Authored by: Jim Emerson
June 25, 2010

So you’re thinking about having an outdoor wedding ceremony. Great, but with the wonders of the great outdoors adding so much ambiance to your wedding, comes the concern that the weather gods might not cooperate and shine on your special day!

An outdoor wedding does present some unique considerations. However, with planning and some assistance from the following tips, you can pull off the perfect outdoor wedding – one that you and your guests will enjoy and fondly remember.

Have a backup plan. We are all too familiar with “Murphy’s Law” or the old saying about the “Best laid Plans”. Whether you are thinking of having your ceremony in a public park, country estate, or you own back yard, choose a location that has the option of indoor or outdoor facilities… just in case.

Keep it simple. Since ‘Mother Nature’ is a key consideration as to why you are even planning an outdoor wedding, keep all aspects of your day short, sweet and simple. For example, when it comes to decorating the area, keep your embellishments to a minimum. After all, you don’t want to conflict with the beauty of the great outdoors.

Consider the logistics. Before you finalize the location, consider the comfort of your guests. You have a contingency plan based on inclement weather, but what if the day is perfect but extremely hot? Is there sufficient shade for your guests to get out the sun? Is the area easily accessible by your guests, including those in wheelchairs? Is there even a slight possibility of a problem with the local insects (e.g. mosquitoes)? As most of the popular outdoor venues are open to the public, is there sufficient parking close by for all your guests? These are all factors that should be considered if you plan to exchange vows on a local beach.

Know the rules. Most public locations have special regulations that are unique to outdoor ceremonies. Ensure that the professionals you have hired are aware of any restrictions that might impact the wedding day and that they are experienced in servicing an outdoor wedding. Musicians, caterers, photographers and even your Officiant need to be aware of any limitations, or opportunities, that an outdoor wedding might provide.

Even with some potential challenges, careful planning of your outdoor wedding ceremony and armed with a contingency plan, you can look forward to the enjoyment of a memorable outdoor wedding celebration!

Do you have any suggestions that others should consider before venturing into the “Great Outdoors?” Share your stories on our Facebook page. 

About the Author: Jim Emerson

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