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5 Tips for Your Outdoor Wedding

| Sunday April 11, 20102 comments
An outdoor ceremony at sunset may be the wedding of your dreams!  With the unmatched benefits of fresh air and natural surroundings, however, come unique considerations and extra planning.  Consider these tips to make your outdoor wedding a blissful one:

1.  Price Tag Reality Check

Even a simple outdoor wedding in a local park carries hefty costs.  You will have to rent items you would often have included at a conventional reception - chairs, tables, tableware, etc.  Picnic receptions require the additional costs of blankets, baskets, and tents in case of inclement weather.  Your menu seems simple until you realize that smaller packaging limits the variety and increases the unit cost.  Lastly, you should reserve a rain date location as an emergency backup.

Bottom line: budget wisely for an outdoor wedding - it's not necessarily cheaper than an indoor alternative.

2. Prepare for the Elements

Have an adequate stash of umbrellas/parasols, bottled water, sunscreen, First Aid, hand fans/misters, and a space heater for your tent if a chilly evening is forecast.  A basket of faux pashminas will keep Grandma toasty and distracted from the fact that you're not hosting in the church basement like she suggested.

3. Prepare for Pests

Nothing dampens an outdoor event like mosquitoes and wasps.  Have wipes or repellent handy and plan your menu carefully to reduce pest magnets.  Citronella torches and candles maintain the ambiance without being intrusive on your decor.

4. Be Eco-Conscious

Utilize the surrounding natural beauty and keep decorations to a minimum.  Instead of confetti, toss bird feed or flower seed over the newlyweds.  Have adequate collection for recyclables, compost, and trash on site.

5. Keep It Simple

Preparation at an outdoor location is vastly more complicated than the convenience of an indoor one (just ask all the relatives you'll rope into helping out on The Big Day).  Keep your ceremony and reception plans as simple as possible to save time and money.  Wedding clothes and shoes should be comfy for the conditions, and a relaxed atmosphere is the best gift you can give yourself on this special day.

Do you have a smart tip for an outdoor bride?  Share your ideas in the comments!

by Cynthia Martyn and Claire Rahn
More on Weddings

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