Seven Steps to the Perfect Outdoor Wedding

 

The closer you get to your wedding date, the more excited—and the more stressed—you probably feel. Along with typical wedding day jitters, outdoor weddings bring an added layer of stress: while you can usually predict the weather from a week away, freak summer thunderstorms can still happen. You might worry that unexpected rain, too much sun, or exuberant wind will make your guests leave disgruntled.

There’s no need to fret—careful planning can help you avoid disaster. Plan well, and you, your family, and friends will have an enjoyable day. Read below for some tips on how to lay your worries to rest and help your outdoor wedding go smoothly.

 

1. Plan for Any Weather


This is the most important consideration for an outdoor wedding, and likely the one brides worry about the most. While you can’t control the weather on the day of the wedding, think about typical weather patterns in the region when choosing a wedding date. What is the average weather and temperature in the area for the month of your wedding?

While you can’t plan for events like sudden thunderstorms, you can still plan for a time of year when your guests are likely to have a comfortable outdoor experience. If you plan your wedding for a time when unexpected rainstorms are more common, plan to have a canopy or tent in reserve.

Since you can’t plan the weather, plan ahead for strategies in case the weather takes an unexpected turn. If the weekly forecast suggests the wedding day will be warmer and sunnier than you anticipated, distribute small containers of sunscreen to your guests. Make sure they have ice cold water readily available. You can even print your wedding program as a fan for guests to use in the heat.

In contrast, if the weather is colder or wetter than anticipated, rent some portable heaters. You might also consider distributing small blankets or placing a pair of mittens on each guest’s seat

Just in case, you should always have a back-up plan. Does your venue have an indoor option that you can use in case the weather proves too difficult? A tent will also work as a back-up plan for rain or windstorms, as long as the sights are heavily weighted and thick enough to resist gusts of rain or wind.

 

2. Deter Bugs


Insects have an annoying habit of clinging to certain wedding dress fabrics, like tulle. Make sure your wedding dress will survive the great outdoors, and that your venue is free of mud and dirt. Place insect repellents like citronella candles on outdoor tables so you and your guests can enjoy the day bug-free. You might also consider having someone spray for bugs a few days before the wedding, especially if your wedding will take place near a body of water where mosquitos could swarm.

 

3. Use Portable Toilets


Since your wedding will take place outdoors, arrange for your guests to have a convenient toilet nearby. Portable toilets for weddings aren’t the vivid orange or blue port-a-potties you’re used to seeing at construction sites: these toilets are clean, virtually odourless, and germ-free. Portable toilet companies offer anything from wheelchair accessible toilets to white-coloured units that blend in with your wedding’s décor.

Plan for at least one bathroom stall per every 35 guests.

 

4. Create the Right Ambiance


Nature already provides the perfect backdrop to your beautiful ceremony. Don’t decorate too much and detract from the surrounding natural beauty; decorate minimally, but in a way that accents the surrounding landscape. Choose floral centrepieces that match the surrounding foliage or display.

Lights are also key to setting the right tone at any wedding. Natural light is one reason why outdoor weddings work so well. At night, create a gentle, rustic feel with strings of lights between tree branches, or use overhead lanterns. You can also line paths to the bathroom with small lights in mason jars.

 

5. Choose the Right Food


If you plan on eating outside, create a menu that will outlast the summer heat. Plan something appetizing for your guests depending on the weather: no one wants a warm soup on a sunny summer day.

Especially if the weather is hot, make sure to have a lot of cold, non-alcoholic beverages for guests to enjoy throughout the day, such as iced tea or lemonade. Be sure to work with a caterer who is used to outdoor settings.

 

6. Choose the Right Music


Your music can also set the right tone for your wedding. Since you’ll be outdoors, make sure your guests will be able to hear the music over any natural noises (such as waves from the nearby beach) without drowning out the setting’s natural ambiance.

 

7. Have Fun


The most important thing you can do on your special day is enjoy it to the fullest. Employ these tips, and you’ll look back on your wedding day as one of the best of your life. Once you have everything planned, sit back, relax, and enjoy your wedding day.

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