Outdoor August wedding…with no AC ?

posted 2 years ago in Venue
Post # 108
2458 posts
Buzzing bee

You keep asking for stories about experiences with outdoor weddings in August.  Several bees on this thread have attended such weddings.  And have rightly point out, almost no one will tell the newlywed couple “it sucked, the venue was hotter than the bowels of hell.”

I’ve been to 2 outdoor weddings in August, plus a 3rd that was indoors in a building with no air conditioning.  Temperatures in the building were around 100 degrees at one point.  

People were hogging space in the air conditioned bathroom trailers to cool down which meant very long lines for the toilets.

There were catering diasters.  Ice was melting too fast, the bar ran put of ice early, the caterers had a hard time keeping cold foods at safe temperatures.

A pregnant bridesmaid passed out and had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. (she and baby were okay but she required IV fluids.)

People were disgustingly sweaty.  Big, stinky, pit stains.  Makeup melting off faces.  Heat rash.

Children and babies were incredibly cranky.

My SO, who has asthma, skipped all 3 weddings as the heat and humudity cause her asthma to act up horribly.  We didn’t realize 2 of the weddings were outdoor/not air conditioned until we got there, so she went back to the hotel and I left after the ceremony.  The 3rd, we knew in advance and she didn’t bother going.

A lot of people drank (alcohol) a lot more heavily than they might have normally, in an attempt to cool down.  Very hot weather + LOTS of cold beer or mixed drinks = very drunk guests. 

The flowers wilted and looked like crap very early in the evening. 

A lot of guests got crabby and told the photogtapher to go away and not take their photo. 

Post # 110
1299 posts
Bumble bee

amanda1988 :  I live in the Midwest where it can be ungodly humid in the summer.  In my state, many counties have water restrictions in the summer so those kind of cooling devices are banned or have restrictions on when they can be used.  Having a small outdoor party in your own backyard with 10 guests – probably OK, but a big wedding reception with 150+ people, where it sounds like the OP already needs a permit since security is required – probably not going to be allowed to use those fans.  At least not in my county.

lindzrae :  I’d rather have a root canal with no analgesia than attend a wedding like this again.  I was a bridesmaid several years ago in a wedding on my then friend’s parent’s farm.  She thought she was good pushing the ceremony to 5, but that was actually the most hot and humid part of the day.  It didn’t get any better once the sun went down, which wasn’t until like 8pm.  That’s when all the bugs came out.  Even though they had sprayed the area they were using, the smell of the food brought them from miles away.  It was mainly those tiny gnats, but there were also a ton of mosquitos, and I don’t know if you live in an area with West Nile, but this area was, so guests were freaking out.  No one danced because they were too hot and tired.  They also didn’t eat as much as the couple budgeted for since being hot makes you lose your appetite.  It was honestly the worst wedding I ever attended and people to this day still bring up the heat.  That wedding was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

You keep looking for solutions and you must be very stubborn to realize there are none.  You also said your parents are paying for the whole thing – time to pony up and get the damn AC yourself.

You’re sounding like a huge bridezilla.  Happy wedding.

Post # 111
939 posts
Busy bee

We had an open air tent wedding in August.  The ceremony started at 5, so we thought things would cool down, but they never did.  However, there was an inside air conditioned area for sitting and with the bathrooms.  Only my grandmother complained and a majority of people stayed until 11, when the reception ended.  My DH’s cousin had a tent wedding in late october… we all froze!!! Plus another one of my friends had a tent wedding in late october this past year where we also all froze. Anyway, I think having a tent wedding in august is just fine.  I think most people are low key enough to get over the temperature, but– they will still remember haha.  i think it sounds sentimental that you’re having it at your parents property 🙂

Post # 113
6784 posts
Busy Beekeeper

lindzrae :  Have you explored all of your venue options? I originally hoped for a backyard wedding with my first marriage and quickly learned after all the rentals (tent, dance floor, dishes, glasses, silver, etc.), lighting, parking services and catering it was less expensive to have it at the fanciest hotel in town.

Post # 114
1047 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

lindzrae :  Yeah, I get your stress.  In a perfect world, we’d all be able to afford the weddings we want.  Then again, in a perfect world I’d look like ScarJo, so that just goes to show you what an imperfect world we live in!

Can I make a suggestion, before you decide to pack it all in and go to the courthouse?  Cut back.  Think 20, 30, 40 people.  The inlaws can’t insist on having their third cousin’s dentist’s petsitter there if the guest list is strictly parents/siblings/grandparents and their spouses.  Your tent will be a LOT less hot with the amount of people in it, and you can take the money saved from the 110-130 people you don’t have to feed and seat and accommodate, and purchase some kind of cooling system with it.  With that amount of people, it’ll be a lot more affordable as well.

Again, not perfect.  But doable and still special.

Post # 115
9977 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Bee, I get it. I really do. We aren’t trying to bring you down but just be realistic.

Is there a reason it HAS to be at your parents property and can’t be at another reasonably priced indoor venue? Can you not hold it on a Sunday later in the year when you know your Fiance will be off?


Post # 116
7765 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I haven’t read all the posts but …I actually think this could be fine? Unless there’s a fluke heat wave, it might be quite cool once the sun goes down. I went to an outdoor, not-AC’d wedding in Connecticut in August a few years ago and was actually shivering once the sun set. I guess it could go either way though, you never know. I lived in CT for five years and there would always be a couple days in the summer where it was unbearably hot, but for the most part it was very pleasant outside in the evening, and it would even start to get cool toward mid-late August.

Post # 117
1047 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

tiffanybruiser :  The OP has said that it’s in the high 70s-80s at night.  And that humidity is a factor.

Post # 118
9578 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

lindzrae :  oh. Honestly in that case just do the wedding.  Apparently ppl want to be in a tent mid-afternoon in August. You tried…

Post # 120
341 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I went to a wedding on Long Island in late August. It had rained earlier in the day so it was very humid. They also started the wedding around the time you’re thinking and it was very hot we were all sweating during the ceremony. However I do think that evening summer temperature is perfect for being outside. When the sun went down we were OK except for all the bugs. I got eaten alive by mosquitoes even though they sprayed twice before the event. However it really wasn’t bad and I still had a great time. A few people stayed really late and went in the pool. My husband was a groomsman and they only had to wear button ups and suspenders and changed after into short sleeves. I would definitely move your time for the ceremony to at least 630 and the reception should be a half hour later like 7ish. Ceremonies are short.  you should do all your pictures before hand. Then it won’t run as late and people who have to drive back a few hours can still stay for a good chunk. Also pp are all correct that anything that happens on the property is a liability for your insurance. Even if someone trips on the sidewalk outside your house. 

Post # 119
82 posts
Worker bee

I don’t understand why there is a 2 hour gap between your proposed ceremony and reception times. What are the guests expected to do? 

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