10 Tips for Attending an Outdoor Summer Wedding

Manage your temperature while still looking stylish

Chairs and wedding arbor on a beach

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It's always exciting getting an invite to a wedding, and an outdoor one may sound even more appealing. However, when it is in the full summer heat, it can be hard to stay comfortable and remain stylish. Plus, depending on where you are based, there might even be a cool breeze or rain to contend with.

If you are going to be a guest attending an outdoor summer wedding, check out some tips to survive the heat while still looking chic.

What to Wear

You want to select clothes that strike the right balance between comfort, breathability, formality, and stylishness. Fabrics like linen, silk, and cotton don't cling to the body and are breathable. Avoid synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon.

Light, flowy designs are a women's friend. Wrap dresses, lightweight fabrics, and short sleeves are all worth considering. Dark colors will absorb the sun, so stick with light shades. Don't forget that, unless expressly sanctioned by the bride, stay clear of wearing a white dress. All eyes should be on the bride, and you do not want to look like you are trying to compete.

For men, consider a light-colored linen suit, or the classic seersucker.

Stay Hydrated

Bring water. Everyone knows water helps keep you cool and can help you avoid heatstroke. Don't go overboard with the alcohol early on either as it is a diuretic and it will make any dehydration worse.

Keep Sweat to a Minimum

Ladies, go light on the makeup. To combat sweat, do not cover your face with a thick layer of powder. Instead, use what top beauty editors do to rid themselves of shine: blotting papers. These powdery pieces of paper will absorb oils without coating the skin. Some blotting papers come in chic little packaging that is perfect for keeping inside a wedding purse, but there are less expensive options that work as well.

When selecting a deodorant, make sure you choose one that won't mark your wedding outfit.

Choose the Right Shoes

You may be tempted to go with a stiletto to add height or draw attention to your legs, but they will not work well at an outdoor wedding. From sinking into the grass or tripping on cobblestones, you will wish you had worn a more sensible shoe. A wedge heel will be far more comfortable, or you can go for the very trendy ballerina flat.

If the wedding isn't too formal or is on a sandy beach, an espadrille style will work well. It has a wide wedge heel and open toes to help keep you cool. Always double-check how formal the wedding is so that the style you select fits with the etiquette.

Prepare for Any Temperature

In New York, it seems like every summer has an unseasonably cold day in the middle of June. At the same time, visitors to San Francisco are frequently surprised by how chilly it is in July. If you are heading out of town for the wedding, make sure you pack a cardigan, wrap, or jacket that coordinates with the outfit you plan to wear to the wedding. This garment can be handy even on a warmer day, as a light sweater will keep the sun off of your shoulders and can help to prevent sunburn.

Wear Sunscreen

It may seem like a no-brainer, but a decent SPF sunscreen is a must. The last thing you want as the day progresses is a blistering sunburn. You never know when the sun will shift and chances are you will be standing in full sun, without the possibility of moving to shade, for at least a portion of the day.

If the wedding is continuing outdoors into the evening, depending on the location, you may even want to consider using a bug spray too!

Consider a Hat or Parasol

In Europe, wearing a hat to a fancy wedding is de rigueur, plus it keeps the sun off your face. Make sure this is in keeping with the theme of the wedding—obviously a hat might look out of place at an evening affair.

A parasol can be a great idea and you may be able to use one at a beachside wedding, but this accessory may be out of place at most weddings, especially those that are very formal. In addition, you need to think about the other guests behind you, you might be blocking their view of the bride and groom.

Your Hairstyle Can Make a Difference

For ladies with long hair, wearing it up can help to keep you cooler. Just be aware that elaborately high or curly styles will not fare well if conditions are humid.

Invest in a Fan

A small battery-run pocket fan or a traditional fold-down hand fan can be useful for helping to keep you cool. Make sure the battery fan is not noisy—you don't want it to be distracting during the ceremony or speeches!

Check the Pollen Count

If you suffer from allergies, it could be worth checking the pollen count in advance of the wedding and making sure you have appropriate allergy medication and tissues on hand.