If your dream is to have an outdoor wedding, you’re probably nervous about the potential for unpredictable weather to ruin all your careful planning. Thankfully there are a number of strategies you can use to pull off the outdoor wedding you’ve always wanted. Here are five tips that can help in planning an outdoor wedding around all but the most extreme weather conditions.
Tips For Planning an Outdoor Wedding
Research the Weather Patterns
Before you book a venue for your outdoor wedding, you should do some careful research into the typical weather conditions for your location and time of year. A good way to know what kind of weather to expect on your wedding day is to look up the history and weather patterns for the location during the month you had in mind. You want to plan your outdoor wedding around those times of the year that are the most likely to have warm and sunny weather.
This might mean you have to make a tough decision. If you have your heart set on a location because of a strong personal connection, you might need to pick a different time of year than you had originally planned in order to avoid a cold or rainy month.
Use an Outdoor Tent
One way you can have your outdoor wedding where and when you choose without having to worry about rain is by having a large outdoor tent. The tents come in a variety of sizes to fit the number of guests you’ll have, and you can decorate the inside to suit your wedding theme or personal style. You can have it built close to where you want to have your ceremony, so the tent is a perfect backup option if it does rain the whole wedding day.
The one disadvantage of an outdoor tent is that it can be expensive to set up and decorate if you’re on a tight budget. However, if your location is somewhere that is free (like a family member’s yard) it can be less expensive than many indoor wedding venues.
Book a Venue with an Indoor Backup Option
Many outdoor weddings will have the ceremony outside and the reception inside. One tip is to book a ceremony space and reception venue that are close to each other. In case bad weather prevents an outdoor ceremony, you can hold it inside the reception venue as an emergency backup. There are a number of venues like this that you can choose from, such as a cabin resort, church grounds, community centre, or any other venue that has a large open yard and a building large enough for a wedding.
Alternatively, look for a venue with a large outdoor patio or balcony for the ceremony, the reception, or both. Places like wineries, golf clubs, or farmlands with barns converted into country wedding venues are all examples you can look for when booking.
Plan for Different Conditions
Rain itself is not the only weather condition that can ruin your outdoor wedding. Things like strong winds and colder or hotter than expected temperatures can cause havoc for you and your guests. Wet weather can also cause the ground to become soggy or muddy, so it’s worth planning for every situation.
For the cold, you can set up heaters in the ceremony area and inside the tent, or have comfy blankets ready for all the guests. For extremely hot temperatures, guests will appreciate handheld fans and coolers stocked with ice cold water. For wind, you can plan to have the ceremony somewhere shielded from the wind or set up artificial windshields using temporary structures. For wet or soggy ground, long rugs are perfect to use for walking lanes, and you can set up sheets of plywood for the wedding party to stand on so they don’t sink into the mud.
Make Your Schedule Flexible
Having a flexible wedding day schedule allows you to plan everything around a rainfall. For example, if the forecast calls for rain in the middle of the day, you can plan to have the ceremony early and have all the photos, cocktail hour, and other events before the reception. You can also plan for larger gaps of time between each event.
On the wedding day, if it starts to rain when your ceremony is supposed to start, you can use the extra gaps in the schedule to push back the ceremony time and try to wait out the rain. If the weather does clear up and the ground conditions allow it, you can then have the ceremony. If it keeps raining, you can adjust your schedule and have the cocktail hour or photos first. This can take a good deal of coordination to pull off, but it can be worth it to allow you in planning an outdoor wedding you’ve always dreamed of.