Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Great Outdoors

Having an outdoor wedding in the Western New York area is a gamble, I'm not gonna lie. Not only do we have the normal risks of rain and wind popping up, but we've been known to have freak snowstorms as late as May and as early as October. But for many brides, the feel of tying the knot under the open sky is worth the risk. If this is you, read on for Forget Me Knot Details' tips for outdoor weddings. (All photos taken by myself- hence the non-professional quality- at an outdoor wedding we coordinated back in October at Rochester's Ellison Park).

Get to know your location. This is key no matter your set-up. Do you want to have the sun setting behind you as you say I do? Visit your location at sunset to figure out the best placement for the alter, guest chairs, etc. Will you be marrying during the day? Where is the shade from surrounding trees- can you use it to your advantage so no one melts? If you are putting up a tent, make sure you map out exactly where you'd like it placed, and consider things like the ground texture and location of surrounding bushes and trees (we have brought hedge trimmers to outdoor weddings and had to trim a bush so it wasn't jutting into the tent!). When you host your wedding outdoors, you have so much natural beauty surrounding you- make sure you're using it all to your advantage!

Make your guests comfortable. Yes we know, this is YOUR day. And we agree. However, your guests are a key part of your wedding day, and we know that you want them to enjoy the day (and go tell everyone what an amazing wedding you had). So when marrying out of doors, think of them. Where will the sun be during your ceremony- will they be squinting the entire time, or melting under the heat? Is there a possibility of bugs plaguing your guests? Think ahead and provide citronella candles, and maybe even mild bug spray (we recommend Avon's Skin So Soft). If you choose to host your wedding out of doors in a chillier month, think about providing blankets for your guests. And if you have a tent for your ceremony/reception in the cooler months- please don't forget a heater! We know it might be in the 60's during the day, but the temps drop pretty quick in September and October around these parts. Your guests' comfort will allow them to have the best time at your wedding!

Incorporate natural details. You've chosen to tie the knot in the best location Mother Nature has to offer- outside! Don't overthink your decor. Use natural elements like branches and flowers, but do it thoughtfully. We highly recommend candles- candlelight is gorgeous outside, so go crazy with candles! We're also loving simple paper lanterns, like the kind used in these wedding photos. They look really sweet tied into trees, and are the perfect way to subtly light the space once it gets dark.

Have a back-up plan. I know I know- what's the point of a back-up plan if your DREAM is to get married outdoors?? But I promise, on the off chance that it does rain/snow/sleet/who knows what else- you will thank me for saying you need a back-up plan. And I don't just mean "we'll just move everything under the tent" kind of plan. Really think it out. As hard as it is, envision what your wedding will be like in your back-up location, down to all of the details that are important to you. Will chairs and tables have to be moved? What about the dance floor? Where will you have the ceremony inside the tent? Make sure you have your plan B all laid out, just in case you need to use it. And, just a tiny plug, outdoor weddings where the back-up plan needs to be used- best time ever to have a wedding planner! ;) We can do all of the rearranging and make it still look fabulous, while you don't have a care in the world. Changing things at the last minute and making them look amazing- it's what we do.

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