pool party
If you have hired a villa or taken over a venue, instead of the formal evening reception, be creative a bit. How about a pool party?
21. Remember the cake and flowers
Cakes and flowers really struggle in the heat. For this reason, cutting the cake is often done quite early in the day, usually right after the wedding ceremony. Your caterer will keep the cake in a cooled room until the last moment and then taking it straight back.
The design of the cake can make quite a difference too. If you want lots of tiers, you may need to have faux lower layers to keep the weight down (your caterer will cut up the real cake in the background). Also, avoid strong colours, as they may run into each other in the heat.
All fresh flowers used by florists in Cyprus are imported. Like the cake, your florist will keep things refrigerated till the last possible moment. The choice of flowers available is good, but not all flowers will survive the day. A lot of brides go with fake flowers, however, trust your florist to advise on which flowers work best with the heat.
As an alternative, there are lots of suppliers who supply beautiful flower arches, paper flowers, and realistic fake table floral arrangements and venue decorations.
Throughout the day, there are lots of things you can do to keep your bouquet looking fantastic. We have seen brides use an Ice bucket in the shade to keep their bouquets looking great.
22. Choose the right dress
Choosing a dress to stay cool in the sun can be a bit of a challenge. The great news is that most designers have specific ranges for hot weddings, and they all use natural fabrics… Lace, cotton organdie, chiffon, crepe or voile on top of silk. Avoid the “copies” of these dresses, as they use man-made fabrics that make you hot and sweaty.
Generally, open back dresses help keep you cool. Consider the neckline; a halter neck dress will stay put if you get hot and sweaty, whereas a strapless dress must be perfectly fitted to stay put.
Lots of layers will make you feel hot, instead look at flowing airy dresses.
If you are wearing a veil, have the groom or your father push it back over your head at the beginning of the ceremony, wearing a veil over your face can feel hot.
23. Consider shifting the family wedding to later in the day
Traditionally family group photographs are done after the ceremony, mainly because we have everyone in one place and everyone still looks great and has not started removing jackets, etc.
However, the reality of a hot wedding on the beach is that the guests may have been in the sun for forty-five minutes before we get going with the photographs. At which point the elderly folks and kids have had enough. This is when we plan to have a cool break and shoot family photographs later in the day.