There is no wrong season to plan an event, but it is wise to understand the obstacles that may come up in the season you choose so that you can plan around them. Today - June 21st - officially kicks off the start of summer, so it is perfect timing to review some tips and tricks to avoid what we would consider the 3 potential pitfalls for summer events.
There are few places in the United States where the summer heat does not impact your day. In the District, the temperatures can top the 90s and that is without the humidity factor. Many individuals will choose to plan more casual events to help navigate the high temps, allowing for the dress to include polos, sundresses, and possibly even dress shorts, but the heat, should in no way dissuade you from hosting a formal event if that is what your heart is set on. Here are a few tips we offer to help make your event a success:
Offer handheld fans to guests upon arrival. To add an extra touch of personalization you can add your program or initials to the fan.
Understand the airflow of the venue you are at. Don’t hesitate to rent industrial floor fans to help cool off your guests - especially if it is an outdoor or patio event.
Limit the amount of time guests are outside. Even with fans, if it is a scorcher guests will likely be yearning for some cool air conditioning. You don’t want guests leaving early because they are dripping with sweat - or even worse, passing out due to heat.
Provide plenty of cold water and other non-alcoholic beverages throughout the entire event. You may want to have a water station or servers walking around with cold drinks. If your event is outdoors it may be advantageous to offer your guests water as they enter the event, either in glasses or personalized water bottles.
Try to avoid a mid-day event where the sun is at its peak. Planning for a morning or evening event can decrease the temperature substantially.
The best way to anticipate the needs of your guests is to think through what you would want in the situation. So next time you find yourself in the midst of the summer heat - ask yourself what you wish you had at that moment.
Water is definitely an element that can put a major damper on an event - and in the summer we come to expect a good deal of it. Having a rain plan set up ahead of time can help reduce the stress and prevent you and your loved ones from scrambling last minute to remedy the situation. Here are some easy tips to help avoid getting soaked.
If your venue offers the service, provide free valet services for your guests. Hopefully the venue will have a covered overhang, but if not - check out the next suggestion.
Provide large - golf style - umbrellas for guests to use as they walk into your venue. You can either go all out and order personalized umbrellas for all guests, or just get enough to use in a rotation as your guests arrive. If you are worried about breaking your budget - do not stress - Ikea’s large Knalla umbrella for between $3-$4 each. And if it turns out to be a gorgeous day and the umbrellas go unused - they have a fabulous return policy as well.
Utilize your ushers or additional staff to help escort your guests, with umbrellas, from their parking spaces, to the venue.
If you are having an outdoor event make sure to speak with your event planner or venue about a tent option. It is better to plan for the worst and never have to act on it than to be caught wet the day of the event.
Other people’s travel plans can certainly interfere with your guest list. Summer is a time for families to get away on vacation and they may not have planned for your event to be the center of their trip.
Plan early and get your Save the Dates out as soon as possible. If it is a busy travel time or a destination event make sure people know to block off that date on their calendar and to start planning around it. If you don’t want to send the formal Save the Date cards out too early, we suggest sending a less formal email just to give friends and family a heads up as they start to plan their own summers.
If there are certain people who are vital to your event - immediate family, friends, or vendors - you may want to touch base with them before setting your date about any conflicts that they may have. It is often easier to work around dates before hand than trying to fix the situation after.
Be understanding to those who are unable to make it. The event may be your main focus, but to others it may not win out over a summer trip to Italy that has been in the works for years. Again - if the attendance of that individual is vital to your happiness - try to check in with them as you are planning your date.
Obstacles will always be present when it comes to event planning, but with planning and preparation, no one has to be the wiser. Understanding what hurdles may lie ahead allows you and your event staff to easily come up with plans on how to maneuver around them if they become an issue the day of the event. The key to a great event is anticipating the needs of your guests before they are even aware of the need. Our staff at Elegant Events are here to help think through every step of the event with you in order to ensure that your event is a memorable one for all the right reasons. Happy Summer!