Outdoor weddings are both beautiful and romantic but they can come with pitfalls, so take heed of the following tips to make sure your special day goes without a hitch.
Choose a sheltered location
If at all possible, try and choose a location that is sheltered from high winds which could wreak havoc with your clothes, hair and decorations. You need to think about how the weather is likely to be and make sure your guests are comfortable. If it's sunny and hot then don't leave your guests melting. Provide them with plenty of cold water on arrival and even some pretty parasols for the ladies. Alternatively, you could have the wedding program printed onto a fan so that guests could cool themselves off that way.
Have a plan B
It's always recommended to have a plan B in case of bad weather, so check with your venue to see if they have a room in which you could relocate in a hurry. If you're determined to go ahead with an outdoor wedding then consider paying the extra bucks for a waterproof tent. These are not only stronger but will ensure that you guests don't end up with soggy feet.
Make sure that your location is accessible, particularly if you have invited elderly or disabled guests. An elderly guest may find it extremely difficult to access certain sites that you find easily accessible and a person in a wheel chair would find it impossible to move across soft sand or go up flights of steps. Think about your guests and what special needs they might have.
Whilst the thought of getting married on a beach or in a large park sounds particularly romantic, what with the roaring sea, whistling wind and rustling trees, guests could struggle to hear you. Try and organise a sound system with clip on microphones for both you, the groom and the person officiating.
Choose suitable wedding attire
Whilst it may seem like a no brainer, you'll be surprised at how many people fail to consider how their choose of wedding attire will cope with the great outdoors. You need to think about weather extremities such as rain and sunshine, heat and cold and choose your fabrics accordingly.
Food and drinks
When it comes to the wedding food no-one wants to be sharing it with bugs so hire a marquee in which to put the food and in which guests can also keep out of the sun, if they wish. Put citronella candles outside and protect candles from blowing out by covering them with glass hurricanes. Keep your guests hydrated by having plenty of ice cold water and thirst quenching juices on hand. Alcohol tends to dehydrate people, especially in hot weather.
As the temperature drops
Finally, once the evening arrives, temperatures can cool down so enquire whether your venue has any gas heaters to keep the chill out of the air and make sure you and the bridesmaids have shawls or capes to put on as the temperature drops.