The wedding industry in 2020 was dealt a massive blow due to the COVID pandemic across the globe. Lockdowns and restrictions meant that indoor gatherings had to be either postponed or cancelled. Eloping became a popular choice due to many couples choosing to greatly reduce the sizes of their guest list. The outdoor wedding also became popular – a wedding that many may have thought of initially. With an outdoor wedding, there need not be a cull in your guest list, and you can have an equally special and completely unique day.
But planning an outdoor wedding can be a slightly more complicated in comparison to indoor. Extra thought is needed for logistics like accessibility, how you are serving dinner and dealing with the weather.
Legality of an Outdoor Wedding
Ceremonies do not need to be held in churches, registry offices or hotels – Humanist celebrants can marry couples anywhere. Until recently, wedding ceremonies in England had to be held underneath a fixed roof. But the pandemic has brought about changes to this law and now religious ceremonies can be held outside.
Most outdoor weddings will be held in the summer – but so are other events. When picking a date, try to avoid any clashes with other events such as sporting finals and festivals. This will increase the chance of guests being able to attend.
We love to talk about the weather in this country – maybe because we can get all four seasons in the one day! However, if you do not live in a climate like the Canary Islands, chances are you need to prepare for every eventuality. If it looks like the rain may make an appearance, then make sure that you have umbrellas and your wellies in your wedding arsenal. For those expecting a much brighter and hotter day, then provide parasols or gazebos for shade. For summer weddings, plan your ceremony around the position of the sun – late afternoon can be ideal, as it will be cooler.
Does your outdoor venue have easy access? More planning can be required when thinking about transport and accessibility for guests. Will they be able to get there by car? Will the wedding party? How about guests that need assistance – will your venue by accessible with a wheelchair or crutches? These are questions that will need to be considered when picking your venue.
FOOD for an outdoor wedding
Serving a three-course dinner to your guests in an outdoor setting is not ideal, so why not think a little bit outside the (lunch)box. There is a wealth of options available for al fresco dining. Create a festival vibe and have different food vans with different cuisine? Tacos, burgers, curries – imagine the possibilities. Pizza oven vans have proven to be popular – they can even provide some fun photos!
When the sun goes down the party can get into full swing! The evening will always be a bit chillier make sure there are plenty pashminas or blankets. With it being darker, you need to ensure that you have plenty of light. Hang fairy lights, curtain or net lights throughout your setting, creating a look straight out of a fairytale.
Outdoor venues do not come with power and plumbing. When nature calls, you cannot expect your guests to go au natural. There are plenty companies available that rent toilets for outdoor events. The first image that comes to mind when we discuss outdoor toilets, is usually a Portaloo – frequently spotted at festivals and building sites. But rest assured, this is not an option for your wedding. Luxury toilet trailers can be hired, with flooring, mirrors and designer interiors. And for powering your fairytale lighting: don’t forget a generator.
Outdoor weddings may not be as straight forward, but with a touch of extra organisation, you can create a truly magical and memorable day.