As a Cheshire based celebrant I am surrounded by stunning outdoor venues, both licensed and unlicensed. There are so many picturesque forests, parks, back gardens and even beaches further afield that could be the perfect backdrop for your wedding ceremony. I absolutely adore outdoor wedding ceremonies, and, with a little planning, they can be truly breath taking and magical. So, I have put together a few tips to consider when planning your special day.
Location, location, location!
As always, think outside the box! Start by brainstorming all the places where you may love to tie the knot. Is there somewhere that is meaningful to you both? Did you propose there? Do you spend all your Sunday’s walking your dog in a nearby forest that you love? How about your childhood home or your Nan’s back garden? Or it could just be somewhere that you both like the look of but have never considered before. You may need permission from the land owner but don’t rule anything out until you have tried every avenue. I am happy to help you with this in any way I can.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass it’s about learning to dance in the rain
Aaah the great British weather! Sadly, even in the peak of summer we can’t guarantee glorious sunshine in the U.K. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have the outdoor ceremony of your dreams. If possible, have a plan B of an indoor venue in case of torrential rain but there are other options. Consider having a temporary covering such as a gazebo or marquee that can be easily put up and taken down.
Or how about some colour coordinated umbrellas for your guests? These may also be useful for if it is extra sunny to prevent Aunt Bertha passing out form heat stroke. Some water/prosecco to hand may also help to quench your guests’ thirst. Forests often have a lot of natural cover from the trees and I can help you to find the most appropriate area for your wedding ceremony.
Consider the positioning of the seating. You don’t want the sun to be beaming into your eyes and into your guests’ eyes. Having the sun behind you and your guests will prevent you from squinting and looking like you’re seriously peeved in all your beautiful wedding pics.
Steady as she goes
Consider the walkways and your footwear. Trampling through broken branches, slippery moss and thick mud in your 5 inch designer stilettoes may prove a little difficult. The length and trail of your dress (if you are wearing one) may also need consideration.
Again, there are ways around these issues, you can put something down on the ground in most grassy areas, beaches and parks and place your seats on top. Or you can get those fancy bridal Converse or White Hunter wellies on and strut down the aisle in comfort. Depending on the location, you may also want to advise your guests of the access route, especially if any guest have mobility issues.
If you are planning to exchange your vows on the beach you will need to make a note of the tide times and also consider the complications that the wind can provide on the beach. Consider an up-do for your hair, flat shoes and tie things down where possible (a good way to stop the fiancé from running off I suppose).
Wired for sound
An important consideration for your outdoor wedding ceremony is the acoustics. Birds singing, wind, passing traffic and just wide-open spaces are some of the things that can interfere with your guests being able to hear your ceremony. I have my own portable PA system that I am able to bring with me should you need it, at no extra cost.
You may need to consider your music choices. If you have chosen to have live music your singer(s) or musician(s) will be able to advise you on the logistics of this but if you are planning on providing your own music you may need an electricity supply.
It’s all in the detail
Enjoy every minute of the planning process and get that Pinterest account glowing with your colour scheme and accessories. If you are having an outdoor wedding, then you probably have an appreciation for sustaining nature and all its beauty. Have a look at some of the eco-friendly products available from your local suppliers. Have a google at the colourful rice paper lanterns, washable cotton bunting, bio-degradable balloons, petal confetti and so much more.
Are you going for earthy tones to compliment your chosen ceremony area or are you going for bold and beautiful colours to make a focal point of your aisle and seating area?
Take me to the church on time
In many circumstances you will still be able to use traditional transport to your wedding, if that is what you have chosen. However, some ceremonial areas, e.g. on a cliff edge, deep in a forest, far out on a beach, may warrant or allow for alternative forms of transport. How about arriving on horseback, or donkey, hot air balloon or sand digger. So many options!
Get in touch
This is just a whistlestop tour of my top tips. There are lots of exciting things to think about and plan and I would love to hear all your plans for your outdoor wedding. Get in touch if you would like to have a chat and see how I can help you with your wedding ceremony.