Summer continues to be a popular time for weddings thanks to the sunny weather and ample vacation time. But, they also come with an added challenge: staying cool.

While you may be prepared to provide shade, fans and other accommodations to help guests beat the heat, don’t overlook the menu. Rising temperatures and humidity can especially make choosing the right foods tricky.

Amanee Neirouz, executive catering and pastry chef at Tristan Catering + Events, says to avoid serving dairy-rich foods like cheese or anything too heavy when it’s hot out. She

“I would also not recommend a croquembouche or French macarons. Humidity is the enemy with that one!” she advises, adding that it’s important to keep desserts like the wedding cake properly chilled to prevent a melted disaster.

To keep guests both cool and satisfied, here are six chill food and beverage ideas to add to your summer wedding menu.

1. Raw Seafood

Rather than risk overheating guests with an outdoor grill or smoker, consider offering raw protein in the form of seafood dishes. Neirouz recommends light and refreshing dishes like “a ceviche with fresh, local fish, lychee, mango and cilantro or a coctel de camerone on a tostada with avocado and citrus.”

You can also go the Asian cuisine route and serve up fresh fish via a sushi or poke bowl station.

2. Cold Soup

If you’re planning on serving a soup course, skip the creamy tomato or spicy tortilla and go with a chilled option. A Spanish gazpacho (a cold soup made of blended raw vegetables) or smooth and cold avocado soup is the perfect appetizer on a hot summer day.

3. Summer Salad

You can also start your guests off with a light summer salad to whet their appetites without weighing them down. A caprese salad with slices of mozzarella, tomato and basil is a classic warm-weather option. Or, you can lean into summer ingredients with a spinach and strawberry salad topped with sliced almonds and poppy seed vinaigrette.

4. Fresh Fruit

Give your guests a bite of summer by serving fresh, in-season fruits like bite-sized slices of watermelon, kiwis slices shaped like flowers or kabobs with strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and grapes. Not only are these tasty and healthy appetizers, but they’re also a great way to add plenty of color to your spread.

5. Ice-Cold Drinks

A quick way to cool everyone off from all that celebrating is with plenty of ice-cold drinks. In addition to summer standards like ice tea and lemonade, consider adding a signature frozen drink or two to your menu. Frozen mai thais, margaritas and frozen daiquiris are all great options, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box; alcoholic slushies, for example, are fun, playful and refreshing.

6. Frozen Treats

To top off your wedding menu, nothing says summer like a sweet, frozen treat. The possibilities are almost endless: ice cream sandwiches, popsicles, sorbet, ice cream floats, milkshakes – as long as it is cold and sugary, you can’t go wrong!

©CTW Features