8 Tips For Hosting
An Outdoor Wedding

TIPS FOR OUTDOOR WEDDING

UPDATED FOR 2021 and 2022

Tips for Outdoor Wedding

Dreaming of having

an outdoor wedding?

We’re big fans of outdoor weddings, both professionally and personally. As photographers, being outside most of the day gives us plenty of natural light to work with. As regular people, we simply love the fresh air, a light breeze in our hair, and the luxury of a stunning sunset.

Outdoor weddings are magical, but they also come with some particular challenges that you should be aware of beforehand.

1. Talk to People with Professional Experience

Take advantage of the knowledge the people you hired for your wedding possess. Experienced wedding professionals in the industry will be able to advise you on how to schedule your timeline, what type of equipment you’ll need and they can even have a few backup ideas ready if the weather turns bad.

For example, did you know that the way you face during the ceremony could be crucial? A position that works during a daytime wedding could be a problem for a late afternoon one. Talk to your photographer or wedding planner about the sun’s position in respect to the location and time of your ceremony. Avoid facing the sun directly – on a sunny day, you’ll squint through the ceremony, and in your photographs, you could end up with deep shadows across your face… not to mention how uncomfortable you’ll feel when you get hot. Not ideal on your wedding day.

If your venue’s orientation is not optimal for the time of day you chose, think about alternatives. An evening ceremony will solve the sun problem, but it could affect the time you usually do your portraits – the best light to do those is around 1 hour before the sunset (the golden hour).

Set aside 15 minutes during your initial planning to discuss these things with your photographer and you might save yourself a lot of stress and headaches.

Tips for Outdoor Wedding

2. Find some shade

This is a must if you’re planning an outdoor summer wedding. Think about hosting the ceremony under trees for some light shade. It will afford you and your guests a more comfortable ceremony and reception and will also prevent sunburns!

3. Prepare a Backup Bad-Weather Plan

It doesn’t matter if you’re planning your outdoor wedding in winter or in the middle of summer – nature is fickle and bad weather can appear out of nowhere, despite what the weatherman promises.

Have a backup plan ready. Your best bet is to find a venue that also has enough indoor space for a ceremony and a reception if necessary. Your second option is to rent a high-quality outdoor tent.

Discuss any available options with the venue manager and your wedding planner if you have one. And if the weather forecast doesn’t look good, don’t hold off with your decision until the last minute. Moving the wedding indoors at least a day beforehand will give the caterers and decorators enough time to make it as beautiful as possible.

Tips for Outdoor Wedding

4. Dress According to the Season

You probably already have your dream wedding dress in mind, but make sure to pick one you’ll also be comfortable in.

Wearing a suitable dress is important, and even more so with an outdoor wedding. You don’t want to wear a long-sleeved dress for an outdoor summer wedding, but you’ll need some sleeves or a light jacket if you get married in early spring or late fall.

If you and your bridesmaids are wearing heels, get some heel stoppers that will keep you from sinking in the grass.

5. Inform Your Guests of the Location

Let your guests know that you’ll be having an outdoor wedding. You can notify them in the invitation or on your wedding website. Just make sure they know, so they too can pick the appropriate outfit and shoes.

6. Refreshments for Guests

Small drinks and snacks are a lovely gesture for when your guests arrive at the venue or for when they are waiting for the ceremony to start. Offer some iced tea or even plain water for a summer wedding and some coffee, tea, or hot cocoa for a fall or winter wedding.

7. The Weather vs. your Decor and Flowers

This is something your florist or decorator will mention, but if you’re decorating by yourself or with your friends, keep in mind that flower arrangements shouldn’t be exposed to hot weather or extreme cold for too long. Ask someone in your wedding party to make sure the flowers stay in a cozy place until the very last possible minute.

Also keep in mind that a gust of wind could blow away your stationery and other decorations, so weigh them down or secure them in another way.

8. Keep the bugs away

Outdoor summer weddings are amazing, but they usually have one big problem – bugs. Ask the venue to provide some insect-repellent candles or spray and place them all around the venue.

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