There's no disputing it, outdoor weddings are beautiful. You just can't beat that natural light. So when couples see those images on Instagram and Pinterest, they easily attach themselves to the idea that an outdoor wedding is the natural choice. Of course there are obvious benefits: beautiful pictures, needing far less décor, having a causal feel, etc. But there are also so many complicating factors we think couples forget to consider. Below are some tips and tricks to plan a successful outdoor soiree.
Pick a realistic time of year. Sure, if you are in Southern California, there's probably very few months that are off limits for a wedding. But for the rest of the 49 states, there are definitely some months that are better than others. I don't care who I offend with this next statement: please don't get married outside in Atlanta, during the day, in July. Even if your ceremony is only 15 minutes, you have to count the time guests will likely be spending outside before and after the ceremony. We've seen some pretty gnarly sunburns that have been incurred within 20 minutes of standing in direct sunlight.
Have a GOOD plan B. Generally a venue that has an outdoor space will provide you with a suitable option whether that's an indoor space or a tent of some sort. Make sure it's an option you would actually be happy with and one that actually has the capacity to seat all of your guests! Often times, we see couples extremely disappointed to be using their plan B space because they had only pictured themselves getting married outdoors. If you plan on doing an outdoor wedding that does not have a suitable indoor option, we suggest putting some money aside in an emergency fund (aka the "Oh Sh!t fund") for a tent or creative seating/décor if it's being held inside.
Plan for the cold too! There are those iffy months, April, May…well these days…it really could be any month… (sidestepping that global warming convo for now) where it can be unseasonably cold. If that's the case, going with that aforementioned tent is a great idea. Venues generally allow you to add heaters (or air conditioning) 24-48 hours in advance, allowing you to make a game-time decision.
Hydration stations. Giving guests access to water (and other drinks if you're feeling fancy), fans, umbrellas, sunglasses etc. is really important. And make sure that your bridal party, family, officiant, etc. are well hydrated before the ceremony starts! Remember, even if it's a nice 75-80 degrees out, everyone will be standing/sitting in one place anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour! Eventually the heat can catch up with you and have disastrous consequences. Plus, adding thoughtful touches, not only make for a great guest experience but also good for pictures too!
Check your attire. Avoid dark colors or heavy materials like velvet, for you as the couple or anyone else who may be standing up there with you. Opt for lighter weight, breathable materials if possible. For a South Asian wedding, keep in mind the added weight, resulting in added heat, that comes along with duputtas, large malas, turbans, heavy jewelry, etc. Paring down your attire will not only look outdoor appropriate, but also keep you cool, resulting in better pictures and a happier couple!