Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies
Stunning Natural Settings
The quintessential romantic outdoor wedding starts with a balmy day, a shining sun hanging in a bright blue sky, maybe a fluffy white cloud or two, and it ends in a stunning outdoor garden bursting with colored blooms and beautiful greenery. Outdoor wedding ceremonies are romantic, lush, and beautiful - in a romantic, fairytale-like way that you will be hard pressed to find at an indoor wedding.
Couples planning a non-religious wedding ceremony truly benefit the most from outdoor wedding ceremonies - there are components of different religious wedding ceremonies that can only be performed in a church, limiting the location options. Provided you can convince an officiant to come to your location, you can be married at your favorite outdoor spot, regardless of where it is: a secluded beach, on the lake front at the family cottage, a wooded glen filled with wildflowers, your local park, a lush rose garden with manicured walkways or your backyard.
Planning an outdoor wedding ceremony requires more than just choosing your favorite locale and setting up camp, especially if you need lighting or music. Mother Nature also has a way of sabotaging the most well-laid plans which means you have many tiny details to take into consideration.
Availability, accessibility, shelter, power, and the elements all come into play with an outdoor wedding ceremony. If you have a favorite scenic location or stumbled upon a beautiful outdoor area, explore the area thoroughly. Is it possible to hold a wedding ceremony there? Can you rent or reserve the space? Do you need special permission or an event license from the city? Are there restrictions on time or the number people? Is the location easily accessible for all of your guests? Is the space large enough to fit all your guests comfortably? Is there shelter in case of rain? Could you set up chairs and a tent? Could you easily transport and set up chairs and a tent? How would you set up the chairs or tent? Is there an electrical hook-up available if you need one? If you hired a band to play during the ceremony, do they need an outlet for an amp or speakers? Are there bathrooms for you and your guests?
You will want to consider renting a tent and portable bathrooms for any outdoor location. A tent will keep your guests dry during a surprise spring rain shower and offer a bit of shade on a hot summer day. If you set up a tent with decorative stained glass-style sidewalls, it will also keep your guests warm on a cool autumn afternoon. Before you choose a tent company, ask to see one of their tents set up. Make sure the tent is made of a heavy-duty, waterproofed, and flame retardant material.
If your location does not bathroom facilities, you will need to rent portable bathrooms. Most port-a-potty rentals are self-contained units - you don't have to hook up or drain anything. Look for a rental company that carries the white, over-sized bridal bathrooms. The bridal units are white, quite large, and equipped with a toilet and a sink inside.
The bride will need to take all weather possibilities into consideration when choosing her wedding dress. Cooler or damp weather during the spring and fall will require a warm cloak or wrap to keep the bride warm, or a dress made of a heavier fabric. During hot summer weather the bride will appreciate a lighter dress. Consider the season when choosing a bridal veil as well. Windy weather will require a veil that secures quite firmly to the bride's head - you don't want the veil flying off on the wind in the middle of your ceremony.
An oft-forgotten aspect of outdoor wedding ceremonies is the ambient noise. Is there a high level of background noise that will interfere with your ceremony? It is amazing how sound will, or will not carry outdoors. You may have your heart set on being married at the turn of the century bed and breakfast with the three-tiered garden, but did you consider the noise of traffic rushing by on the expressway next door? Likewise the sound of crashing surf on the beach may be the perfect back drop for your nuptials, but it may also make it difficult for your guests to hear you say "I do." It may be difficult for your guests to hear your ceremony at a quiet location - all it takes is a slight breeze and a turned back and your wedding ceremony will sound like a barely audible whisper. Consider renting wireless or clip-on microphones for the bride, groom and the wedding officiant - the outside noise may still infiltrate your outdoor wedding ceremony, but your guests will hear you above it all.