You have the picture in your head of your outdoor wedding ceremony. A bright, sunny day, a light breeze, hay bales, bunting and happy laughing guests. There will be beautiful flowers with dancing heads, the happy clink of Pimms or champagne glasses and candles lit in the warm balmy evening.
And yes, your outdoor wedding ceremony can be absolutely wonderful. To help you achieve this and, based on our experience, we have compiled a list of things to take into consideration.
If you are having your wedding in a barn and/or field on a working farm then get comfortable with the fact that there will be NOISE. Tractors, geese, donkeys and even a light aircraft taking off just 200 feet away are just some of the noises we’ve had to contend with at White Rose Ceremonies!
Have a chat with the owner and tell them that this isn’t just a wedding reception. Tell them that you are actually having an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony and it would be great if tractors, combine harvesters and planes could be kept under wraps for 30 precious minutes.
And if it is windy the voice of the officiant, the bride, the groom and anybody who is reading will be swept away.
So regardless of what the noise is, some of your guests won’t hear anything. Having a good sound system for your ceremony MUST be part of your budgeting. It’s a great shame if your guests can’t hear your vows and they will probably mention it to you afterwards.
If you decide to have your ceremony in a Barn, you may still have a tractor or two driving past. We’ve even had wheat being harvested!
Additionally, if you have a mobile bar inside your barn, tell the supplier that they must not set up their bar while the Ceremony is in progress. The noise of clashing bottles, unwrapping plastic beakers and the squashing of empty plastic bottles is distracting, to say the least.
If it is drizzling or raining, don’t assume that a “bit of rain won’t hurt anybody”.
If you want your Outdoor Wedding Ceremony to be exactly that – outdoors – regardless of the weather, provide a big basket full of umbrellas. The umbrellas should be big enough to cover the whole guest, not just their head.
Have tarpaulin or plastic covers to cover hay bales or seats before the ceremony. You can delegate the removal of them to your groomsmen, family or friends before the guests sit down. Sitting on damp hay bales or wet plastic chairs is not a pleasant experience for anybody.
You might be completely engaged in what’s going on but your guests will be wondering how they can keep warm and dry. They certainly won’t be focussing on you as a couple and your carefully written vows. You really do need to have a Plan B!
Just remember – a soggy guest is not a happy guest!
Think also about heat. Will your guests be in full sun when your ceremony takes place? Advise them to bring sunglasses, a cover-up for shoulders, maybe a hat.
Consider having your ceremony under trees or big parasols so your guests have some shelter from bright rays. Even in the British sunshine the heat can be uncomfortable and having the sun in your eyes rather than a perfect view of the happy couple just spoils the experience.
It might seem obvious but, if your outdoor wedding ceremony is in a field on a working farm, make sure your guests know that they should wear suitable footwear. High heels and fields don’t work – broken ankles are not great on a wedding day. And if the field is normally used by sheep, cows or geese then somebody really does need to get a spade out to clear up before you get ready for the ceremony!
If you are having your ceremony on a lawn, think about providing heel protectors for all those who wear high heels. Even a little rain can make grass difficult to walk on. Otherwise your guests really will get that sinking feeling.
If you take a little extra time to plan for these eventualities, your Outdoor Wedding Ceremony really can be every bit as happy and fabulous as you imagine. Just make sure your guests can hear what’s going on and that they are sheltered and comfortable.
We hope these hints and tips help and finally, here are ‘our’ geese! Have an absolutely wonderful day!