Missouri summers can be brutally hot but many Missouri brides dream of an outdoor wedding ceremony. We love them too. Greenwood Springs Event Center is the best local event venue near Joplin, MO, that will accommodate all of life’s celebrations. We are proud to be the chosen event venue for clients from areas like Springfield, Rogers, and Tulsa, and we would love to work with you, too!

Here are our top tips for an outdoor wedding at Greenwood Springs in the hot summer months:

1 | Hydrate

The bride and groom need to stay hydrated on the day of but also think about offering hydration stations near the outdoor ceremony. A pretty dispenser with lemon slices floating and flavoring some cold water would be nice at the bar for a self-serve station. Ice cold bottled water is easy to pass out as guests arrive as well. We offer carts that you can stage as water hydration stations on the front porch or back patio to welcome guests and as a nice added touch during cocktail hour. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

2 | First Look

If the heat is going to be an issue, spread the pictures throughout the day and give yourself time to freshen up and cool down in between. Having a first look makes the day more relaxing and being able to see each other will, most likely, create less stress and more downtime. You will certainly want time to freshen up before and after the ceremony if you’ve been outside on a 90-degree day in a wedding gown. Also, lucky for our brides because we have our cottage, an air-conditioned area that is ideal for first looks, getting ready, and bridal party photos.

3 | Fans

Make your programs into fans that your guests can use to cool themselves with. If you’re against the fan idea you can at least print the programs on heavy enough card stock that guests can use them to fan and cool themselves.

4 | Umbrellas

Paper umbrellas are inexpensive and can look really adorable in photographs. They also provide some excellent shade for guests. Have a basket of paper parasols ready for the taking as your guests enter your outdoor ceremony space. If you know where elderly guests will be seated you could even lay a parasol on their chair ahead of time.

5 | For the Guys

Allowing your groom, groomsmen, and fathers to shed their suit jackets and roll up their sleeves on a sunny wedding day can be just the flexibility they need to keep smiling. A helpful tip is to rent TWO dress shirts for each male member of the wedding party and make time for them to change into a dry shirt once the outdoor ceremony and photos are finished.

6 | Short Ceremony

Work with your officiant beforehand to plan out a ceremony that works well with the predicted forecast. Short and sweet is a popular route to go when having a late afternoon or early evening wedding outside in the summer season.

7 | Arrival

Offer guests who arrive early a social space for visiting and cooling off before the ceremony begins outside. Keep in mind that you’ll need your coordinator or ushers to announce when people should begin to be seated. If you’d rather not have guests come into the reception space before the ceremony begins you’ll need to have someone greeting them and making that known. If you have a wedding website it’s great to post details like these so guests know not to come too early.

8 | Email Your Guests

Your guests probably won’t go back to the website and read over all of the details before arriving on the day of your wedding. If you’ve asked them to RSVP via email, set up an automatic email to go out the day before your wedding. Remind them of the most important details and to dress for the weather.

9 | Later Ceremony Time

If you read none of the other tips, please read this one! 

Have a later ceremony start time. The sunsets so much later in the summer months so don’t have a 2:00 or 3:00 pm ceremony. You’ll be sweating buckets and so will your guests. Plus, you’ll be left with a couple of hours after the meal is finished that it’s still daylight outside and your guests won’t really start dancing until around dark. You can offer yard games, photo booths, and other activities but once your guests have been here for six hours they really start to dwindle and usually are ready to go home. 

It’s ALWAYS our preference that you work with your photographer on your timeline and ceremony start time BEFORE sending out the invitations. So what’s a suggested summer timeline if you do a first look and have most of the photos taken before the ceremony you ask? (maybe you didn’t ask but others before you have, so here it is):

  • 5:30 pm Ceremony
  • 6:00 pm Cocktail Hour
  • 7:00 pm Dinner, Cake Cutting & Toasts
  • 8:00 pm Sunset Pictures while guests finish dessert
  • 8:30 pm First Dance, Father-Daughter, Mother-Son, Anniversary
  • 9 pm Dance floor opens up
  • 11:00 pm Dance floor closes and send-off of the couple

10 | Shaded Photos

Use the shaded areas around Greenwood Springs to cool off the wedding party during picture time. These are also great for giving your photographer a break from harsh direct sunlight if you plan for afternoon photos. 

Contact us today with any questions or to schedule a tour! We can’t wait to talk with you!