So it seems that we’re having a bit of an Indian Summer. Well for one day at least! As I write this, on 28th September, it’s 23 degrees outside. Unbelievable yet very welcome too!
At 88 Events, we’re already busy working on proposals for weddings taking place in Summer 2012. Some of these proposals will almost certainly include ideas for having an outdoor wedding ceremony.
For some reason, we’ve organised quite a few weddings this year which featured an outdoor ceremony. Obviously, these are the norm in warmer countries but less common the further north you go!
Anyway, we’ve been asked by a client to put down the pros and cons of her having an outdoor wedding ceremony next year. This, combined with the beautiful weather outside, makes it the perfect opportunity to share them with you.
The Pros & Cons of an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony
Let’s deal with the good news first:
- Very Romantic – there’s something extremely romantic about being married outside. Being at one with nature whilst sharing your vows is simply a lovely way to tie the knot
- Enjoy Beautiful Views – generally, people who want to get married outside do so because the grounds of their wedding venue enjoy lovely views. This could also apply to a wedding in the grounds of a parental home
- Informal & Relaxed Feel – outdoor wedding ceremonies have a more relaxed and informal feel about them. They are therefore well suited to non-religious ceremonies
- Unusual – an outdoor wedding ceremony is a great way to differentiate your wedding from others
- More Intimate – having your ceremony outside is perfect for more intimate weddings
Now the difficulties:
- Weather Dependent – you’re at the mercy of the weather and there’s no getting away from that
- Contingency Plan Required – so the forecast is good but a storm cloud comes 15 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. Well, I hope you’ve got a contingency plan in place to move things inside.
- Experienced Planner Required – this relates to the above point. If your venue is used to doing this sort of thing great. If not, you’ll need to use a wedding planner to co-ordinate things as there are a lot of logistical considerations
- Additional Expense – outdoor wedding ceremonies can be more expensive. In most cases you’ll need to hire in additional furniture, gazebos or canopies, walkways etc.
- Suitable Wedding Licence Required – in Scotland you can get married outdoors but in England & Wales, you need to do it underneath a fixed roof. Strange but true.
- Difficult For Religious Ceremonies – the outdoor wedding is more suited to a non-religious ceremony. That’s not to say you can’t do it, however, be aware that your priest, minister or rabbi etc. may not be comfortable with it and may insist on it being held in the appropriate place of worship.
- Ensure Guests are Comfortable – you’ll need to make your guests feel comfortable. Firstly, make sure they can hear so audio equipment may be required. If it’s an ultra hot day, you may need to provide drinking water and even sunscreen or if it’s cold and wet, blankets and umbrellas may be required. Also think about walkways. The last thing you want is for the ladies to get their heels stuck in some marshy bit of grass!
As you can see, there’s less pros than cons. There’s no getting away from the fact that an outdoor wedding ceremony can be difficult to execute properly.
However, if you have help and plan it out carefully, it can turn into something truly memorable for both the bride and groom and all the guests too.
Whoever said anything great had to be easy anyway?
All the best,
image 9 courtesy of Lauren McGlynn Photography