August 10

Tips for the Perfect Outdoor Wedding

Avoiding Outdoor Wedding Pitfalls

By Nina Callaway, About.com Guide

If you’ve decided to have an outdoor wedding, congratulations! Outdoor weddings are romantic and beautiful. However, they aren’t as easy as they may look. Outdoor weddings come with additional caveats and pitfalls, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to shine on your wedding day.

  1. Make your guests comfortable Think about what the weather will likely be at the time of day and month of the year of your outdoor wedding. Sunny and hot? Don’t leave your guests uncomfortably melting – have your ushers give guests ice-cold bottles of water as they are seated. Consider printing your wedding program on a fan so that guests may cool themselves. Don’t forget to have plenty of sunscreen on hand as well. For a very warm location, look into renting large electric fans (don’t forget a generator) and/or a tent to shade the suns rays. If it will be cold and damp, make sure you tell guests that so they can wear extra layers. A simple xeroxed insert will do. You might want to have lap blankets on hand, or rent portable heaters.
  2. Have a backup plan What will you do if it rains? The ideal outdoor wedding location has an indoor location waiting just in case. Many brides and grooms opt to have their ceremony outside and reception inside. In a pinch, the tables can be scooted to the back of the room during the ceremony. A tent is another option, but only for light to moderate rain storms. A heavy rain will soak the ground underneath, leaving guests with soggy and muddy shoes. Make sure any tent you rent is sturdy so it won’t flip over, and that it has thick and weighted sides.
  3. Plan for Wind Many outdoor weddings suffer from windy conditions. Avoid light fabrics like chiffons and china silks in your dress and the bridesmaid dresses. Tell your hairstylist that you’ll be having an outdoor wedding so she/he can plan a style that won’t leave you looking like Cousin It! Men in the wedding party should use pomade or other styling product. Again, tell your guests in a printed insert so that they can plan accordingly. And of course, make sure your tent will stand up to gusting winds or find an indoor backup plan.
  4. Can everybody hear? When you picture your dream wedding at the beach, you’re probably not hearing the roaring of the waves, the rushing wind, or the local kids running and screaming around you. Look into renting a sound system with clip mikes for the bride, groom and officiant. Your DJ or band may be able to easily arrange this for you.
  5. Decorations One of the bonuses of an outdoor wedding is the natural beauty around you, lessening your need to decorate. But you still need to do some work. Visit the site a week before your wedding to make sure the grass is mown, the ground raked, and the flowers have bloomed. If your wedding is at a public park, you may want to ask the groomsmen or friends to do this the morning of your ceremony. If it’s been an especially cold season, you may need to supplement the flowers with some potted bulbs from a florist. Other decorations you may want to consider include an arch or trellis to focus the ceremony and frame the bride and groom as they say their vows; strings of lights or lanterns in the trees; luminaries.
  6. Make things tasty outside Does your caterer have experience planning an outdoor wedding menu? Make sure they’re planning things that will keep well outdoors in the heat. Avoid things like mayonnaise salads or dishes which must be served cold.

To read this full article, please to be sure to visit:10 Tips for the Perfect Outdoor Wedding

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September 24

Wedding Style: 12 Wedding Day Details Not To Miss

The perfect groom? Check. Dress, cake, and band? Check, check, and check. While you may have the big parts covered, a few often-overlooked details will truly make your day memorable. We take you from the ceremony programs to the exit with a list of particulars longing for attention.

1. Directions & Signage

Why You don’t want your guests getting lost on the way to the chapel. If you spell it out for them, they’re more likely to be on time, and your entire wedding day has a better chance of running smoothly.
How to do it First, include a map or add a link to Google Maps on your wedding website so that guests have an idea of where they’re going. As a safeguard, consider including a map from the ceremony site to the reception venue in your programs or your invites. For the day-of, create signage for each wedding spot (the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception) directing guests where to go. If it’s an outdoor wedding, make or buy a wooden sign and paint it with an arrow. For a more sophisticated soiree, consider using printed black-and-white-framed signage in a scripted font.

2. The Entrance

Why No matter where you wed, first impressions are essential. A personalized entryway will make your site more welcoming and help guests feel at home almost immediately.
How to do it If you’re having an outdoor wedding, hang leis of orchids or sun-catching glass ornaments on the surrounding trees. For a ballroom, have your florist create an escort card table arrangement with plenty of height so it’s the first thing guests see. A rustic affair calls for tons of lanterns lining the pathways.

3. The Escort Cards

Why When the seating is assigned ahead of time, you save guests the pressure of searching for a seat at the wedding reception. You also guarantee that your guests of honor (grandparents and close relatives) get a quiet spot while your rowdy friends from college sit closest to the dance floor.
How to do it Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors — from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest’s name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests’ names.

4. The Guest Book

Why It takes more than setting out a couple of pens to make a guest book enticing enough to get all your guests to sign in. The trick is to show off your creativity in an inviting way.
How to do it Ask guests to contribute to a scrapbook by providing a Polaroid camera. Make a backdrop by hanging an attractive piece of fabric and then ask each guest, couple, or family to stand in front of it and pose. Have a close friend man the camera. When their picture is ready, they can pop it into the guest book and sign their names next to it. Or get your videographer involved and go for a live guest book reel by having each of your guests express all of their sentiments on camera.

5. The Lighting

Why The right lighting can help flatter any space and make you and your guests look great.
How to do it Use colored lighting to punch up a drab hallway. Pick a different yet complementary hue for the rest of the reception (use blue for a white wedding, amber for a pink celebration). Decorative hanging lights, lamps with patterned shades, or crystal chandeliers will transform a space from plain to extravagant.

6. A Game Plan For the Kids

Why Even if you love children, you won’t want them disrupting the ceremony or reception. Have a plan to keep little ones at their best.
How to do it At the ceremony, have an usher hand out coloring books and crayons. At mealtime, seat little ones with their parents so they’ll be in top form while eating. If lots of kids will be attending, setting up a nearby room with games, craft supplies, and DVDs guarantees that they’ll have a good time during the reception (as will their eternally grateful parents).

7. The Loo

Why The restroom is an often-overlooked space that, when given a little tender love and care, creates an unexpected wow. It doesn’t take much either — even the slightest bit of decor will perk up and personalize this space.
How to do it Add small bud vases of flowers, give the bathroom new “Ladies” and “Gents” signs, or splurge on some monogrammed towels in your wedding colors. To really impress your guests, scan childhood pictures of the two of you through the years, laminate them, and post them on the bathroom walls.

To view the rest of this article, check out: 12 Wedding Day Details Not To Miss