Outdoor weddings are a picturesque way to take advantage of the season and infuse your wedding with some non-traditional elements. There are different concerns you’ll need to keep in mind about having your ceremony and/or reception outside. Use these tips, rules, and general guidelines to ensure that your outdoor wedding is everything you imagined it would be:
Comfort is key.
Make sure you and your guests are comfortable in an outdoor venue. Depending on the season, this may mean providing fans or outdoor heating, refreshing or warming beverages.
Researching these aspects early on in venue planning can help you determine if amenities are offered at your proposed venue and, if they are not, then you can obtain them in plenty of time. Another nice touch is to make sure that there’s at least one well-lit path to the bathrooms, whether they are located inside a building or a temporary restroom trailer.
Check the Rules.
Check to see what kinds of rules and/or permits you may need to obtain in order to get married or host a reception at an outdoor venue. Tying the knot at a picturesque park, beach, or mountaintop is wonderful, and complying with any regulations or paperwork before the date helps ensure that your day runs smoothly.
Here comes the sun.
Talk to your photographer and/or videographer about lighting. Consider how and where the sun will hit when planning the ceremony and seating arrangements so Aunt Margaret doesn’t go blind from the sunset.
Also consider how the natural lighting will affect your wedding photography; you may decide you want to plan taking wedding pictures on a different day entirely, or you might ask your photographer to bring lighting equipment. Foresight regarding lighting can be useful with the festivities and the behind-the-scenes photography.
Provide weather accessories for your guests.
Pretty baskets filled with items such as parasols, paper fans, and pashminas can help guests deal with the elements. Not only is it a thoughtful gesture to take care of your loved ones, but the coordinated accessories will contribute to the ambience of your day and the pictures commemorating it.
Windproof (and waterproof) your decor.
Make sure that all your décor can withstand a strong breeze, as wind is a possibility in most places. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding and reception, consider having a back-up plan or a tent in case of precipitation.
Find an expert.
When in doubt, find an expert! If an outdoor venue does weddings regularly, they are likely to either cover details such as furniture and tents, or they’ll be able to offer advice on the best practices for weddings.
Prepare your guests with details.
A wedding website is the perfect place to include details about your wedding so that guests can plan accordingly. You can include a photo of the venue, a weather prediction, advice regarding footwear, and information about any worst-case scenario plans you may have.
Barring a website, including this in invitations is a thoughtful way to inform all your guests while reducing the number of urgent questions you receive in the week leading up to your wedding.
Your outdoor wedding adds another layer of personality to your special day – it can be adventurous or serene, wild or carefully cultivated. The options are limitless, and it’s entirely up to you!