Whether you’re having some or all of your wedding in the great outdoors, there’s some things you need to consider to keep yourselves and your guests comfortable.
Regardless if it’s just the ceremony, or both the ceremony and reception that will be outside, you need to factor these things in.
1. The sun
If you’re planning on an outdoor ceremony, your wedding photographer will tell you that getting married in full sun will affect your wedding photos. Depending on where the sun is positioned in the sky, you might end up with squinting eyes and harsh and unflattering shadows.
Your photographer can work with you to help you pick an ideal ceremony location, and can advise the best times to have your photographs taken for the best results.
Depending on the temperature and time of year you could also end up with some of your guests getting sunburned and overwhelmed if they are sitting in full sun for the ceremony. Consider putting them in shade or providing fans, parasols or umbrellas to help them with the sun and heat.
While your wedding day is your special day, a big part of it is making sure your guests enjoy themselves too. If you are planning to have your ceremony outside in the sun then you want your guests to feel comfortable and not turning into sweaty messes. Men in suites will feel the heat while female guests in dresses may get sunburned as most people don’t think to apply sunscreen before attending a wedding. An effective and cute way to create some shade is to provide guests with the option of using a parasol. These look really pretty in photos too. #thelogicalbride Photo via @weddingcolors_
2. Stay hydrated
If it’s really hot on your wedding day, consider having bottled water on hand for guests during the ceremony.
Summer nights in Australia can remain quite hot for hours and hours, even when its dark, so if you aren’t going to be inside an air conditioned venue and your reception is going to be outside, have lots of non-alcoholic refreshments available to ensure everyone can stay adequately hydrated.
3. Serve food that can cope with heat
Foods like chocolate and cheese aren’t going to fare very well at your outdoor wedding, no matter how delicious they are. Good ideas for an outdoor wedding are barbecued food, fresh salads, and even icy treats. You want to avoid spoiling and melting.
There are lots of insects that will literally bug you. Common summer pests include flies and mosquitoes. Consider your venue in terms of both of these. For example if you’re getting married on a farm on a really hot day, the chances of flies swarming you and your guests are extremely high. As a wedding photographer I have had to spend hours and hours Photoshopping black flies from brides’ white dresses. Similarly, we can all think of times we’ve been at a barbie or gone on a picnic and flies have come along and ruined the whole thing: you should consider this before you decide to eat outside, even if you are having a marquee.
Mosquitoes are another menace… if you are getting married near water or want to hold your reception somewhere close to the water in particular they are an unwelcome wedding guest. But they don’t just confine themselves to rivers, creeks, dams, and the ocean. Consider setting up mosquito flares around the area you’ll be using and making personal insect repellent available to your guests.
Photo: Caroline Duncan Photography
6. Expect to touch up your makeup
Wedding days are very long, and at the best of times your hair and makeup might not make the distance. When it’s hot and/or humid this is especially so. Humidity can cause huge problems with your hair, and make your makeup run. Good old heat can do the same thing. You’ll be having photos taken all day long, so make sure you have makeup on hand for touch ups and allow time for this.
7. Have a back up plan
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean it can’t rain. You should have a Plan B just in case – both in terms of ceremony and reception venues. Your wedding photographer will also work out a backup plan for photos on the day as well.
Image: Flickr/John Hope