Monday, June 18, 2012

Tips and Tricks for Your Outdoor Wedding!


Living in Traverse City, we are lucky enough to have a plethora of gorgeous outdoor wedding locations. Whether you’re looking for a stunning view of the West Bay or a breathtaking vineyard reception, Northern Michigan offers a wide variety of exceptional outdoor locations for your big day.

However, while it is your wedding day and you would like nothing but blue skies, 70 degree weather, and the soothing sound of waves casually crashing in the background…sometimes things don’t always go according to plan.

So, without further ado, here are just a few important tips and tricks for your outdoor wedding!

1. Keep the comfort of your guests in mind.
Yes, this is your big day and it is absolutely all about your wedding bliss, but you want your guests to be focused on how gorgeous of a couple you and your significant other are and not on how swelteringly hot/frigidly cold it is outside.

Here are a few simple ways to keep everyone content and allow your day to reach a level of maximum enjoyment:
- Serve water bottles (you can even customize the labels!) to guests immediately following the ceremony to beat the heat in a personalized way! Another option is to display your wedding program on a fan for guests.
Source: Intimate Weddings


- If it’s a slightly chillier than you planned on, invest in some heaters or provide guests with blankets or shawls (which could also double as wedding favors- what's not to love?)

- Make sure if you are having a sunset wedding that guests are not blinded by the light- you don't want them to have to squint while watching your ceremony.

- If it is "bug season" outdoors (you know the one), provide guests with bug spray in bathroom
baskets or invest in some citronella candles so everyone is well protected.

-Think about where your wedding is taking place and consider all of the possible unwanted noise. You want to make sure your guests can hear every detail of your ceremony, toasts, prayers, etc. Investing in a sound system in case of louder than you’d like distractions is a solid plan.


2. Plan B is a MUST!
No matter where your wedding is taking place…you really cannot control the weather (Why has no one made an App for that?). That being said, having a plan B for your outdoor wedding is a must so you can sit back and relax on your big day no matter what.

Allison Beers, owner of Events North, explains this best in her article, “If You Don’t Like the Weather, Wait Five Minutes,” Featured in Families First Monthly's February/March 2009 Edition.
“Plan A might involve all of your guests in the back yard or in a park under the trees, but a Plan B is a safe idea. Check with local rental companies to see how late you can add a tent. The 10-day forecast is a safe bet as it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Sometimes it’s best to have a back up location. Does the church you’re getting married in have hall? Does the hotel your guests are staying in have an extra room? You typically can’t hold these without plans of using them, but if they are going unused, as your event gets closer, they may be an option.”


3. Windy Conditions.
While a light breeze may be welcomed with open arms on a warm day, wind can sometimes be slightly wilder than you anticipated...no matter what the time of year. You can help conquer windy conditions by doing the following:

- Make sure that your centerpieces are heavy enough to withstand some rougher winds…perhaps consider some contained mason jar candles instead of a more delicate option.
Source: Serious Eats

- Be sure that your place cards, napkins, and any other lightweight item that is displayed are secure so you can spend your night dancing instead of chasing down miscellaneous items.

- Factor in the possibility of wind when considering your hairstyle…you don’t want your hair covering your face as you’re saying “I do.” A little extra hairspray does wonders…trust me.

4. Make sure your Wedding Cake doesn't turn into a Hot Cake!
You've probably envisioned your perfect wedding cake for years now (or maybe that's just me...), but when having an outdoor wedding on a balmy day, you do have to keep in mind that butter-cream frosting will melt faster than fondant or other frostings. Make sure to let your cake artist know ahead of time that your wedding is outdoors so they can frost your cake accordingly…especially if there is no way to keep your cake refridgerated!  You want your cake to look as wonderful as it tastes...and not look like a piece of Salvador Dali artwork:
Source: {For} The Real Brides of New Orleans



The list could go on and on, really, but we decided to provide you with the subjects that we found to be most important in keeping both you and your guests happy.  We also do not want to scare you away from an outdoor wedding, we just simply want to make sure you’re ready for one. No matter what the conditions, if you’re prepared for them, then that means…

Happy you + Happy guests= THE PERFECT WEDDING DAY!

So readers, now it’s your turn! What are some other tips and tricks for outdoor weddings that you’ve come across/read about/used in the past/ etc? Leave your tips in the comment section- we’d love to hear what you have to say!


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