Planning An Outdoor Wedding? One Word: Umbrellas

For many women, getting married outside is a dream come true. There are the romantic backdrop, the warm sunshine and the occasional refreshing breeze. But celebrating out in the open is more of a logistical nightmare than you might imagine. So what do you need to know before trying to pull off an outdoor wedding?

Step In When Mother Nature Won’t
They days might be long in the summer, but there’s a good chance that your guests will want to stick around until late. If that’s the case, then you’ll need some outdoor lighting to allow them to see what they’re doing. You’ll also want a whole host of other powered items to make things more pleasant as the night starts to draw in, like electric overhead heaters. Finally, if you want music and you’re a long way from civilisation (like on a deserted beach, for instance), then you’ll need a mobile generator to produce the power for everything that relies on electricity, including the DJ.

Fully Develop Your Plan B
Outdoor weddings are a risk and something only the most entrepreneurial couples do. But like entrepreneurs, it’s a good idea to have a plan B if everything goes wrong. The biggest risk is, of course, the weather, which could turn at any moment, especially if you happen to live in a temperate region. Make sure that you have an indoor space set up by a firm like Lewis Marquees so that guests have somewhere to shelter if a storm starts brewing on the horizon. Also ensure that you’ve got somewhere for the ceremony to take place, besides just outside. Your guests won’t want to sit out in the rain for an hour while you say your vows.

Provide Umbrellas
Sometimes the rain isn’t heavy enough to convince the whole wedding to move inside, especially if it’s just a light shower in the middle of your vows. As a result, it’s a nice idea to provide each seat with its own umbrella, just in case the rain should start pouring. If there is a downpour, right in the middle of the vows, then another good option is to make sure that there are plenty of towels in the restroom so that people can quickly dry themselves off.

What If It’s Too Hot?
In places like New York and Toronto, summertime temperatures can regularly exceed 40 degrees. And while it’s good to have warm weather for summer weddings, it could get too hot for some guests. So how do you cool them down?

According to Peter Callahan, an events organiser from New York, the first thing to do is to make sure that you’ve got lots of shade. He suggests hiring out big umbrellas for guest tables so that they can avoid the blinding rays of the sun. Next, he says, make sure that you’ve got lots iced tea and other cold drinks, backed up by mobile refrigerators or cool boxes.

What If It’s Too Cold?
Even with the sun shining overhead, summer days can often be disappointingly cool, especially if there is a northerly breeze. Thus, couples sometimes need to figure out ways of keeping their guests warm. According to Callahan, temperatures can dip up to 20 degrees in the space of a couple of hours, meaning that it’s always a good idea to have ways on warming up guests on standby. He suggests using a combination of tents and space heaters. The heaters will warm up the air, and the tents will help trap it, preventing all the ladies from getting goosebumps.

Give Guests The Chance To Sit
Weddings are special events and the people who attend them want to be able to see all the action. The problem with many outdoor weddings, however, is that seeing what’s going on is often tough. Outdoor settings usually aren’t set up for entertaining large crowds.

If possible, put chairs on a slight incline. This will help people at the back to see what’s going on at the front without having to strain their necks. Also, even if your wedding ceremony is only five minutes long, consider putting out seating for any elderly relatives, just in case they’re unable to stand for extended periods of time.

Hand Out Plastic Heel Protectors
Finally, outdoor weddings can take their toll on guest outfits, especially high-heeled shoes. High-heeled shoes can quickly sink into wet grass, causing people to trip and fall. Most people won’t be prepared for this eventuality, and so it’s a good idea to hand out plastic heel protectors.