Planning an Outdoor Wedding: Ideas to Stay (and Look) Cool in the Sun

Last Updated on March 1, 2024 by SampleBoard

More people are tying the knot outside the confines of four walls, and with good reason.

In 2022, 72% of weddings took place partially or fully outdoors, largely because outdoor weddings are opportunities to bring sunlight and fresh air to a romantic affair like your wedding day.

Additionally, open spaces are easier for decorators to work with, and there’s nothing wedding photographers Sydney love more than being able to work with lots of natural light.

However, there’s one con to outdoorsy nuptials, and that’s sun exposure.

From discomfort to skin and eye damage, the effects of UVA and UVB rays can persist with you and your guests long after you’ve said “I do.”

For your guests, this can negatively color their experience of what should be a happy occasion.

This is where wedding favors can come in. The dilemma of whether or not to provide wedding favors can be tricky for some couples.

There are so many things you want to communicate: your personality as a couple, an affirmation of appreciation towards your guests, and even your wedding theme.

But at the same time, you want to be mindful of costs and minimize waste.

This is why the practical route is the best way to go, ensuring that your guests don’t accidentally (or purposefully) leave favors on the tables when all is said and done.

At the same time, these favors can be the perfect way to offer on-theme sun protection for your guests! Below are a few options you can consider.

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Stylish sunglasses

We’ve all been to a wedding where the couple gave out impractical party tokens.

Sure, personalized trinkets or mini-figurines of the bride and groom are meant to memorialize the couple and their special day, but they’re usually relegated to the “miscellaneous” drawer after that.

Consider gifting sunglasses, then, as something you’re sure your guests will use during the wedding ceremony itself and hopefully beyond.

While you won’t want to break the budget if you are gifting every guest with a pair of sunglasses, if you are only gifting the families, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen, you may want to splash out.

Credit: Ray-Ban on Instagram

Sunglasses from an established brand not only demonstrate how much your closest friends and family mean to you, but they will also offer the best protection during a summer day.

Brands like Ray-Ban offer legendary styles that suit everyone, such as the Aviator and Wayfarer styles, and even have a customization service that will allow you to tailor them to your special day.

Prescriptions are also available for these frames, allowing you to order a special pair for your parents or grandparents if need be.

The great thing about sunglasses is that apart from providing sun protection, they also combat any glare that could prevent your guests from truly appreciating the beauty of your ceremony and wedding venue.

Custom sunscreens

The sun doesn’t discriminate, whether your outdoor wedding is at an idyllic garden or right on the beach with the waves lapping nearby.

This brings us to another great wedding favor: individual sunscreens. Brands like Best Day Ever Spot even offer customized sunscreens, so you can have each tube feature a guest's name or your wedding monogram.

Credit: Best Day Ever Spot on Instagram

Instead of positioning a large bottle of sunscreen at the venue entrance, which can feel kind of transactional, consider these smaller bottles for your guests to take home and even use on their next day out.

Just make sure that your sunscreens are at least SPF 50 and broad spectrum for prime protection. If you can also find a formulation that is on the lighter side, that would be even better so your guests don't feel greasy throughout the day.

Hand-held fans

Ventilation is an issue for outdoor events as well, so you’ll want to give your guests a way to cool off without having to leave their seats prematurely to cool off in the venue’s air-conditioned areas.

If you're looking for a timeless solution, hand fans will do the trick.

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In many cases, you can even get your fans embroidered or printed with your theme.

Alternatively, battery-powered handheld fans are a great wedding favor idea that your guests aren’t going to leave behind.

These fans come in a variety of colors, too, so you can easily find some that will complement your wedding colorway.

Some couples may opt to do away with wedding favors entirely, which is fine, too. After all, it’s your wedding day, and you call the shots.

But when it comes to a wedding where the elements are a factor, you’ll want to be considerate of your guests by giving them something to keep their skin safe from the sun. The fact that they can use your thoughtful gift even during their next beach day or outdoor adventure is a lovely bonus.