The first signs of Spring are definitely here and we want to be outside! Taking our inspiration from nature, we team up with Bijou to make outdoor weddings easy…
There’s a freshness in the air. It’s nearly spring, which means the sun is starting to shine, the trees are turning green, and we’re thinking about getting outdoors! We’re not the only ones, either – outdoor weddings are becoming increasingly popular with brides all over the country. Whether you opt for just an outdoor ceremony, or you want your whole day outside, here are our top tips for creating the perfect outdoor wedding…
FEATURED IMAGE: Hyde House Wedding Photography
Embrace your theme
One of the best things about having an outdoor wedding is that it can be as casual or as formal as you like – the theme doesn’t just have to be ‘outdoor’! You could have a fun festival-inspired celebration, a rustic barbecue, an elegant pool-side soirée or a vintage garden party. Pick a theme that you love and embrace it!
Choose yourself a natural backdrop
‘When it comes to bringing your outdoor wedding to live, remember that nature can be your décor! You don’t need to go overboard on decorations and finishing touches if your surroundings are naturally beautiful – some simple festoon lights, bunting or pom poms hanging from tree branches will work perfectly to set the scene. If you can, visit the venue with your photographer beforehand so you can all work out how best to capture the scenery in your wedding photos.
Consider a humanist ceremony as an option
Marriage licensing laws in England, Wales and Northern Ireland mean that you can only legally marry under a permanent structure, such as a pagoda – so if you’re dreaming of a forest clearing or a private beach wedding, you may want to consider a humanist ceremony. Not only will you be able to marry in your chosen location, but you’re also less restricted in terms of the order of the ceremony, your vows and music. However, you will need to have a legally binding ceremony at another time. Scottish brides have all the luck – they’re able to marry wherever they like!
Go casual with food
There’s no rule that says you can’t have a three-course sit-down dinner at an outdoor venue, but you also have plenty of opportunity to go for a casual feel with your wedding meal. Barbecues, hog roasts and picnics work perfectly, as do food vans such as fish and chips, ice cream trucks, pie and mash or pizza.
Make the most of the space
For a wedding reception outside, embrace your space with entertainment and activities that work for an outdoor setting. Think bouncy castles, games such as a coconut shy, garden Jenga and sack racing, or even fairground rides if the budget will stretch to it! Also consider calmer seating areas, such as hay bales and blankets set around a bonfire, or a chill-out tent filled with cushions.
Decorate with nature
If you can’t hold your full day outdoors (with British weather, you sometimes have to plan for this!), then why not bring the outside in with natural wedding décor? Does your venue have a beautiful garden? Mimic the flowers that will be in bloom in your bouquets and décor. A mix of British blooms and foliage will give you that just-picked feel. Greenery is still massively popular for wedding décor, so using foliage on your tables and wound around any beams or pillars is ideal for nature-loving brides. We also love potted plants and herbs as centrepieces or favours, and rustic log slices as part of table decorations and table plans.
Top tips from Bijou…
Always dreamed of saying ‘I do’ outdoors? You’re in luck, because the UK is full of incredible wedding venues with fabulous country gardens in which to say your nuptials. There are various rules and regulations to adhere to when it comes to your outdoor wedding ceremony, so here are our top five tips…
Search for wedding venues with outdoor ceremony licence
Not every wedding venue will have a licence to perform outdoor wedding ceremonies. If your heart is set marrying outside, it’s essential that you search for wedding venues with an outdoor wedding ceremony option.
Look at summer wedding dates
We all know how unpredictable the UK weather can be, but by choosing a summer wedding date, you’ll raise your chances of having a rain-free day!
Speak to your venue about a wet-weather back up plan
If there is any chance of rain or bad weather around the time that your ceremony is due to start, the likely case is that your outdoor wedding will not proceed. Your wedding venue should be prepared in advance, but be aware of the appearance, location and style of your last-minute indoor ceremony. It’s best to discuss this with your venue when you book.
Wear sensible footwear
The aisle (and lead up to it) at your outdoor wedding ceremony may not be as even, nor as sturdy as an interior floor. Therefore, stiletto heels may not be a wise choice. Think about your wedding day fashion (especially footwear) in advance – and pre-warn your female guests, too!
Think about your guests
Celebrating an outdoor wedding while basking in the sun may be ideal for you both, but your elderly grandparents or relatives with newborns may feel uncomfortable if the weather is too hot. Don’t forget hand-held fans and have plenty of water available. Your ushers would be ideal candidates to help guests find a comfortable location to sit.
For more excellent top tips, visit bijouweddingvenues.co.uk