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How to survive warm weather weddings

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  • Expert advice on how to survive wedding in hot weather
  • Women fare better in lightweight fabrics, like linen or silk chiffon
  • Unless informal event, men should wear at least button-down shirt, tie, suit pants
  • Use sunscreen, bug repellent for lakeside wedding
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By Jocelyn Voo
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(LifeWire) -- Ahh, warm weather weddings: Nothing evokes a festive mood like triple-digit temperatures and man-eating mosquitoes.

How to survive warm weather weddings

The happy couple's event planning may have you worrying about the elements, but there are lots of strategies for surviving warm weather weddings without feeling like you're stuck in the Sahara.

What to wear

In hot and humid temperatures, walking the line between overheating and looking inappropriate is tricky. Your best bet is to err on the side of caution, says Sharon Naylor, author of 35 wedding books, including "The Essential Guide to Wedding Etiquette." Video Watch advice on what to wear to wedding »

"Even at an outdoor wedding, guests need to adhere to the wedding formality dress rules," the Morristown, New Jersey-based wedding expert says.

This means women should wear formal or semi-formal dresses, but can opt for lightweight fabrics, like linen or silk chiffon, and breezier cuts, like Grecian-style "goddess" silhouettes. At minimum, men should wear a button-down shirt and tie with suit pants, but can remove the jacket and tie for comfort.

Plus, it never hurts to check with the newlyweds-to-be. "Guests can absolutely call or e-mail the bride and groom to ask about the dress code," Naylor says.

If you're like Jonathan Wood, 27, who served as best man in a beachside summer wedding a few years ago, just take a cue from the couple. "I was in a full tux, but everyone in the wedding party -- including the bride and groom -- was barefoot, so I went sans socks and shoes and wore the legs of my trousers rolled," says Wood, a photo editor at a Greensboro, North Carolina, book publishing house.

Outdoor obstacles

In theory, an outdoor wedding on the lake sounds like a romantic moment. In reality, the guests can be eaten alive by insects long before the cake is cut.

Luckily, there's a more subtle way to take care of the problem than lugging along an economy-size citronella candle. Take preventative measures by covering exposed skin with a bug deterrent that contains eucalyptus oil or lemongrass oil, which are natural bug repellents.

Also, make sure to wear sunscreen, as having red, burned skin at the reception is sure to add to your discomfort.

Airborne allergens pose another potential pitfall. If your allergies are severe, check with your doctor. To deal with runny noses, take along a handkerchief or a pack of travel tissues.

Beating the heat

Tissues and handkerchiefs also can combat the inevitable perspiring that comes with high temperatures. As best man, Pete Warrington, 26, was fighting to stay on his two feet in the 95-degree heat of a Methodist church in Meredith, New Hampshire, that lacked air conditioning.

"It wasn't so bad when we were sitting in the back before the service, but once we were standing up front, it was like a Swedish sauna -- without the jump in the snow afterwards," says Warrington, a software engineer from Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. "We had no programs, no fans, and we couldn't remove our jackets or ties."


Warrington was wise enough to grab a paper towel from the bathroom before the ceremony, but when that no longer worked it was all he could do to not pass out. "Luckily, one of the bridesmaids went down before I did," he laughs. "Kind of took the pressure off."

After the ceremony, drink iced liquids, dab your face with cold water and change your dampened clothes, if you can. In all likelihood, the reception will be more casual and you can remove your jacket and tie. You might even get to enjoy some air-conditioning.

LifeWire provides original and syndicated lifestyle content to Web publishers. Jocelyn Voo is a freelance writer and former relationships editor at the New York Post.

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