Many couples are drawn into the idea of an outdoor wedding, whether it be on a beach or in a garden of a stately home. I personally got married on a beautiful harbour island in the middle of Sydney Harbour, called Shark Island. Getting married outdoors does put you at the mercy of the elements, which is why it’s important to plan for all weathers. Here are some tips that could help to decrease the chance of bad weather running your day.
1. Time it right
If you’re going to be getting married outdoors, it’s worth planning for Spring, Summer (avoid February as it is scorching hot and you’ll melt) or early Autumn in Australia. Mike and I chose March and it was windy but a gorgeous day. We were super lucky as it rained for 2 weeks either side of our wedding day. We had the ferry as the wet weather contingency, but luckily didn’t need it. Whilst it may still rain, the likeliness is massively reduced. A winter outdoor wedding is pushing the envelope, although you could always have a destination wedding to somewhere like Bali, to ensure good weather.
If you’re getting married on a beach, it is worth checking the tides and considering the time of day in which you hope to have the ceremony. You don’t want to be getting married underwater.
2. Dress for the occasion
Getting married outdoors might involve you having to make a few sacrifices to the traditional wedding outfit. You don’t want a dress that trails on the floor (you certainly don’t want a train) as this will pick up dirt and sand. Similarly, you may want to consider some weather-ready shoes.I wore gold thongs (flip flops) that had a slight platform, and it was perfect because my heels didn’t since into the sand on the island.
You might still be able to get away with heels, but choose platforms/wedges over stilettos. As for windy locations, think about how you want your hair. A stylist might be able to use a hair product such as a heavy duty hairspray that helps to keep your hair in position. My hair was in an updo but didn’t move the entire day, as it was rock hard.
3. Provide shelter
In case it rains, it’s worth having some form of shelter. Marquees are the most popular option – these can also help to provide shade from the sun. Another option could be a backup venue. If you’re getting married in the garden of a stately home, you might be able to use the building as a backup venue with the permission of the owner. My husband refused to “get married under plastic” so we had a ferry as our back up plan.
4. Heat things up
In case it’s a cold day, consider ways of providing extra heat for the ceremony. Closed-off marquees might be able to prevent wind chill. Spot heaters and electric blowers meanwhile might be able to provide electric heating within the surrounding area. Certain heaters are portable, whilst others may need to be powered by a generator. There may even be some that can provide heating and air conditioning allowing you total temperature control.
5. Protect the cake
If you’re going to be keeping the cake outdoors, you’ll want to protect it from bugs and bad weather. Flies and wasps will naturally gravitate towards it – your best defence is to position a see-through glass container over the top or a tulle. As for the rain and sun, you may want to keep the cake under an awning such as an umbrella or a marquee. Alternatively, you could keep the cake indoors and wheel it out for the cake-cutting ceremony before storing it back inside.