Having an outdoor wedding can be a great experience. Outdoor locations often practically eliminate the need for decorations since they offer their own naturally beautiful decorations, which also offer a great natural backdrop for photos. Outdoor weddings and receptions, though, have their own set of unique challenges. Whether you know you want an outdoor ceremony or reception or you are simply considering at least one outdoor location, there are several things to consider.
The Time of Year
If you want to get married outside but you have not decided on the date of your wedding, now is the time to consider what time of year is best. While an outdoor wedding is possible just about anywhere year-round, there are times of the year that allow for a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. For example, you may have a lot of unhappy guests if you plan a winter wedding in a cold climate. Guests might be equally unhappy at a summer outdoor wedding in an extremely hot and humid climate.
Of course, there are things you can do to make your guests more comfortable, no matter the time of year. An indoor area where guests can go to either warm-up or cool-down is always essential. At the very least, rent a tent (or multiple tents), which can either be equipped with a space heater or fans.
Things to Consider for a Cold-Weather Wedding
The first thing you should do is to plan for the likely weather. If it is likely to be cold, provide blankets or another way for guests to stay warm at least during the ceremony. If snow is likely or even possible, a way to keep your guests out of the elements, such as umbrellas or an open tent, is essential. It is also important to plan for unexpected weather. Snow, strong winds, hail, and thunderstorms are some of the weather events you may need to deal with if you are having a winter wedding. It is important to keep an eye on the weather in the days leading up to your wedding. Know what you will do if unexpected weather happens.
Things to Consider for a Hot-Weather Wedding
Like with a cold-weather wedding, it is important to plan for the likely weather when planning a hot-weather wedding. Having enough cold water or other options for hydration is important if your guests are likely to spend the day outside in hot weather. Having sunscreen on hand is also important. You may also want to provide sunglasses, sun visors, or other ways for guests to keep the sun out of their eyes. Your guests will also likely appreciate it if there is bug spray on-hand. Citronella candles or other devices to keep bugs away will likely keep your guests happier. Of course, planning for less expected weather, such as rain, wind, or unusually warm weather is also important when it comes to a wedding during the warmer time of the year. Paying attention to the weather in the days leading up to your wedding can help you plan better.
The Time of Day
In some places, the time of day will not matter too much when planning your outdoor wedding or reception. In other areas, the time of day might make a big difference. For example, some areas might be warm or even hot during the day, but the temperature cools down significantly in the evening and at night. If this is the case, you may need to provide accommodations to keep your guest cooler during the daytime wedding and warmer during the evening reception. In some areas, bugs are not much of an issue during the day, but if your guests are staying into the evening hours, bug spray and other devices to keep the bugs away will be essential.
Unfortunately, severe weather can arise any time of year. If this happens, you might be forced to have an indoor wedding or reception. Have a backup location, even if it’s simply a rented tent. Make sure the backup location is large enough to accommodate all your guests. Ideally, your backup location should be close to your outdoor location so out-of-town guests can easily find it. Plus, having this indoor location near the original site gives guests a place to rest inside.
Of course, these are just a few of the things you will need to pay attention to if you have an outdoor wedding or reception. While it does take some special consideration to have an outdoor wedding or reception, it can be a wonderful experience.