Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Planning a Summer of Love. . .

Imagine a sunset wedding in the Arizona desert! What could be more beautiful?

We are so fortunate in the Greater Phoenix area to have two wedding seasons. March, April and May and again in October, November and December seem to be the busier wedding months for me. The weather is terrific! These months are the most requested months for weddings and usually the wedding venues will charge a little more.

If you are on a strict budget and want the best the Phoenix area has to offer, scheduling your wedding in our “off-season” months may get you a better deal.

Many of the area’s finest resorts and reception facilities have greater availability from June through August plus some offer some pretty fabulous summer prices. Some will waive the site rental fee if you are scheduling your reception with them. Ask about their specials.

Saturdays and Fridays are the most popular days for weddings but you may also save money by booking a Sunday wedding.

Yep, the weather is hotter in the Valley of the Sun, but the rates are pretty cool June through August. Not much can be done about the weather, but you can prepare for it. Flowers and guests begin to wilt at outdoor weddings when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.

June Average high: 102°F; average low: 75°F
July Average high: 104°F; average low: 81°F
August Average high: 102°F; average low: 80°F

Remember to give elderly guests a shady place to rest and a chance to cool down before and after the wedding. Keep sunscreen handy for your guests.

You don’t have to have an outdoor wedding. It will be more comfortable for your guests if the ceremony is indoors. Use your creativity and design skills to make an indoor space suit the season. Hang summer lanterns or create a summer flower-strewn indoor aisle.

Avoid wilting blooms in the bouquets and boutonnieres by asking your florist to steer you toward hardier blooms, like orchids and lilies. Even a bride’s bouquet of succulents can be different. Center pieces can be some easy to care for succulents and other desert cacti.

Here’s a cool idea: plan with the photographer to take some of your wedding photos indoors.

Find some shade or make your own by renting a tent. Big rental companies rent authentic portable evaporative coolers. Spend the extra few dollars to provide this source of quiet cool air when the dew point is low enough. Fans make too much noise and just move the hot air around.

You usually cannot beat the heat totally, however planning your wedding later in the evening can help. One summer wedding began the ceremony at 8:45 p.m., long after the sun went down. Be sure to provide adequate lighting for the minister and guests. I brought a tiny book-reading light and attached it to my notes.

Scatter decorative tubs filled with bottles of water near the ceremony site. Have plenty of water on hand to keep guests, caterers, DJs, your minister, wedding photojournalists and other wedding vendors hydrated throughout the event.

Many modern brides who are opting for shorter skirts instead of long wedding dresses. If you can’t resist the heavy traditional ball gown, wear it during the ceremony and then change into an elegant sheath for dancing. Have the groom and his groomsmen wear breezy, lightweight attire.

tamarablendI no longer recommend the “Unity Candle” ceremony in the Arizona sun. As an alternative do the “Blending of the Sands” ceremony. It has a similar symbolism.

To avoid a last-minute wedding day surprise, do your best to visit your wedding venue in the month of your wedding. Visiting sunny Arizona in October for a July wedding is not a good idea.

One of the most important things in planning a wedding is to do your best to stay within a budget. Be prepare to move a little of the money around if you find what you want and they cost a little more. Stay flexible.

Another tip is to not wait until the last minute to book the wedding venue and especially the minister. I frequently book ceremonies 9 months to a year and a half in advance. To check availability, click here.

Bonus Article: Read, “Getting Married in Arizona? Here’s the Latest Scoop!

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. –

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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