There’s something charming about a non-sweaty bride

September 15, 2017


Let’s have an honest chat with nature-loving brides who are planning weddings for next year and insist on getting married outdoors. I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Mr. November. He would love to host your wedding and will make sure you and your guests don’t melt in a heap of sweaty Southern satin. November will be arriving soon, so you can test him out now, for next year’s plans.

My husband’s voice still quivers when he recalls his fraternity brother’s wedding held years ago on a sultry summer afternoon in Limestone County. The bride insisted on holding the ceremony in the middle of the family cornfield, mowed into the shape of her sorority greek letters, to give a nod to her pearl-clad sisters as well as acknowledging her past reign as Miss Limestone Corn Cobb 1988. Never mind the design in the field could only be detected from a cherry picker, it still lent an air of excitement to the occasion. “It was dramatic seeing the bride emerge from the rows of corn,” admitted my husband, who had never seen anything quite so beautiful back in New Jersey. But the grand entrance was unfortunately postponed when the soloist, Mrs. Kingbottom, swooned and fell over just as she launched into the second verse of, “I’m as corny as Kansas in August.” The paramedics declared her to be overcome with heat and great emotion, and after the soprano was shuttled to the hospital, the bride finally emerged, itchy and glistening hot —  bless her heart (meant sincerely).

Unless you are lucky enough to find a waterfront location with a salty breeze as the setting for your riparian vows, it’s best to park your summertime guests on padded pews in chilly churches.

Mr. October may lure you into thinking he’s the month for weddings, and in the upper South, October and sometimes September can be fine choices, but Gulf Coast brides must remember those months come with the fine print of bringing late season hurricanes. The spring months may also seem tempting, but the frequently strong Southern spring thunderstorms make mothers of the bride anxious to the point of serious breakdowns with a sprinkling of hissy fits.

This past August, Prudence Stapleton-Staples decided to host her daughter’s wedding at the lush poolside of their huge estate in Crestview Florida. Lucky for Pru, there was an unseasonably cool breeze blowing during the first half of the ceremony. But by the time the reception rolled around, the breeze had died and the oppressive North Florida temperatures returned. Pru’s hormonal book club friends began to fan themselves to the point of hysteria while the icing on the five-tiered cake melted and slid onto the table. The little plastic bride and groom were found later that night lodged between globs of buttercream and monogramed napkins.

By the end of the evening, not realizing the refreshing icy spritzers were spiked, most of the Baptists had given up on any well-bred manners and plunged themselves into the pool, most, still wearing their wedding finery, while the Presbyterians and Methodists jumped in to cool off and join the fun. The wedding photographer never had so many requests for prints, proving that blackmail is indeed ecumenical.

  • Leslie Anne, I have been to two October weddings that the guests were glued to TV’s that were set up in different reception areas for Alabama and Auburn viewing. Lots of money was spent for the guests to watch TV during a full 7-course meal!

  • My daughter’s wedding is next August, but it’s in Michigan, so could be hot or not, you never know. Also it is strictly indoors with the exception of an outdoor terrace that is optional for a breath of fresh air during the night 🙂

    • Hooray for Michigan in August! I’ve been there in July and was amazed I had to wear a sweater at night! I’m sure you’ve got great weather and romance ahead!

  • Funny article! And so true! You have a way with words, Leslie Anne. The cornfield mowed in the shape of Greek letters is a hoot. LOL. We got married at Seaside at the end of October. Wedding was supposed to be on the beach but a cold front blew into town, so last minute, we decided to wed in the house my dad had rented. Now I just wish it was the cute little chapel that they have at Seaside. Maybe we will renew our vows there one day.

    • A renewal in the chapel would be precious! Smart you to head for the breezy beach and to also be flexible for last minute crazy Gulf Coast weather!

  • ? ? ? We went to an outdoor wedding in Selma and it was so hot I had to change my clothes after the ceremony and wear something completely different {and dry} to the reception and the only thing I had was a long white skirt and white top…a total no no to wear white to a wedding, and I know people were shocked but it was too hot too care! Good bridal advice, especially the part about football season!

    • Weddings in Selma are pushing their luck to have it outdoors any time of the year. They are on the South Alabama line of being hot 12 months a year! You did good not to show up at the reception in your swimsuit!

  • I love the dream of an outdoor wedding but it’s misery. I’m so hot natured and having to sit in the open hot sun in the summer is frankly asking to much of guests! I loved this truthful funny tale………

    • I’ve been to a couple of outdoor weddings in the past few years that were lovely, but you never know . . . Better safe and cool than sorry and sweaty!

  • Karyn Tunks says:

    It made me sweat, er, glisten, just reading about outdoor summer Southern weddings. On this eve of my 23 wedding anniversary, I’m glad I had enough sense to plan for an indoor wedding, even if the only “guests” were the tourists wandering through the Victorian Lobby at the Menger Hotel. (:

  • Ellen Shook says:

    Hysterical! We just today received an invitation to our niece’s OUTDOOR wedding in New Orleans. Maybe I should send her a copy of your article!

    • But don’t give her my address. Perhaps she’ll have a tent with fans. New Orleans stays muggy year round! Let me know how it goes!

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