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The Do's and Don'ts of Getting Married Outside

Joined: 1/4/2009
Posts: 12
For those of you that planned or are planning weddings outside, or for those of you who have attended an outdoor wedding what are lessons learned or tips for those of us considering it?
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
My husband and I consider ourselves wedding experts because we have attended over 50 weddings in the last 10 years and we have been in over 30 of them. A few of the weddings were outside and from a guest / participants perspective here is the advice I have:

If it is a summer wedding, try to choose a spot that might have shade or at least indirect sunlight for your guests at the time of the service. We attended a wedding that felt like we would have heat stroke by the time the short service was over because the sun was directly in our eyes.

If it is a destination wedding and will be outside, don't be upset by the wind or rain or sun or any other weather issue. The destination itself is exciting for the guests and the participants.

Also know that weather mishaps make the best stories. My best friend had her wedding in Puerto Rico at a resort. The ceremony was windy, but it made it look even more romantic and the wind helped cool everyone down. My brother-in-law's wedding was in a beautiful spot - Lake Chautauqua in New York. The day before his October wedding the weather was close to 80 degrees. Then, on the wedding day, a cold front blew through bringing snow, rain and frigid temperatures hovering around 40 degrees. The guests kept each other warm and the weather provided a very dramatic backdrop to their ceremony. Two of our best friends had an outdoor wedding in June, and it didn't just downpour, it looked like monsoon season. Thankfully, by the time the ceremony was over, the rain stopped, but no one escaped that wedding without getting wet. The best part of the day, though, was the beautiful rainbow that appeared right after the ceremony.

My best advice: Have a back up plan JUST IN CASE. The weather rarely cooperates, and it can make planning a wedding much more stressful, so have an alternate venue if things don't work outside.

Posted: Monday, October 12, 2009 2:39:02 PM
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Comment by kjb2052

Joined: 7/1/2009
Posts: 20
DO: Plan to be flexible. The weather is the ONE thing you won't be able to control on the Big Day. And who knows, those looming clouds just may make your photos look amazing. :) And speaking of photos, DO splurge on your photography, because the day is going to go by at lightening speed.

DON'T: Stress if things are or aren't getting done. Enjoy the day, because it will be over before you know it. Try to put some people in charge that you trust will get the job done, because you DON'T want to be worried about if the guests know when to eat, or if there is enough champagne, etc....
Posted: Monday, October 12, 2009 9:36:14 PM
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Comment by KristieMGrey

Joined: 6/5/2009
Posts: 10
Outdoor weddings can be so tricky, but also beautiful! It depends on what you're looking for.

Definitely remember that the weather is unpredictable. Have the option of tents or a pavilion.

Also, if you and your girls are in strapless dresses, you may want to think about buying jackets or wraps. Conversely, if you're having an outdoor June wedding, be nice to yourself and your girls! Don't put them in long satin dresses and try to fall in love with a lighter gown yourself! There are TONS of fabulous options today for tea length & cocktail length gowns for you and your girls that are fun, light, flowey, and still super elegant. Also for that outdoor June wedding... maybe consider putting the men in khakis or light suits instead of black tuxes. Heat stroke isn't anything that any bride wants to have to deal with on her day.

And for my blushing bride, if you do fall in love with a princess gown and you wear it that day, you may want to have a backup dress to change into after dinner, one that's lighter for you.

Keep a Tide stick near by also. You think deodorant on your little black dress is bad? How about grass stains on your gown before pictures?

SHOES: Flats or wedges work much better for women for outdoor weddings, because more than likely, you're going to be walking on grass or sand at some point. Ever try to walk through slightly damp grass in stilettos? Yea. I don't like doing it either.

Decor... Make sure you tack it down and/or it's not breakable. If the wind picks up and knocks over the glasses for the champagne toast from two tables... well... would you rather those be plastic or glass?

A great idea for programs: attach them to a stick and give them to your guests to fan themselves with! that will make it a little easier on them

There are many more tips I could put on here, I know the reply is a little disjointed, but I hope that this helps!
Posted: Sunday, November 8, 2009 4:05:37 PM
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