Outdoor weddings are more than a trend: They’ve become a tradition of their own. Whether you have your heart set on a beach wedding, a wedding in an orchard, or even one in a Minnesota field (with horses in the background, naturally), it’s something that a lot of brides choose. However, as magical as a setting like this may be, having an outdoor wedding does take a bit more planning than one hosted inside. While this shouldn’t curb your enthusiasm for your ideal wedding site, it should help you work with the reality that Mother Nature can be fickle. Here’s our five tips for an outdoor wedding.
Have Shade Available
This is especially important if you’re going to be somewhere with a lot of sun, like the beach, but is also important no matter where you’re getting married. You should always have enough canopies available to shade your guests and, preferably, yourselves and your officiant. One reason is, of course, is comfort: You don’t want your guests sweltering more than necessary, nor do you want them to be half-blinded by the sun. Another, much more important reason, is safety: Sun burns are, indeed, burns, and sun strokes are definitely a thing. Not to mention that too much sunlight might make your pictures look horrible.
Take Terrain Into Account
This is one of the most common that people overlook when they plan their weddings. Yes, that little babbling brook just off of your favorite trail is a beautiful spot for a wedding. No, you shouldn’t expect your bridesmaids to make the hike in their chiffon dresses and strappy heels. And you shouldn’t expect your eighty-year-old Great-Aunt Ethel to do the same, either. Whether you’re getting married on grass, sand, or anything else, for that matter, make sure that your guests and wedding party can make it to the location without any undue burden (like stilettos in sand).
Don’t Forget About Insects
This is especially true if you’re getting married in an area that is known for a specific type of pest. Throughout most of the world, the main insect that you’re going to have to worry about will be the mosquito. This especially true in warm climates, or around bodies of water (ponds, especially). But, on the beach, you’ll also have to deal with sand fleas, while in fields, ants are likely to be a concern. Wherever you’re going to be married, take a moment to look at the bug life, and plan accordingly. Citronella candles will work wonders!
Ensure Your Guests are Comfortable
This is true whether you’re getting married indoors, outdoors, in cold, or in heat. Your guests should be comfortable at all times during your wedding. For outdoor weddings, this gets a little more complicated, because there will be problems that normally don’t arise inside. A good example is to have bottle water chilled and available for those who get too hot. (Have ushers bring them; it adds a touch of class.) You should also consider providing fans or, even better, have some of the electric variety run while they wait for you to walk down the aisle!
Have a Rain Plan
Most brides do this, but it bears repeating: Always have a rain plan. Always. No one can guarantee how the weather will turn out, and no one wants to say their vows in the middle of a thunderstorm while their expensive dress gets absolutely soaked. Better safe than sorry!
Tips for an outdoor wedding from the professional