A beautiful way to celebrate in the Spring or Summer, an outdoor wedding leaves plenty of opportunity for personalization and creativity. Whilst UK law means you must be formally married in a fixed structure, this can include a band stand, wooden hut or archway. Alternatively, an outdoor wedding can incorporate a blessing ceremony following an official registry service.
Outdoor weddings provide endless opportunities for décor, theming and design – and incorporating natural features such as trees, water and beautiful views. We’ve compiled our top tips for everything you need to know about outdoor weddings.
Depending on your location, consider the expected weather and therefore the impact this will have on both logistics and your guests. Whilst a snow covered back drop may look beautiful in photos, guests may appreciate some heaters, blankets and hot toddys! Does your chosen venue have a wet weather back up? Ensure that you inform all suppliers that the rented products will be outside to avoid any surprise water damage charges.
Stunning Summer days may call for some shade, consider providing a roof only structure for guest to cool down in especially if your guests contain young children or elderly relatives. Alternatively, small hand-held fans can be extremely effective as small table favours. As evening falls, so will the temperature, a selection of warm and soft blankets will be very well received by guests and are the ideal accompaniment to a fire pit.
It’s important to warn guests that they will be outside, not only so extra hair spray can be applied but so they can choose suitable footwear and outfits. Remember this is also the case when choosing the brides dress, bridesmaids and groomsmen’s outfits – overheating in three-piece suits or long-sleeved bridesmaids dresses, or a long veil in a straw-filled field, are far from ideal!
Many suppliers will arrive in vehicles that may struggle to gain access to particularly steep, rocky or wet sites. Similarly, large deliveries such as the bar and catering teams will need to get as close as possible to the end destination. Ensure that your venue has the facilities for this or consider approaching the local land owners for permission to cross their fields for a smoother entrance. This is also an essential one for guests on the big day, how will they arrive and where can they park?
Food and Drink
Whatever your chosen menu, the caterer will require a covered, flat catering space. Your catering team will be able to best advise on food which will work in an outdoor service. The bar is often a focal point for guests and many will gather here later in the evening, so consider having a roof to protect both stock, staff and guests. Check with your venue whether all waste can be left onsite or whether the catering and bar team are required to clear everything away.
See more: Event Catering Inspiration
Practicality is key, a beautiful tempered chocolate or butter cream covered sponge will not withstand a day in the sunshine. Consider having this brought in later, or investigate options such as a naked cake.
Power, Lighting, and Sound
Toilet trailers, caters and the bar will all require constant power. If there is not plentiful within easy reach on site, a generator will need to be brought in for supply. Remember to consider the practicality of the lighting as well as atmosphere, it’s important for health and safety that guests can clearly see where they are going in case of an emergency. Without four walls to contain the sound, a high-quality PA system will be needed to ensure that guests can hear vows, speeches and the band or DJ.
Permissions and Neighbours
If you’re not using a registered venue, check that you are in fact able to perform the ceremony or blessing on site. Depending on the size and scale of your wedding, it maybe that a Temporary Events Notice is needed. If you’re lucky to be holding your wedding on private land, remember to pre warn any neighbours.
Wedding Management Bristol
Here at Alastair Currie Events, we’ve been providing a personal and professional wedding planning service to clients throughout Bristol and the surrounding area for over 15 years. We have vast experience in managing outdoor weddings, making sure no stone is left unturned in the preparation of the big day.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to find out more about how we can help.