Guest post via The Outside Bride
Now I know the title sounds rather dramatic, but nobody said planning an outdoor wedding would be easy, and it certainly comes with its risks, thankfully the rewards always out shine them. To help you avoid some of the potential disaster scenarios which could unfold on the run up or during your special day, make sure you take a little time to have a quick read of the risk factors below. With planning & foresight you might be able to avoid them, if not be equipped to mange the situation should it occur.
Making sure your grass is as flat as possible!
Sound completely ridiculous? Well not so much when you think that any temporary structure being erected in your field needs to be able to withstand guests walking and dancing all night long and potential bad weather. Over grown grass, verges, deep holes, large stones etc, makes it very difficult for any temporary structure you choose to be placed there. As well as how you choose to style it, no one wants their food sliding off a wonky table after all. So as to avoid any potential difficulty, or worst case scenario your venue supplier refuses to work on the ground you provide, talk to the field owner first. Or if its your own land choose flat open ground and cut the grass! If in doubt, book a site visit and talk to your suppliers to see what they advise.
Not having a wet weather back up plan
If you are part of The Outside Bride Facebook groupthen you will have heard Emily and Alan talk about having a wet weather back up plan many times. We cannot stress how important this is! We all know the great British weather can be somewhat unpredictable even in the height of Summer, so don’t risk it. If you are having an outdoor wedding and you have not arranged a temporary structure or cover in place should the heavens open, then you run the risk of weather ruining your special day.
Parking for wedding guests & suppliers
Imagine this… 80 cars trying to get out of a field the morning after your wedding day, mud flying everywhere, wheels screeching and your uncle almost putting his back out trying to push his much loved estate out of the bog which the field has now turned into. Sounding more like a nightmare? Yep! It may not have rained on your wedding day, but if it has been raining all week on the lead up to your special day then you need to consider not only your guests parking, but how large vehicles transporting structures etc will cope operating in and out of your field. Whether you put down wood chip or temporary rubber mats to help, it is essential that you address this prior to your wedding day, so as to avoid unnecessary problems.
Waiting until last minute to book a supplier
Occasionally should the gods smile upon you, there are savings to be found in booking a supplier last minute. Personally I wouldn’t run the risk of not having my ideal supplier, because of booking too late. Every supplier is different and it can be somewhat confusing how long in advance you should be booking certain vendors. Thankfully we have put together a timeline to give you some general guidance when you should be looking to book a supplier for your outdoor wedding.
Power- Using the correct generator
The question of powering your outdoor wedding is a common one, and definitely one which has couples feeling a little more than confused. Unfortunately there is no straight forward answer to this question, as it is all dependant on how much power you need. But to avoid a power outage when it matters most opt for more if you are not sure, 40KVA will usually be adequate for a relatively large wedding. If you are having a smaller affair 23KVA may well prove to be enough. Again this is subject to so many factors, for example the type of lighting you use, the size of your band, whether or not you have refrigerators, if your catering need to use power to cook etc and the list continues. We recommend you speak to your venue as often they can supply generators as part of your set up.
Not using practical sign posting
It so easy to get swept up in the excitement of planning, and making sure styling is perfectly on point, that you can forget about the practicalities of your day. Sign posting is a prime example of this… More often then not, outdoor weddings can be somewhat tricky to find, Google maps especially likes to take you up a few cobbled driveways prior to your destination. So making sure your wedding is clearly sign posted will go along way in making your guests life easier. The problem with many signs is that the calligraphy can be hard to read until your almost upon it, or the sign is too small. Make your signs big & beautiful even if you are secretly hoping to loose the in-laws between the ceremony and reception.
Come the height of summer this is a real possibility! All that time and money invested in a centrepiece, melting in front of your very own eyes, before you have even had a chance to cut it. No it is not a myth, this really does happen to brides every year, but it is not subject to all cakes, just those heavily made up of ingredients like buttercream which is susceptible to heat. Speak with your cake maker and ask what the necessary requirements are for the cake to be stored, prior and on your wedding day should it be very hot. This way you can avoid any cake disasters.
Must have Survival kit
If you are building your outdoor wedding from the ground up, which means you will be setting up the day before and possibly breaking down the day after, then a survival kitis a must have! Making sure you are prepared for any eventuality no matter how small, you need to have some vital pieces of kit in place which can be a lifeline when it matters most. From cable ties to gaffer tape, its the old age saying of ‘fail to prepare or prepare to fail’.
Dry fields & Safety
2018 has had a glorious summer, and a dry one at that! And whilst all brides pray to the rain gods to hold off on their spacial day, having a dry field has its risks too. Where there are open flames and dry grass there is trouble just waiting to be had, and no-one wants to see their wedding go up in flames. So make sure all fire is contained, especially areas like fire pits along with candles and even cigarettes. Fire safetyis a big one for summer weddings, so take all the measures neccessary to keep you and your guests safe during the dry season.
Consider your worst case scenario
When considering your worst case scenario, you have to think if this should happen will I have a back up plan? Now in the unlikely case of extreme weather conditions, all you can do is speak to your suppliers beforehand and ask how they would go about addressing this issue. Many suppliers reserve the right to cancel should they deem it unsafe, dangerous, or cause serious damage to their product, so its worth checking before you book, you will often find these extreme cases usually written into the T&C’s.
Please really don’t be scared by any of the above, outdoor weddings are so amazing, its just about making sure everything is planned properly. If you would like to make sure your planning goes without a hitch why don’t you check out new online The planning sessions for couples looking for guidance on their special day. We’re here to help!
Thanks for reading!
Hannah & Baylily Bell Tents Team