Planning an Outdoor Wedding

APRIL 12, 2016 • Planning

So you’re planning an outdoor wedding! Having an outdoor wedding is a beautiful thing. However, it really does show that you are not one to do thins the “easy” way. If there’s one thing for certain, there are a lot more moving parts to a wedding when it is in the great outdoors. So let’s get started!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Photo: Allison G. Photography & Design

Before you hair and make up make sure that you get yourself covered. Keep that beautiful skin protected. And you might want to be sure that you have some sunscreen available for your guests incase they didn’t think of it and if it is an exceptionally sunny day!

Bug Spray
This is something that you need to have on hand. Keep this stashed along with your bug spray for your guests. Make sure to put it in cute containers and put them in multiple areas so your guests don’t have to hike around searching for them.

Tented Ceremony
Every couple I meet envisions their ceremony to be a perfectly blue-sky dry day, which is the case 98% of the time. However, we must ALWAYS be prepared for that 2%! To bring you complete peace of mind I suggest to our couples to have a tent ready to go. Tent an area that in the event of rain can be used for your ceremony. And if it doesn’t rain, it will not go to waste, your guests will then have a comfortable tented area protected from the sun for your guests to use during your reception.

The Heat
If you are getting married in the summer, you will need to prepare for the heat! You may want to plan your ceremony to take place after three to get past the heat peak of the day. Or provide some pretty foldable fans in those containers that hold the bug spray and sunscreen. Provide fans for your guests as they sit down for the ceremony. Help your guests to find some relief from hot summer weather.                                                                                                                                                                                  

Lawn Games

Couples are striving to create a day that is more than just a formal sit down dinner for their wedding, but really an atmosphere where those they care for most are coming together--almost like a family reunion of sorts. To help facilitate this goal, lawn games take front and center. Lawn games are a great way to break up the day and create a vacation for a day feel. Your guests will laugh, chat, and bond over a game of corn hole, ladder golf, jumbo jenga, or crocket. Be creative and come up with some simple lawn games for your guests to play during cocktails or after dinner. If you have children coming their parents will thank you…and the key word is “simple;” think hula hoops, a beach ball, and Frisbee!

laura murray photography 

                                                                                                                                                                                        Photo: Laura Murray Photography

Who doesn’t love a s’more by the fire?! Make it simple for your guests and set up a s’more station so there are no wrappers lying around making a mess. Or you can always create little s’more packs that your guests can grab to make a single s’more.

out of the ordinary photography

                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Out of the Ordinary Photography

Ceremony Beverages

Imagine this…It’s mid-July. You have an afternoon ceremony and the sun is hot with absolutely no breeze. Your guests will require some refreshment. Be sure to have a beverage service awaiting your guests when they arrive and wait for the ceremony to begin. Decide whether or not you will allow any alcoholic beverages to be served before the wedding. Perhaps you could offer your signature drink to be served before the ceremony with some sparkling water. Be creative and refresh your guests!

first mate photography 

                                                                                                                                                                                                Photo: First Mate Photography

Don’t fret about the weather

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you need to realize that you can control everything except the weather! So just go withit. Have a rain plan in place and let nature take its course.

tracey buyce photography

                                                                                                                                                                                          Photo: Tracy Buyce Photography

Limit decor to surrounding beauty

When having an outdoor wedding you are blessed to have natural beauty surrounding you. With this, keep your décor limited. Don’t feel that you need to have every spare spot decorated. A few key areas is all that is needed to make the statement you want for your wedding. Keep it simple, classic, and elegant. Greenery and candlelight go a long way to create a big statement. People tend to go over budget with their floral décor, when lighting is one of the most important elements in creating ambiance for your wedding. Your floral décor need be only an accent to your lighting when having an outdoor wedding. 


                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo: Laura Murray Photography


Sparklers are fun and make for beautiful pictures! Everyone enjoys the festive nature of sparklers and they create the perfect opportunity to take pictures that will last a lifetime!

jonathan couture photography

                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Jonathan Couture Photography


The one place you do not want cut corners, is your pictures. Remember that the day will race by so quickly, you will not be able to keep up. Your photos will help you relive the magic and perhaps see some moments you missed. Have a thorough conversation with your photographer about what photos you wish to capture. If your photographer is willing, do a walk through in the area you wish to take your pictures. Write down all of the family photos that you wish to have taken. You will be so distracted by all of the action that day, that you will need to have your photographic wishes written down and with your photographer to be sure they are completed.

summerstreet photography

                                                                                                                                                                                        Photo: Summerstreet Photography