Outdoor weddings have become increasingly popular. There’s something incredibly romantic about tying the knot in the great outdoors with a spectacular backdrop of golden sand and crashing waves, a tranquil lake or snow-capped peaks. If you’re planning your wedding and you’re thinking about staging an al fresco event, here are some tips and tricks to bear in mind.
Checking the weather forecast
If you’re desperate to get married on the beach and you have visions of walking down the aisle with the sun on your skin and clear blue skies, make sure you choose a destination and a date that fits in with your plans. It’s virtually impossible to predict the weather, but you’re much more likely to find a perfect destination if you do some research. If you live in a country where you’re guaranteed hot weather in the summer months, you should find it easy to track down a location and a time of year that works. If you’re not in a position to get married close to home, consider overseas options. Don’t assume that tropical islands offer idyllic conditions all year round. Look online and pay attention to statistics like average monthly rainfall and hours of sunshine. You don’t want to book a dreamy venue on the beach and then discover that there’s a high risk of torrential downpours.
Setting a dress code
If you’re going to a wedding in a church or you’re attending a ceremony at a country house, a hotel or a golf club, it’s often easier to dress for the occasion than it is when you’re half way up a mountain or you’re going to the beach. It’s really helpful to give your guests information about the venue and encourage them to adopt a dress code. You could provide details about the setting, the climate and offer some examples of outfits that would be suitable. If you’re organizing a beach wedding, you may recommend tailored shorts or linen trousers for men and maxi dresses for ladies, for example. For more al fresco styling tips to pass on to your friends and family, take a look at https://www.pinterest.co.uk/explore/wedding-guest-outfits/?lp=true. Footwear can be notoriously tricky, especially for female guests so you may want to address this in your invitations. For weddings by the beach, it’s a fantastic idea to fill a basket with flip-flops for people to help themselves on the way down to the ceremony.
Making the most of the space
If you’ve got a brilliant outdoor venue, make sure you take advantage of the views and make the most of the space you have available. Go through some plans with your photographer, organize al fresco entertainment and have fun with quirky ideas like an outdoor photo booth from https://boothboyphotobooth.com. Set up a stage, lay out some hay bales and book a band or a solo performer if you’ve got a trendy festival theme or treat your guests to an evening buffet or barbecue under the stars. If you’re channeling a retro theme, take inspiration from Grease and hire out some fairground rides. There are all kinds of things you can do, so be original, think about your theme, and celebrate the setting. Make sure you prepare for both the daytime and the evening. The location may be perfect during the day, but when it’s dark and a little cooler, will your guests still be comfortable? It’s a good idea to add outdoor lighting and lanterns so that you can spend as much time outside as possible. There are loads of options you can go for from rustic strings of fairy lights draped over barn beams to lanterns on the beach.
Putting together a plan B
Even if there’s a 99 percent chance of clear skies and bright sunshine, it’s always good for brides and grooms to have a plan B, just in case that weather forecaster is wrong and you wake up to storms or rain clouds. You don’t want the weather to stop you from having fun and enjoying the best day of your lives, so it pays to be organized. It’s a good idea to look for venues that have the option of adding some kind of shelter, such as a marquee or a hall or function space you can hire in addition to the outdoor space. You could also buy a load of inexpensive umbrellas to shield people from the rain if it starts to look ominous during the ceremony. If you have an outdoor venue, and you expect temperatures to fall at night, invest in some throws and blankets so that your guests can keep warm. If you’ve hired a venue like a barn, installing a few patio heaters or lighting some fire pits or chimeneas outside will keep your guests cozy into the small hours.
Some outdoor venues will provide everything you could ever wish for, but if you’re going for a DIY approach, you may need to think about additions you’ll need on the day. If you’ve set up your own barn dance, festival or fairground or you’ve hired a marquee overlooking a picturesque meadow, lake or mountain, consider amenities for your guests. You may need to rent toilets, for example. If you’re on a budget, you don’t need to go all-out with personalized wedding towels or marble sinks, but you don’t want your guests to remember the occasion because they had to wait hours in line or trek miles to use the bathroom.
If you’re considering getting married outdoors, there’s a lot to think about. The weather will always play a role. Hopefully, it plays ball on the day, but you can never guarantee perfect conditions, so have a plan B ready. Choose a location that suits the style of wedding you want and make the most of the setting. Use lights, blankets, and heaters to enable you to stay out for as long as possible, organize al fresco entertainment and don’t forget to provide bathroom facilities.