It takes a brave soul to venture into the Great Outdoors for
their Wedding Day, because no matter how efficiently organised your Big Day is
– you always have to embrace whatever the Great British weather throws at you!
Yes, that’s one factor of which you have absolutely no
control over, so it pays to be prepared. Here’s our A-Z of throwing your
wedding at the mercy of Mother Nature:
Access – are there any access issues for your suppliers and
guests to know about before the day?
Blank canvas – if you begin with a marquee in an open space,
then it’s definitely a blank canvas on which you can add your own personality
& dream themes through design & decoration. A massive undertaking, and
definitely not one for the faint-hearted, but the possibilities are endless…
For some great large-scale decorating ideas, take a look at our Floral Installations feature in the latest edition of the Little White Books magazine.
Caterers – and Cutlery and Crockery. Yes, not only do you
have to bring in the caterers but you may need to factor in the cost of cutlery
& crockery too.
Dunny – at your convenience…do you need to hire toilets?
Mobile loos have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years – they’re posh,
with sinks & running water!
Entertainment – what better excuse to let your hair down –
the open air, no close neighbours, all your friends together – the perfect
combination for a party! Book a band, a singer maybe, a close-hand magician to
circulate with your guests, or really think outside the box and introduce a
festival theme with fire-eaters! See ‘G’ and ‘P’
Furniture – bums on seats. Don’t forget to hire chairs and
tables, and think about who will turn the ceremony seating arrangement around
to wedding breakfast arrangement.
Get permission – speak to the local authority for relevant
permissions. You may need a temporary event notice, alcohol licence, even
setting off fireworks will need authorisation. Better still, see ‘J’
Hay Bales – an inspired alternative to chairs and look great
Insurance – we always advise couples to take out wedding
insurance to protect their arrangements and investment. It can’t offer
protection against the weather, but it can give you peace of mind for
Just talk to the experts – if the sheer scale of
organisation involved in putting your outdoor wedding together frightens you,
then speak to the experts. There are event organisers who specialise in these
types of events and who better to work with, to help and advise you and to take
away all the stress.
Keepsakes – go natural with your wedding favours and
introduce an outdoor theme with keepsakes for your guests such as seeds or
Lighting – lighting creates mood and atmosphere and is the
essential finishing touch when it comes to decorating your venue. Festoon
lighting is very on trend at the moment – hanging Edison bulbs give off a cosy
warm glow and look great in your photos. Tea lights, candles and fairy lights
too all add to the mood.
Make your guests aware that it’s an outdoor event – sounds
obvious, but it helps them to prepare themselves. Suggest a product such as
Clean Heels ™ for the ladies to fit onto their heels, these are miraculous
little products that stop high heels from sinking into the ground. See ‘N’
Nature – pack plenty of insect repellent, sunscreen and
Outdoor Games – giant garden games are an absolute must!
They’re easy to buy online but better still, there are companies out there that
hire them. See ‘Y’
Power – you need power, as in an electric source or
Quoff & Quench – the Bar. There are some brilliant
mobile bar companies out there now with Gin Bars, Prosecco bars and some are
even converted vans that can simply park up and start serving the cocktails
straight away! Consider soft drinks and tea & coffee too.
Rainbows – OK, it’s raining – but when the sun comes out,
why not get looking for the pot of gold?
Signage – AA road signs are all well and good but sometimes
you need to direct people to the ceremony, the dancefloor, the bar…!
Teepees – Bang on trend at the moment. If you’re a lover of
the great outdoors and veer towards all things rustic, then nothing quite beats
the unique ambience & charm of a teepee. In Summer, they are stylishly
glorious and in Winter they’re warm & cosy, creating amazing,
once-in-a-lifetime memories that will be treasured forever.
Umbrellas – the more colourful, wackier, outlandish the
better and certain to put a smile on everyone’s faces. Brilliant photo memories
too. See ‘W’
Venues with outdoor space – this may be an easier way to
organise your outdoor event because they’ve already got the relevant licences
and expertise. Venues can now apply for an additional licence to allow outdoor
ceremonies within their own grounds.
Wellies – go loud and be proud, yet another fantastic photo
opportunity and happy memory created.
Xpectations – an outdoor bride needs to have realistic
expectations and definitely needs to go with the flow! Expect the unexpected
should be your motto.
Young Ones – if you’ve invited kiddies to your outdoor
wedding then there may be the temptation to run wild and explore. Maybe create
a rota of responsibility of people who are willing to devote an hour here and
there to entertain and watch them. My advice would be to arrange entertainment
orientated towards the younger ones, giant garden games would be a sure-fire
hit, and you can download kids activity sheets online, too. There’s one on the
Little White Books website, visit www.littlewhitebooks.co.uk/kids
and download it for free.
Zzzz – stacking those Zzzz’s. You may go the whole hog and have
all of your guests camping overnight, otherwise collect details of local
B&B’s and hotels for your guests to check into.
Did you know? Currently in the UK, you can’t legally get
married in an open space such as a beach, garden or field, or within a
temporary structure such as a teepee or marquee. However you can have a
blessing instead but to make it all official you must have a separate service
at the local Registrar’s office, at church or other licenced premises.