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As temperatures rise, weddings are using creative ways to keep guests cool


Summer's peak wedding season, but record temperatures are threatening to scorch some meticulously planned outdoor ceremonies. Olivia Snyder-Spak is getting married over Labor Day weekend on top of a mountain in Asheville, N.C.

OLIVIA SNYDER-SPAK: You know you have to plan for rain with an outdoor wedding, but now you also have to plan for sun.

SIMON: She says that she and her fiance have thought of setting up parasols for shade and maybe providing cold drinks before the ceremony.

SNYDER-SPAK: They'll have, you know, a cool beverage to hold onto and drink while they're roasting in the sun. Just kidding. Hopefully not roasting.

SIMON: Yes, hopefully not. Darryl Moore is a wedding planner in Houston, so he knows all about heat and humidity. He joins us now. Mr. Moore, thanks for being with us.

DARRYL MOORE: Thank you so much for this opportunity.

SIMON: So how popular are weddings during the summer?

MOORE: The ideal of having weddings in the summer just fits perfectly in life, so they will never go away - only because people work in education; they take vacation. So those are really the perfect time where family and friends don't have the worry of stress of school. Weddings in the summers are very popular across the United States.

SIMON: How has your business changed because of the heat that we've all been experiencing in recent years?

MOORE: Over the years, my company had a decline. We declined a lot of summer weddings, only because it's become unbearable over time. We have really pushed clients to consider indoor weddings, even in the summertime. And if they do do outdoor weddings, we were very cautious of the time of day that we choose.

SIMON: In other words, I'm going to guess, dusk?

MOORE: Yes. That last 45 minutes right before the sun is due to set, I would set it up so you can have that perfect backdrop of, you know, the sun setting by the time the vows have been set.

SIMON: What are some of the particular cautions? And I'm thinking aloud here now, but you'll have grandparents at a wedding who might be particularly vulnerable to heat. You have children who might be particularly vulnerable to heat. You could have a shrimp tray that spoils in 5 minutes.

MOORE: It's very important to think about not just the people, but also about the elements. Your decor could suffer. Your wedding cake can suffer because of the heat. The food can suffer. And also, your guest count may suffer for that. But it's very important that the couple is very transparent that it's outside and give some awesome suggestions as far as what to wear, and then also making sure that there are some great accommodations for those guests who decide to join them outside, whether that's misting stations, where it's keeping the space cool, water stations, you know, those little fans that can serve as favors that blow out cool air. And then parasols.

I would recommend staying away from tents - well, tents, where it's a clear-top tent. Though they're very beautiful and very popular these days. But it's important that you don't want to bake your guest. And then also making sure that your ceremony is very quick. You know, obviously, the vows and the ceremony is the most important part of the wedding. We want to make sure that those are very intimate and sweet and straight to the point. Save some of the things for the inside receptions should you decide to transition after that.

SIMON: Mr. Moore, have you encountered couples who say, look, this is our one chance; this is our wedding day, and we've written vows with 37 different chapters, and we want to read them to everyone.

MOORE: Yeah.

SIMON: (Laughter).

MOORE: And I mean, you know, more power to you. Go ahead, keep your 37-page vows. But just maybe cut some other things - if someone's singing, if there's other special readings, biblical readings, having a long bridal party where they're all individually walking down the aisle. They're standing up there in tuxedos, girls standing in high heels and a lot of makeup. So you have to think about all of those aesthetics because your wedding pictures are going to last forever.

SIMON: Do you think summer is going to continue to be the season for weddings?

MOORE: Couples now are really considering transitioning back to the spring and fall weddings and using the summers to honeymoon.

SIMON: That's Darryl Moore of D'Concierge Weddings. Thanks so much for speaking with us.

MOORE: Thank you so much for the time. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Scott Simon
Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.