One of the most enjoyable things about being a Celebrant who loves nature, is that more often than not, my couples decide to hold their wedding outdoors. Normally, this is just amazing – and I get to visit and be part of some amazing ceremonies in jaw dropping locations.
However, as I am often the last person to bring sensible shoes (see my picture at Maddie and Scott’s Winter Wonderland Wedding where my lovely red suede court shoes were no match for the freezing temperatures) and I can easily burn in the sun – silver / freckles / blue eyes – I have noticed that I am often ill-prepared for the changes we have been experiencing these past few years. Once when my only concern would be do I need an umbrella, my concern is now more often than not, about the heat, and how to deal with this for myself, as well as for my couples and their guests.
I have to say I am now looking at extreme weather beginning to be something we should expect in the summer months. In Germany and particularly where I live, we are “known” for extremely dry and hot weather, which can begin early May and end late September. We have a lot of forest and fires are a constant threat.
So, since global temperatures continue to rise and more and more ceremonies are being conducted outside, my thoughts have turned to how can we cope, how can I make sure I am able to stay well and healthy, and how can I help my couples and families?
My lovely Celebrant colleague, Michelle Taylor has put together a little extreme weather guidance for you to consider in the event you are planning an outdoor summer wedding…let’s face it, very few will be planning an outdoor winter wedding, so this relates to high heat extremes. Thank you Michelle for your thoughts and practical advice on this.
Here are some top tips for a safe and coooooooool Wedding Day when the mercury rises sharply!
OUTDOOR CEREMONIES- PLAN B
When the temperature reaches in excess of about 27 °C / 80.6 °F. Reschedule ceremony to cooler times of the day if you can…if not do the bare minimum during the heat of the day and reschedule photos etc until it is a bit cooler.
Introduce shading in the form of umbrellas, gazebos, trees or wherever the shadow falls at the time of your outdoor ceremony
Provide access to cool drinking water
Provide information in relation to recognising the early symptoms of heat stress
Provide appropriate hypoallergenic sunscreen / remind guests to bring their own
Ensure there is seating/ shading for those who fall into the vulnerable category- see below
WORKING IN THE SUN
Too much sunlight is harmful to your skin. It can cause skin damage including sunburn, blistering and skin ageing and in the long term can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK with over 50,000 new cases every year.
A tan is a sign that the skin has been damaged. The damage is caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight.
WHO IS AT RISK?
If you, your supplies and/or guests are outdoors for a long time your skin could be exposed to more sun than is healthy for you.
You should take particular care if you have:
Fair or freckled skin that doesn’t tan, or goes red or burns before it tans
In the event we have an extreme weather condition of any kind, be it heat, rain, wind, storms (or any other ‘act of the Gods’ as the term goes) I reserve the right to postpone the ceremony until it is safe to venture outside or will advise you that an indoor ceremony is the only option given the health and safety of all involved.
It may not be your vision, but sometimes a little compromise will ensure you and all of your guests will have a happy memory of your special day…
AND regardless of the ultimate location we will still have an AMAZING DAY!!