If you dream of getting married and celebrating with friends and family in the open air, an outdoor wedding is a great choice for you. Whether you’re hosting your wedding in an intimate backyard setting or a gorgeous outdoor wedding venue, these tips will help you get everything perfectly in line for your celebration.
Use the Natural Setting as Your Decor Inspiration
By hosting your wedding outdoors, you have the benefit of using nature as your decor. Rather than ignoring it, use the natural surroundings as the inspiration for your color palette and decor, and find ways to enhance it. Pick decorative pieces that already play off the nature around you. This will likely save you money (as you won’t need to use as much decor if you already have a beautiful setting!), and will better tie the wedding aesthetic together.
Establish a Backup Plan
There are obviously a ton of benefits to hosting a wedding outdoors – but one big drawback is the unpredictability of weather. Just in case there is inclement weather, have a plan B venue, such as a tent or a nearby indoor venue.
Consider the Sun Location
You won’t want guests staring directly into the sun while they are trying to watch you say your vows. Take some time at your wedding venue to determine where exactly the sun will be at certain times. That way, you can strategically create your wedding schedule so that you won’t be in an uncomfortable spot, or plan your layout so that your guests aren’t looking into the sun. Ideally, the sun should be behind your guests as you are saying your vows.
Keep Weather in Mind
As you’re planning for your outdoor wedding, be sure to keep the season and expected weather in mind.
One factor you’ll need to pay attention to is guest comfort. Plan to add certain amenities to keep you and your guests comfortable throughout the entire celebration. For example, if you’re having a summer wedding, you may want to provide guests with fans and parasols to keep cool. You’ll also want to make sure there is an abundance of sunscreen, water, and bug spray available. If you’re getting married in the fall, you may want to provide guests with blankets to stay warm as the sun goes down. It’s also smart to put out citronella candles if your celebration is during a more buggy season.
You’ll also want to plan for at least a bit of wind, no matter what season you’re in. This means working with your hairstylist to create a wind-proof hair style, avoiding lighter decorative fabrics (like tablecloths) that will rustle in the wind, and opting for longer or wind-friendly bridesmaid dresses.
Clue Guests in on Appropriate Attire
Beyond establishing the dress code, you will want your guests to come in clothing that is comfortable and appropriate for the location. This means not only communicating that this will be an outdoor wedding, but also giving any useful tips about the venue. For example, if your ceremony is on a grassy lawn, be sure that guests know so they wear the right shoes.
Pick the Right Caterer
If your caterer actually has to prepare the food outside (versus in a catering kitchen on the property), be sure they have the experience and the tools to make it happen. You will also need to plan your wedding menu so that it is appropriate for the setting and weather. For example, if it’s a hotter day, you’ll want to avoid food that is particularly heavy.
Don’t Forget the Sound
You want to make sure your guests will actually hear you say your vows! You’ll want to rent a sound system that makes it easy to hear the officiant and you and your partner. It is especially important to have the right sound equipment when you are in a louder area (like the beach), but the outdoors in general make it harder to hear. Lavalier mics are great, as they clip right to your clothing – so you won’t have to worry about holding a mic.
Ensure There is Enough Power
You’ll want to make sure you have enough power sources for your DJ, caterer, and anyone else who may need it. If you’re working with an actual wedding venue, the coordinator will likely be able to help you out in determining if a generator is needed. Be sure to also discuss your plans with any wedding vendor who is using a power source to see exactly what they need.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors of all talents who can help bring your vision to life!