So you’ve chosen a venue with a beautiful outdoor space–What should you consider next? An outdoor wedding ceremony on a gorgeous day is hard to beat, but including the outdoor element introduces a few more factors to think about. Keep reading to learn more and get expert advice on the details related to your outdoor wedding.

Time of Day and Year

sunset at outdoor weddingWith an outdoor wedding, timing is truly everything. Although it might seem like a very specific detail to think about early in the planning process, your ceremony time can have a huge influence on your comfort during an outdoor wedding. Keep in mind that the light will shift throughout the day. Will your wedding party or your guests be facing into the sun during the ceremony? It is popular to hold a ceremony about 2 hours before sunset, but that time can vary considerably throughout the year. Your photographer and venue staff will likely be more than happy to talk with you about the natural light and give input about the ideal time of day to hold your ceremony.

If you are planning a wedding during a time of year when the weather is cooler, you may want to have a mid-afternoon wedding so that the temperatures are at their peak. On a similar note, you may want to consider a slightly later ceremony time in the summer months, so that the heat of the day has passed. Consider options for shade and how you can set things up to be comfortable for both you and your guests.

Accessibility

As you plan your outdoor wedding, it is important to keep your guests in mind, especially if any guests have limited mobility. A ceremony site that requires your guests to make a long walk across uneven ground might not be ideal. Keep in mind that. vendors will need to set up tables, chairs, decor, food, and other essentials. Look for a level space that provides easy access for the wedding party, guests, and vendors. Again, your venue staff and/or wedding planner will likely be glad to assist with suggestions.

Convenient Sources of Power

Do you envision a natural wedding in a meadow or do you prefer a more manicured garden area? Either way, check to ensure that it is possible to bring your full vision to life in the space you choose. If you have a DJ taking care of your ceremony music, he or she may have wireless speakers but will likely need a source of power at some point during the ceremony or reception. Live musicians may have similar requirements. 

Decor

Your outdoor venue may have a designated space for all ceremonies or may have several options to choose from. If there are multiple spaces to choose from, consider what kind of decor (if any) would be needed for that site. You may want a focal point like an arbor or arch or keep it simple with some florals. Ask your venue staff to see pictures of past weddings (or check out their social media) to get ideas for different ways the space can be transformed. Rental companies, florists, and planners may all have helpful suggestions for ways to elevate the look and make your vision happen!

Bonus Tips For Your Outdoor Wedding

While not pivotal to your ceremony choice, there are a few other details we have seen over the years that can be nice touches or make your life easier. If you’re dealing with potential heat during a warmer month, guests always appreciate an offer of bottled water before the ceremony. You can even personalize the label to make it match your colors or theme! A basket of colorful personalized sunglasses creates a fun, playful vibe for summer weddings. Another creative option is having your programs printed on a fan so that guests can be informed and have a keepsake to keep them cool. In cooler months, having a basket of blankets near the ceremony is a thoughtful touch. 

outdoor attire for outdoor weddingConsider your own attire, as well! A wrap or shawl to go with your wedding dress may make you more comfortable outdoors. Wearing a vest instead of a full suit may provide some welcome relief on a warm, sunny day. If your outdoor venue has a lot of grassy areas, you may want to wear wedges or flats instead of heels. Choose what you like best, but make sure you are comfortable!

As you plan your beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony, take the time to chat with your venue staff and/or planner to consider suggestions they have that will make your day go smoothly. Every venue has its own unique setting and features that could practically influence your ceremony details. Choose a time and place that will be comfortable for both you and your guests to enjoy the experience.

For more expert advice and to start planning your outdoor wedding, contact the team at the Rand-Bryan House.