Five Tips for Planning Your Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

by | Ceremony Wisdom, Photography Wisdom, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sunlit Studios
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Tip 1 – Consider the position of the sun relative to the ceremony.

This one is often overlooked, 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.

  • If you have the sun behind the Bride and Groom, then your guests may need to squint through the entire ceremony!
  • If you have the sun to one side, this means that either the Bride or Groom may be directly facing the sun during the ceremony and the guests will have harsh lighting on one side of their face. You could help this situation by having a Shade Canopy for the Bride and Groom.
  • 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 we can capture some great photographs from behind the Bride and Groom that really show off the whole set-up!

Tip 2 – Consider the Comfort of your guests!

Your wedding day is all about you, but it can’t hurt to take care of the people you love! When planning your outdoor wedding ceremony, take note of the season you’re planning for and the time of day. If you’re planning for a 1pm ceremony in the middle of summer, then it’s probably going to be HOT!

Here are a few ideas of ways you can be considerate of your guests:

  • Have water bottles available in an ice bucket.
  • Ensure there is sufficient seating for your guests, particularly if there are many elderly people.
  • Think logistically about bathroom facilities and parking.
  • Find ways to involve your guests in the ceremony. Attaching cones of rose petals to the end of each aisle gives the chance to help you celebrate and join in the fun. Plus, it makes for great photos!
  • Think about the time between the ceremony and the reception. What will your guests be doing while you have photos? Many of our brides set up an area with Lawn Bowls and drinks – it’s always a big hit!
  • Something as simple as hanging a frame in a nearby tree will draw the many cameras present and keep your guests entertained!
  • Other Brides have set up a cute picnic area, complete with cushions, for their guests to lounge and enjoy. Setting this up under the shade of a tree is the way to go!
  • Nibbles and drinks never go astray. Some of our Brides have even served cake straight after the ceremony for those not coming to the reception.
  • You may want to consider cute shade parasols like these to keep the heat away!

Thoughtful Idea for your Wedding Guests

Tip 3 for your outdoor ceremony – Use a microphone.

This is one is simple but so important!

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.

You can see here Luke had a receiver on his back, with a small lapel microphone on his front vest. Not a big deal in the photographs, but it made a huge difference!

 

Wearing a Microphone During the Ceremony

Tip 4 – Have a back-up wet weather plan!

You can’t control the weather, but you can prepare for it! Have a nearby undercover ceremony location pre-booked and ready to go in case wet weather hits. If it’s just light rain, you may get away with umbrellas, but it’s pretty hard to shout your vows out when it’s bucketing down.

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.

For indoor back up locations, keep in mind that the skies are probably going to be quite dark in bad weather. Look for a back-up alternative that has lots of windows or glass to keep the insides nice and bright. As specialists in natural light photography, we dislike the use of flash in the ceremony – it simply doesn’t look as natural.

Below is a real life example of back-up wet weather locations! Sonya and Michael had to change their ceremony last minute from the beachside to their penthouse. The decorating team quickly transformed the living area into a gorgeous ceremony spot with ample natural light. It didn’t ruin or dampen their special day one bit!

Tip 5 – Bring a tissue! 

Between tears, red lipstick and perspiration, a tissue is essential!

Images by Sunlit Studios

Ms Gingham says: We all have a picture in our head of what we want our ceremony to look like but when you’re dealing with nature it’s best to plan!

About Sunlit Studios: We all share one vision: for every single person to have in their home stunning photographs that are both photojournalistic and beautiful beyond belief.

COMMENTS
  • Planning Tips for Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies says:
    November 25, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    […] Your guests – You want your family and friends to enjoy your ceremony, so if it’s warm you’ll want to provide them with water bottles, shade and seating, reported Polka Dot Bride. […]

    REPLY
  • Alex says:
    November 28, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you for posting this tips and also the images. Couples who plans to do their wedding outdoors should read this. This will give them tips. I really like the image where the groom and bride cries.

    REPLY
  • Planning Tips for Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies says:
    December 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

    […] Your guests – You want your family and friends to enjoy your ceremony, so if it’s warm you’ll want to provide them with water bottles, shade and seating, reported Polka Dot Bride. […]

    REPLY
  • Valent Lau says:
    October 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Yes yes yes! These tips are spot on. And it’ll make everyone’s (including the photographer’s) life so much easier.

    REPLY

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