Outdoor Ceremony Considerations
Dreams of the perfect blue skies, a few billowy white puffy clouds overhead, comfortable temperatures, and the slightest breeze keeping you cool are what all couples envision for the day their outdoor ceremony is to take place.....
The likelihood of that picture perfect day becoming reality is all too often diminished when the grey clouds come rolling in, temperatures drop, and the conditions for an outdoor event are less then desirable..... so what happens at this point - when all preparations have been made?
These are only a few of the conditions you need to take into consideration when deciding to host an outdoor ceremony or reception event. There are so many little nuances that need to be considered during your planning phase to be sure your event can go without a hitch - no matter what the weather or environment surrounding the site decides to do on the day of.
Location: make sure that your location is favorable for hosting not only an outdoor ceremony, but has a back up plan for inclement weather! Too often families forget to have a plan b for the "just in case" incident.... Make sure there are locations to turn to the indoors that can accommodate your entire guest list and still perform your needed services. (don't just have a garage next door we can run to for cover til it passes when 250 guests can't cram in and wait for hours!) Make sure that tents or coverings/pavilions/facilities are located close by. It can become a logistical nightmare to transport a hundred plus family members to a building located at the opposite side of the property when the rain has already started!
Always have that back up plan in place - and plan ahead! Not only do you need to worry about rain, what about other fluctuations in your plan??? Temperature extremes can do all guests in if it becomes unbearably hot and there is no shade! Having items such as umbrellas, sunscreen, misters, fans, and water bottles can really help those guests who may not have a high tolerance to uncomfortable conditions.
In addition - consider your surroundings.... if you have your dream wedding in the middle of the wooded forest with water or other damp conditions... BUGS will be an issue! Mosquitos, black flies, ticks, as well as creepy crawlies and other little critters may make some people squirmish and swatting at tons of imaginary or real nuisances during your event.... don't forget items such as bug sprays to help keep your guests feeling protected. Having the event in the middle of a meadow will attract other flying insects like bees and activate allergies in many guests that you may not have considered. Items to have on the ready for your guests would be allergy medications, pain relievers for bee stings or bug bites like benadryl, have a first aid kit on site as well - and remind guests to bring their epi pens if they have allergies!!! Due to liability concerns no one will be able to administer medications except immediate family to the guests themselves- so you all must come prepared! It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health and well being of your guests!
Other things to think of - in case a cold spell comes through - having areas to provide warmth.... taking that bridal party out in winter for pictures in the snow?? Don't forget to offer warm treats for their patience in helping you get the perfect pictures! Frostbite isn't considered a great thank you! Have warm and cozy blankets, shawls, mugs of hot cocoa or coffee at the ready, stick some hand warmers in those mittens you give out, or an extra pair for their shoes!
No guest or bridal party member wants to be uncomfortable any more than you do on that perfect day.... keep their comfort always at the forefront of all planning - and your guests will always remember your thoughtful consideration and the fun they are sure to have when things are kept not only beautiful but comfortable for them as well!