With summer rolling around and fall quickly behind, many of you may be in the process of planning an outdoor wedding. Outdoor weddings give you so many more options when it comes to location and usually provides beautiful scenery. On the other hand, there are so many more potential problems and obstacles that can arise by having an outdoor wedding. This is mainly due to the fact that you never know for sure what on earth the weather is going to do. So here are some tips for planning out an outdoor wedding.
First you need to decide which location you want to have your wedding at. Have you had your heart set on a beach front wedding at sunset ever since you were a little girl dreaming about your wedding? Or maybe you prefer a more rustic, woodsy setting. The options are endless: at the park where you shared your first kiss, in your country home backyard, in an open pasture, the list goes on and on!
Once you choose your location, be sure to go through the proper procedures. Be sure no one has booked the area for another wedding or event. If the site is public property, get a permit to hold you wedding there if a permit is required. Most parks and public beaches require a permit. Also, check with the park board on what the rules and regulations are on trash removal, candles, etc.
Once you have chosen a location, you will need to set a date. While setting the date, keep in mind of what the weather is like there during that time of year. I’m from Missouri and this time of year would be an awful time for a wedding – it’s 80 degrees and sunny one day and 40 and windy the next! You know what your area is like so keep that in mind.
Prepare accordingly for the potential weather and have a backup location in case the rain tries to spoil your day. One item that can really save the day is a tent or canopy. A tent can save you from light rain and a canopy can help shade your guests on a hot, sunny day. A tent isn’t the cure all for all rain though; if it is a downpour, the ground under the tent will get soggy and muddy. You’ll still want to have a backup, indoor location just in case. Another weather factor you need to take into consideration is the wind. When choosing hair and make up styles, relate to your hair stylist that you’re going to have an outdoor wedding. The stylist will be sure to give you a fantastic look that won’t be blowing away in the wind.
Be sure to take care of your guests. If it’s going to be a hot day, have paper fans and bottled water available to your guests. Be mindful of your guests when you’re setting up the seating, etc. Make sure they’re not blinded by the sun the entire ceremony. It’s also nice to give them a heads-up in the invitation what to expect. For example, suggest they wear comfortable shoes for sand or soft ground or to bring sunscreen or a sun hat for a bright day.
Keep your guests in mind on a few other notes as well. With an outdoor ceremony, you’ll discover a lot of extra noise all around, whether it be the waves coming ashore or the wind blowing through the trees. Work with your band or DJ to get a wireless microphone, etc. set up for you, your spouse to be, and the officiant. Also, be aware of any pesky insects that might bother you and your guests. Use decorative citronella candles or tiki torches to keep mosquitoes away!
Here are some things you may or may not think about while you’re planning, but are important to help your day go as smoothly as possible. Have ample seating for your guests both at the ceremony and reception. There are a lot of table and chair rental companies out there, and most of them also offer linens, chair covers, and tents. Linens and chair decor are great ways to boost the overall look of the set up. If you’re holding the reception outdoors as well, you’ll more than likely need to rent a dance floor. Find a portable dance floor company so you can keep boogieing with the DJ or band all night long!
Something that may slip your mind is the restrooms. Especially if your reception is also being held outdoors, you will probably want to rent some portable restrooms. If you’re already turning your nose up at the idea, don’t be afraid! These days a lot of portable restroom companies offer luxury restrooms for special events, just like weddings.
A outdoor wedding is a beautiful way to have your special day. Keep in mind these suggestions when planning. Also, take tips and advice from any of your vendors who have worked outdoor events. They have the experience and know about situations that can arise.
Peace, Love, & Gigs!
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