Planning Tips for a Summer Outdoor Wedding

When I work with brides, I am finding that more of them are in love with the idea of having a beautiful outdoor ceremony. The word outdoor is very broad and every bride’s vision is different. It could be beachside, in a park, on a mountain, or in a field. One allure of the outdoor wedding is that nature is already beautiful so many brides wants this element intertwined into their big day.  In today’s blog post NE would like to discuss all of the factors that should be considered when planning an outdoor wedding to ensure that is it an amazing day for you and your guests!  Here are some helpful tips:

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1. Have a Plan B and by that I mean a RAIN LOCATION! This is the most important and most frequently overlooked component of planning an outdoor wedding. What will you do if it rains? Weather is very unpredictable and that light sprinkle the weatherman forecasted could turn into a torrential downpour. Wedding dates are typically set about a year in advance, so it  is important to have a backup plan in case of bad weather. Large outdoor tents make a great alternative if it is a light rain, but if the rain is beyond a sprinkle than you will need to move the ceremony inside. The majority of brides have their reception indoors with an outside ceremony. In this case, the reception space could be converted into a ceremony location.

2. Keep Your Guests Cool and Comfortable. Nobody enjoys putting on their best outfit and going to wedding only to sweat like crazy due to the heat. Be sure to have to have a cooling device such as quiet fans or air conditioners (especially for tented receptions). Guests appreciate it when you provide them with individual fans, small bottles of water or even a frozen beverage to keep them comfortable in the sweltering heat. Remember, we want the guests to be happy too!

3. Protection from the Sun. Consider giving each guest a small bottle of sunscreen and sunglasses as this is something that people always forget to bring to weddings. Depending on your wedding style, parasol umbrellas make for a nice addition and provide your guests with additional shade. You can even manage to work these items in as wedding favors.

4. Keep the bugs away. Visit your wedding venue during the season and time of day of your wedding. If you are getting bit or noticing insects, chances are this will happen to your wedding guests too! If there is a swarm of flies or mosquitos buzzing from person to person, your guests are going to be focused on swatting those nuisances (I know I would). This distraction takes aways from the focus of the wedding ceremony and makes for cranky guests. To keep this from occurring, use either insect repellant lamps (the one’s that don’t make the zapping noise), or candles/torches that contain oils that repel insects such as citronella, lemongrass, or peppermint oil. A good ole fashioned can of bug spray works wonders too if guests don’t mind smelling like it all day!

5. Be mindful of your wedding pictures. It is always the hottest at times closest to noon — the sun will be directly overhead and creates an intense shadowing effect. To beat the heat…and the shadows, try to take your pictures in the morning or in the late afternoon/evening. Meet with your photographer for more advice on lighting recommendations and best shoot times.

View More: http://kaitlinnoelphotography.pass.us/applesds

6. Choose Your Wedding Location Wisely. While a beach ceremony may be beautiful, they may also be very windy and the crashing waves may be difficult to hear over. Be sure to plan accordingly based on your location. If you choose a public park and there is residential noise, check into renting lapel microphones for the officiant, bride, and groom so that everyone can hear the ceremony. There is nothing worse than a wedding ceremony where no one hears anything that is said.

7. Provide Chairs with Cushions or Covers. If the weather is gorgeous on the day of your outdoor wedding, that means the sun is out! If this is the case, chairs (especially the metal ones) can heat up rapidly. As a solution rent metal/plastic chairs with a cushion. You guests will appreciate that.

8. Have Light-Summery Food. During cocktail hour, do not serve your guests appetizers that are too heavy. Heat makes people eat less so instead try serving fruit skewers, shrimp cocktail, crisp veggies and other appetizers. While cheese and dairy based appetizers are delicious, they do not hold up well in the heat.

9. Be Aware Of Fabrics. Whether is it your wedding gown, tuxedos, or bridemaids dresses, look into lighter and breathable material that won’t make you and your wedding party sweat unnecessarily. Examples of these materials are cotton or chiffon. There are lots of great lines of wedding attire that are specifically made with summer weddings in mind.

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10. Don’t Forget the Logistics. Your wedding ceremony needs to be easily accessible. The entrance and exit need to be fairly easy to navigate. Also there needs to be handicapped access. Creative signage is an awesome way to make sure that your guests don’t get lost on the route and have a clear idea of where the important areas of your event are (ex. restrooms, bar, etc.). When your wedding space is large, I encourage you to create lounge areas along the way!

 

Photo Courtesy of:

Image 1: Gary Ashley Photography

Image 2: Kaitlin Noel Photography

Image 3: Libby McGowan Photography

 

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