Tips To Help You Plan An Outdoor Wedding

Today on the MrsPandP UK  Wedding Blog I am thrilled to share this fantastic Guest Post on tips to help you plan an Outdoor Wedding.

Outdoor weddings take a bit more planning than the more traditional indoor options, but there is no denying that a beautiful outdoor wedding, held in a stunning and meaningful location will be worth every bit of extra effort you put in!

A plan B is absolutely essential when planning any outdoor wedding, because the weather can never be relied on, especially in Scotland!

This is where the extra planning comes in as you need to make sure that in the event of bad weather, you have prepared a flawless fall back plan you are 100% happy with and everyone can get undercover and carry on the celebrations.

Whether this be a large tent, barn or a nearby building it doesn’t really matter as the main thing is they will be warm, dry and happy.

 

 Hestercombe - image 1

 

So what else should you keep in mind when planning your al fresco wedding?

 

The Weather

This has to be Number 1 on anyone’s list. As it is pretty much impossible to predict the weather in the UK there are a number of things to consider here.

A wedding in the UK could easily be hot, cold, wet, dry, windy or just right. Plan for all of these and hope for the best!

If you are planning a summer wedding and expecting hot weather you need to think about providing sunscreen, shaded areas and plenty of cold drinks to keep your guests well hydrated.

It is also important to consider the direction of the sun at the time of your ceremony, to ensure neither you or your guests are blinded with the sun in your eyes.

However, sun one day can be rain the next so it goes without saying plan for cooler weather too.

You may want to consider providing lap blankets or shawls for guests to use if they start to feel chilly and depending on your location and set up, you could use portable heaters or perhaps a fire pit to keep your guests warm and comfortable in the evening too.

If you can get hold of a stack of matching umbrellas that is always a great idea and looks good in the photos!

Excessive wind can be a real pain, wreaking havoc with clothing, hairstyles, decorations and so on.

Steer clear of lightweight fabrics in general and for the bride to stick to an up do for her hair to avoid the risk of looking like Marilyn Monroe or Cousin It from the Adams Family!

 

Solid Ground

Certain surfaces, including grass, gravel and sand are practically impossible to walk on in heels, so this is something to consider in terms of the area for an outdoor ceremony or reception as well as the path the bride will walk along to meet the groom.

Hiking boots can look good with a pretty dress but they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea!

Uneven surfaces are also not ideal for dancing on or for placing tables and chairs on, so this is another area to consider as you may need to think about hiring a dance floor or portable decking area to get around this problem if the venue does not have anything suitable in place already.

 

Bugs!

Flies, midges wasps and mosquitoes are nothing but a pain particularly around food and drinks on a sunny day and when they begin to bite as the evening draws in.

Midge exterminator machines can be hired or you could use strategically placed electric fans if there is no wind and citronella candles and flaming sticks dotted around.

 

Decorations

A stunning outdoor space will often require far less in the way of decor than an indoor space. Use the surroundings to inspire you and be creative.

Pretty bunting, lanterns, flaming torches, candles and fairy lights can all be used to create a beautiful effect.

Choose your focal point for the ceremony, it may be an obvious position such as an archway or ornate stairway but a tree or pergola could be equally effective.

When it comes to flowers a good tip is to ask your florist to dress the outside area as late as possible to ensure your floral arrangements are looking fresh and crisp when guests arrive.

 

Sound Check

Make sure your guests can hear the ceremony and speeches properly if they are to be conducted outside; it is surprising how difficult it can be to hear properly when there are other background noises to compete with or the wind is whistling.

A decent sound system will get around this problem and you may wish to consider using microphones to combat this issue. Tiny microphones can be discretely clipped onto the bride and groom without looking in any way obstructive or ugly.

 

Fingers Crossed…

It’s wonderful to have the attitude that you will be getting married in the great outdoors ‘come rain or shine’ but realistically you must have an alternative option in the event of rain or bad weather.

Soggy wedding guests will not be feeling the love!

 

Along with having a Plan B the other ‘must do’ is to make sure you inform guests that the wedding will be held outside as this will allow them to plan their outfits accordingly to suit the time of year and remember to bring their umbrellas – they can always leave their extra gear in the car.

 

Remember The Most Important Thing

There is nothing to stop you escaping the limits of a traditional church setting and having a wedding that is tailored and themed in a way that more closely reflects your personality as a couple.

Use your imagination to plan a spectacularly beautiful outdoor event with Mother Nature as your backdrop.

If you do end up having to go with your plan B and hosting your event under cover at any point, just keep in mind that the most important thing is that you are marrying your soul mate and you will enjoy your special day come what may!

 

PLEASE NOTE: It is legal to be married anywhere in Scotland but in England and Wales any outdoor ceremonies have to be performed under a structure that has a fixed roof and is licensed for civil ceremonies.

An option is to have a quiet civil ceremony at the Registry office and then have the outdoor blessing that you wish.

 

Hestercombe - image 2

 

From my personal point of view and if I could do it all again I would totally embrace an outdoor event.

Being at one with nature and its marvellousness to join together with the one you love is just beautiful.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Thanks to Guest Author – Felix Marsh on behalf of Hestercombe which  is a classical, romantic English garden deep in the Somerset countryside, and is a perfect setting for a wedding.

The breathtakingly beautiful garden covers over fifty acres of landscape and formal gardens and is licensed for civil ceremonies, and has  the advantage of being able to hold your ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast and evening party all at one magnificent and convenient location.

Lakes, cascades, temples, rills, shade-dappled pathways, romantic corners and views to take your breath away, create a spectacular backdrop to capture your memories.

More about ALISON TINLIN

UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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    […] perhaps with music, or just as an addition to your other entertainment. For example, if you are organising an outdoor wedding, you could set off a few fireworks during your first dance. You can easily make fireworks the main […]

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