Therefore, I've summarized some of the 'must-know' for your outdooor wedding.
1. Lighting. If it's possible, visit the location in the same month and around same time of your wedding (for example, the previous year) to know how, when, and what is the best spot for your wedding. Some of the questions you might want to consider are:
- What time is sunset? Will the guests need extra lighting after sunset? Will the photographer need additional lighting after sunset?
- Will the sun shine directly to the bridal party and guests? Will the photographer be uncomfortable in taking pictures because of the strong sunshine?
- Are all the pathways for the guests bright enough, such as path to the parking lot, from and to tables?
- Things that help: ushers serving cold beverages, fans (either personal or huge electric ones) and tent to shade the sunshine.
- What if it rains? Find out if there is an option of an indoor hall. This would be the best 'plan B.' If else, renting a tent would be a second choice. However, make sure that this second plan will only work for showers or light rain. A third option, you may change location. You can find out a different location nearby the original location where it is indoor. But make sure you let your guests know of this by posting a visible sign at the entrance and/or calling guests and have the guest inform other guests.
- What if it gets too chilly? Again, make sure you let your guest know that it is an outdoor wedding so that they can dress warm. You may want to add a note onto your invitation. Things that might help: personal blankets and portable heaters.
- What if it gets too windy? Make sure you pin all the table clothes, either with large vases or pins. Also, weddings are full of candles. Be aware that the wind can blow out the candles. Alternatives can be if you use large candle holders, fishbowls or decorative hurricane lamps.
Most importantly, the bride, you should look pretty at all times. Make sure you tell your hair stylist and make-up artist about the outdoor wedding. Also, you might want to choose appropriate dresses for yourself and the bridesmaids. Choose dresses that are not too puffy but yet not of a too-light fabric material as it can easily be blown out by the wind. The length of the dress is very important as well...
3. Bugs. These can be very dangerous. They can make your guests, bridal party and family uncomfortable. Make sure you know what can prevent the bugs from invading your wedding: ask the manager and/or specialist. If the location is known for too many bugs, have citronella candles or bug zappers to keep these uninvited bugs away.
4. Noise. If your wedding is at a beach or at a noisy park, make sure you prepare appropriate sound system. Ask your DJ to accomodate this. You do not want your guests to leave your wedding feeling that they have not heard one word from the ceremony. On the other hand, some places may have noise restrictions on how loud you can be (for example, parks or other public places). Make sure you read your contract to find out rules and details on this. Some places you may even need permit to have the wedding itself.
5. Decorations. The best part. You may be able to save money on decorations as the outdoor environment is itself a beautiful decoration. However, you may need to worry about different issues: make sure that the grass is nicely mowned, ground raked, trees are not interfering with the ceremony location, and supplement with chair decorations, topiaries, columns, aisle bows and runners, and ceremony arch to jist up the outdoor setting.
Hopefully, my 'must-know' helps your outdoor wedding be 120% perfect!