Tips for an Outdoor Wedding. By Hannah H.

Are you considering and outdoor wedding? Or maybe your already in the process of having one. If so, that is great! Outdoor weddings are beautiful, and can be very memorable. You can put your own twist on everything.  From the ceremony space, to the dance floor. As great as outdoor weddings are you need to keep a few things in mind when planning one. With these ten tips you will be ready for anything come your big day.

1. Have a plan B. This is the single most important step. What are you going to do if it rains? It is hard to know what the weather is going to do months out, so be prepared and have that backup plan. If there is light rain a big white tent will do, but if the weather is severe you need to move the ceremony inside. Most receptions are inside so you could bring in chairs and move things around to convert the reception space into the ceremony location.

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2. Make sure your guest stay cool. Nobody likes going to a wedding and sweating like crazy because of the heat. Be sure to have some sort of cooling device, like large quiet fans, or air conditioners. Also provide individual fans for your guest with handing out the programs, also consider even handing out small water bottles to keep them refreshed and happy.

3. Shield from the Sun. Consider providing sunscreen and sunglasses for your guest, most people will forget these items. These could also be used as party favors.

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4. Don’t forget the BUGS! If there is a swarm of flies or mosquitos buzzing around during your ceremony everyone will be focused on swatting those pesky bugs, stealing the focus from the ceremony. To prevent this from happening, you could either use insect repellent lamps, which make no zapping noise, or your could also use candles that contain oils that repel insects such as: citronella, cinnamon, castor, rosemary, lemongrass, cedar, clove, geranium and peppermint oils. You can decorate these lamps or candles to make them look like they are part of the ceremony space.

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5. Plan your Pictures. Don’t take your wedding pictures at noon or too close to noon- the sun will be directly overhead and will cause unflattering shadows. With that in mind, aim to take your pictures in the morning or later in the afternoon/evening. Consult with your photographer for more lighting recommendations.

6. Choose your Location Wisely. A beach may be beautiful but it many also be very windy, and crashing waves any be hard to hear over. Be sure to plan accordingly based on your location. If you’re at any public place where there is residual noise, look into renting clip-on microphones for the officiant and bride and groom so that everyone can hear the ceremony.

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7. Provide chair cushions/covers. If the sun is out, chairs (especially metal ones) can heat up in a hurry. So don’t forget to bring chair cushions or chair covers for your guest so they don’t burn themselves when sitting down. This can also be a great opportunity to decorate!

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8. Have summer food. During your cocktail hour don’t serve anything too heavy; instead try serving fruit skewers, shrimp cocktail, crisp veggies and other light appetizers, instead of cheese or other dairy-based products that would melt in the heat.

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9. Experiment with Decorations. Instead of having a bunch of flowers that will wilt, consider lanterns or other decorations that are beautiful but much less expensive an hold up better in the sun.

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10. Be Mindful of Fabrics. Whether it’s your wedding gown, the bridesmaid dresses, the men’s tuxes or any other decorative fabrics, look into lighter material that breathes and won’t make you and your wedding party sweat excessively. Examples include: cotton organdy, chiffon, crepe or voile over silk.

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We hope these tips will help your outdoor wedding will go very smoothly!

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