Tips on hosting a summer wedding outdoors

Granny Mouse Country House & Spa have seen many variations of weddings over the years and for many, an outdoor wedding is a must-have.

Many brides opt to have their ceremony in the onsite chapel, which provides a view of the Caversham valley. Even though many of the couples have then hosted their reception indoors at the venues provided, some have chosen to have theirs, outdoors.

Here are some tips when having a wedding outdoors:

First and foremost, consider the costs. You will pay for nearly everything if it is not hosted at a venue that will host you both indoors or out without added costs.

One should also consider some of the main factors relating to outdoor weddings:

The wind – secure décor items securely. Ensure your hair is up to avoid it becoming knotty and untidy.

The sun – ensure there is a tent to provide shade, or ensure the seating is in a shaded area.

Lighting – if you are hosting your reception outdoors, ensure there is sufficient lighting and that it starts early, so that some of the evening sun can kick the speeches off.

Dance floor – generally with an outdoor area, a dance floor would need to be brought in, as many female guests would be wearing stilettos. If you have not brought in a dance floor, you may want to provide flip flops as a favour for those wanting to boogie on down without getting stuck in the floor.

Repel insects – Ensure that you offer insect repellent on the tables for mosquitos, who enjoy feeding on summer evenings, as well as repellent candles, to act as a deterrent to unwanted bugs, but also provides ambiance to the setting. In this instance as well, choose floral arrangements that do not incorporate bug-attracting pollen. You may want to use faux flowers or natural wooden centrepieces etc. instead of real flowers.

Miscellaneous – You may have to hire a sanitation service/ toilet hire and a generator for electricity if there is no electricity outlet or ablution nearby.

Rain plan – check the weather a day before to see if rain is predicted. If there is 30% chance of rain, you are likely to be ok, but let there be 60% or more, set your rain plan in motion, early, as you are almost guaranteed to get wet.

Keep it cool – if you are serving any cooldrinks or food that can perish quickly in the heat, put it all on ice or store in a fridge until serving.

Cake options for the outdoors – stick to fondant as this is not likely to get runny in the heat. If the sun is beating down and there is no covering, opt for your cake to be stored indoors, before serving.

Your dress – think of a dress that will compliment your chosen environment, which could include a simple, lightweight dress that does not weigh you down. Another options is a three quarter dress, so that the dress does not drag on the floor, however if you are having a long dress, ensure that you wear wedges at a comfortable height and get the dress altered to suit. Also, your maid/matron of honour should be on hand to collect your wedding dress the day after to send to the dry cleaners. Stains from the dirt, will almost never come out if left.

Catering – the best option for the food is to host your wedding at a venue that can cater both indoors and out. This way, the Chef will be comfortable serving food in both environments and will know what kind of food to suggest when chatting to the couple.

At the end of the day, follow your heart. If you really want an outdoor wedding, stick to your idea and make plans around the cons, so that your day with only end in good memories.