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How to Plan an Outdoor Wedding

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Authored by Lisa Bower in Wedding
Published on 12-18-2009

Weddings are, hopefully, once-in-a-lifetime events. If you want a truly unique wedding ceremony, you should consider an outdoor wedding. This is a great choice for both nature enthusiasts and folks who want a scenic and memorable event. After all, who could forget the image of a setting sun next to an ocean or of delicate and stunning rosebushes in a lovely gazebo? This is truly one of the most beautiful types of wedding a person can have. The following are some things to consider if you or someone you love is planning an outdoor wedding.

Space is everything when it comes to an event. One wants to make sure that the wedding venue can comfortably accommodate guests. This means that you first have to consider how many people you want to have at this ceremony. The guest list will help you narrow down locations for the event.

Next, consider the timing or date of the wedding. The seasons, location, and weather associated with certain times of year will affect the venue. For example, if you wanted to have a wedding in New Orleans, you might want to steer clear of oceanside locations when hurricane season plops on through. Similarly, if you want a mountainside wedding, you might need to steer clear of winter dates. After all, your guests can only put up with so much: hypothermia might be too much to ask of loved ones.

Think about whether or not you will need seating for this event. If you’re having a casual beach wedding, chairs may not be needed. However, if you’re thinking about having a rose garden ceremony that could last as much as an hour or more, you may need seating, especially if you’re expecting a number of guests.

Always consider the ceremony’s needs. For example, do you plan on having refreshments or a DJ present at this outdoor wedding? Will the reception be here? If so, talk to vendors to see what they will need to accommodate an outdoor wedding. Think about whether or not you will need to rent a tent, the size of this tent, and if you will need to invest in chair rentals.

Always have a rain plan in place in case the weather takes a turn for the worst. No one wants to believe this will happen, but if it does, it pays to be prepared. Some couples may have a rain date in place so that they do not have to compromise their vision for their big day whereas others may have a nearby indoor location that is ready just in case the clouds roll in.

Remember to think about where you will dress for the wedding, where the prep area will be for things like the tables and chairs (i.e. will there be an area where vendors can work their set-up magic), and where the wedding party can go if they need to change. Any outdoor location should have some sort of bathroom facilities. Check into this so that you can ensure your guests are as comfortable as possible during your wedding ceremony.

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