Many brides have always envisioned an outdoor wedding, and with good reason — the natural beauty of nature can often provide a stunning backdrop for the best day of your life! There are a few pitfalls, however, that can take you by surprise if you fail to prepare for them. Here are just 5 mistakes to avoid at all costs when planning an outdoor wedding:
1. Not having a backup plan in case of inclement weather.
Okay, I know that sounds completely obvious, but I am forever amazed at how many brides just cross their fingers for a perfect day and go about their outdoor wedding planning! Sure, some locations seem to be “guaranteed” to have great weather during certain times of the year, but you don’t want to be stuck outside in the rain or snow on the one day the weather doesn’t cooperate. There is nothing predictable about weather, so a contingency plan is a MUST.
2. Neglecting the Comfort of Your Guests
Most people appreciate a little advance warning when they’re going to be spending any length of time outdoors, so be sure to indicate your plans on your wedding invitation! You can also use your wedding website to give them an idea of your suggested attire (particularly appropriate footwear or necessary layers — save them the hassle of stilettos on the beach). You may also want to consider providing sunglasses, sunscreen, flip flops, water, blankets, or any other amenities that will make your guests as comfortable as possible in your outdoor venue.
3. Forgetting to check on power sources.
That fairytale wedding you’ve planned deep in the heart of the forest? It may seem magical on your Pinterest board, but don’t forget about the need for power sources! Many of your vendors may expect access to electricity to perform their job (think DJ or caterer), and you will need outlets for any lighting, heaters, fans, or microphones as well. Be sure to verify the electrical capacity of your venue and plan accordingly.
4. Choosing decor items that don’t work in multiple weather conditions.
Certain types of flowers will not withstand extreme heat. Lightweight or improperly anchored centerpieces may fall over or blow away entirely on a windy day (and candles can become a real hazard if things get a little blustery). When deciding on your decor items, imagine how they will function in a variety of weather conditions. You’ll be glad you did!
5. Not anticipating the mobility needs of elderly or handicapped guests.
Of course you want your grandparents (or even great grandparents!) to witness your big day, but don’t expect them to be able to hike ¾ of a mile to your ceremony location. The same goes for handicapped guests, pregnant guests, or children. Plan a shuttle system (golf carts are great for this) so they don’t arrive out of breath and exhausted before the event even begins. After all, you want them to look back on your wedding as a day they enjoyed!
Any other pitfalls you’ve managed to avoid while planning your outdoor wedding? Help out other brides and share them in the comments below!