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Rules around performing ceremonies in the heat - what are the celebrant’s rights and responsibilities?
It's pretty hot out there at the moment and it's very important that we look after ourselves when working in the heat. Celebrant, valued member of The Celebrants Network and regular blogger, Susie Roberts is taking us through all the tips and tricks for what to do when you have an outdoor ceremony in the heat.
So, you have a wedding coming up and it is predicted to be a very hot day…….what are your rights as a worker, and your responsibilities to the guests and the couple?
As a Celebrant, you have a right to being safe whilst at your place of work, and that safety also includes being protected from Heat Hazards.
Some of these Heat illness hazards: (as spelled out by ACTU)
- skin rashes
- heat cramps
- heat exhaustion
- heat stroke
As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, 19th December 2019, the ACTU are releasing new guidelines and advice for working in heat.
The Herald reported "The advice includes taking 10-minute hourly breaks in temperatures of 30 to 32 degrees and up to 45 minutes in temperatures above 42 degrees. Advice on unsafe air quality, associated health risks and the need to work inside at times of high exposure are also outlined.”
So……..what can you do for YOU?
- Drink lots and lots of water.
Slip Slap Slop Wrap:
- Put on some high factor sunscreen.
- Cover up with either a long sleeve top (as light as possible) or with a shawl.
- Don a wide brimmed hat.
- Bung on your sunnies (which you will remove, of course, for the ceremony).
- Find a leafy tree or a marquee etc
- Invest in a beautiful sun umbrella or fancy fan.
Take Breaks: (to repeat)
- 10-minute hourly breaks in temperatures of 30 to 32 degrees
- and up to 45 minutes in temperatures above 42 degrees
Put your hair up:
- Get your hair off the back of your neck and your forehead as this makes you hotter and sweatier.
Clean your glasses:
- As they will fog up if you get too hot, if you can find anti fogging cleaners that would be brilliant.
THE WEDDING GUESTS AND COUPLE.
As you are in charge of the ceremony, you need to ensure that the guests are safe in the heat too.
So………some commonsense actions would be:
- Make sure there is shade for everyone to get to, and yes, this will need to be a discussion with the couple before the wedding.
- Make sure that the couple organise a water station for the guests…….a huge bucket, filled with ice and bottled water does the trick.
- Suggest that there is priority seating, in the shade, for those most affected by heat……..the young, the elderly, pregnant women, asthmatics, etc.
- Suggest that there be a collection of sun umbrellas or old fashioned fans that the guests can access.
- Suggest an early morning or sunset wedding.
- Have the wedding on the shore line as hot sand can burn feet.
And………keep the ceremony lively and shortish if outside on a very very hot day.
AND……….always always always have a PLAN B, sometimes C as well.
The last thing the couple or yourself wants is for anyone to collapse from sun stroke or have to be taken off to hospital, so be very mindful of heat issues for Australian summer weddings.
Do you have any other handy hints?
Helpful advice here. I especially like the idea of little handheld fans.
For hot outdoor ceremonies I also suggest to the couple they provide water for guests (as they are often waiting for some time) and water under the signing table.
Thanks for the very sensible tips Ros. Having been caught out a few times, standing in full sun in over 40 degree heat, I'm am going to start having even stronger conversations with my couples well in advance, along the lines of,
'There absolutely has to be a Plan B for heat. Specifically, if it is over 35 degrees chairs and ceremony spot must be able to be moved into the shade.'