Planning an outdoor ceremony? Keep you and your guests happy, no matter the weather conditions.
1. The first, and most obvious, tip is to prepare for rain. Even if the weather forecast has 100% chance of sunshine – don’t trust it. Have a back-up plan.
2. Make your guests comfortable. Provide blankets, pashminas, handheld fans or umbrellas if necessary. Bottles of water or hot chocolate are nice touches, too.
3. Know that you can’t simply walk into a park and get married if you’re looking to save money. Permits are needed, even for photography, in many public areas.
4. Consider valet parking or golf carts if guests have to walk a distance to the ceremony location.
5. Stock the restrooms for post-outdoor-conditions. Include towels for drying off, blotting cloths for sweaty faces, and hairspray and combs for humidity.
6. Understand that wind is your enemy. It hates veils, signage, short dresses, flower arrangements and candles.
7. Create a pretty transition from point A to point B. For example, lay down charming stepping stones or use lanterns to create a lit pathway from the ceremony to reception.
8. If you’re outdoors for an extended period, have sunscreen and bug spray on hand. Bring in a tent or shelter to provide shade.
9. Consider your menu. Fresh fruits and veggies are welcome during a summer wedding or try having a popsicle station or an ice cream cart.
10. Be kind to the environment. Respect the outdoor area (and animals who live in it) by throwing rose petals or bird seed, rather than confetti. Leave the area as you arrived – free of garbage and other items harmful to nature.
11. Keep your guests well informed of the conditions of the venue. If you know the ceremony will take place in full-sun, make your guests aware. If there is a bit of a hike to get to the ceremony location or if the ceremony takes place on a property’s lawn, women may want to be prepared and not wear heels.