One of the many, many decisions that every bride needs to make is whether to say their vows inside or outside. The former option is certainly the easiest but if you’ve been dreaming about the latter your entire life, an outdoor ceremony is the only way to go.

The good news is that while certainly more challenging, planning the perfect outdoor wedding isn’t quite as difficult as most people believe. Provided you’re both aware of the inherent challenges and plan for them in advance, there’s no reason why your big day can’t go off without a hitch.

Here are ten straightforward tips for throwing the perfect outdoor wedding.

Choose the Right Month

First off, we have the small matter of scheduling, if there’s one thing that you don’t want to get wrong, this is it. Rather than blindly choosing a Summer month, take the time to do your research. Which month is historically the most reliable in terms of both sunshine and the absence of rain?

Keep a Tent Standing By

Regardless of how hard you try to predict the weather, freak rain and wind cannot be completely ruled out. What you can do however is prepare for them. Wedding tent hire isn’t expensive but it’s an invaluable back up plan to have. Even if you don’t use it, you’ll benefit from the peace of mind of knowing that you have it.

Visit the Venue

When it comes time to check out potential wedding venues, it’s important to time your visits appropriately. Don’t visit during the morning if you plan on having your ceremony during the afternoon or evening. Noise, insect and tranquillity levels can all change drastically over the course of a day.

Go Easy on the Decor

One of the many perks of hosting your wedding outside is that you don’t need to spend as much money on décor. In fact, excess décor can easily take away from the natural look that you should be trying to create. Choose somewhere beautiful and let the location speak for itself.

Keep the Insects in Check

For all the beauty of an outdoor wedding, there’s no denying that indoor ceremonies tend to have a lot less insects. If you don’t want your wedding guests to be swatting the air while you’re saying your vows, it’s therefore important to take a few countermeasures. Look into bug sprays, citronella candles and granular repellents.

Hire Experienced Professionals

As you’ve probably guessed by now, outdoor weddings come complete with quite a few unique challenges. It’s therefore important to hire professionals with actual outdoor wedding experience. Do your caterers know how to keep food warm/drinks cold on a Summers day? Is your photographer familiar with ceremonies that are held in the sun?

Choose Appropriate food

Regardless of how experienced your caterers are with outdoor food, it’s important to realise that they can’t work miracles. Some foods just aren’t a good idea in the Summer sun. When they tell you what those foods are, listen to them and take their advice. The last thing you want is to serve your guests spoiled food.

Accept That Your Dress Will get Dirty

 

If you want to a spotless wedding dress, have an indoor wedding. If you want an outdoor wedding, accept that keeping your wedding dress spotless is impossible. Don’t spend the happiest day of your life worrying about a dress that you’re never going to wear again. Even the most well cut grass leaves stains.

Help Your Guests Prepare

In theory, telling your wedding guests that you’re having an outdoor wedding should be a sufficient way of encouraging them to dress appropriately. In reality however, fail to give instructions and half of them are likely to turn up completely unprepared. Your wedding invitations should therefore include a brief note about outdoor shoes, cool clothing and sunscreen.

Keep Everyone Hydrated

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of keeping everybody hydrated during the ceremony. Alcoholic beverages might be a wedding essential but they are the very opposite of thirst quenching. It’s therefore important to serve your guests a wide selection of non alcoholic beverages too. For style points opt for home made lemonade and delicious virgin mojitos.

Clark Douglas, the author of this post, works at MDM Shelters, a well-known wedding tent manufacturing company. He likesto write articles on various topics in his free time.

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