Your Outdoor Wedding: Do you have a Plan B?

If you’re one of our couples, you’ve chosen to have a custom crafted, intimate narrative based wedding ceremony.  We are SO in!  And if you’re  not, but are considering a custom ceremony to start your marriage adventure, we’re still happy to give you an important tip for your wedding day.  YOU NEED A PLAN B.

Why?  Custom ceremonies are not 10-minute quickies.  More like 20-35 minutes.  That means you should stop a moment to seriously consider guest comfort + setting + weather (and your own comfort of course!)

HEAT –  Will your guests be sitting in the scorching sun for 30-minutes before and then during the ceremony? That means they’ll be sweating and burning for an hour at least. Yikes!   As for you, will you be able to handle the heat in your suit or heavy wedding dress?  What about your officiant who is expending a ton of energy. (Who me?) Many couples and smart wedding planners use an open sided tent so we can all be happy!   If there is no shade, here are a couple of things you can do to make sure people – especially elders – are as comfortable as possible.

…Please don’t be late and make them wait, provide LOTS of water – LOTS, Ice cream or gelato cart, paper fans, sunscreen, tell people in advance so ladies can bring a hat, and tent (open-sided) the ceremony area

Still thinking, “People can suck it up for an hour”?  Maybe this will reinforce how important heat protection is:  I once performed a 30 minute ceremony in August in a very sun-exposed area with zero breeze.  The Bride was (very) late. And the the temperature at the ceremony site was 39 degrees.  Very hard for guests… not to mention the couple. Think running makeup, a fainting bridesmaid, and some sweaty red-faced wedding photos.

RAIN –  No matter how much you are loved, your guests do not want to stand in the rain.  A sea of umbrellas is not a good look for wedding photos, and your friends and family can’t see you properly (or hear you). My very favorite PLAN B was at Traci and Andrew’s wedding this year at the beloved Cheakamus Centre in Squamish.  The couple chose the location because of their love of hiking in the coastal mountains and rainforest.  Day of, it was pouring.  The ceremony was set up under an overhang of the building.  Not the same as being IN the forest, feet on earth, yet we got to breathe the fresh air, and the conifers graced the background. The power of nature was all round us, just not above. Truly it was the best Plan B ever.  See the beautiful image by Melissa from Bake Photography (who I adore and highly recommend btw.)

COLD –  I’m kind a biased on this one, having just done an outdoor winter wedding. My face froze and I could hardly talk! If you want an outdoor wedding ceremony in the middle of winter, you MUST prepare for freezing wind, icy sleet, and just plain cold. Yes, you might have a fur stole on, but your guests will be dressed for a party.  Make sure you let them know it’s okay to bring their heaviest outer wear, including snow boots.  I’ve seen way too many female guests dressed in thin LBD, heels, and an inadequate coat for an outdoor wedding.

Heat, rain, cold… hard for anyone to focus on the beautiful ceremony you’ve put so much effort and investment into.  Definitely worth a think.



‘Bubble-bursting Michele’



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