Expert advice on planning an outdoor wedding
Planning an outdoor wedding? You’re in for a treat. While it can be one of the most beautiful and simple ways to get married, it can also turn into a disaster. Here’s how to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Have a Backup Plan
The first thing you should do with an outdoor wedding is have a backup plan. What if things don’t go as planned? For example, if it rains, then what? You don’t want to be stuck out in it during the ceremony.
And, where will your guests eat? Can you fit everyone under a tent?
These are things to think about when you’re first making wedding plans. Be prepared to rent a tent if your venue does not have indoor accommodations for guests. Also, think about what you want to do for a dance floor if you can’t have it inside and it’s raining during the reception.
A tent that can “house” all the guests, plus the vendors, and you will be a big tent.
If possible, try to pick a venue with an indoor option, which will save you money if the weather does turn south. And, if it doesn’t, you have extra space.
Keep It Simple
Simple is in. Yeah, a lot of wedding vendors will bend over backwards to convince you that you need their services. And, for some things, that might be true. But, for others, you can handle them yourself if you’re on a budget or just really hands on.
The most important vendors for most people will be the caterers, photographer, and the venue. Everything else is negotiable. If you’re a huge music fan, you might also consider the D.J a necessity. But, then again, if you’re serious about music, you’ll want a live band.
Decorations can be simple too. Use picked flowers, for example. They’re cheaper than having them arranged. Shop http://www.weddingsparklersdirect.com/ for wedding sparklers, and save on the bubbles.
You don’t technically need a dance floor if you have an indoor/outdoor venue, or if you have a flat space to dance. And, if someone in your family wants to monitor the music, set up an iPad or iPod or music player and just let it play.
Just keep in mind that the more you DIY for your wedding, the more work (i.e. “elbow grease”) you’ll have to put in. If you’re willing to do without some of the tradition, you can save money and cut back on the work needed to pull off your wedding.
For table centerpieces, you could use the local environment as inspiration. Is there something special about the area where you’re getting married? For example, if your venue is home to unique stones or rocks, you could incorporate those into the centerpiece. If the area is populated with wildflowers, you could bundle some up for each table and use those.
Having a wedding on the beach? This is easy. Fill a centerpiece with sand and put a candle in the center.
Is it in your backyard? This opens up a whole host of opportunities. You can use anything on the property, from knick knacks to personal memorabilia.
Get creative and think outside the box. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or bring in more vendors for the outdoor wedding. In fact, because it’s outdoors, you can use the natural scenery to eliminate the need for a lot of “fluff” and decoration.
Have The Site Sprayed
Outdoor weddings can attract a lot of bugs, especially in the spring. So, you might want to have the area sprayed the night before. If you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, and you don’t want to risk burning the grass or somehow ruining the area where the ceremony will be held, have a professional come in and do it.
One last thing: don’t forget outdoor lighting. It’s easy to forget this one because a lot of people think of indoor venues or venues with outdoor lighting “built” into the landscape. For example, if you have your outdoor wedding in a national park where the state provides lighting, you won’t need to string up any lights yourself.
But, if you’re having it in the middle of the woods, or if you’re in an area with no artificial lighting piped in, you’re going to want to make sure that there are in fact electrical outlets or hookups and that you bring lights for your guests.
Consider paper lanterns for the tables, and globe lights for dancing. If you need more direct lighting, you could bring in torch lighting or focused spotlights.
Mathilda Jameson dreamt up wedding after wedding as a little girl, and was thrilled when she discovered that wedding planner was an actual job description. She never looked back! Today her wedding articles appear on a range of women’s lifestyle and bridal sites.