Ah, isn’t an outdoor wedding a beautiful affair? Brilliant blue skies, the blazing sun, relaxed atmosphere and green grass caressing the soles of your feet while you sip on a glass of champagne. But to achieve this picturesque fantasy, it takes lots of preparation! Here are 10 things you need to know to pull off an outdoor wedding!
1) Location, Location, Location!
One of the most important things that you need to know if you are planning an outdoor wedding, is the location! Are you set on a breezy beach wedding, a sweet southern ranch setting, a whimsical forest affair or a sophisticated garden party? Which ever you choose will have an impact on everything from the clothes you opt for, to the food you serve, to the weather on the day. Think about what is practical for you and your guests as well as pretty.
2) Blue skies or Grey Clouds?
Planning around the weather goes with the territory of an outdoor wedding. Although you may end up having to book your wedding on an inconvenient date, this is totally worth it for that perfect 30 degree temperature that you are after!
3) The Dress
For the bride, her dress is arguably the most important aspect of the wedding – without it, there is no wedding! It is very important to choose the dress based on the location and weather. A structured satin A-line dress would be a good choice for a church ceremony followed by an outdoor garden/marquee reception, while a glamorous mermaid gown would be great for a relaxed beach bash.
4) Which Way?
An outdoor venue can be a vast space and easy to get lost in. Create a designated pathway – complete with signs – across the area, leading to each point of the venue, such as the bar, the dining area and of course the dance floor! If you want to go the extra mile you can provide your guests with a lighthearted home made map of the venue. This is something they can keep as memorabilia after the wedding!
5) Bon Appetite!
Planning the food around the weather is a smart choice for an outdoor wedding. If you are serving fresh seafood in a hot climate for example, it’s worth stocking up on ice, or the thermal containers on hand for storing heated drinks at a cool forest wedding. Consider serving warm and cold food based on the weather; warming foods such as soups and risotto in cooler climates and cooling foods such as fresh salads and fancy sandwiches in warmer climates. If there are bugs about, be sure to have covers on hand to stop them from getting into the food before your guests have had a chance!
If you are thinking of incorporating twinkling fairy lights, a DJ/band, and some cool lighting, along with other electricity powered equipment, you need to think about how you will do this. Hiring an electricity generator is a good option.
7) Shelter From the Storm
Despite careful planning, the weather on the day may end up being cold or wet, particularly in a tropical or generally cool climate, so having a designated shelter such as a marquee or gazebo at the venue will ensure that your guests have somewhere to run to for shelter if they need it! This shelter could double as a dining area or drinks reception area so it won’t go to waste either way!
8) Light it up!
If you’re planning to party outdoors into the night, the surrounding area’s of the venue can be a little dim; providing your guests with torches or romantic lanterns will not only serve the important practical purpose of adding additional light to the venue and enabling your guests to see where they’re going, but also add to the rustic ambience of an outdoor wedding. Best to avoid accidents!
9) These Boots Are Made for Walking!
A muddy garden wedding or a sandy beach wedding will only ruin those beautiful Jimmy Choo’s that your guests eagerly purchased to flaunt at your wedding. Providing them with shoe covers, a place to leave their shoes or even alternative provide shoes such as wellies or flip flops for the duration of the ceremony will allow them to relax and enjoy the day as opposed to worrying about their best shoes being ruined by the elements!
10) Cosy it up
As lovely and picturesque as an outdoor wedding is, the hard seats can be uncomfortable, particularly if your guests will be seated for extensive periods of time. The simple solution to this is providing your guests with comfy cushions, and maybe even blankets to keep them cosy as the sun sets and the ceremony transitions into the reception.