Don’t Make These 5 Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Mistakes

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An outdoor wedding ceremony decorated with an arch and lights.

Sunshine, breezes, trees, flowers; these are all things often experienced at an outdoor wedding. Other things an outdoor wedding provides: bugs, sunburns, a cold bum. An outdoor wedding can be a beautiful choice, but it does come with its own set of challenges. I firmly believe that if you consider all the downsides and prepare accordingly, you can have a wedding day outside that is enjoyable for everyone.

1. Nobody Can Hear You

This is a big one. Guests want to enjoy your ceremony. They want to hear your vows and cry at how beautiful love is. But none of this can happen if they can’t hear you! Not only will guests be chattering to each other about how they can’t hear, but they will also be a little irritated. It’s not a feeling you want your guests to experience on your big day.

Make sure your wedding guests are seated close enough to hear everything. If you’re unsure, spring for microphones. You may think having mics is kind of annoying, but how annoying would it be if your guests won’t hear any of the beautiful words you worked so hard to write? You can get handheld mics, a mic on a stand, or body mics. If you’re still on the fence about this, think about your grandparents or other elderly people you’ve invited who will already have a hard time hearing even with microphones.

2. The Beautiful Sun, Shining Right in Your Eyes

Sunglasses at a wedding reception for the guests.

The sun can be such a beautiful thing…except when it’s in your eyes and you’re trying to watch a wedding ceremony. Think about your venue and the time of your event. Will the sun be in your guests’ eyes during that time and in that location? Even worse, will it be in your eyes? Don’t say “I do” with your eyes closed or watering. You’ll want to be able to see your loved ones in the audience and your fiancé clearly with no distractions.

Figure out what time the sun will be at eye level and plan accordingly. Also, maybe position your ceremony at an angle that works best with the light. If you have to, go out to your venue and check the lighting to help give you a better idea of what will work best. If you absolutely cannot avoid this issue (for instance, if you have a fixed ceremony spot and time), I would suggest putting a tent over the space. This is a great solution if you already have a tent rented for the reception. If you don’t want to block the views, you could maybe offer sunglasses as a fun favor. The sun can be a pain no matter what you try, but it doesn’t have to be a big deal if you do something to help guests out.

3. Not Considering Temperature

Blankets for the guests at a winter wedding.

Think seriously about temperature. I know a November wedding is beautiful in some places, but in northern Wisconsin, for example, it can be a tad cold. I’m not saying you can’t have an outdoor wedding in November when it’s chilly or in July when it’s burning hot, but you need to takes steps to keep guest comfort levels high. If it’s hot, provide shelter from the sun. I recommend having a building that is air conditioned for guests to slip into if they’re feeling overheated. Huge fans are another great way to ensure guests can access cooler air. You could have ice packs ready or cute handheld fans.

If it’s cold, there are lots of things you can do too to mitigate guest discomfort. You can offer hot drinks like hot chocolate and tea. You can provide blankets for the ceremony that are cute and match your theme. Again, it might be a good idea to provide a warm space for guests to escape to when they’re just feeling way too cold. I know Mother Nature doesn’t always behave how you want her to, so just know this and take the necessary precautions.

4. You May be Seated, Never

Chairs at a wedding ceremony decorated with roses.

I’ve attended weddings where they expected me to stand for a 30-minute ceremony. It’s not nice to do this to your guests, especially the ones who are in heels or who are elderly. If you need your guests to stand for some reason, keep the ceremony short. Also, if it will be a seated ceremony, provide nice chairs. Forcing your guests to sit on tree stumps or hay bales, while super cute and theme-friendly, is not very comfortable. Check out your seating situation before your wedding. If those chairs you rented for cheap aren’t great and your ceremony is an hour long, make some changes. Rent cushions or do something to make your guests’ comfort a top priority.

5. Forgetting That Bugs Exist

Think about nature. While it can be beautiful, it can also be buggy. We all know that mosquitoes are the absolute worst. Consider hiring a company to spray for bugs at your venue before your wedding day. This could help diminish the sheer amount of them. Consider your venue and maybe even go out there to check out bug levels. Another way to help guests with the pests is to provide bug spray. You don’t want bugs to be all over you, either! White dresses appeal to bugs in a big way, so take precautionary measures.

Overall, the best way to ensure a great outdoor ceremony experience is to consider the frailest among your guests. In every decision, factor in your grandma who is 80 years old, can’t hear well, and probably can’t handle too much heat. Also, think about how you would feel as a guest at your own wedding. Consider including those items that will help keep people comfortable and happy. Come up with creative ways to present bug spray or fans if you think they’re tacky and will throw off your theme. You can include practical items in your day without sacrificing the integrity or the feel. You can have the perfect outdoor ceremony that everyone will love, if you’re prepared!

The post Don’t Make These 5 Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Mistakes appeared first on Weddingbee.

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