So, you've always dreamed of having an outdoor ceremony. It's your Plan A. You know there is a Plan B, which is a gorgeous indoor space, but if the weather cooperates, you will be marrying the love of your life outside under that 100-year-oak. Even if you have to pray every day for it! Did you know that even if there is not a cloud in the sky, there are some key things that can take your dream ceremony to slightly uncomfortable for you or your guests? Yea, I know. I didn't know them either until I experienced them first hand! Here are five tips to get you down that sunny aisle without a care in the world!
Tip #1: THE SUN RISES IN THE EAST, AND SETS IN THE WEST
We all know this saying, but did you know how vital this is on your wedding day? There are many elements that make for the perfect ceremony space. First being that one to two hours before sunset is ideal. Second being sun placement. You want to make sure you are BACKLIT while standing in front of all your family and friends. This means that the sun is BEHIND you two and your officiant! This is not only perfect conditions for a natural light photographer, but will make it much more enjoyable while saying your vows. You do not want to be squinting or sweating during such a sweet moment - it can be very distracting for you! If the ceremony space is not flexible and you realize that the sun is in the "wrong" spot, not to fear! There are a few more tips to make sure you are good to go.
Tip # 2: SCOUT YOUR CEREMONY SPOT
This tip has been a lifesaver. If you have the luxury of planning your wedding a year or more in advance, it's even more clutch. Okay, here it is. A year before your wedding, visit your venue in the same month, almost to the day of your wedding and stand where you will be standing at the exact time when you are saying your vows. Notice where the sun is. Is it low enough that it is behind a nearby house or tree so not to blind you or your guests? Or do you need sunglasses in order to even stand it? Would moving your ceremony by half an hour make all the difference in the world? A year in advance, ceremony start time is still totally flexible so this could help decide the timeline for your day. The time of year is important here because as you remember from science class, the sun is higher or lower in the sky depending on the time of year! So, a March wedding will need a different ceremony start time than a July wedding.
Tip # 3: TREES, CHUPPAHS, SUNGLASSES & OTHER SHADY DEVICES
So, you are getting married on the beach, you have to face the water, and the timing isn't flexible. That's okay! Now it's time to make your guests comfortable. Providing little sun umbrellas or sunglasses would be a great idea! Or getting married under a big tree always is great for shade and is a lifesaver. Chuppahs and other decorative altars help a bit as well. Get creative! Think, shade, shade, shade...shady shade.
Tip # 4: BE OUR GUEST
I touched on this above, but guests range from young to old, so just being mindful of their needs while they are waiting for you to walk down the aisle is not only noticed by the guests, but it makes it more enjoyable for everyone! Summer wedding? providing fresh beverages, sunglasses, and wedding programs that can be used as fans are all great additions. Will the temperatures be low? Blankets, cute mittens, seat cushions, and hot cocoa may be just what they need!
Tip # 5: WIND, BABY
Yep, just when you thought of everything, there is wind. Is your venue known for being windy? Talk to your venue and your florist in regards to this because I have seen the most beautiful arches, glass vases, and decorative structures tumble over before (thankfully not during) the ceremony has even started! You should NOT have to worry about this the day of your wedding. Just point it out as a possibility to your planner, florist, venue and have them on alert to watch out for it! Or, if the wind picks up, you can always get some guests to hold up your Chuppah or archway!
I hope you found these tips helpful while planning your outdoor ceremony! Something may not go perfectly, and that's totally OKAY. Some of the most imperfect moments may make for some of the best memories, I promise! These tips are just to help you stay in the know so you have crossed all your t's before you walk down that sunny aisle. Let me know if these tips helped - love hearing from you! xx, Jessa