How to Provide Shade at a Summer Wedding

It'll make things more comfortable for you and your guests.

Summer is still known as wedding season, although many couples are starting to look to fall for their nuptials instead. It might seem like summer has everything going for it, but depending on your region, the heat can be prohibitive. However, if summer works best for you – for example, it’s obviously easier for teachers – and you still want a nature-inspired ceremony in the great outdoors, there are still ways to make sure you and your guests are comfortable and protected from the sun during your vow exchange. While fans and sunglasses may be a popular method due to their ability to double as programs and favors, respectively, there is nothing quite like simple shade to help keep cool.

how to create shade for your outdoor summer wedding
Photo by Bryan Miller Photography; Planning & Design by EverAfter Events

Here are ways to make sure there’s plenty of shade on your big day:

- Natural shade. The easiest way to achieve ample shade at your wedding is by choosing a location with a lot of trees or other built-in coverage. 

- Compromising. An indoor-outdoor vibe can be achieved with a covered deck, which may or may not feature a window enclosure. 

- Canopies and tents. Renting an open-air structure, such as a tent or canopy, will do wonders for making your sunny ceremony more comfortable. They can be decorated in such a way to fit your aesthetic, like using wooden posts for a rustic look or suspending chandeliers from the top if your style is more glam. As with the earlier options, this allows the actual ceremony to be performed under shade, rather than only covering the guests. 

- Parasols. You never know if some of your attendees will actually prefer the hot and sunny weather, after all, everyone has different temperature preferences. Have parasols displayed at the entrance, so guests can choose for themselves.

- Later ceremony time. While this can be difficult due to the longer nights that come with summer, starting your vow exchange later in the evening will mean the sun is lower, creating more natural shade.  

For more tips, read dos and don'ts for a summer wedding, find out how to choose a dress code for your event, and get expert advice for planning a destination wedding.

Authored by: Emily Lasnier