Climate change and your outdoor wedding ceremony — things to keep in mind.

It’s 2018 and I’m almost at the end of the wedding season. I’ve been delighted by the couples I’ve served and we’ve had a lot of fun. But here on Vancouver Island it’s been exceptionally hot, we’ve been in drought, and have suffered an alarming number of forest fires. As a matter of fact the province of British Columbia was forced to declare a state of emergency this summer.

What do drought and forest fires (besides the obvious) have to do with weddings you ask? It’s simple blazing heat can make or break your ceremony.

Most of my wedding ceremonies run around the 30 minute mark from processional to recessional. It’s not that long in the scheme of things. This year, on more than one occasion, I vividly remember looking into the eyes of couples who were melting, sweat dripping down and energy levels flagging. (These were 3 and 4 o’clock weddings by the way.) The front rows of the ceremony space were vacant as the guests struggled to find a shady spot in the back so that they could enjoy and still be a part of things. As the officiant I want to have mercy on them all and my only option is to talk faster — which I try not to do because it detracts from the ceremony we worked so hard on together.

Nonetheless climate change is here for good — here are my suggestions for keeping things cool.

  • Choose a May or October wedding date when temperatures are typically cooler

Still having an afternoon outdoor wedding?

  • Provide lots of cold water for your guests while they wait

Just one more tip (non-heat related.) When planning your wedding at a super special location, like a waterfall, bear in mind the mobility of your elderly guests. Make sure there’s an easy way to transport them to the location.

Getting married in the Parksville/Qualicum area this summer and looking for an officiant? Go to my website: and fill in the “Let’s get to know you” form at the bottom. Or drop me a line at

Every happiness on your wedding day and beyond!

I love life, nature, dogs, computers and flaw-some people. I own & operate Oceanside Celebrant Services in Qualicum Beach, BC

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