In Sunny Arizona we have two wedding seasons. While brides and grooms in the mid-west and the east tend to plan their weddings in June, wedding vendors in the Greater Phoenix area are busiest in March, April and May and again in October, November and December. Why? Because the temperatures in June through September – our off-season – in the desert can melt the Unity Candles and be quite uncomfortable.
There is a big however… Some of the finest Arizona resorts and reception facilities have greater availability during our off-season. Wedding professionals estimate brides and grooms on tight budgets can often save several thousand dollars, depending on the size of your wedding and the day they choose.
On off days, like weekdays and Sundays can save you even more. The exception is Fridays, out second busiest day for weddings. Most brides and groom still choose Saturday as the busiest day for weddings.
For brides who aren’t put off by a little bit of extra heat and humidity, summertime is the perfect season for a beautiful wedding. Besides it’s a dry heat! 😉 And to be honest… it’s still hot. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Remember to provide multiple ice cold water stations spiked with citrus slices to keep your guest hydrated. By the way, beer and wine don’t count toward keeping you hydrated. Nonalcoholic drinks are a wise choice.
Ask your wedding consultant to keep a special eye on itty-bitty people and elderly people; these groups are more apt to become quickly dehydrated. Rent a gelato cart, snow cone machine or set up an ice cream bar at the reception.
Consider printing your program on hand fans that ushers give to everyone as they are seated. The ladies will appreciate having the extra breeze during the ceremony to keep their makeup in place. Provide small spray bottles filled with cool water that the guests can use to spritz themselves. Out-of-town guests appreciate summer weddings because their kids are out of school and bosses are sometimes more lenient with vacation time.
Using a little strategy can often save you money. Food and labor cost are pretty much remain the same, but in June through September there are often some incredible savings on room rates for your out-of-town guests.
Push the ceremony back so it’s as late in the evening as possible. The hottest part of the day is around 3 and 4 o’clock, so how about planning an evening wedding. Near sunset or after dark works best. That’s when the sun will be well past its peak damage potential. Contact a lighting company to provide special lighting for a romantic glow.
Consider a “dress casual” wedding by lightening up the dress code even if you choose an indoor venue. Address wardrobe options via an invitation insert, e.g., “Stiflingly hot jackets and ties forbidden!” or “Lightweight clothing advised.” Any time earlier than sunset and you can count on higher temperatures. Consider relaxing the wardrobe requirements especially for your groomsmen. Light-colored dresses and slacks for the guys will help them stay cool. Light, breathable fabrics can save the day. If you must have tuxedoes have the guys dress moments before the wedding.
What about photos after dark? The bride and groom could do a “First Look” and do most of your wedding photos before the wedding instead of after. Photos in direct sunlight are never quite as good. Follow your photographer’s advice.
Ask your florist to suggest flowers that will not wilt as quickly. Avoid white flowers with white blossoms as the tend to lose their appeal as they lose their moisture.
Guests tend to eat less when it’s hot, so ask your caterer to make suggestions. Beat the heat with a themed reception. South-of-the-border food is very popular in the Arizona desert. OR brighten up your menu with tropical fruit, which can be served fresh, in sorbets or even as a glaze for the main dish. Cold salads are another great idea.
The shade is your friend. Canopies or tents can be rented and installed cheaply and easily. Check prices on outdoor fans. It’s money well spent. And as an after-thought… you could have your wedding indoors although most of my weddings love the outdoors because the Arizona scenery provides such great photo opts.
Summer weddings in Arizona can save you money and a lot of fun.
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. 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 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.
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