So, you have decided you want to go for that dream wedding you have always wanted – and its outside. Congratulations! Outdoor weddings are a thing of beauty and can be wonderfully romantic. However, there are many pitfalls that could turn your dream wedding into a nightmare. Follow these 6 easy steps to ensure your special day is a memory to last many lifetimes!
1 – Make your guests comfortable Be sure to consider what time of day, and year, you will be having your wedding – and plan accordingly. So, if it’s going to be sunny and hot, make sure your guests aren’t melting uncomfortably in the sunshine. Make sure you provide plenty of shaded areas complete with luxury garden furniture for your guests to relax on and soak up the romance and wonder of your special day. Another good idea for a hot summer wedding is to make sure you have ushers on hand with bottles of iced water to pass out amongst guests. Perhaps your wedding programme could be printed onto a fan so guest could cool themselves with it. it may also be a good idea to recommend your guests bring sunscreen! Alternatively, if you are having an outdoor wedding in a colder climate be sure to arrange for lots of outdoor heating, maybe even blankets on the seating so guest can cuddle up during the nuptials. Again some well-considered and good quality patio furniture can go a long way towards making your guests feel comfortable and warm so they can enjoy the ceremony.
2 – Have a Backup plan Even though you may not want to, always consider the worst case scenario when planning an outdoor wedding. For example, the ideal wedding location will have facilities for an indoor wedding should it be raining. It is not uncommon for a wedding to be outdoors and the reception indoors so in a pinch the tables can quickly be re-arranged to make room for the wedding party! Another option is to have a tent on standby, but ensure it is sturdy enough to withstand heavy rain storms and wind that may come with it.
3 – Make sure everyone can hear, When you imagine your dream outdoor beach wedding, you probably don’t consider other sounds you may hear at the beach. The waves may not be lapping gently on the shore but rolling in and crashing against the sand and only a small amount of wind will make it tricky for others to hear. This needs to be considered when making plans for an outdoor wedding. An easy way around this, particularly for larger weddings, is to prepare the area with a PA system with carefully placed microphones so the happy couple and a minister can be heard be everyone in attendance.
4 – Decorations A big attraction to an outdoor wedding is the natural beauty of the setting you have chosen and in some cases any decorations may lessen the wonder of the location. Having said that, some work will still be required, visit the site a week or so before the big day is a good idea to check the ground is ready and clean, flowers have bloomed and you can make a list of other things you may need to bring. Perhaps you want to place elaborate ribbons on the ends of rows of seating and if the wedding is on public ground you may want to ask someone close to you to arrive early to check the location is in a suitable condition for a wedding.
5 – Outdoor food The one thing that could definitely turn your dream day into a nightmare is food, and having food outdoors for any length of time could mean bacteria could grow on it and the last thing you want is to give your guests food poisoning! To avoid this, make sure your chosen caterer has experience of outdoor events and knows how to prepare for them along with owning the relevant equipment. Mayonnaise is a big no, and dishes that should be served cold should be avoided on those hot summer days.
6 – Enough to drink Make sure your guests have a good range of drinks to choose from and ensure they are not all alcoholic. The reason being that alcohol is dehydrating and when that is combined with being out in the sun for long periods of time people could become ill. Consider serving lemonades, punches, juice and water so people can break up their champagne and lager with a glass of ice cold juice!
If you stick with these key points your outdoor wedding is sure to be a roaring success that everyone will remember for years to come and will get your new life as a married couple off to a dream start.