If you are considering the Red Sea as a wedding destination, this post is definitely for you. As a planner offering wedding services in Sharm el Sheikh, and now looking to expand to the wider Red Sea region, I regularly receive enquiries from couples who are thinking of tying the knot in Egypt during their pre-planned holidays. It makes my heart happy, because in all honesty, I can’t think of a better, exotic place to get married. You get the beach, the sun, no risk of rain, good value for money, and it is really accessible from the UK.
Having said that, there are certain times of the year where I personally feel the Red Sea is not the most ideal wedding destination. So, when is it a good time to get married in Egypt, and more specifically in Sharm el Sheikh and the Red Sea region? To answer this question we need to consider three factors: wind, heat and resources.
There is no point in talking about average yearly temperature, because generally speaking the temperature in the Red Sea region is between mild/warm to hot. When I talk about “mild” I’m referring to what in England is probably considered “summer” temperature – a balmy 18-22C can hardly be considered cold, and that’s more or less the coldest it ever gets in the day in this region. So when is a good season for a destination wedding in the Red Sea? Here’s a breakdown of what the seasons look like so you can make your mind up, and then 6 tips if you decide to go ahead with a summer wedding:
Weddings in the Red Sea between Christmas and end of February
Between the end of December and February the high is between 22-25C during the day, and 15-18C at night time (there are exceptions, of course); but, in general, in the winter months, Sharm el Sheikh is perfect for t-shirt and shorts in the day, and a leather jacket and jeans at night. The problem with winter months, however, is wind. I’ve experienced Sharm on days when the wind is so powerful that outdoor bars struggle to stay open. Should you have an outdoor wedding, you could be in a bit of trouble, particularly if your venue is not suitable for an indoor wedding. And not all are! If you decide to get married during this period, I highly recommend that you choose a venue with heated marquee facilities, which will allow you to stay warm at night if temperature drops below 18C. If the wind picks up, no marquee will be enough to withstand it, so you would also want to make sure that your venue has a suitable and equally beautiful indoor back up. You will also need to bear in mind that an outdoor ceremony could be a bit tricky. Decorations are not likely to stay in place so be prepared for a scaled-down version of what you had planned.
Weddings in the Red Sea between March and May, and October to December
March to May and October to first half of December are probably my favourite months of the year for a Sharm el Sheikh / Red Sea wedding. Temperatures are perfect: between 25-30C in the day and 18-23C at night. It feels dry and pleasant all day long and more importantly it is less likely to be windy for days on ends. While I can never guarantee the weather for my clients (if I could I’d be a very rich woman!), these 6 months are absolutely perfect for a beach or an outdoor wedding in Sharm el Sheikh and other Red Sea destinations.
Summer weddings in the Red sea
And then you have the “summer” months: May to September… Based on the requests I receive, these are the most requested months for weddings in Sharm, and that’s simply because that is when people take their holidays. However, having done a wedding there in June, there is one major factor you need to bear in mind: it is HOT. And when I say hot, I mean that it feels as if someone is pointing a hair dryer on you all day and night. It’s all well and good when you are walking around in a bikini and spending more time in the water sipping cocktails than out of the water. But, when you are wearing a wedding gown or a suit, it becomes a bit trickier to bear. The heat will also affect the kind of fresh flowers you can use and whether or not you can have a dessert table. So here are my suggestions if you are thinking of a summer wedding in the Red Sea:
1. Accept that you will not be able to get married in the afternoon. The hours between 11am and 5pm are the hottest (I’ve experienced 45C and I can promise you it’s not pleasant), so plan for a ceremony approximately 1 hour before sunset.
2. If pictures in the day time are important to you, arrange to have a “first-look” session with your photographer. This means that you and your spouse will have a chance to see each other before anyone else does, in a private, intimate setting. Anyone who has done this will tell you that it feels incredibly special, and it gives your photographer the chance to capture a few moments of the two of you completely alone and relaxed. If you have a sunset ceremony, it is likely that you won’t have many pictures in the day time, so a “first-look” could be the perfect solution.
3. Swap flowers for props. Keeping flowers fresh with temperatures around 40C is not easy, even for the best of florists. Although the Egyptian florists I deal with are not terribly fazed by the heat, they do require that the venue has air-conditioned facilities where they can keep the flowers until your ceremony and reception. Choosing a venue that can accommodate this is vital. Alternatively I suggest swapping flowers for props. You can decorate with arabian lanterns, candles, beautifully styled silk table runners, sand, shells and sea urchins.
4. Wear a gown or a suit made of natural fabrics, such as linen or silk. Avoid man-made fabrics like polyester at all cost. You need to make sure your skin is breathing freely and comfortably. Look for a gown that is floaty and not too tight to your skin.
5. Drink plenty of water! It sounds cliche, but it’s amazing how many people forget to drink water when they are in an all-inclusive resort where they have access to cocktails all day long. On your wedding day you want to arrive as hydrated as you possibly can, so steer clear of any alcohol until after your ceremony and drink plenty of refreshing water.
6. Do not sunbathe on your wedding day. Apart from avoiding the obvious “lobster-look”, you will want to avoid the risk of sunstroke, especially if you have just arrived and you haven’t acclimatised yet. The heat can be incredibly tiring, so you will want to make sure that on your wedding day you (and your guests!) stay cool and hydrated, so as to avoid headaches, tiredness and in worse cases, even dizziness and confusion.
There are many more suggestions I could be giving you, but these are my top priorities for you. A wedding in the Red Sea is a fantastic idea, but like all places, you need to be aware of potential dangers. If possible, get married during the most pleasant months of the year (March to May and October to mid December). If the summer months are the only option you have, however, do bear the above suggestions in mind so as to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Baci e abbracci (xo)