I'm sure most of you know, it's pouring cats & dogs outside today! So I thought I'd give you a few tips to planning your outdoor wedding ceremony.
As we all know, rain can be one of the biggest stresses for a bride before the big day. Not only can it mess up your dress, flatten or friz out your hair, cause you or your guests to be late to the affair, make things dangerous for Grandma, turn your gorgeous ballroom entrance into a sea of unsightly umbrellas and muddy footprints......it can put a quick stop to your whole entire wedding!!!!!!
So if you're the girl who's always dreamed of walking down the aisle in a garden, park or by the ocean, what do you do? What do you do if rains, if it's just hot or really cold? What if it's super windy?
Here are a few tips we've found for planning your outdoor Ceremony:
1.Make your guests comfortable!
Think about what the weather will likely be at the time of day and month of the year of your outdoor wedding.
Sunny and hot? Don't leave your guests uncomfortably melting - have your ushers give guests ice-cold bottles of water as they are seated. Consider printing your wedding program on a fan so that guests may cool themselves. Don't forget to have plenty of sunscreen on hand as well. For a very warm location, look into renting large electric fans (don't forget a generator) and/or a tent to shade the suns rays. Consider timing your outdoor wedding for sunset. Those having a daytime outdoor wedding should orient the ceremony so that the sun will be on guests' backs rather than in their eyes.
If it will be cold and damp, make sure you tell guests that so they can wear extra layers. A simple xeroxed insert will do. You might want to have lap blankets on hand, or rent portable heaters.
2.Have a backup plan!
What will you do if it rains? 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. At The Vineyard, we are very prepared for this kind of ceremony interruption and will actually map out a "plan b" floor plan for you if your ceremony gets rained out!
A tent is another option, 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.
3.Plan for Wind!
Many outdoor weddings suffer from windy conditions. Avoid light fabrics like chiffon 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 looking like Cousin It!
Men in the wedding party should use pomade or other styling product. Again, tell your guests in a printed insert that your ceremony will be outdoors so that they can plan accordingly. And of course, make sure your tent will stand up to gusting winds or use your rain "plan b".
4.Those pesky flying things!
Be sure to put out citronella candles or a bug zapper so that your guests won't spend the whole ceremony swatting at the air.
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 tents, trash removal, candle or torch lighting, and pre-wedding photography.
Mother nature can decide at the drop of a hat that she wants to speak up so above all, your #1 rule is to have that "PLAN B"!
If you're the bride who will have a melt down if your day goes wrong, do yourself and your groom a favor and plan for an indoor ceremony!!! There are plenty of options for decor to give you that outdoor feel! Better safe than sorry!