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Monday, September 17, 2018

Here's How to Pull Off Your Outdoor Wedding

Getting married outdoors can create a magical wedding that everyone will remember - or it could be a
disaster that everyone remembers for the wrong reasons. Most people choose a warm day to get
married outdoors, although some are happy with a dry day, even if it's not hot. No matter the temperature,
there are always plenty of things that can go wrong if you decide that your perfect wedding will be outside.
The key to making sure that it all goes according to plan is to have a solid plan. You need to think about the
issues that an outdoor wedding poses and know how to deal with them.


Make Sure Everyone Knows It's Outdoors


Firstly, don't let it be a surprise to your guests that you'll be getting married outdoors. Give them plenty of
warning so that they can be prepared. That's not to say that all of them will be sensible enough to prepare
themselves, but at least you can say that you warned them. Tell them on their invitations that either the ceremony
or reception (or both) will be outdoors and what that will mean. Will they be standing up a lot? Might there be mud
or at least uneven ground? How much shade will there be? Give them as much information as you can. It doesn't
all have to fit on an invite - it could be in an email or on your wedding website.




Get the Correct Permissions


If you're getting married outdoors, you might need to look into any permissions that might be required. An outdoor
ceremony could require a special license, or you might need permission to put up a marquee or just to throw a big
party. Make sure you check if you need anything like this so that you don't have your wedding ruined. If you're having
your reception at home and you belong to an HOA, it's also a good idea to check the rules on parties. It's also just polite
to inform your neighbors - and maybe invite them.


Have a Plan B


The one thing you must have for an outdoor wedding is a backup plan. Even if there's only an extremely slim chance of bad
weather, you never know if something could go wrong. If it doesn't end up too wet or windy, there could be another reason
you're unable to use your planned outdoor space. Often, if you book a venue, they will have an alternative indoor space that
you can use. This is the best thing to do if you're at all worried about the weather not playing ball for your special day.


Provide Shelter


Whether it's super hot or there's a slight chance of rain, offering somewhere for your guests to find shelter is important.
They will need shade if it's hot and sunny, especially if they're standing around. In particular, you need to consider your
younger and older guests who might not be able to stand the heat as well as others. During the ceremony, you could have
a canopy or perhaps provide parasols for your guests. For the party, a marquee or tent is ideal to provide shelter for eating
and partying.




Set Up Seating


When you get married indoors, seating tends to be set out for you already, whether it's pews or chairs. Outdoors,
you might consider having everyone stand up, but it's not ideal. You should think about how you're going to set up
chairs or benches for everyone so that they can take a seat. It's especially important to have somewhere to sit for
any guests who might not be comfortable standing for long. This is most difficult on a beach, where sand can make
everything unstable. But setting up seating and a path to your seats will help your guests.


Keep Bugs Away


Bugs are one of the annoyances of getting married outdoors. Flying bugs, in particular, have no hesitations about coming
right up to you and even stinging or biting you. Your guests aren't going to enjoy being bothered by flies or mosquitoes all day,
so try to keep them away using whichever methods work best. If you need someone to help, contact Mosquito Squad or a service
like it. You can have professionals take care of protecting your event from bugs. It's one more thing that you won't have to worry
about on your special day.


Choose Food Suitable for Outdoors


Think carefully about what sort of food to have for an outdoor wedding. You can work with your caterer on this, and they can make
sensible recommendations. For a warm day, you probably don't want to serve anything that can melt. Nor do you want to have any
food that will easily go off in the heat. It's not a great idea to serve fresh fruit or anything else that might attract bugs. You can make
the most of your outdoor space, though. Have some things cooked over a fire or barbecue pit, or perhaps have a food truck.




Consider Dress (and Shoes)


Thinking about how you're going to dress for your outdoor wedding is a good idea. You can also make recommendations for your
guests - although you can't make them listen to you. Consider the practicalities of being outdoors and whether you need to avoid
anything. Do you want a long dress that trails in the mud? Are you going to be able to walk around in high heels? Maybe you need
to make sure you don't get too cold or too hot. It could be nice to provide some extra items for guests, such as comfortable shoes
(cheap flip-flops), shawls or sunglasses.


Keep Everyone Comfortable and Hydrated


When it's a hot day, you need to be wary of the heat. Having a guest faint wouldn't exactly be a great addition to your day. It's up to you
to look after your guests, so think of how you can keep them comfortable and happy. One thing to consider is making sure that everyone
is hydrated. When it's hot, it's easy for everyone to get thirsty. And don't make the mistake of only providing alcohol drinks because they're
not good for hydrating. Provide water or other soft drinks to help keep everyone hydrated.


Think About Acoustics


Another important thing to think about if you're getting married outdoors is whether everyone will be able to hear the ceremony. No one wants
to be straining to hear, but in a large and open space, the acoustics might not lend themselves well to the situation. You might need to consider
the use of microphones so that you can amplify your voices. Think about acoustics for other things too, such as speeches and performances or
music. You need everyone to be able to hear, but you also don't want to make things too loud.




Make Your Outdoor Decorations Practical


Having your wedding outdoors means you get to have lots of fun with decorations. You can have a huge space to decorate, but you should think
practically too. Consider which are the best decorations to use outdoors and where you can put them. Would it be practical to have candles or
would they be dangerous or keep getting blown out? You don't want anything that could get blown around in the wind or anything reflective that
could heat up or shine the sun in people's eyes.


Don't Forget About Facilities


If your wedding is outdoors, where can your guests go to the toilet, wash their hands or touch up their makeup? You'll need to make sure there
are facilities that they can use. Some venues will have facilities indoors, but you might want to make sure that they're clearly signposted so that
your guests don't have to keep asking. If there aren't existing facilities, you might need to have temporary ones set up for the day. These don't
have to be the sort of thing you find at festivals. A more sophisticated setup is possible.


Have an Outdoor Display or Show


Make sure you take advantage of the open, outdoor space as much as possible. It's a great excuse to have a show or perhaps a fireworks display.
If fireworks don't appeal to you, you could hire some entertainers or think of some other fun ways to entertain everyone. Set up a photo booth, have a
bounce house or a large dance floor.


Choose the Right Photographer


Your wedding photography is one of the most important parts of the day because it helps to create lasting memories. Outdoor photography can be difficult,
so you need to make sure you choose the right photographer for the day. Take a look at a photographer's portfolio when you're considering them, and ask
them about taking photos outdoors. They'll be able to tell you how they get the best shots and might give some suggestions for on the day for how you could
make things easier for them.

Getting married outdoors can be a lot of fun, but it's not without its problems. Remember to be prepared for anything if you want everything to go well.



For help planning your perfect wedding contact tracie@yourethebride.com or call 248-408-4602

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