Enjoying the great outdoors may be part of your wedding plants. Whether you are having an outdoor ceremony, reception or both, you need to be prepared for any weather surprise the South may throw at you!
Protect your wedding against the elements:
From rain: A tent is a must for park, home, lakeside and garden weddings. Tents are available from party rental companies for any size event. With lights and decor, a tent can be a stunning event location. In case of a sprinkle, guests can be escorted to and from the event by your helpful groomsmen with pretty golf-sized umbrellas! Musicians and DJs need a dry, protected surface within the tent or outdoor area where they can set up their instruments and equipment.
From extreme temperatures: Here in the NC Piedmont, the most moderate weather for outdoor evening events is during Mid-April, May and early June, and then again in September, October and early November. You can check the almanac, but nothing is guaranteed by Mother Nature. It is a good plan to include fans, air-conditioning or heaters in your budget, which are all available from your party rental store. Cold bottled water is a cool welcome in hot wearer as guests arrive and are escorted to their seats by the ushers. Fan-shaped programs may offer a welcome breeze during a ceremony under the sun. Throughout the reception, serve plenty of nonalcoholic drinks like lemonades and teas along with alcohol to keep your guests feeling refreshed (and hydrated!). For a chillier evening, treat guests to warming foods such as soups and perhaps a spicy entree. Serve hot tea, cider and coffee after dinner.
From wind: Rather than using a unity candle that may blow out, mixing two colors of sand, pebbles or rice into one vase is an alternative outdoor ritual. Avoid tabletop items such as unweighted place cards, which could easily blow away on a breezy evening. Secure everything! When dining alfresco, choose flatware that is stylish and sturdy.
From insects: A few mosquitoes may find their way past a citronella candle barrier, so supply some individually wrapped insect repellent skin-wipes for sensitive guests.
From the darkness: Lighting is important, especially in walkways to the seating, restrooms and parking area. Choices include hurricane lamps, lateens, tiki torches, candles, garden lights and specialty lighting from a rental lighting company. Uplighting can be used to enhance the look of the tent, ceremony site, or even the trees themselves. If using an open flame, be sure to check with the venue to ensure there are no restrictions.
From the rugged terrain: Just as formal invitations sometimes not Black Tie, you may suggest on your invitation that guests wear comfortable foot ware. High heels do not work well on grass, stone or sand. Renting a dance floor is always a plus. Consider a shoe check where high heels can be traded for flip flops, which also make a fun wedding favor! Rent the supplies you need to power your event, including a backup generator.