Outdoor weddings are our favourites to photograph. There’s something undeniably magical about saying your vows in front of the ones you love with nature as your backdrop. With the unparalleled beauty of a beach scene, a quaint woodland clearing or even wild flower meadow, it’s no surprise to us why get married outdoors it is the number one choice for many couples. They can be the most enjoyable and memorable weddings for couples and guests alike, but there is a lot of legwork which goes into them. That’s why we have put together this guide towards organising your outdoor wedding, whether it’s just for your ceremony or you are planning to spend the whole day outdoors. Featuring words of wisdom from some local, experienced and fantastic outdoor wedding suppliers we’ll take you through the important considerations you should take before deciding to have and when planning an outdoor wedding.
This article is pretty comprehensive, so we decided to split it into 5 different blogs, one for each step. You’ve landed on step 3. If you’re inpatient (like me!) then you can sign up to be email buddies and download the whole article here.
“Connected, alive and fun!”
Festoon Wedding Planner
3. The weather
Of course in good old blighty, the biggest concern about an alfresco celebration has got to be the weather. Too hot, too cold, too windy or too rainy. They are all possibilities and concerns. But, with careful planning and thought, you can be prepared for anything our weather system throws at you.
Too hot - everyone wants it to be sunny on their wedding day, but what if it’s hot or even a scorcher? If that’s the case there’s a few things you should consider. Firstly, have you got enough drinks? While a refreshing Pimms may absolutely be in order, remember to supply enough soft drinks to everyone hydrated. Having a drinks table set up near to where your guests are waiting for the ceremony could be invaluable. Beyond that, what about shade? Is there anywhere for guests to take shelter? If your guests will be left exposed, a nice option is to supply some parasols and fans for guests to keep themselves cool. And finally, food. If you are planning a summer wedding, try and tailor the food accordingly. There’s nothing worse than having to tuck into a hot dinner covered in rich gravy in the sweltering heat (trust me, we’ve been there!)
Too cold - hopefully it won’t be cold on your wedding day but if it is and you’ve got guests waiting around outside for the ceremony or a space to relax in the evening it may be worth having blankets and perhaps some outdoor heaters on hand. From the brides perspective, if you don’t have long sleeves on your outfit, it might be worth having a fancy jacket or throw that you can put on over your shoulders.
Too windy - whilst wind might not be an issue for most weddings, if you’ve got an outdoor service it certainly could cause havoc! Firstly, are there things that can be blown away? It might be worth waiting until the last minute before putting out flowers, orders of service or anything that is vulnerable to being damaged or blown away entirely. It may also be worth thinking about the sound. If it’s too windy, your perfectly planned ceremony will be carried away with the breeze and your guests might not hear a thing. It may be worth considering having a microphone and speakers set up to ensure the whole congregation can hear.
Too wet - this one is a risk for ANY time of year in the UK so don’t think picking an August wedding leaves you scot-free. Shelter, and an alternative place that you can hold your ceremony, is a must. This will also be very handy even if it is dry for your ceremony but rains in the day leading up to it. Hay bales caught in a rain shower will quickly become sodden wet with little prospect of drying out so it may be worth storing them, and other ceremony essentials, in a dry location nearby and having a groomsman, brother, sister or friend on hand to put them out last minute. Depending on your venue it might be worth you, and your guests, having a pair of snazzy wellies ready, and providing umbrellas for you and your guests.
“Complicated, nerve-wracking, but absolutely worthwhile!”
Ruby B Celebrant, Nottinghamshire
Of course in planning an outdoor wedding, nobody wants rain. It’s alright to be upset, briefly, but don’t let it overtake you and ruin your day. If you’re upbeat and flexible with the weather, your guests will be too. And this day is about celebrating your relationship, so sit back, embrace and enjoy it! For us, it can be a great opportunity to get creative with photography and give you some exciting images. Our trusty white umbrella is always on hand. Just in case!
All venues which conduct outside ceremonies should have a Plan B and will have plenty of experience with this, so if in doubt talk to them and your wedding planner. Ruby B Celebrant is an award winning, qualified independent celebrant based in the East Midlands who specialises in helping you to mark your milestone moments with unique, personal, meaningful ceremonies. She highlighted the importance of being organised and going with the flow:
“Good organisation with someone to hold everything together, good weather (but even without it contingency plans can mean it is fabulous), relaxed couple and guests, good toilet facilities, fabulous food, space for cover/heat, the right sound provision, seating.”
Outside Bride – “The biggest mistake couples make is not having a full contingency plan for both wet weather and hot weather at the other end of the spectrum”
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, we’d love to hear from you - share your plans in the comment box below or contact us.
A massive thank you to all the lovely, wedding suppliers who contributed to this blog. You can find out all about them and how to get in contact beneath. They may not be included in this step but they certainly will in one of the other’s and we thought they deserve a mention here regardless!
The Outside Bride
Arnos Vale Weddings
S D Celebrations
Festoon wedding coordinator
Ruby B Ceremonies
Susan Denton Celebrant