Outdoor Weddings: How to Prepare for Bad Weather

January 17, 2013  •  Leave a Comment


Many brides dream about an outdoor wedding in a beautiful garden, on a scenic lakeshore or a sandy beach. Outdoors weddings are beautiful and romantic not only for you and your groom, but your guests too. But the outdoor weddings you see in magazines or on television shows are not as easy as they may look. When planning a wedding outdoors you will be faced with extra caveats and risks, not to mention the possibility of poor weather. If you are looking to wed in Washington State this year, your best bet is to set the date anywhere between mid July-early September, to ensure the weather permits. Remember, the summer is the most popular time of year to get married and you will end up paying more for a wedding during the peak season.
Here are some tips on what to do if a raindrop hits you on your wedding day. 
Inform guests & provide comfort: First thing’s first – think about what the weather will likely be at the time of day and month of the year of your outdoor wedding. Will it be sunny and hot? Or cold with a chance of rain? Either way, you do not want your guests feeling uncomfortable. If it is going to be hot, do not leave your guests there to sit and melt. Provide them with ice-cold bottles of water as they are seated along with a decorative fan that matches the color and theme of your wedding. Provide plenty of sunscreen and bug spray and look into renting large electric fans and/or a tent to shade the suns rays. If it will be cold and damp, make sure to tell your guests ahead of time so they can wear dress appropriately. It would also be a god idea to have umbrellas and lap blankets on hand, as well as portable heaters. You don’t want the weather to take away from your special day!  
Plan B: You will need a backup plan in case of the weather is unpleasant. If your location venue does not have facilities to accommodate your event indoors, you will need to rent a tent. If the wedding location does, you can always decide to move the reception indoors and keep the ceremony outside. In any case, I suggest renting a tent just in case, even if you think the weather will be okay. As long as you have a tent or a covered space, dealing with the rain will be easy.
Plan for wind: Keep in mind that rain may not be the only weather problem, wind can sometimes an even more inconvenient problem. Windy conditions can cause big problems like a wet dance floor, damp eating experience or a disturbance to your decorations. To prepare for this, be sure to rent a sturdy sided tent, or a tent with side flaps that can be dropped down if necessary. Be sure to place the tent in a semi-sheltered area will also be helpful to reduce wind conditions.  
Privacy & Audio: When you see an outdoor wedding in a movie, you probably don’t hear the roaring of the waves, the wind, or the screams of children running around. You may need to rent a sound system mic clips for the bride, groom and officiant, which your DJ should be able to provide. To prevent outside sound, keep in mind your wedding location and whether or not it is a public space, or even near a public space. It is best to reserve your spot in a secluded area or a private venue to prevent unwanted guests and distractions. 
Decorations: The easy thing about having an outdoor wedding is that most of the beautiful décor is already done for you just by being outside. Although this does lessen your need to decorate, be sure that the grass is groomed, the ground raked, and the flowers have bloomed a week before your wedding. As far as décor goes, it is really up to you. You may want to add an arch or trellis, string of lights or lanterns in the trees, luminaries, torches, the list goes on and on. To get more ideas and inspirations on how to decorate for your outdoor wedding check out Pinterest. 
Venue: Many wedding venues have outdoor settings available which makes planning a bit easier. If you decide to have an outdoor wedding at a public park or a private home, keep in mind that you will have to rent all the equipment- from tables and chairs to bathrooms and sound systems. If you decide to do this, it is smart to hire a professional coordinator to coordinate all the details. Also, be sure to find out about any restrictions or permits as soon as you decide on a venue so you don’t find yourself in a difficult situation a month before your wedding.
These just are a couple things to keep in mind for those you planning an outdoor wedding. If you are worried about how the weather will play out, you can always find an indoor space that can be opened up so that you can get the best of both worlds. You may be able to find a venue with big French doors or glass windows so that you can still have that outdoor feel without the extra work. For an ultimate guide, check out The Knot’s elaborate guide for planning outdoor weddings.
For those of you who had an outdoor wedding, please share with us some tips and suggestions in the comment box below!


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