Outdoor Wedding – Everything you need to Know

May 30, 2016 | The Big Day

The idea of an outdoor wedding is really nice in theory, but this is usually because there’s no wind or rain or mud when you imagine it…

However, we live in Ireland, which is unofficially known as the wettest, windiest country on the planet.

Planning a wedding in Ireland’s great outdoors is a brave thing to do, but it can be done. Keep these things in mind and make sure you do the prep, so your outdoor wedding isn’t a wash out.

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Outdoor Wedding Tip #1: The inevitable rain…

It is Ireland, after all. Your wedding may be in July and Met Eireann may be predicting nothing but glorious sunshine, but, you’d be a complete idiot not to prepare for the rain. Every outdoor wedding should centre around a marquee. Not only is it a nice location to eat whatever food you’ve provided, but it means everyone is safe if (when) it starts to pour. And don’t worry, it won’t spoil the outdoor effect once you open up the sides.

Also have some nice umbrellas on standby for any light drizzle – it means people won’t have to run in and out and they’ll result in nice pictures.

Outdoor Wedding Tip #2: …and of course, wind

Again, it’s Ireland. Go ahead and presume it will be windy and make sure your marquee and any decorations you’ve decided on are safely secured. Also make sure you have plenty of space heaters as wind (and rain) can really make your guests chilly.

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Outdoor Wedding Tip #3: Music

If your wedding is at a registered venue that caters for outdoor wedding, they’ll be able to advise you of any sound restrictions in place. If you’re hosting at a general venue you picked out yourself, you’ll need to look into this at the local council and make sure you’re not breaking any rules.

Outdoor Wedding Tip #4: Do you have the power?

Between sound systems, space heaters and any cooking your caterer needs to do, you’re going to need a lot of power. Again, if you’re hosting the wedding on the grounds of a registered venue, they should be able to give you everything you need; if not, get the advice of an electrician. Don’t scrimp on this one.

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Outdoor Wedding Tip #5: Consider comfort

If you’re using a marquee, you’ll probably have comfortable dinner chairs and tables in the tent, but make sure your guests are comfortable when they’re outside too. As well as cosy seating areas, make sure there are plenty of space heaters in appropriate areas and that all paths are well lit, so people can get around without breaking a leg.

Outdoor Wedding Tip #6: Don’t forget the toilets

Have you rented a big house with only two bathrooms for 60 guests or is the hotel a long walk from your marquee? Make sure you have some portaloos on hand, just in case…

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Outdoor Wedding Tip #7: Sort out the sound system

There will be toasts and of course, music, so make sure the sound system is up to scratch. Everyone should be heard without deafening anyone.

Outdoor Wedding Tip #8: Consider the walking

We’re not saying you shouldn’t book your dream outdoor venue because of a little walking – just that you should notify guests in advance. Chances are they won’t be able to park close by, so you’ll need to make sure everyone is wearing the right shoes and that young and old guests are prepared.

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Outdoor Wedding Tip #9: Save money on alcohol

Try and find an outdoor venue that will let you bring your own alcohol (without charging a crazy ‘corkage’ fee) and then buy up wine and beer at a wholesalers. You can also let guests know they can bring extra alcohol if they want.

Outdoor Wedding Tip #10: Where’s the sun?

Not the most important thing, but still worth keeping in mind. Figure out where the sun will be during the reception (and ceremony if that’s also outdoors), so you can let your photographer know. The position of the sun will determine a lot of shots, so this way your photographer can suss out some great spots in advance and know where he needs you for a few sunset photos.

It also means you can avoid being blinded during your vows…