We’re at the tail end of Summer here in Delhi (or so I hope!) and I can’t wait for the monsoons to get here. Oh, the rains are coming – I know! I saw it, those insane flooded road pictures of Mumbai making their way all over Twitter this morning. Keeping aside all the infrastructure problems they highlight, it made me jealous of everyone who gets to enjoy the rains in Mumbai today.
But since we’re still suffocating in 40+ degree temperatures in Delhi, I thought I’ll finally put together a list of summer wedding ideas I’ve had. Everyone’s done this list on the Internet, but I wanted to do a very specific kind of list – of what to do to make your guests comfortable at your summer wedding.
Remember the Orissa wedding I attended earlier this year? While it took place in January, it was technically a Summer wedding. It was hot, and standing in the harsh sunlight that afternoon, I was thankful the bride and groom had kept chilled fresh juice and coconut water counters for some relief from the heat. All I did those 4 hours was drink juice after juice after juice. I barely ate. After all, who wants to eat hot food in the sweltering heat?
This made me wonder – what do people do to make guests comfortable at Summer Weddings? I’ve only attended a few summer weddings over the last few years, and even fewer outdoor ones in the heat. With my limited experience, I had to bring in the experts – Devika Narain and Jyoti Lalwani.
Devika is a wedding designer (aka a decorator, for the uninitiated) who also helps plan small-scale weddings, and Jyoti (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a wedding consultant who was part of the dream team that put together Shonan & Adesh’s stunning wedding.
I chatted with both of them, and we wondered why people don’t take better care of their wedding guests. In Devika’s words, “people only care about making the guests go WOW, but no one will notice your beautiful peonies in the centrepiece if they’re physically uncomfortable.” The comfort of wedding guests, it turns out, is something most of us are guilty of ignoring. Don’t even try arguing with me on that. I’ve attended enough weddings to know how much you really thought about your guests’ comfort.
Well, that’s what we’re here for. To, firstly, inform you that taking care of your guests should be one of the priority items on your checklist. And, secondly, to give you a bucket load of ideas on how to do exactly that. You didn’t think I was going to leave you hanging with just “inspiration”, did you?
Here’s the guide to making your guests comfortable at your Summer Wedding.
Note: You should just give these ideas to your wedding decorator/ designer/ planner, and they’ll implement it for you. Or if you’re up for the task, source them yourself but I have to be honest – that’s always tougher to do.
Dude, if it’s a morning summer wedding – buy a ton of cheap sunglasses and keep them at the entry. Many of us are not sure if it’s an outdoor function, whether the venue is partially or completely covered, and sometimes we just forget to carry our shades. Save us a massive headache later, will you?
2. Paper umbrellas.
Because sunglasses can only protect your eyes from the sweltering sun.
3. Hand fans.
For, literally, giving your guests personal fans. No one wants to be the person who hogs the area around the big mist fan with their friends, leaving ¾th of the guests without any relief.
4. Big mist fans.
So, you already thought of this one, and you think you’re such a clever devil. Firstly, mist fans are awesome in dry heat, not in already humid and hot climate. So make sure you use it in the right city. Secondly, big mist fans scattered all over the venue suck. For all the women. Their hairstyles get messed up with that surprising gust of wind, and oh, the makeup that moves thanks to all that water! Ideally, have big mist fans placed at the perimeters, so that the venue is surrounded with cool air on all sides, and yet it’s far enough to not play havoc with the ladies’ hair and the makeup.
5. Rain dance, with water balloons and pichkaris
An entire event to enjoy a party you can only pull off in the summer heat! It might be a cliche, but it’s still a lot of fun. Do a rain dance, or a pool party for your youngster’s bash. And add some zing to it with water balloons, water guns, and sarongs for the girls!
6. Cooling Menu Items
Note: Your caterer, in most cases, will be able to have these arranged for you.
- Non-alcoholic: Coconut water, and freshly squeezed chilled juice for the win. Serve in small glasses so that it’s manageable to drink and dispose off in between every few bites.
- Alcoholic: if you have the budget, go for small champagne bottles, or a Bacardi Breezer counter.
Bonus points for adding pretty straws to sip with, adding a touch of fun to it for the guests!
- Indian way: go for Kulfis on a stick, and kala-khatta chuski (ice stick) or banta counters. These will serve as a great relief food option for when the pheras are going on.
- Fancy-schmancy Contemporary way: Have popsicles! We will love you forever and ever! Budget option is a typical Kwality cart with orange and mango popsicles. Or, get a tad bit fancy with my favourite Frugurpop popsicles. They send their cute van that can hang out at the venue, or you can opt for deep-freeze boxes to be set up at the venue. These are available in Mumbai & Delhi currently. My favourite flavours are Triple Berry, Strawberry Cheesecake and Tiramisu (mouth already watering thinking about them!)
7. Relief station
This is a counter you can arrange for in one easy-to-access spot, where guests wander into to pick up what they need and head off. It’s mainly non-food items that will give them some much-needed relief from the heat.
- Blotting paper for the ladies. If you’re super nice and don’t mind spending a bit – have blotting papers in a basket for the women to use. Most people won’t need more than one. Have a sign board on top that explains how to use it. We’ll thank you for our non-oily face photos later 🙂 The cheapest ones in the market that actually work are Clean and Clear blotting papers. MAC ones are a slightly more expensive option, and equally good.
- Face mist and cold towels. You can opt for Dabur’s Rose Water that comes in spray bottles, or anything else along the lines of MAC’s Fix + Spray. It basically just re-hydrates the face, and doesn’t disturb the makeup. The men, of course, will find it easier (read: more manly) to just grab a cold towel.
- Mini size cold water bottles. Do NOT give those big 500 ml bottles. I’ve seen this being given at a wedding, and it was such a waste! No one wants to carry around big bottles of water. Just give small 250 ml ones that have as much water as a small glass would. You will waste neither water nor bottles this way!
- Water on the rocks. Another way to serve water, which is also more eco-friendly, is this – keep big jars of water with ice and lemon wedges in it, and place paper cups on the side. The guests will help themselves to the “more interesting” water.
- Sunscreen. Put together small sachets in a basket. Guests will be able to conveniently use these individually.
- SPF lip balm. To prevent their lips from chapping from all that time out in the sun! Perfect for beach weddings.
- Mosquito repellents or patches. IF it’s a place that’s green enough to attract insects.
A Mobile Relief Station for the Baraat!
The Baraat will be seriously sweating it out with all that dancing in the heat! Jyoti suggested a “relief trolley” that moves alongside the baraat. She had arranged for one at a wedding recently, and it had cooling drinks such as coconut water and nimbu paani (lemonade), as well as alcoholic items for those enthusiastic friends for whom baraat = booze! Jello shots, golas dipped in vodka, Breezers and beer are all good options to have. Wet wipes or cold towels are also a great addition to the trolley. Baraatiyon ka swagat
Pan Parag Relief Trolley se hona chahiye! I know, lame. Forget I said it. *sweeps it under the rug*
With this comprehensive guide in hand, your summer wedding is going to be an affair to remember. I’m not joking. I better not hear from a guest that they attended a wedding function of one of thedelhibride’s readers where they were not taken care of. Where there was no relief from the heat! Got it? GOT IT? Good.
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Do you agree that we tend to ignore the comfort of guests at our desi weddings?
Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear your opinion. Seriously. This is one thing I can go on and on about for 2 hours. Tell me what you think!