Tips to help you to plan your outdoor wedding ceremony in a park, garden, beach, riverside or lakeside.

Many couples want to marry in a beautiful outdoor location, whether it is in a park, on a beach, in the bush or lake or river-side. A lovely natural setting can really enhance your wedding ceremony but there are some things to keep in mind when you are making your arrangements, and check this useful link to check the daylight hours.                                                                               Sunrise and Sunset times for Sydney
1. Firstly, it is most important to have a wet weather plan. If you haven?t made provision for having a back-up plan for an indoor ceremony, it can be very stressful leading up to the wedding day and no-one wants to be drenched with rain during their ceremony. Many reception venues will allow you to hold your ceremony there if the weather is wet.
2. Make sure that your wedding invitations include the wet weather option, directions to it, and a phone number to call if they are uncertain of where the ceremony is to be. You can leave a voicemail message on the day with details of the location.
3. If you are happy to go ahead in light rain, or even if it looks like light rain, provide large umbrellas for your guests, and of course, for the wedding party. They can be hired in a range of colours to suit your colour scheme, or you can borrow golf umbrellas from family and friends.
4. Make sure that you have permission to hold your ceremony in the spot of your choice. Most outdoor locations require a permit from the local council or national parks. This usually involves a fee. Make sure that you book your spot as early as you can to avoid being disappointed by it not being available on your day.
5. If your wedding is being held in the summer, you will need to think of a few things to make sure that your guests are comfortable. Think about whether there is natural shade at the site and whether your ceremony can be held in the shady area. Again you could hire umbrellas or you can purchase pretty parasols quite cheaply & give one to every guest. Fans can be bought quite cheaply too. It is really thoughtful to provide bottled water for your guests as they will be at the ceremony venue well before the wedding party and may become hot and thirsty.
6. In cold weather it's a good idea to provide knee rugs on every chair.
7. Check where the sun will be at the time of day your ceremony is being held. Make sure that the sun isn't directly in the eyes of the wedding party or in the eyes of the guests. Nobody wants to be squinting into the sun.
8. Find out if your chosen venue has public toilets nearby.
9. It is considerate to provide seating for older guests even if most of your guests will be standing for the ceremony.
10. If you are having musicians, you may need to provide chairs for them.
11. Walking on grass on high heels can be very tricky! Stiletto heels with sink into the grass which is an ungainly look and will ruin the shoes. There are several products on the market which are a clear plastic cap which fits on the heel of your shoe with a clear wider base, and which makes walking or standing on grass easy and possible. Some of these products names are: Starlettos, Heeline, The Soul Mates.
12. Check the prevailing winds for your site. You don't want the bride and bridesmaids'  hair being blown over their faces or the bride's veil flying off.
13. If you are getting married on the beach or on the water's edge, check the tide schedule. You don't want to be washed away! Also, it?s worth knowing that incoming tides can be quite noisy, and outgoing tides are less so.
14. Make sure that your celebrant has a good PA system if you are getting married on the beach. You can be assured that my PA system is powerful enough to provide good quality sound outdoors. The waves and wind can make it difficult for your guests to hear the words of your ceremony if a PA is not used.
15. Check with the venue owner or local council etc. to see what decorations are permitted. Most places allow rose petals, a carpet, chairs, bridal arch, balloons etc. Most do not allow confetti or rice. Make sure your styling, carpet, floral decorations, bridal arch, Bali flags etc. are well secured so that they doesn't fly off in a sudden gust of wind.
16. If your ceremony is very early in the day, or late in the afternoon or evening, it's a good idea to have citronella candles to keep insects away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Elaine Searle 2012