Keeping Your Cool When It Is 100 Degrees Outside!

For some reason I thought the “Great Midwest Heatwave of 2012” was over last Sunday when the storms hit the western suburbs of Chicago, knocking out power and dumping enough rain in my own yard to make my grass green again. I was wrong. This week was even worse than last and I can’t help thinking about all of the couples who have weddings this weekend, especially those with a portion of the event outdoors.

Realistically, there is no way to stay cool when it is 90 degrees at midnight. However, you can add a few things to your checklist to help out.

Shade – Open tents or large umbrellas scattered around the seating areas will do wonders to protect your guests from the sweltering sun. Unlike enclosed tents, the air will continue to circulate and provide some relief.  Another option is to provide your guests with parasols.



Fans-  Invest in a hand fan for each guest, these can be inexpensive, attractive and extremely helpful. Also add electric fans (preferably oscillating) along the outside perimeter of the entire area. Hint: if you place buckets of ice behind each fan, it will blow cool air. The temptation is to get the biggest fans you can find. BAD IDEA! There might be too much force which will leave your guests wondering if they are in Kansas anymore. ( Wizard of Oz + tornado = classic joke)

Water –  According to the CDC you must consume 16-32 ounces of cool, non-alcoholic fluid every hour during extreme heat.  Gatorade, Vitamin Water, ( low sugar) Iced Tea, Lemonade and bottled water  to ice-filled buckets everywhere people will be standing or sitting will remind guests to stay hydrated. Avoid drinks with caffeine as they will make you dehydrated – this include energy drinks. Coffee lovers will enjoy an iced coffee as much as (or more) than their favorite beverage served piping-hot.  

Change – After the wedding you may want to change into a cooler gown. Also let the groom and his attendants change into cooler shirts after the ceremony, or take off their jackets at the very least.  Even if they all throw on matching Hawaiian shirts, they will look great and have more fun than if they were in restricted in ties and cummerbunds.

Unfortunately in this heat there is nothing that will keep you cool. The most important thing is safety. Being too overheated can cause everything from headaches to vomiting to serious illness.  Following at least some of these tips will help to keep everyone safe and happy!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Summer Weddings – Beating the Heatwave

There are two months it has never snowed in Chicago: July and August. If you are brave enough to plan an outdoor wedding during the only two months it has never snowed in Chicago, you may need to plan ahead in order to beat the heat. Because there is one thing we know in Chicago; when it’s not freezing cold- it is blistering hot!

Breathe– Plan on wearing a less constricting gown. A tight fitting gown or corset can restrict your ability to fully expand your lungs which reduces your oxygen intake and causes lightheadedness or fainting, especially in this heat. Avoid heavy corsets, tight fitting bodices and cinched-in waistlines in record-breaking heat.

Touch –  Polyester is the enemy. Find a gown made of silk chiffon because it  flows and breathes or silk taffeta because it is smooth and cool.  Gowns made of silk, hemp, rayon, cotton or other organic fabrics will be cooler and you will be more comfortable. Of course a silk gown lined with twenty layers of nylon tulle and polyester lining is not going to be comfortable at all. Something light and airy and comfortable where you look like a goddess would be perfect!

Manage your mane. If your hair goes limp in the heat or if your hair frizzes up in the humidity, make sure you have the right products on hand to correct it. This is why it is important to have a trial hair appointment with your hairdresser so you can discuss these things. 

Hot Feet – Consider not wearing stockings or pantyhose. (GASP) Seriously, although Princess Kate has caused a stir wearing see-through hosiery with non-skid soles remember this:  she has all kinds of restrictions placed on her by Buckingahm Palace and you don’t. You can bare your legs and no one will care. This makes your shoe choice even more important since you can now wear any kind of sandal and show off your tanned, pedicured toes. If you still have your heart set on a delicious pair of white pumps or a peep-toe platform, invest a  few extra dollars and buy shoes that are lined in leather. Fabric on the outside is okay, but pleather or plastic lined shoes will not only make your feet sweat, they will hurt after a very short time causing your feet to swell and if you take your shoes off for even five minutes under the table, you will never, NEVER get them back on again!

Cooling Stations–  Have plenty of water on hand for your guests. Consider having containers of ice filled with bottled water at every table or strategically positioned around the outdoor dance floor so guests don’t have to travel to the bar to be reminded to stay hydrated. Personalized labels make it even better as long as they can stand up to the ice water!

Fan yourself – Another great idea is to have small hand fans at every place setting so guests can fan their faces if they get overheated at any given time. There is one school of thought that says fanning yourself actually makes you hotter. I suppose if you are flapping your arms at warp speed with a heavy object this might be true. However, gently fanning your face to keep the air circulating will help aid in the evaporation of sweat on your skin. Plus, you can cleverly personalize a cute fan and even use them as  programs!

I’m ready for my close-up – Are you really? Are you wearing heavy foundation in mid-July? Are you shiny, sweaty, flushed or speckled from the heat? Ask  a qualified makeup artist to help you decide what kind of coverage you need during hot weather, hire them to do your makeup for the wedding, purchase anything you will need for touch-ups and carry it in your bridal purse. 

The temperature this week could feasibly reach 100 degrees and we are in store for another wave next week. If you are getting married outdo, it’s not too late to implement some of these tips and remember -don’t overdo it!

_Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Outdoor Weddings- What to do when Mother Nature takes over

Yesterday  the temperature reached 90 degrees in Chicago which is a new record, breaking the previous record which was held for 115 years. So, it seems, today is great day to think about outdoor weddings and possible pitfalls the weather could bring.

Outdoor weddings can be so beautiful, having the sunshine and flowers surrounding you while you take this momentous step forward. Unfortunately, Mother Nature may not have the same idea as you. When you plan an outdoor wedding, it is always essential to have a backup plan. Most venues have a staff which can assist you in developing this plan. It is essential that you develop an emergency plan well in advance – this is not the kidn of thing you want to have to come up with at the last minute. In some cases, you have little warning regarding the weather and you will need to put your plan in place very quickly. If you are planning a destination wedding, study the weather trends in the area surrounding your wedding venue for that time of year so there are no surprises at the last minute.

Tornado season in the midwest is  April through July. Planning an outdoor wedding in Spring when all of the flowers are in full bloom is both beautiful and tricky. Discuss the option of an indoor pavillion available  in case of high winds or rainfall or perhaps you can move the ceremony directly to the reception site. In reality, the ideal outdoor wedding location has an indoor location waiting… just in case. It is good to note that tents may not always be  a good idea during wind or rain. It is also important to make sure the bride, groom and attendants all use a little extra  product to keep their hair in place.

July, August and even September can be hot, really hot. In order to make sure your guests don’t overheat during an outdoor ceremony on a blistering summer afternoon, provide each chair with bottled water and perhaps a hand fan.  Make sure that there is  shade available to provide some relief. Those having a daytime outdoor wedding should orient the ceremony so that the sun will be on guests’ backs rather than in their eyes.

September through November is the perfect time to take advantage of the colorful trees and foliage before they go into hibernation for the winter.  But, even the most beautiful fall day can come with setbacks. November in particular can host anything from rain to snow. I would limit a fall wedding to end of October, knowing that if the weather takes a sudden dip you might have to provide outdoor heaters or…. move the ceremony inside.

Remind your guests to dress accordingly. If it suddenly gets cool, make sure you add a layer of outerwear and maybe gloves. If you anticipate even one raindrop, bring an umbrella.

Make sure the venue does not have any maintenance scheduled that day. You don’t want your voices  drowned out by weed-whackers and lawn mowers.

A sound system that includes microphones for the bride and groom might be a good idea since there may be other outisde noise. Airplanes and sirens come to mind. Talk to your DJ about this, it may be something he or she could easily include in your package.

Lastly, always remember that for every problem there is a solution. And always, always, always have a backup plan!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago