Planning an outdoor wedding can be scary – especially if you live somewhere with unpredictable weather. But for many couples, the beauty of having a wedding in the open air is worth the risks. Whether you’re having a wedding in your garden at home, in the middle of a large woodland or on the beach, there are a range of special factors to consider. Read on for some essential tips on planning an outdoor wedding.
Preparing for the weather
The most important thing at an outdoor wedding – apart from the wedding ceremony itself – is making guests feel comfortable. This means preparing for all weather eventualities. Most outdoor weddings have their ceremony outside with only the sky as their canopy, and then retreat into a marquee for the wedding breakfast and reception. This means that guests are protected from any drizzle that may appear during the day.
However, if gale force winds are predicted, even the strongest marquee may offer insufficient shelter. As such, it’s advisable to have a back-up plan so the wedding can move indoors if necessary. If you’re getting married at home, it’s easy enough to run inside when the heavens burst. But if there’s no building in sight, it’s worth scoping out the nearest pub or restaurant so your guests have a place to go. Alternatively, consider giving your guests customised umbrellas as a wedding favour, as a cheeky admission that you’re at the mercy of the weather during your big day.
Similarly, if you know your wedding day will bring reliably hot and humid weather, your guests need to be comfortable. Have fans stationed at regular intervals so guests can enjoy an occasional gust of cool air, or offer round hand-held fans as wedding favours. A regular supply of cool drinks will also keep everyone happy. And in extreme cases, bottles of sun cream and insect repellent might not go amiss on every table either.
One of the most important things to get right about an outdoor wedding is a reliable electricity supply. In addition to basic lighting, you’ll need a microphone for speeches to be heard, as well as power for your DJ and band’s equipment. Renting a generator is the easiest solution, as it enables you to provide sufficient power for your wedding day’s needs without buying a generator outright.
Some generator hire companies may also offer a technician service, so there’s someone manning your generator throughout the day who can deal with any problems that arise. Just remember to locate your generator a good distance from the festivities – today’s models are relatively quieter than older ones, but the whirr of a generator may still be an unwelcome background noise during your first dance.