Planning an Outdoor Wedding

If you’re not keen to get married in a church or registry office then an outdoor wedding can be the ideal option. Whether you’re looking for a stunning seafront location or somewhere in the middle of the countryside there are lots of great outdoor spots on offer around the country. If you’re considering planning an outdoor wedding then here are a few tips for making sure that your day is one to remember.

Take the weather into account

This is especially the case if you’re planning to get married in the UK, where the weather is notoriously changeable (and often wet!). If you don’t want your wedding day to be a wash out, or unpleasantly hot, then be sure to have a contingency plan in place just in case the weather turns. If the weather is cold and rainy then have an under cover spot available, put down some flooring so that high heels don’t get stuck in wet mud and provide some heat. If the sun is shining then make sure that your site has some shade, provide water for everyone, and set up a cool, air conditioned space for those getting hot under the collar to retire to.

Be especially wary of extremes

Many an outdoor event – from festivals through to weddings – have come a cropper thanks to unexpected high winds. If you’re having any kind of outside structure, whether it’s a marquee tent, some small fairground rides, ice sculptures or water features, make sure you have a back up plan for dealing with the effects of high winds. It’s also worth considering other extremes of nature, such as flooding, a ‘plague’ of insects or a lightening storm – base your contingency plans on the outdoor space you have chosen.

Check your health and safety

It’s a lot simpler in terms of anticipating and planning for possible accidents when you’re using a venue that has its own safety measures in place. When you take an event like a wedding outdoors then you’re introducing a whole new range of potential mishaps. That’s not to say an outdoor wedding can’t be a safe and happy experience, just that you might need to put a bit of extra thought in to making the site accident free if this is the way you want to do it. For example, if your wedding is taking place on a romantic cliff top, arrange some safety barriers in areas where children are likely to be or if you’re opting for somewhere turfed then put down some flooring so there are no turned ankles thanks to the combination of high heels and grass.

What about catering

The extent to which you’ll need to consider the catering will depend on how far in the outdoors your wedding is going to be. If the wedding is next to a building with electricity and running water then you’re unlikely to experience that many issues, but if you’re looking at bottled water, generators and mobile catering then you need to be looking at how food will be safely heated and served and how you’re going to keep the champagne cold!

Clean up after yourselves

Whatever outdoor site you choose to have as the location for your wedding, remember that when your magical day is over, you need to be sure not to leave anything behind other than great memories…It can be useful to hire a skip if you’re clearing the site yourselves, or make sure that it is written into the contracts of the caterers, site managers, or wedding planners so that someone has responsibility for setting everything right after the event.

Planning an outdoor wedding certainly does take a little more effort than your average church and hotel reception affair, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not entirely possible to organise a fantastic event. In fact, even if you do have a few mishaps along the way – the odd rain shower or unexpected hot spell –  you might find that they make the day even more memorable.

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Amy is a freelance journalist in the UK. She is getting married next August.

Article by tasha

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