6 Tips for Planning an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony
Outdoor weddings are beautiful, especially if you have a scenic natural background, but they can also be challenging to plan, especially if the weather in your venue location is unpredictable. Whether it’s sweltering heat in the summer months or an unexpected thunderstorm, it’s important to be well prepared for every possibility if you plan to say “I do” in the great outdoors wedding.
Here is my FREE ADVICE and TIPS
Keep everybody comfortable.
When you’re planning an outdoor wedding ceremony, it’s important to be thoughtful of your guests. After all, they’re here for you! For example, if the weather is going to be hot and sunny, think about providing sunglasses and sunscreen for everyone. If you’re planning on a winter wedding, consider having blankets on every seat or even coffee or hot cocoa on hand after the ceremony.
Create a Plan B you love.
Having a backup indoor plan for your outdoor wedding is a smart choice, but make sure it’s a plan that makes you happy. Of course, your dream ceremony will take place outdoors, but if you don’t have things you love about your backup plan, you’re headed for huge disappointment if the weather turns bad. Make sure to thoughtfully incorporate fun details into your Plan B so that your wedding day will be a blast no matter whether it’s inside or outside.
Put extra thought into makeup, hair, and wardrobe.
If you’re planning on having your ceremony outside, you’ll need to choose a hairstyle that’s wind-proof and won’t be easily destroyed by the weather. Talk to your stylist about what would work best with your hair and the expected weather. The same goes for your makeup—if your wedding may be humid, you’ll want to make sure your makeup won’t run and ruin your photos. A professional makeup artist can help you plan the perfect look that will hold up no matter the weather.
When you’re shopping for the perfect gown, think about the terrain at your venue and the temperature. If your wedding will be in a warmer month, consider also purchasing a reception dress that you can change into after the ceremony. You don’t want to be overheating when everyone else is on the dance floor. You’ll also want to put some thought into your shoes, as sharp heels can sink into grass or soft ground. Make sure your shoes are comfortable and easy to walk in.
Make sure your guests stay updated.
Use your wedding website to keep everyone up to speed on any changes due to the weather. Your website is also a great place to let guests know what to expect from your ceremony. For instance, you can offer tips on what to wear, such as “The reception will be held outside on the grass, so avoid heels.” Your guests will be grateful for any information ahead of time that will make them feel more prepared—and there will be less grumbling about the weather or the outdoor venue.
Talk to your vendors.
Not only should you let all your vendors know about both your outdoor ceremony and your backup plan, but you should also ask them for advice. Chances are they’ve all worked at outdoor weddings before and can offer some tips for decorating, keeping bugs away, and any other concerns you may have. The more advice you can get, the better prepared you’ll be!
Your wedding may not go exactly as you planned, and that’s okay! Just roll with it and make the most of the unexpected. For example, have some umbrellas on hand for some romantic rainy portraits in case of inclement weather. Instead of fretting about what could go wrong, enjoy what goes right and remember that the most important thing is you’re finally married to your best friend!
Perhaps you want to have more of a “simple” feel to your wedding, or maybe you want to take advantage of some spectacular local scenery. Or maybe you just think it will be great fun to have an outdoor wedding in your parent’s backyard!
Whatever the case, there are a few considerations you need to think about…
Of course, the weather is the “biggy” for an outdoor wedding. If you live in an area that experiences inclement weather, you will definitely need to have a back-up option. This means either renting tents or having an indoor option that you could move to at the last minute.
If your outdoor wedding will involve celebrating the night, you will need to consider how chilly the evening air will be for your guests. If you’re worried about the temperature at your outdoor wedding, make sure to tell guests to bring a wrap or jacket. You can also rent heat lamps or even fire pits, depending on the style of your wedding.
On the other hand, if your outdoor wedding will take place during a particularly warm time of year, you may want to consider ways of keeping your guests cool. Make sure there is some sort of shade available for guests on a hot day – whether it’s from trees, tents, or umbrellas!
The ground beneath your feet!
One consideration that couples often overlook when planning an outdoor wedding is the ground. If the ground is gravelled, uneven, or moist lawn (into which high heels can sink!), women will have trouble walking in their high heels. In consideration of your guests, young and old, think about whether the ground is easily navigable in formal wear.
PLUS, if you’re setting up chairs on uneven ground or moist lawn, you’ll have to watch out for wobbly seating!
On a similar note, you may need to consider renting a dance floor for an outdoor wedding. Uneven ground, moist lawns, or gravelly, rocky terrain are tough to dance on. Your friends and relatives – especially the elderly ones – will appreciate some attention to the dance floor!
The direction of the sun
If your outdoor wedding will include a ceremony under the noonday sun; saying your vows in the late afternoon; or champagne toasts over speeches at sunset, think for a moment about how the sun will shine on your guests. If guests need to stare into the glare of the sun to try to make out the bride & groom’s silhouettes, you may want to rethink the timing or positioning of the different elements of your event.
Now here’s a topic that doesn’t spring quickly to mind when you’re planning your romantic outdoor wedding in a beautiful natural setting… BUGS! All too many summer evening wedding receptions are plagued by pesky mosquitoes; some parts of the world have an even worse time of it with black flies, wasps, and other nasty critters.
So what can you do to prevent a buggy invasion on your special day? Well, dotting a few citronella candles here and there can’t hurt. Discreetly placing a bottle of bug spray behind the centrepiece on each table isn’t a bad idea, either! Another great way to keep the bugs at bay during your outdoor wedding is to strategically place a few fans at the perimeter of your reception seating to blow those bugs away.
When you’re having an outdoor wedding, one thing you’ll definitely have to expect is… the unexpected!
Unexpected heat: Will your wedding cake melt in the noonday sun? Will your grandmother get heat stroke?
Unexpected noise: Will a city parade, jet plane air show, traffic jam, or neighbourhood game of kickball create unexpected noise at your event? Ask your neighbours to refrain from using their leaf blowers during your ceremony; consider dropping off event notices around the neighbourhood asking people to respect your event.
Unexpected bad weather: What will you do if the wind picks up and starts blowing everything away? What if a massive thunder and lightning storm decides to roll in just as everyone is sitting down to dinner?
When you have an outdoor wedding, you simply have to be a little more prepared than you would for an indoor event. But it can certainly be worth it! A beautiful garden, a sandy beach, the backyard of a childhood home… all of these outdoor wedding locations can be meaningful, romantic, and spectacularly beautiful.
Of course, another great option is to find a wedding venue that offers an outdoor space – plus an indoor reception area that can be used as your backup option. Some wedding venues will even set up tents and take care of all the outdoor wedding details FOR you!
Some hotels in West Midlands that will allow you to have outdoor weddings are as follows
For more than 10 years, Ikonic Media Solutions Photography has offered Birmingham and the surrounding areas with a wide range of award-winning photography and videography services at an affordable price. We specialize in wedding, family portrait, high school senior portraits and commercial photography. Our team of photographers and videographers is made up of experienced professionals who have a passion for what they do and who thrive on meeting your needs.
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