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Planning a Summer Wedding in Utah


Of all the special occasions that people want to be perfect, a wedding has to be at the top of the list. Everyone wants an ideal wedding – planning months in advance and in minute detail, to ensure a picture-perfect big day that comes off flawlessly.

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Beginning a New Life in a Beautiful Setting
A wedding is usually a surreal attempt to mesh three very different experiences into one. The first is a very personal introspective experience of realizing that things will never be the same. The next is the ineffable experience of beginning of a new lifelong partnership and the emerging realization that the relationship will enhance, but nevertheless, alter, like any other experience in life.
Lastly, there is the group dynamic. A wedding typically takes place in the midst of friends and family, hopefully in a memorable setting. This requires an elegant space that can facilitate a crowd while maintaining a degree of intimacy and privacy while enabling the participants to enjoy the beauty of nature.

The Challenges of a Hot Summer Day
Utah is a wonderful state to have a wedding in much of the year, as long as the weather cooperates (it usually does). Spring and fall can be breathtakingly beautiful and winter presents a different kind of gorgeousness. Summer, on the other hand, can be a bit challenging for Utah wedding venues when the desire is to enjoy the natural beauty of nature and yet the hot, sweltering heat makes it very uncomfortable to be outside.

The solution here is to have plenty of shade available, whether that means you have a hybrid venue with shaded indoor and outdoor spaces, or you just hold the ceremony outdoors and move everything under canopies or indoors once you swap rings. Depending on your location in Utah, the heat may be more of a problem (Park City is often 10 – 15 degrees cooler than the valleys.). But with shade and cool drinks liberally available, everyone will survive no matter what the temperature is.

Nailing Down a Ceremony and Reception Venue
For nuptials at the heart of summer, I always recommend reception centers in Utah that give wedding guests a climate-controlled setting to cool off in, even if much of the wedding is meant to be outdoors. All well-designed wedding spaces incorporate the natural beauty out-of-doors and project it inside. We have stunning mountain views and verdant landscapes in many venues, despite our desert-like status during the summer months.

Enjoying the Natural Beauty of Nature Indoors
Weather plays a huge part in the wedding day and yet it is something nobody can control. Ideally, a bit of a soft breeze on a mildly warm, sunny day would be perfect. And while sunny skies are the norm along the Wasatch Front much of the year, there’s really no guarantee, which is why I always recommend a backup plan for couples we plan for. Luckily, Thanksgiving Point has plenty of indoor spaces.

If you are dedicated to an outdoor venue that lacks shelter enough for all your guests, I think it’s best not to roll the dice and just plan on canopy rentals as a part of your wedding plans. That way, if you do get swept up in a summer storm, you’ll have cover.

Being Flexible with Your Plans
The secret to a happy wedding day is in accepting the fact that there will be things that will not go as planned and learning to live in the moment, whatever the moment brings. Build as much flexibility into your plans as possible, but be prepared to have Mother Nature dash them to pieces.
That being said, some of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever attended have been in Utah’s volatile Spring weather, and people pull off elegant, comfortable weddings every summer here with the only moisture being in the eyes of the bride and groom’s parents. Here’s hoping your summer wedding goes off without a hitch!

Author bio: Rebecca Tulley is an event coordinator and wedding planner who writes for Thanksgiving Point, a non-profit educational and cultural foundation in Lehi, Utah. When she isn’t helping brides plan their big day or setting up a swanky corporate event, you’ll find her at the Thanksgiving Point Gardens on her lunch break, eating chips and reading a book.

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