I attended a beautiful wedding just before Christmas – the setting was picturesque – a view across the fields on one side, the harbour on the other. The weather was scorchingly sunny… the bride was traditionally late… but the guests were melting!
Of course, we didn’t mind, but It did remind me to make note of a few good summertime wedding tips for you!
- The Perfect Day
We all hope for sunshine on the big day, but don’t leave your guests melting – make sure your ushers give guests ice-cold bottles of water to rehydrate (bubbles don’t count!). You can get personalised bottles with a design to match your wedding stationery or theme. Or how about printing your wedding program on a fan so that guests can cool themselves. Don’t forget to have plenty of sunscreen on hand as well and a shaded area. Parasols are a stunning accessory, so you could have some on hand for guest use.
If it’s cold and damp, make sure you tell guests that so they can wear extra layers. It’s easy enough to pop down to the Warehouse and buy some cosy lap blankets or you can rent portable heaters from your local hire centre.
- Beach party
If you’re having a beach wedding, place some jandals for guest use in a bucket – you can get these personalised at your local EmbroidMe. You don’t want anyone ruining their Jimmy Choo shoes!
- Have a backup plan
The ideal outdoor wedding location has an indoor location waiting just in case. Many brides and grooms opt to have their ceremony outside and reception inside. In a pinch, the tables can be scooted to the back of the room during the ceremony. Raj Tents is another option, adding opulence to an overcast day – but only for light to moderate rain storms. A heavy rain will soak the ground underneath, leaving guests with soggy and muddy shoes. Make sure any tent you rent is sturdy so it won’t flip over, and that it has thick and weighted sides.
- Wind factor
Many outdoor weddings suffer from windy conditions. Avoid light fabrics like chiffons and china silks in your dress and the bridesmaid dresses. Tell your hairstylist that you’ll be having an outdoor wedding so she/he can plan a style that won’t leave you with a scare-do! Men in the wedding party should use pomade or other styling product.
- Turn it up
Can everybody hear? When you picture your dream wedding at the beach, you’re probably not hearing the roaring of the waves, the rushing wind, or the local kids running and screaming around you. Look into renting a sound system with clip mikes for the bride, groom and celebrant. Your DJ or band will easily arrange this for you.
One of the bonuses of an outdoor wedding is the natural beauty around you, lessening your need to decorate. But you still need to do some work. Visit the site a week before your wedding to make sure the grass is mown, the ground raked, and the flowers have bloomed. If your wedding is at a public park, ask the groomsmen or friends to do this the morning of your ceremony. If it’s been an especially cold season, you may need to supplement the flowers with some potted bulbs from a florist. Other decorations you may want to consider include an arch or trellis to focus the ceremony and frame the bride and groom as they say their vows; strings of lights or lanterns in the trees, torches, tissue pom poms or balloons.
- Zap ’em
Be sure to put out citronella candles or a bug zapper so that your guests won’t spend the whole ceremony swatting insects away.
- Sunset ceremony
Consider timing your outdoor wedding for sunset where your guests will see you take your vows surrounded by the warm glow of the sun. Those having a daytime outdoor wedding should orient the ceremony so that the sun will be on guests’ backs rather than in their eyes.
Don’t forget to contact your city parks department or other local government to get a permit for an outdoor wedding. Be sure to ask about rules concerning trash removal, candle or torch lighting, and pre-wedding photography.