It's no surprise that our Brollies have seen a fabulous variety of weddings, events, parties and ceremonies, and whilst many are hired as back-up for inclement weather, most have worked hard keeping guests both dry and sheltered! Here at Brolly Bucket we have experienced an increase in hire for outdoor weddings over the past year or so, and thought it useful to provide our top tips for planning your outdoor ceremony!
1. Check the law!
If you are lucky enough to be getting wed here in Scotland, outdoor weddings are legal, which means your wedding will be recognised by the law as official. However, unfortunately it isn't legal to get married outdoors in England & Wales unless you do so under a fixed roof like a pagoda. It doesn’t need to have walls, but must have a fixed roof, which is why you see so many band stands being used for weddings!
If you are in an area where an outdoor ceremony isn't legally recognised, there are things you can do. Many couples are choosing to do the 'paper work’ side of the marriage the day before, or earlier in the morning in a registry office, and then have the wedding they really want later, which gives you much more flexibility in their choice of location. Some don't even tell their guests the outdoors blessing isn't legal, with a good celebrant you would never know!
2. Location, Location, Location
When choosing your ceremony site, its worth nothing what it will look like on the day of your wedding! Will there be flowers in bloom? Will trees be bare or in leaf? Things such as this may affect the type (or amount!) of decoration you choose to have.
In addition, is the ground flat and suitable for chairs for your guests? Should they bring wellies or are they expected to stand? All of these things are useful information.
Also, and this is something that you may not thing about, but the position of the sun in relation to your ceremony can really impact not only your photographs, but the comfort of your guests. If you aren’t already working with a large area of shade for your ceremony, then you are either going to have the sun behind the Bride and Groom, to one side of the guests, or behind the guests. The ideal situation for both photography and for comfort is to have the sun behind the guests or seated in a shaded area. No-one needs to squint and you can capture some great photographs from behind the Bride and Groom that really show off the whole set-up!
3. Have a Plan B
This goes without saying really, but when looking for a wedding venue (indoors or out!), always make sure that it has an option B. Ideally your back-up location would be at the same site or venue, to avoid the stress of needing to contact all of your guests on short notice.
4. Plan for the weather
Also think about things like blankets for your guests if it turns out to be a cold day, umbrellas in case of a little bit of drizzle, and on the other end of the scale water, fans and parasols or brollies in case of too much sun!
5. Extra costs
Be aware that just because you are outside, the venue may come with hidden fees! Research whether you are expected to pay a suggested donation fee for using a park or public area, or even whether you need to purchase a permit.
Consider the costs incurred transporting your guests to a remote location, or asking them to travel to somewhere a little off the beaten track. And with more rural or remote locations comes requirements such a porta-loos and a generator too!
There’s nothing worse then coming to the wedding of someone special to you and then missing the most special and meaningful words of the day! Wind, outdoor noise or just having lots of guests can mean those in the back may not hear a single thing. Talk to your celebrant about microphone options to ensure all of your guests are able to participate and listen.