8 Things to Remember When Planning Your Outdoor Wedding!

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So, it’s getting down to the wire and your summer wedding is quickly approaching! Exciting!! But…Do you have everything you need to beat the heat (or the rain!) and keep your guests smiling? I’ve compiled a list of 8 areas that every summer bride and groom should think about before they walk down that aisle.

1)    Timing is everything

If you decide to hold your outdoor ceremony at 1pm in the afternoon, your guests are going to be fried to a crisp by the time cocktail hour is upon them! It’s best to hold off the ceremony until later in the afternoon so that the sun isn’t as strong and there is less time spent in the direct sunlight between the ceremony and the reception.

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2)    It’s nice to have relief!

Outdoor summer weddings are beautiful! However, along with the beauty of the great outdoors, comes the harsh elements that can make a fun and festive evening hard to bear. Having a relief station at your ceremony and reception is a great idea to provide the guests the essentials they’ll need. Include items such as bug spray, sunscreen, flip-flops, cold towels (for those really hot days!), bottles of water and hand sanitizer.

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3)    The icing takes the cake!

Keep in mind your average outdoor temperature and remember that butter cream icing doesn’t hold up for long durations as well as fondant will. If your wedding cake will be out on display for a couple hours in the sweltering sun, it’s best to advise your bakery of this so they can design your beautiful cake with that in mind. Another great idea might be to place the cake in a shaded area, such as a tent or under the shade of a tree, to help with any melting.

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4)    Dress for success

Sometimes the outfits we gravitate towards for the bridesmaids or groomsmen are not the most practical based on the time of the year. Try to keep the weather in mind when planning your bridesmaid’s gowns and perhaps opt for a lighter, breathable fabric that won’t cling or bunch when they get hot. A shorter length might also be a good idea; depending on the style you are going for.

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The same can be said for the men! Sometimes a traditional black tux or suit for a summer wedding isn’t the greatest idea! Black attracts the sun and the traditional suit materials can be very heavy. There are lots of other options for the groomsmen when selecting their outfits. Perhaps go with a more casual outfit altogether that doesn’t include a suit jacket (you are getting married outside, after all!). Another option would be to go for a linen suit which is much more breathable in the hot summer months.

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5)    Take shelter

Brides often forget about shelter from the sun as opposed to shelter from the rain. Everyone wants to avoid rain on their big day, so if the sun is out with not a cloud in the sky everyone is happy! However, neglecting to offer your guests shelter from the hot rays during the time between the ceremony and reception or (even better) during the entire reception, your guests may wilt away by the time you’re ready to hit the dance floor. A great solution to this would be to rent a large tent for your reception to be held under. This type of shelter allows your guests to roam in and out of the sun as they please. If renting a tent isn’t feasible or in the budget, another option could be to use smaller patio umbrellas scattered throughout the grounds for guests to duck under as they wish.

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6)    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Often times the bride and groom are more preoccupied with the bar package, that they neglect the importance of having proper hydration at the ceremony and reception. While having a glass of bubbly is definitely important, it is also important to keep the guests happy in the sun. Some nice ideas for this would be to offer lemonade, iced tea or punch to the guests when they first arrive. Personalized water bottles are also a nice touch and act as a souvenir for the guests. During the reception you could offer iced water, flavoured with fruit or have watermelon slices by the bar.

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7)    Baby it’s cold outside

Let’s not forget that we live in Ontario and sometimes our nice warm days can turn into some chilly evenings! Guests may not have thought about the temperature change, so it’s nice to think of solutions for them so that they don’t have to worry. Everyone has seen the basket of flip-flops offered to those who need better dancing shoes, right? Well why not put out a basket of pashmina’s for the ladies to use if it gets cold? Another option may be to rent portable patio heaters for your outdoor event. These can be quite nice when the weather takes a dip.

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8)    Plan B

Last on our list, but certainly not least, is making sure you have a Plan B! Everyone wants to think that their gorgeous outdoor summer wedding won’t have any weather issues – after all, it’s August right? Wrong. Please remember that wet guests are unhappy guests and you definitely need to have a solid back up plan if the weather forecast is calling for rain on your special day.  Whether it is a rented tent, farmhouse, or different venue altogether, you will be happy you made the additional arrangements.

40x60 Ceremony Tent Custom Decorating

Thanks for reading everyone! If you have any questions about how to rent or create any of these ideas shared above, please feel free to contact me – I’d be happy to discuss :)

Until next time…happy planning!

~ C.

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