If you’ve always dreamed of having a beautiful outdoor wedding but you’re worried about the uncertainty that can come along with it, don’t be! Just make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected. Outdoor weddings are my favorite (and what I specialize in) – natural lighting and scenery make the best wedding photos! I’ve learned quite a few things over the years shooting weddings and of course with planning my own wedding (Aruba! Whoot whoot!). Outdoor wedding planning can be stressful, but you can ensure things goes smoothly by avoiding some of these common mistakes!
Common Outdoor Wedding Planning Mistakes
1. Not having an alternate plan.
Not having an alternate plan in case of bad weather! Find out from your venue what plan B is for ceremony & reception setup, in case of rain. And be comfortable with that plan! If you’re thinking of going with a venue that has a fantastic outdoor space but their indoor space is lack-luster, consider finding another venue. The last thing you want is to be disappointed on your day because weather conditions forced your not-so-desirable plan B to take effect.
2. Not providing shade options for guests.
Not everyone enjoys the sun, especially during the hot sticky summer months. Provide your guests with options to help them stay cool during your ceremony and reception. Whether it be a shaded seating area for the ceremony, parasols or hand held fans for cocktail hour. Have a station with necessities like hand held fans, SPF lotion and bug spray. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding for the cooler months, warm blankets or shawls are always great for guests if they get chilly. Keeping your guests comfortable and happy will help you stay calm and stress-free!
3. Having your ceremony start during the heat of the day.
Start your ceremony in the mid-late afternoon, when the sun isn’t its strongest. Having a ceremony start at 1pm could result in a very hot wedding party – not to mention the lighting (for photo purposes) is better later in the day!
4. A wedding dress that is too heavy.
I made this mistake. womp womp. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVED my dress, but it was way too heavy for an outdoor destination wedding. I was sweating during our ceremony & I wasn’t even moving! and I also remember lifting up my dress during dancing to air out my legs! So, pick your dress and your bridesmaids dresses wisely! If you choose a heavy dress, just remember you are going to be dragging it around with you all day. Not to mention there is no ventilation under there (hence why I was airing out my legs!)! If you tend to sweat and your outdoor wedding will be in the summer months, keep that in mind when dress shopping. Ask the bridal consultant you’re working with to provide you with lightweight dress options that would work the best during the summer heat.
5. Hair and make-up that won’t last.
Heat and humidity can do a number on that gorgeous hair and make-up you’re planning on having. You may want to opt to have an up-do to help keep you cooler. Ask your make-up artist for foundation that won’t melt off your face the second you start to sweat. Keep in mind that doing a first look & portraits before your ceremony will guarantee your hair & makeup are still fresh for photos!
6. Not having a backup plan for pictures!!
It’s so important to talk to your photographer about where you’ll take photos in case of bad weather. I normally discuss this during the consultation with my couples and tell them not worry and that I’ll take care of everything. I want my couples to trust me, as I am the professional and know the best lighting and areas to take photos. And I ALWAYS have a backup plan!
7. Not providing enough beverage stations.
Keep your guests hydrated – I’m talking water, not just the booze! Summer heat and sun can mean guests get overheated – I’ve seen it happen before. No bride and groom want to worry about their guests fainting. Avoid that by providing coolers or beverage stations filled with ice-cold water before the ceremony and during cocktail hour. You can even spruce it up with fresh fruit or cucumber!
8. Not having wind-proof seating cards.
Keep in mind that the slightest breeze can wreak havoc on neatly arranged paper place cards. Have something heavy that will withstand any potential winds – for guests to easily be able to find the table # they are assigned to.
9. Forgetting to pack flip flops/sandals/flat shoes for later.
Yeah, those heels look fab and all, buuuuuut… sometimes they are not the most comfortable. Make sure you have a pair of flat shoes so that you can dance the night away at your reception! I’ve even had some brides provide a basket full of inexpensive flip-flops for guests to wear during the reception – a great idea to help keep your guests comfortable and dancing the night away with you and your groom!
If you’re looking for a wedding photographer to capture your beautiful outdoor wedding, CONTACT ME to set up a consultation!