Getting married outdoors
For many couples, the perfect wedding ceremony involves the great outdoors, tying the knot against a beautiful, natural backdrop and being able to dance the night away under the stars. This can create a picture-perfect wedding and the ideal start to married life. However, arranging an outdoor wedding is not as straightforward as you might think. Here are some ways to plan the perfect outdoor wedding day.
Sort out the ceremony
Currently, the laws in England and Wales are fairly strict when it comes to outdoor wedding venues. While you can arrange for your photos, reception and other wedding-related celebrations to be al fresco without too much bother, a little more organisation may be needed for the ceremony itself. Put simply, you are allowed to have your ceremony outside, so long as it takes place under a fixed structure. This could include a gazebo, pavilion or arbour. Scottish law is a little more lenient, as you can get married pretty much wherever you like, so long as it is in the presence of a licensed minister. This is also the case for weddings in Northern Ireland.
Think about your surroundings
If you are planning to spend any major part of your special day outdoors you will need to take into account your surroundings, and how they will impact on your plans, both positively and negatively. Will there be intrusive noise like traffic or irritations like bugs to annoy you and your guests? Will you have to share any of the outdoor spaces with the general public? Can you decorate the area as you want? You may need to compromise on some details if you have your heart set on a specific outdoor wedding venue.
Consider your guests
Don’t get so carried away by the notion of a romantic outdoor wedding that you forget about your guests’ comfort. Make sure they have adequate seating during the ceremony band afterwards at the reception, or post-ceremony entertainment. This applies especially to guests who might be older, have additional mobility needs, are pregnant or who will have babies or young children with them. Make sure people can reach your venue easily and if necessary, lay on transport to get everyone there without hassle.
Factor in any extra costs
Never assume that an outdoor venue will not incur costs, such as venue hiring, staff and catering costs, fees for exclusive use and provision of facilities such as tables and chairs, parking, toilets, sound equipment for any live or recorded music you wish to play. You may wish to provide umbrellas for guests if it is threatening to rain, portable heaters for cold conditions or fans if it is swelteringly hot. Then, you will need suitably pretty and safe lighting for when the sun starts to set and you want to party on into the night.