5 Things You Must Consider When Planning an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

Where I live in Toronto, we have four very different seasons throughout the year. You have a snowy winter that no one wants to get married in. Rainy spring days. Hot and sunny summers. Then cool and crisp fall weather. May to October are the most popular months to get married because it is warmer and can allow for outdoor photos and activities. Hosting an outdoor wedding ceremony is a beautiful way to celebrate your union, but be sure to consider these 5 precautionary steps below for a stress-free day.

5 things you must consider when holding an outdoor wedding ceremony. Photo: Aron Goss Photography.

5 things you must consider when holding an outdoor wedding ceremony. Photo: Aron Goss Photography.

1. What is your rain backup plan?

If you are holding an outdoor wedding ceremony, you must consider what your rain backup plan is. No one likes to think about it, but you have to consider what the alternative will be and if you are fine with marrying there if it comes down to it. Sometimes the indoor room is not quite as nice as the outdoor space, and you must be able to envision marrying here too. The indoor backup plan must also have the same capacity as your original outdoor space.

2. What is your threshold for rain or bad weather?

This is sort of a part B to the first point. Usually couples who get married outdoors really want to get married outdoors. But you should determine in advance what your threshold is for bad weather. Are you willing to have guests be a bit uncomfortable in light drizzle? Will you provide them umbrellas and towels to wipe chairs off? What if it rains the day before and the ground is a bit soft?  Knowing in advance what your threshold is will make it easier to make a game time decision if the weather is not good.

3. What time of the day are you getting married?

If you have a beautiful outdoor summer wedding planned, you must remember that there may very well be full sun out for your wedding day. Sun is not always good for photos, as it casts harsh shadows on your face, will be really hot and will cause squinting. If you will be marrying in the summer outdoors, considering holding your ceremony later in the afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. Close to sunset is the best!

4. Will you provide comfort amenities to guests?

When getting married outdoors, consider having a few 'comfort amenities' nearby for guests so they have a comfortable experience. If you are getting married in a spot that has very little shade, consider giving out umbrellas, fans or a water station. If it is a wooded area or middle of summer, have a basket of bug spray and sunscreen. Don't forget that your guests may not love the idea of the outdoors as much as you do.

5. How will you walk in the processional?

When at your rehearsal, be sure to walk through both outdoor and indoor options so the wedding party knows where to go in both cases. Obviously, you can hope and plan for the outdoor wedding ceremony, but in case the weather does not cooperate, you do not want to surprise the people in your processional. Often times, the indoor option will have a slightly different path. Walk through both scenarios so everyone is comfortable and on the same page.

Rebecca ChanComment