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Planning Outdoor Weddings

The outdoors can be an absolutely beautiful setting for a wedding. Natural backdrops of trees, mountains or oceans are unparalleled by any decorations that can be utilized in an indoor setting. For obvious reasons, outdoor weddings are extremely popular in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, the natural lighting that is provided by an outdoor wedding makes for truly glorious pictures. However, there are careful considerations that need to be made in planning an outdoor wedding. Here are 10 tips to help with your planning:

bride and groom under umbrella1. Choose your location carefully. You might want to consider a venue that is capable of providing a contingency plan in case the weather affects your wedding and prevents your original plan from occurring. Although you may prefer an outdoor setting, it is wise to choose a location that has an indoor facility that would be available for your use in the event of a storm that would otherwise cancel your wedding. If the weather is uncertain around your planned wedding date, it is a good idea to provide large golf umbrellas for the bridal couple and for members of the wedding party. The golf umbrellas can also be effectively used by an imaginative photographer.

2. Dress appropriately for the conditions. For example a strapless gown made of a lightweight fabric would not be appropriate for a fall or winter wedding if the temperatures are usually low at these times of the year. Likewise a dress with long sleeves and a high neck would not be appropriate for a summertime wedding in a warm climate. You will want to be comfortable on your wedding day so dress according to the weather.

3. Try to plan your wedding for a time of year that is unlikely to have inclement weather. It's important to give yourself the best possible chance of having good weather for your wedding. Try studying the weather history in the area that you plan to have your wedding and choose a time that has a relatively low chance of snow or rain.

4. In setting up for your outdoor wedding, one important tip is to set up the area where the ceremony will be held in a way that keeps the sun at the guests' backs. For example, for a morning wedding, you will want to position the seating so that the guests are facing to the west. This is important because the sun rises in the east and having the guests facing to the east would result in the guests not being able to see properly and having to squint into the sun.

5. If you choose a summertime wedding in a warm climate, be sure to have plenty of drinks available for your guests. You might want to consider having refreshing beverages such as water and juices available throughout the ceremony and reception to prevent guests from dehydrating.

6. One of the most problematic aspects of an outdoor wedding is the acoustics. Guests at an outdoor wedding are often unable to hear the proceedings. Additionally, if a wedding video is made, it often is unable to pick up the words of the officiant or the couple reciting their vows. For this reason, you may wish to utilize a public address system during the ceremony to ensure that all guests are able to hear the ceremony.

7. If you have a lot of out of town guests who will be attending your outdoor wedding, you may want to prepare a package to mail to them detailing the weather expectations for your wedding date so that they can prepare for the trip. Although the past can be a good indication of what type of weather to expect, you might also want to consider sending your out of town guests a weather prediction update a few days prior to your wedding in case the meteorologists are predicting unseasonable weather.

8. The outdoor setting you choose may also affect the color choices for your wedding. You may wish to choose colors that accent the natural surroundings. For example choosing a bright pink for your bridesmaids' dresses may seem out of place if you are holding your wedding against a mountain setting. The loudness of their dresses will disrupt the serenity of the natural setting.

9. Consider hiring a live band instead of a DJ for the entertainment. A live band will blend in better with the surroundings in an outdoor setting. Also, the natural music of a live band is a better fit than the synthesized music of a DJ.

10. Try to provide your guests with as much shade as possible. You can do this by either providing a large tent or canopy for your guests or by choosing a setting with a number of large trees and planning your wedding for a time and date that would ensure an abundance of shade in the area.

Taking a few precautions and planning wisely will ensure that your outdoor wedding is a success. It is important to make a few adjustments to your usual planning and make provisions that will keep you and your guests comfortable throughout the ceremony and the reception.

 
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