If you’re planning to get married this summer, you might be thinking about an outdoor wedding. Although they come with their own share of pitfalls – after all, you never quite know what the weather’s going to do, do you? – outdoor weddings can be incredibly beautiful and romantic, and limited only by imagination (and possibly budget – although you can make some major savings this way!)
So how do you make sure that your outdoor wedding is everything you want it to be and more? Not just for you, but your guests too?
In England and Wales, you cannot be legally married outside. The ceremony can take place outdoors, but the legalities (the statements, signing of the register etc.) must be carried out in either a church, registry office or other licensed wedding venue.
However, you can still have an outdoor wedding, not to mention the reception. A temporary or permanent canopy or gazebo can be a lovely location for a romantic and intimate ceremony, while a tent or marquee is ideal for a reception. There are plenty of venues (country house hotels, parks, gardens, etc.) that offer outdoor wedding packages now, so do a little bit of homework.
A temporary canopy, gazebo or marquee can easily be decorated to match your chosen theme. If you’re getting married outdoors, you can use the natural beauty of the venue to inspire you. Perhaps echo the colours of the flowers if there’s a garden. Or consider seasonal colours and flowers. Oranges, reds and purples are lovely for autumn weddings, while pretty pastel colours and greenery are wonderful for spring, and red and white make a pretty Christmassy theme.
Make sure there’s plenty of seating for guests and if it’s a hot, sunny day, have cool drinks on hand and somewhere shady they can go and sit/stand. If it’s cooler, let them know they may need extra layers, and you could even have coffees or hot chocolate available for them while they mingle.
This will be your main issue for an outdoor wedding, and unfortunately there’s not much you can do about it! If you’re in a marquee, make sure it has proper flooring so that guests don’t get soggy feet or sink in the grass.
And, if push comes to shove, try and have a backup (indoor) venue. Tables and chairs can be moved, but your guests won’t thank you if they get drenched/blown away.
An outdoor wedding will require careful consideration and planning, and there may be several things that you wouldn’t have to factor in for a traditional ceremony, but hold your wedding outdoors, and it’ll definitely be one to remember.
Tips from TransformaSpace, who specialise in temporary and permanent canopies and gazebos for weddings, corporate events and exhibitions.