It was a hot day Saturday. Not just warm. Not merely sultry. It was broiling. And I was wearing a suit and tie.
My wife and I attended a wedding last weekend in the Hill Country near Austin, and without a doubt, it was one of the most impressive venues I’ve seen — a Spanish-style open-air chapel on a hilltop with a view that went on for miles in every direction.
The bride was beautiful. The groom was handsome. The music — by an accomplished violinist and cellist — was sublime. The ceremony was touching and sweet.
And we were all hot. Very hot.
Scheduling an outdoor wedding in Texas in September is a crap shoot. It’s not quite fall, and the weather can be rainy — or it can be pretty hot. Last weekend it was sunny and 95.
Did I mention I was wearing a suit?
As we waited for the ceremony to begin, we jockeyed for a breeze and actually stayed fairly comfortable in the shade — for a while. But then the time for the ceremony came — and went. Half an hour later, it finally got underway. But by now, I was becoming a sweat puddle, as was my wife.
As the wedding drew to a close, all I could think about was air conditioning. I daydreamed about getting in our car and cranking the AC up as far as it would go and letting it freeze my ears off. I imagined how great it would be to dip a cloth in ice water and drape it across my neck.
My wife and I were so done with the heat.
Fortunately, we were able to go back to a nearby visitors center, buy some cool drinks and luxuriate in air-conditioned comfort for about an hour before heading off to the reception, which was at a restaurant in town.
On the way there, I imagined a cool, softly lit room — ideal for relaxing and recovering from the broiling afternoon sun.
But when we got to the restaurant, I was more than a bit stunned when the hostess told us our party was on the third-floor patio. Outdoors.
Undoubtedly, the concept of an outdoor reception as the sun was setting seemed like a great idea when the venue was booked in the spring — and had the temperature been about 15 degrees cooler, it would have been great.
But with the sinking sun beating down on the patio roof, even a decent breeze couldn’t make a dent in the simmering heat.
Over the next three hours, we had some wine, enjoyed tasty appetizers and a gourmet dinner and listened to some great music the groom had picked out for the evening.
But there was no escaping the heat, even after the sun went down. I couldn’t quit thinking about how hot I was — and the two men at our table who left their ties on the whole evening didn’t make it any easier. I still don’t know how they did that.
Shortly after the newlyweds cut the cake and had their first dance, we said our goodbyes and headed for the car. Needless to say, air-conditioning never felt so good. Ditto for the cool showers we took when we got back home.
We’ve all had that conversation about whether we’d rather be too cold or too hot. I’ve generally argued that I’d rather be cold, because you can put on lots of layers of clothing, gloves and hats to keep yourself warm, even though my teeth may still be chattering. But when you are seriously, incredibly hot, you just can’t take off enough clothes to get cool — especially in the daytime.
All in all, last weekend’s wedding was borderline spectacular, and we’re extremely glad we went. But the next time we get an invitation to an outdoor, daytime event in Texas we’re definitely going to double-check the calendar before we RSVP.
Dave Miller is deputy managing editor of the Killeen Daily Herald. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7543.