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Scorching Hot Wedding!

Hi Jeanne. Here is a story about a wedding that unintentionally unbearable.

As much as I love my cousin, her wedding will forever be the one that I will use as a “what not to do” example. My cousin Anne got married in 2014 to a wonderful man, Guy. They were both older, and in their 40s when they met and married. Anne has always been unconventional, and her wedding was no different.

To begin with, both Anne and Guy are teachers, and therefore didn’t want to get married during the school year. This left only the summer. This would have been fine if it had been early summer, but they picked July 4th weekend in upstate New York. July and August are usually the hottest and most humid months of the year for us. The ceremony and reception were to be held at Guy’s school, which was an independent school with beautiful grounds and a pond. It really was a beautiful location.

The ceremony was held outside at the pond in the center of the school. There were about 120 guests in attendance, but there were only chairs for about 30 people for the ceremony. The ceremony was to begin at 5:00pm, and guests began arriving around 3:30. The bride and groom had thoughtfully provided for hors d’oeuvres to be served prior to the ceremony, so we had finger foods and, most importantly, drinks from an open bar. By 4:00, most of the guests have arrived, and it’s about 95 degrees outside, sunny and humid. The chairs for the ceremony were in full sunlight, since the only trees were farther back. My 80+ grandmother and her sisters, who do not walk well to begin with, sat in their wheelchairs in the shade waiting for the ceremony to begin. We still had an hour until the ceremony, and everyone was doing their best to stay cool. My parents and I were standing in the shade drinking water. It was too hot to even consider drinking alcohol. Eventually, Anne came out to announce to everyone that they weren’t going to wait until 5:00 to begin, and would be starting the ceremony early so that we could get out of the sun quicker.

The ceremony began at 4:30, and it was lovely. What I could see of it anyway. Like I said, there were only chairs for about 30 people, so I stood in the back and watched the ceremony. I couldn’t hear the vows, since there wasn’t a microphone or speaker, and the sun was shining directly in my eyes, which made it hard to see anything. By the time the ceremony ended, I was hot and sticky and ready for air conditioning. My family and I had arrived around 3:00, and were all dressed in cocktail attire since that was what the dress code stated. I had found a lightweight chiffon dress, and it was still too hot for this weather.

After the ceremony, we went into the barn next to the pond for the reception. There was no cocktail hour, since there were refreshments before the ceremony. The barn was not air conditioned, but it had giant fans on the ceiling that were turned on full blast. The fans didn’t help much though, since the humidity was so high and the temperature didn’t go down. There were 12 tables in the barn, each seating 10 people. But the barn wasn’t very big, and the tables were cramped up next to each other. You couldn’t scoot your chair out to stand up without hitting the chair of the person behind you. The cramped quarters made the room even hotter than it was outside. To make matters worse, my brothers and I were not seated with our parents. Instead we were seated with cousins from Guy’s side that we had never met before. So it was just me and my brothers sitting together talking, and Guy’s cousins sitting and talking.

The food was actually pretty good, but it had to be eaten in shifts. The food was prepared by the school, and they apparently could only make one item at a time. It was served family style, so our table was served a platter of salmon. Then about 5-10 minutes later we got a platter of rice. Then another 5-10 minutes later we got chicken. By the time the whole meal was served, the stuff that was brought out first was cold. And some tables got different food than others did.

Finally it came time for dancing. I understand that Anne and Guy were trying to save money by not hiring a DJ, and I think the playlist they made for the wedding was great. But it was too hot to dance. My other cousins, my brother and I went outside to keep cool and avoid dancing. It didn’t work. Anne and her sisters caught us and brought us up on the stage to dance. Which was fun, but incredibly too hot.

We ended up leaving about 9:00, which is early for us. My brothers and I, along with our cousins are usually the last ones to leave a wedding. This time, all of us left early. By the time we got home, we just jumped in the pool to cool off, then got something to eat because we were starving.

Anne and Guy tried to have a beautiful wedding, and it was beautiful in it’s own way. But it truly felt like the wedding from hell, despite their best efforts. 0309-16

One of the more difficult aspects of wedding planning is projecting into the future and seeing all possible consequences of choices and then determining how you will address every possible scenario.   A lot of people either don’t do this at all or have significant gaps in their planning.  Someone associated with this wedding simply could not foresee how hot it would be, how difficult it would be for people to move between crowded tables, etc.

{ 138 comments }
{ 138 comments… add one }
  • K March 15, 2016, 2:52 pm

    Riiiiight. So Anne and Guy, who cannot control the weather, choose to get married where they are from when they are not working. They have the misfortune to be landed with a baking hot day.

    They then bring the wedding start forward because of the heat.

    They provide food.

    They provide water.

    Their venue has a/c and shade.

    Anne tries to dance at her wedding!!!!!!

    Their catering lets them down.

    Seriously, this is not an example of ‘what not to do’, and if you ever get married, I’d advise you to be a bit more understanding. My friend’s meticulously-planned wedding ended in disaster when it rained so much, the land slid and her marquee floor collapsed. My sister’s carefully-researched DJ did not show up. Loads of UK weddings end with the guests running through the rain from the church!

    You cannot plan for everything, and if something goes wrong, all you can do is react as best you can. Clearly, Anne and Guy did their best with the limited control they had, and they deserve better than such a long post picking their wedding apart over something they could not help. The bride showed an awful lot more grace here than you did.

    • Powers March 25, 2016, 9:26 pm

      “Their venue has a/c and shade.”

      No A/C. That would have made it bearable.

      But that aside, holding an outdoor wedding in July, with only 1/4 the seats necessary for the number of guests, and the reception in an overcrowded barn with no A/C is absolutely horrible planning. There’s misfortune and then there’s foreseeable disaster. And this was a totally foreseeable disaster.

  • A Person March 15, 2016, 6:59 pm

    I might give it a pass if it was unusual for the weather to be that way that day (ie: a 90F day after a December Santa Ana wind in in Southern California, for example) and it was just bad luck, but if you know the weather patterns in the area and still do it, shame on you.

    • AS March 16, 2016, 7:40 am

      Unless the OP is complaining about temperatures in the 70 as hot, it does sound like an unusual weather for the area.

      • August March 20, 2016, 10:55 am

        As someone from NY it reaaaaalllyyy isn’t, our summer is ALWAYS that hot. There are plenty of warnings on the news for the elderly, public pools, even pop up pools and drinking fountains provided by the city to encourage people to cool off, it will average 90.

        • Willynilly March 21, 2016, 9:02 am

          But this wedding wasn’t in the City, it was upstate, where upper 70s to mid 80s is more typical.

        • channamasala April 5, 2016, 12:28 pm

          I’m from the Hudson valley and I can say that the 90s, while not totally unusual, is not a temperature it hits every day. Further north where my grandparents are from (Albany) it’s more commonly in the 80s during the day – by early evening and definitely during the reception it would be more like 70s, with 80s being unusual.

        • Shanna April 7, 2016, 4:52 pm

          I’ve lived summers in upstate NY as well as in the New England states, the mid central region, the deep south, the coastal south, and the arid hot southwest. Upstate NY had all around the coolest, driest, and kindest temperatures in the summer. It is bliss!

          Now on an unusually hot day it can get bad, but upstate NY is just about the best place to be in the summer.

  • Emmy March 20, 2016, 5:13 pm

    It sounds like most of the problems are because of the very hot day. I am not from upstate New York, but I imagine that high 90’s is an atypically hot day even in the middle of summer. The couple sounded like the had prepared – the wedding was in the evening, they had fans in the barn, and drinks for everyone. Believe it or not, some things that go wrong are not the fault of the bride and groom. I think fussing about the seating arrangements was a bit petty. Most of the time I am seated with at least some people I don’t know at a wedding and we talk to the other guests. It sounds like the other guests may have been in the same age group so the B & G may have thought they would hit it off. It sounds like the OP just wanted to sit with people she knew. I guess she was on a roll complaining about the wedding by that point.

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