For an outdoor wedding, you can't rely on a building's structure to provide your ceremony backdrop. Instead, look for natural elements to keep your photos dynamic. A big tree, the horizon line of the water, or rolling vineyard hills will make every wedding photo a statement-maker. Getting married in the middle of a field? Create a faux altar or backdrop in your wedding colors. For your outdoor reception, use what you have around you to add character to decor and bring in simple elements, like string lighting, to punch up the aesthetic.
Keep the forecast in mind when you select your wedding look, especially if the main even is outdoors. In the summer, find a wedding dress that will breathe well and feel comfortable, and make sure the groom is dressed in a lightweight, breathable shirt and jacket. During cooler seasons, bring along a shrug or topper to wear in case the temperatures drop.
A gust of wind can turn your pretty A-line wedding dress into a memorable wardrobe malfunction or cause your veil to ruin that picture-perfect moment. Assess your venue's location and time of year when making your attire choices. If your oceanfront wedding stays blustery, think about forgoing the chapel-length veil in favor of a stunning headpiece. The same goes for other elements of your style. Springtime wedding in a rainy climate? Remember that those gorgeous stiletto heels will sink into the damp soil, hindering your walk down the aisle.
In hot and humid summer months, provide easy access to water. It's easy to focus on the bar selection, but it's equally important to keep yourselves and your guests hydrated when the sun is shining down on your reception. During cooler times of year, think about incorporating a coffee or hot cocoa station into decor near the ceremony entrance so guests can have something warm to sip as they wait for the wedding to begin.
Cool & Comfortable
If you are planning on having both your ceremony and reception outdoors, be cognizant of just how long your event will last. A midday event definitely calls for the addition of shade, while couples planning sunset ceremonies and evening receptions can get away with supplying guests with a ceremony program that doubles as a fan. If your venue doesn't have a covered patio or plenty of trees to relax under, consider bringing in some small tents to give guests a break from the sun.
Managing the Elements
It's smart planning – and a fun welcome gift – to provide a station for guests stocked with sunscreen, bug spray, and even chilled towels to cool themselves. While some guests might choose to bring these things for themselves, it's a sweet gesture to offer these items to guests who didn't. Make sure to mention the weather conditions you expect on your wedding day either in the invitation enclosure or on your wedding website so guests can be prepared.
The most worrisome part of hosting an outdoor wedding is the unpredictability of the great outdoors. Most snafus happen due to unexpected weather. When you select an outdoor venue, make sure it can accommodate some type of contingency plan for these occasions and work through the details of that plan before your wedding day.
When you meet with your caterer and bakery, make sure to discuss where your food will be kept during the wedding and reception. After all, you don't want that delicious cake melting in the sun during your Southern wedding ceremony. These professionals can advise you what to consider for your particular outdoor venue and take care of keeping your food tasty and your cake's frosting completely intact.