Updated: Sep 10
Outdoor weddings are becoming increasingly popular, especially with coronavirus still at large. These often spacious venues make it easier for social distancing and also incorporate the element of fresh air into the mix. Additionally, nature can effortlessly provide a stunning backdrop for your beautiful day of celebration! Whether you opt to go with a nature-inspired venue due to budget constraints or personal preference, there are many details that often go overlooked that can easily help ensure that your special day is remembered for all the right reasons.
1. Consider your start time
Many wedding ceremonies often begin around 4:30-5 pm; however, this is often the warmest part of a summer day and can result in a seriously sweaty soiree. I've never met a bride or groom that is immune to a little perspiration while wearing a 3-piece suit or heavily-beaded wedding gown, especially when the sun is showing off by creating the ideal conditions for a perfectly sidewalk-cooked egg. Just as you don't want to be uncomfortable during your ceremony, your guests don't either. Not to mention that your photos may be littered with guests' pit stains, fallen hairstyles, harsh lighting, and melting mascara. On the flip side, the light fades much earlier during the winter, which could cause challenges for your photographer. Coordinate with your photographer to research the typical time for sunset and create a timeline based around the perfect lighting coupled with the most comfortable temperatures.
2. Paperweights are required
For some strange reason, every couple seems to think that their wedding will be immune to weather complications. This is rarely the case, but there are countless small things that you can do to avoid the most common inconveniences. One of these small things is to incorporate paperweights that will withstand the occasional breeze. Take advantage of this opportunity to spice up your tablescape with fun details such as a vibrate agate, miniature potted succulents, a small bag of your favorite coffee beans, or maybe even an array of seashells. These tiny tokens can double as a favor and will keep your menu cards and napkins from being disturbed. You'll also want to be sure to consider weights for any signage, specifically directional instructions that may be impacted by cars speeding by.
3. Add seasonal accessories to keep your guests comfortable
Woven fans, fur shawls, or playful umbrellas are just a few ideas to consider when thinking of how to ensure that your guests remain comfortable while enjoying your stunning outdoor location. Planning ahead and being intentional with these fun additions provides a great opportunity to further enhance your overall theme. Many calligraphers love to help by customizing these types of accessories to help your guests know that you put their enjoyment at the top of your priority list.
4. Parking must not be overlooked
Have you ever pulled out your fancy shoes for a wedding? You know, those ones that pinch just a little too tightly on your pinky toe and require a foot soak after just an hour's wear? You're not the only one who believes that a wedding is a perfect occasion for those gorgeous heels or Italian-leather loafers. Hopefully, through this illustration you can see why expecting your guests to walk a half-mile on a gravel pathway in their finest attire is ludicrous. Consider providing a shuttle service or valet parking to ensure that your guests have enough of a pain-tolerance left to tear up the dance floor when the time comes.
5. Protect your delicates
I know what you're thinking, you perv. Get your mind out of the gutter, because I'm talking about cake! Wedding cakes can often be quite a visual spectacle, which means that you will probably want some amazing photos to document its full glory before your guests dig in. Unfortunately, buttercream and sweltering heat don't play well together. Work with your cake provider to determine a delivery time that will ensure your cake is in mint condition. You may need to ask your venue if there is an onsite building with air conditioning or plan for some sort of awning to protect your delicate dessert.
While there are a variety of other elements that should be considered when planning for an outdoor wedding, hopefully, these points get your mind turning in the right direction and lead you and your sweetheart down a path of thoughtful innovation for an enjoyable celebration. Even so, if you just consider these 5 points, I can promise that your guests will notice and appreciate your attention to detail. Happy planning!