In recent years more couples than ever are getting married in outdoor ceremonies. Outdoor ceremonies can be beautiful and romantic but there are a few things to consider when planning your big day.
Mother nature can be unpredictable, especially on your wedding day. The first obvious concern would be rain. Having a solid back up plan should the weather turn damp is very important. But also consider that the heat can be just as impactful on your wedding day as rain. A bright summer day may seem beautiful but can torture for you and your guests in the heat without some shade. Which brings me to…
Choosing a location
Having your outdoor wedding ceremony in an open field basking under the summer sun may sound nice but could become very uncomfortable very quickly for both you and your guests. Remember that your guests will be seated sometime before the ceremony begins, meaning that their time in the sun will be much longer then yours. Consider choosing a ceremony location that will offer shade at the time of the ceremony. Both you and your guests will be cooler and more comfortable during the ceremony, especially for anyone wearing a suit. If a shady location is not an option, consider a canopy or providing parasols for your guests.
Yes, sound is important! Your will need a way for your guests to hear the ceremony and a way for music to be played during the ceremony. Look into renting a small amp and mic for your officiant to use during the ceremony. Make sure you have someone reliable to take care of your music during the ceremony to avoid awkward music changes and silence.
Looking your best
Choosing a location with shade will not only make you feel better but you will look better too. When the sun is high in the sky, it creates dark shadows under your eyes, nose and causes you to squint. It will be difficult for you to relax your face in the bright sun and it will show in your photos. Consider options that will defuse the light, such as a shady tree or canopy. You could also choose to have your ceremony take place late in the day when the sun is low in the sky, providing softer light.
Making your guest comfortable
Just because it looks good, does not mean it’s comfortable. When planning seating for your ceremony, keep in mind that while you will be standing, your guests will be sitting. Make sure that what they are sitting on is not going to make for an uncomfortable experience. Hay bails, for example, can be incredibly prickly on the legs. If you are going to use them for seating, throw a blanket over them. If your wedding is taking place in the warmer months think about providing fans, sun hats and cool drinks for your guests to enjoy.
If your ceremony will be taking place during the cooler months keep in mind that your guests may get chilly. Provide some fuzzy throws to keep everyone toasty.
That Sinking Feeling
So you found some amazing shoes to go with your amazing dress, only problem is that you may find those beautiful heels sinking into the grass. If you are set on wearing heels instead of flats for your outdoor ceremony, pick up a pair of Soul Mates. They are a fantastic little invention that goes over your shoe heels, preventing you from sinking into the grass and protecting the heels of your shoes.
Wind and pests
One can wreck your hair and the other your whole day. When decorating your wedding site remember that certain flowers will attract bugs, while others will keep them away. Try incorporating things like sprigs of rosemary, lavender, mint, and thyme and avoid baby’s breath and peonies. Have citronella torches or candles on hand for the evening. If you are having an outdoor reception, try to avoid foods that will melt easily in the heat or that will be attractive to flies and bees. Use trash bins that close with a lid that keep pests out.
Keep in mind that wind cannot only wreak havoc on your hair but on your ceremony site as well. Make sure canopies, tents and table clothes are properly fastened down.
Holding your ceremony at a park or popular venue may come with unwanted noise and an audience. May sure when booking an outdoor venue that during the ceremony you wont have to contend with total strangers walking through your ceremony or shrieking children playing at a nearby park. Also, make sure you have the appropriate permits for your ceremony location and photography.
Your Wedding Party
Don’t forget the comfort of your wedding party. Choose wedding attire that is appropriate to the weather an/or venue. Hot, unforgiving suits and floor length gowns will make for a long and uncomfortable day.