Ah, to celebrate outside! The bright blue skies, the au naturel décor, the romantic breezes … at least, that’s how you envision it. The reality? A lot can happen when partying outside. Here, the best tips for planning an outdoor wedding—from devising a rain strategy to keeping guests comfortable—from beginning to sweet end. It can be a fantastic choice, cheaper too but you must be prepared! Hope this helps!
1. A BEACH
In the UK, although not known for its beaches, there are some really beautiful spots. The beaches of Pembrokeshire in Wales for example has been compared to the beaches of Australia!
PROS: Close your eyes and hear the sound of gently lapping waves. Feel the warm sun on your back. Need we say more?
CONS: A steady sea breeze means taking precautions to secure décor, keep candles lit, and, let’s be honest, prevent your hair from becoming a bird’s nest. Also take time of year into account—you’ll want to avoid the rain, however with the British weather, this could be Spring, Summer, Autumn or winter alike!
2. YOUR GARDEN
PROS: Securing an all-inclusive venue can eat up to 50 percent of your budget, a nonissue if you’re considering a loved one’s garden or your own. And the sentimental value can be priceless.
CONS: You will save on site fees, but you may still have to shell out for portaloos, a dance floor, and, potentially, a marquee (if inside the house isn’t a viable rain plan). And if the home’s kitchen doesn’t suit your caterer’s needs, add cooking equipment to that list.
3. POWER UP
The scenery comes courtesy of Mother Nature, but the lighting, sound, and temperature control? That’s all you. If your site doesn’t have electricity, you’ll need generators for your caterer’s kitchen appliances, and amps and speakers for your band or DJ. There’s also the issue of lighting (because after sunset, then what?). And no matter the time of year, fans, air-conditioning, or portable heaters are almost always necessary. Your best bet: Have an electrician survey your setup so you’ll know exactly how much power you need.
4. HAVE A GOOD PLAN B
We get it—the last thing you want to do while planning your wedding is…plan another wedding. But worst-case scenarios happen, and you’ll want to be organised. You have to move fast to set a rain plan in motion. Don’t tempt fate (and major day-of meltdowns): If there’s no indoor option, put a deposit on a marquee, just in case.
And should you wake up to drizzle and a rainy forecast on the big day, don’t wait until right before guests start arriving to make the call. The more time you have to prepare, the better!
5. DRY GUESTS OFF
Drisal or an afternoon shower may not be enough to move everything indoors, but people will still get wet. Have a stash of umbrellas to offer shelter. In case of a downpour, place a stack of fluffy towels in each toilet.
6. WARM GUESTS UP
Even if it’s nice weather during your vows, temperatures can dip. Your solution: space heaters inside marquees —a must in the autumn and winter—and, for an elegant touch, pashminas for the ladies (bonus: the scarves can double as favours!).
7. SIT GUESTS DOWN
There’s nothing worse than standing still in stilettos while craning your neck to see the action. If your ceremony will last more around 20 minutes so provide chairs or benches. But even if it’s five minutes, don’t make Nanny and eight-months pregnant Aunt Judy stand. Have some chairs on hand for people who really need them.
8. SAVE THE SOLES
Getting married on grass? Distribute plastic heel protectors, which stop shoes from sinking into soil, to your bridal party.
9. CREATE AN EASY FLOW
The best way to get from Point A to Point B is usually the shortest. But there are other things to note when directing foot traffic from altar to bar to dinner tables and dance floor. For starters, designate a wide route that’s easy to walk on, which might mean putting down stepping stones or carpet on grass. Don’t lead partygoers past toilets or bins. Instead, make the journey pretty and fun: Construct cute “right this way” signs, use lights to brighten up paths, or have bubbly-bearing waiters point the way—guests are sure to follow when there are corks popping.
So, here are some points to consider when planning your outdoor wedding. Nothing could be better than the fresh air, sunshine and personalised wedding, just remember to plan ahead as we do live in the UK after all!