With peak summer wedding season now in full swing, we’re finding more and more couples are opting to have an outdoor Indian ceremony (weather permitting of course). If your venue has plenty of outside space with some stunning surroundings then it’s certainly an option that shouldn’t be overlooked. However, we should note that planning for an outdoor wedding requires a lot more preparation time, as you’re technically organising two scenarios, because let’s be honest, you’re always going to need a contingency plan (see point 6). Here are some handy tips to ensure your outdoor ceremony is planned to absolute perfection.
Hire a planner
By hiring a professional wedding planner you can be sure that all contingency plans will have been well thought out and logistics will be in place, should the weather not be on your side. Your wedding planner will be able to take any stresses away and make the decision as to whether or not the ceremony should take place outside or inside, leaving you to concentrate on getting ready and being pampered on the morning of your special day.
Ensure the space works for suppliers
Be sure to consider if an outdoor ceremony will work for all your suppliers, especially the décor team. If the outside space offered has uneven grounds with over grown grass then bear in mind that extra planning and equipment that may be required, resulting in additional charges.
Notify your guests
It is so important to let your guests know beforehand if you’re planning to have an outdoor ceremony. They may suffer from hay fever, have sun-sensitive skin, or may even be bringing along small children or babies, and will therefore need to take extra precaution. Be a courteous host and allow your guests to prepare in advance by taking any necessary medication and applying sunscreen before attending your wedding to prevent any moaning or suffering on the day.
Always provide shelter
If there is one thing couples tend to often forget, it’s the fact that no guest will be pleased if he or she has to sit in direct sunlight for hours without any shelter. Even on good days, the heat and wind can make guests feel easily uncomfortable. So whether you provide a canopy covering or cute little umbrellas for your guests, make sure that some sort of shelter is provided.
Keep your guest hydrated
Remember to offer refreshments throughout the ceremony so your guests do not get dehydrated in the heat. Avoid individual water bottles for each seat. This will only ruin your photos as they will create a mess all over the floor, and will actually result in a hazard causing guests to potentially trip over. The best option is to ask your catering team to offer tray service during the ceremony. Have them circulate water and juice throughout and set up a drinks station somewhere near the back for larger numbers where people can also opt to help themselves.
Never book a venue on the hopes of having an outdoor ceremony alone. Always consider if the space inside will be big enough in case the weather isn’t what you hoped for. Not only should you plan for an indoor ceremony and ensure you have floor plans, be sure to consider turnaround times too if you are planning to have your evening reception in the very same room to ensure you leave enough time for set up.
A ceremony is never complete without beautiful background music to compliment the stunning setting. If your DJ is providing a small PA system with a specific playlist, ensure you can run a cable safely to a power point. If you opt for live instrumentals, check to see if there is enough space to set up an amplifier if required. You will also need to confirm whether or not your venue will allow you to play music outside, as some may have restrictions if located near a residential area.
Ensure when you have an outdoor ceremony that the rest room facilities are close by as well as an area where you can serve lunch. Guests will not be impressed if they have to walk forwards and backwards in high heels. If however, there is no choice but to have these located in a separate area, make sure there is clear signage placed so people know exactly where to go without any problems.
Make it fun
Remember the whole point of having your wedding outside is to make it fun. Surprise your guests with little favours; i.e personalised sunglasses or fans to beat the heat always go down well. And instead of just passing around water and juice, get your caterers to dish out some ice cream or ice-cold gola in between the ceremony. The more you look after your guests, the more likely they are to enjoy the day.