It is wedding season. The overwhelming majority of couples choose to get married in the warmer months for a variety of reasons; it’s easier for family members to travel, it’s far enough from the holiday season everyone has some money and vacation days saved up and, of course, there’s a better chance of having an outdoor wedding. However, if you aren’t prepared, your outdoor wedding can turn into a disaster in the making, so here are a few tips to help ensure things run smoothly:
1.) Obtain the necessary permits. It might not seem like such a big deal, but if you don’t have all the required permits on your wedding day, you could be looking at some serious fines, and we can bet you’ll already be over-budget as it is. Virtually any public land or site (public parks, wildlife preserves and historical landmarks, just to name a few) requires a permit to not only use the land but also gather a large number of people.
2.) Have a backup plan for the weather. No matter how stable the weather seems to be, there is always a higher chance of inclement weather on your wedding day (according to Murphy’s Law, that is), so you’re going to need a solid backup plan. You’ll have to make sure your backup plan has many of the same features as your original wedding site, like the ability to contain 250 people without creating an overcrowded fire hazard.
3.) Be safe. There are plenty of things that could go wrong at an outdoor wedding, so it’s best that you cover your bases. That means leaving the candles at home and using enclosed lanterns instead. Wear plenty of sunscreen and use common sense; you don’t want to be having a BBQ in the middle of a bear preserve.
4.) Think about your guests. Many brides have no idea how hot it is sitting in those chairs in direct sunlight because they’re not in direct sunlight; they’re under a shaded arbor. If it’s going to be 100 degrees outside, make sure your guests are sitting in a shaded area, have plenty of water and have something to fan themselves with.
5.) Don’t forget about the restrooms! No one wants to think about restrooms on their big day, but trust me, you need to. If there’s a business nearby you’ll have to check with them first before telling your guests to use their facilities, and if you’re out in the middle of nowhere you’re going to need to bring in some porta-potties to keep everyone comfortable.
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