Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies

Here I am sitting on my back patio as the sun is setting on the most beautiful day of the year: summer solstice. And with that, it means we are right in the thick of 2017 summer wedding season. Tonight, I wanted to touch on a few pointers I had for outdoor weddings.

Above photo compliments of Love Tree Studios

The trend for wedding ceremonies is definitely moving away from churches and religious affiliated locations, and lots of couples have their eye on a dreamy outdoor space. However, with this decision does come a few additional factors that you must include in your planning. Here are a few tips:

1. Always have a back up option.
In a perfect world, it’s going to be 75 degrees and sunny on your big day, but chance are (especially here in Missouri), you’re going to have some sort of weather to be leery of or that changes your plans all together. Even if there’s not a physical indoor space for you to move to, at least have tents rented if weather looks questionable that way. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

2. It’s the little touches that make the guests feel that much cooler.
More than likely if it’s June and you leave anywhere near me, an outdoor wedding means heat. And your wedding day is definitely one of those days you want to be hospitable to your guests. How about serving a refreshing cocktail or mocktail as guests make their way down to the ceremony site? Or if your budget doesn’t allow for pre-reception beverages, at least provide guests with a self-serve water station (throw in a few slices of sun summer fruit to add in some color and flavor!) If you have a program, most guests are going to use it as a fan, so why not make it a bit easier on them and get your programs printed on a fan? It’s functional as well as completely adorable.
Above photo compliments of engaFOTO compliments of Madison Sanders Events. 

3. Give guests a heads up.
On your invitation or wedding websites, make sure to warn guests about the outdoor ceremony or reception. First and foremost, it will help guide their attire for the event. Instead of a taffeta cocktail dress, ladies might opt for a breezy high-low number, and gentlemen might go for a shirt and tie versus a full suit. Plus, it warns guests to be particular about their shoe choice: wedges versus heels and loafers instead of dress shoes.

Above photo compliments of Silverbox Photography

4. Be OK with imperfections.
Inside, it’s easy to control all the variables. Doors can be closed, noisy air conditioning can be temporarily turned off, and crying babies can be escorted to the lobby. But when you’re outside, there’s so many additional variables that can play into your perfect vision: wind, the location of the sun, bugs, surrounding noises, etc. I often see brides get hung up on these details, but unless the weather is ungodly or the bugs are eating people alive, guests tend to not even notice these details. They are too focused on the sweet vows being recited or catching a glimpse of the adorable flower girl as she makes her way down the aisle. Just be prepared to be OK with the imperfections and embrace them as part of the day’s experience.

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A Change In Light Can Make Everything Right

Above image compliments of Catherine Rhodes Photography, lighting compliments of Exclusive Events

Lighting is everything. Am I right? Lighting effects photos, how good your makeup looks, the mood of a room, and it can transform any event space. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at a few events the incorporated a lighting professional into their vendor list.

A colored uplight can completely transform a space like you see in the photos below. The venue goes from a large, stark room with harsh lines to a warm and more dramatic feel.

                        BEFORE                                                            AFTER

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Photos and lighting compliments of SW Productions

Lighting can add cohesiveness to the space by using one of the accent colors to compliment the other decorations.

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Lighting compliments of Complete Wedding + Events

It can also be utilized to highlight an architectural details or draw attention to a particular piece.

11986469_813051125474827_5414944666708549998_nLighting compliments of Exclusive Events. 

Lighting can be used as the wow factor, especially outdoors on a patio or inside a tent like this photo below:

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Photo compliments of Lindsey Pantaleo and lighting compliments of Exclusive Events.

Or, it can add a little personalization to an event.

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Lighting compliments of SW Productions

Now this is a totally different type of lighting, but fireworks are never a bad idea! There’s nothing like a big bang to the end of a fabulous evening.

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Photo compliments of Silverbox Photographers and fireworks compliments of SW Productions

Regardless of how you use lighting at your event, it always has a huge impact that never disappoints. Even if it does take up more of your budget than you would like to, it usually adds enough style to an event that you can eliminate some decor from another area. That is if you need to squeeze it into your budget….totally worth the expense!