How to pull off an outdoor wedding…
The bright blue skies, the beautiful sunshine & romantic breeze.. an outdoor wedding is the ultimate dream! However, the reality could be somewhat different if you don’t plan, plan & plan some more! Check out our best tips & things to think about when planning an outdoor wedding, from keeping your guests comfortable to coming up with a rain strategy ‘just in case’.
Just because an outdoor area such as a beach, is classed as a public area, it doesn’t mean it is free for use as a wedding venue. Do your research & check out any fees, donations & regulations as a priority! That way there will be no nasty surprises later on down the road.
Beach… Let’s face it, who wouldn't want to close their eyes & hear the sound of gently lapping waves! If your dream is to marry with the sand beneath your toes then make sure you take the following points into consideration - A sea breeze will mean it is essential to secure all your decor! You will probably have to accept that your hairstyle may not look quite the same post-ceremony & that real candles are definitely going to be a bad idea. Make sure you do your research & choose the time of year for your wedding very wisely! Most couples will think about the weather when booking their big day, but outside venues such as beaches can throw up their own challenges, such as attracting a lot of bugs at different times of the year. If you do opt for a beach wedding you will also have to factor into your budget additional things such as tables, chairs & catering equipment.
Garden… Weddings which take place in yours, or a loved ones garden can be a great way to save on the pennies, & the sentimental value can be priceless. You will still need to shell out on rentals & there is much to consider. Will you need to hire a marquee if the inside of the house isn’t a viable option if the rain comes? What about toilets? It is definitely worth considering some portable toilets to avoid all your guests entering your house to use the facilities. Does the home’s kitchen doesn’t suit your catering needs? Is there anyone who can help out, or would you prefer to bring outside caterers in? One thing that many forget about is the parking situation! Will this pose a problem, or is there ample space? It's also important to think about liability insurance which covers personal injury & property damage.
The beautiful scenery comes courtesy of Mother Nature however she doesn’t supply the light, sound or temperature control unfortunately! If your site doesn’t have electricity you will need generators for the catering equipment & amps and speakers for your DJ or band. There is lots of beautiful lighting about these days, such as string festoons, which can really set the scene. Our advice would be to get an electrician to survey your site before you make any big decisions.
As much as it pains us to say, you need to be organised for the worst case scenario. Think about your ‘rainy day plan’. It’s worth putting a deposit down on a marquee or tipi if there's no indoor option ‘just in case’. And don't wait until the last minute to make the call! Keep up to date on the weather forecast & make the call at least the day before. Have a stash of umbrellas to offer to your guests if needs be & keep a stack of fluffy towels in the restrooms. A basket filled with warm blankets or pashminas adds a nice touch & will be appreciated especially in the evening.
Choose Your Decor Wisely:
Getting married in the great outdoors practically guarantees a glorious backdrop. Make sure you are using the setting of your outdoor wedding to inspire your theme & decor. Unlike most indoor weddings, you get to choose the focal point for your nuptials. Use the scenery to inform where you’ll exchange vows, and mark the spot with a ceremony arch festooned in fabric & florals. Of course we can help with this! Just get in touch to see how firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're thinking that an outdoor wedding has to be a casual affair which welcomes a rustic vibe only, then think again! You really can let your creativity run wild with inspiration from elegant, formal looks & statement entrances to romantic tablescapes & natural decor.
Avoid lightweight table centres which could easily tip over in the breeze. Naked flamed candles are a big risk therefore it is advisable to opt for LED ones. Make sure they all have new batteries in for the occasion, to avoid any running out on the day. If you do have your heart set on real candles, make sure they are in tall breeze-blocking vases or holders.
Use banquet style tables. Outdoor weddings are all about family, & friends that have become family. Use your table plan to celebrate that by bringing everyone together, family style. Banquet tables set a warm, communal tone that is often lost with other seating styles. This style of seating also makes it easy to adopt a ‘family style dining experience’ whereby your guests pass around the dishes to one another, so they can really interact & feel at home.
Hopefully the above has given you some food for thought & helped a little when making the decision on whether an outdoor wedding is the right choice for you & your partner. We have only just touched the surface here & will definitely go into further details in a second blog post, especially with regards to outdoor decor. With an outdoor wedding you are practically free to create your own venue, & there really are some beautiful decor options out there which will compliment your beautiful, natural environment just perfectly!