9 Things You Must Consider For A Joyous Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

outdoor wedding cermony

I love an outdoor ceremony.

Lush green settings, fragrant flowers, the sounds of birds chirping. And considering the popularity of outdoor wedding venues, it’s obvious that many brides and grooms do too.

But not every outdoor location was designed with the needs of a wedding ceremony in mind, which causes it’s own set of issues that have to be planned for to ensure the enjoyment, ease, and comfort of everyone involved.

Make sure everyone has the best experience by checking out these 9 tips for a joyous outside wedding celebration.

1. Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy (But Not When It’s In My Eyes).

wedding ceremony at sunset

There’s nothing like sitting outdoors, the sun beautifully shining, witnessing a loved ones wedding vows.

Unless the sun is shining directly into your guests’ eyes, making them squint, or having to close their eyes. You know they won’t be thinking happy thoughts for you and your fiancé while their eyes are closed and watering.

Also, you don’t want the sun to be in your or your fiance’s eyes either. How can you exchange vows and say “I do,” if you can’t clearly and comfortably see your fiancé (or have him/her see you)?

How to avoid this? Easy.

Go out to your ceremony site at a similar time of day as well as time of year to see where the sun will be at in the sky. That way you can decide what will be the best placement and orientation for seating.

Sometimes changing the angle that the seats will be facing isn’t a good option. If that’s the case consider providing programs or hand-held fans that guests can also use to shield their eyes, provide inexpensive sunglasses, or getting a tent.

2. “I Think Truth Has No Temperature.” (quote by Cameron Diaz)

blue fans for guests to use at a wedding ceremony on a hot day
Photo credit: joshuaraineyphotography / 123RF Stock Photo

Truth may not have a temperature, but your outdoor ceremony will. The question is, how comfortable will that temperature be?

Ok. You’re probably not planning on an outdoor ceremony in December. But considering the potential temperature (and humidity) is important to everyone’s comfort.

June is often comfortable, but it can be humid. October is often warm enough for short sleeves or a light sweater, but is can turn cold.

Doesn’t mean you can’t have your ceremony outside. Just be sure to provide means to provide comfort for your guests. Maybe a fan or an outdoor heater. Bottled water on hot, humid days, and hot chocolate for when it’s cold. Cheap, pashmina wraps for the ladies (Google “cheap pashmina wraps” and you will find lots of sources).

3. “Love Is Like The Wind. You Can’t See It But You Can Feel It.” (Quote by Nicholas Sparks).

The temperature isn’t the only type of weather that can affect your wedding. Even though you may not be able to see the wind, everyone can see the problems it can cause.

Altar arrangements get blown about. Unity candles won’t stay lit. Aisle runners won’t stay in place. Your beautiful up-do can come undone in the wind. Candelabras can topple over.

Some easy remedies include:

  • Securing the base of tall candelabras or other tall decorative pieces.
  • Incorporating a sand ceremony or other unity candle alternative.
  • Placing décor such as pretty containers of flowers along edge of an aisle runner to keep it from blowing up (and becoming a walking hazard).

4. The (Six-Legged) Uninvited Guests

Outside means nature, and nature means bugs. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony chances are there will be pesky bugs. Avoid swatting at mosquitos while you’re saying your “I dos” with these tips.

Outside means nature, and nature means bugs. Especially if you’re in a wooded area or near standing water. They’re also attracted to perfumes with a floral or fruity fragrance.

There may be just a few pesky bugs, or there may be a lot. But they will be there. And they will be distracting and unpleasant for everyone – your guests and you.

Avoid swatting at mosquitos while you’re saying your “I dos.”

Set off bug bombs. Burn citronella candles. Spray for bugs beforehand.

Provide insect repellant (Burt’s Bees makes a nice herbal based repellant). Have a basket with individual insect repellant wipes on hand for your guests. (Google “individual bug repellent wipes in bulk”).

Decorate with flowers and other florals that are a natural insect repellant, such as sprigs of rosemary, lavender, mint, and thyme.

Sunshine, Rain, and Your Wedding Day

5. Can You Hear Me Now?

Your guests want to hear your vows. I mean, how can you expect them to be engaged and enjoy being there for you if they’re struggling to hear what’s going on?

If they can’t hear, they’re going to be thinking (or worse, whispering) “what’d she say?” “What part are they up to?” “How much longer?” “I can’t hear a thing!”, instead of “Oh, I’m so happy for them,” and “Their vows are so beautiful,” while dabbing tears from the corners of their eyes.

Many indoor ceremony venues have a sound/PA system. Others venues were built with beautiful acoustics.

However, that’s not the case outside.

Unless the size of your guest list is relatively small, consider renting a microphone and speaker.

6. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (But How Far Is That Walk?)

walking to remote wedding location
Photo credit: arinahabich / 123RF Stock Photo

Chances are your beautiful outdoor ceremony site is remote and secluded.

This may sound romantic, and is probably part of the charm that made you choose that site. But it may prove tricky for some to actually get to. Or awkward for those ladies wearing heels. (Help avoid this by clearly indicating on your invitations of the outdoor nuances of your ceremony so your guests can choose proper footwear).

Think about how far is the distance between parking and the actual site? Are there long meandering paths? Uneven terrain? Trails through tall grass? Rocky walkways?

If that’s the case, it is likely that it will take more effort on everyone’s part to actually get to the ceremony site.

Is there a closer access road for your elderly guests?

If possible, arrange to have golf carts or a shuttle available to help get guests as close as possible. Designate a few hearty bodied gentlemen to help those who may need assistance.

For the ladies in heels, provide plastic heel protectors, such as The Solemates, Heels Above. or Grass Walkers. They keep high heels from sinking into the ground. Makes it easier for them, and protects their shows at the same time.

7. Baby, You Can Drive My Car (But Where Will It Be Parked?)

Again, chances are your beautiful outdoor ceremony site is remote and secluded.

So, where will your guests have to park?

Is there a nearby parking lot? A parking lot that’s a 5 minute walk from your ceremony site? Or is parking more scattered?

You will need to be more creative with the parking situation if yours is not a traditional ceremony site. Parking may be off the street, in a field, or down a gravel lane. Will it be easy for your guests to see their way to find their cars at the end of your event?

8. It’s All About Location, Location, Location. Unless It Isn’t Easy To Find Your Ceremony Site.

wooden sign pointing towards a wedding ceremony
Photo credit: chrishumphreys / 123RF Stock Photo

I don’t mean finding the address, that’s the easy part (especially the help of a GPS). I’m talking about them finding your ceremony site once they get out of their car.

It may be obvious to you as to how to get to your ceremony site, but if there are other paths that lead elsewhere, your guests can become confused or lost.

Reaching some remote outdoor ceremony sites isn’t always obvious. Do we take that close by path on the right, or do we have to walk down that lane?

Make it foolproof with some simple signage. Providing a sign that states, “Ceremony this way” with an arrow pointing the way works wonders.

9. Extra! Extra! (Fees, That Is).

Perhaps the cost to use your outdoor wedding ceremony location is minimal (particularly so for private homes or sites that are open to the public, like parks or arboretums).

However, with some non-typical ceremony sites come additional planning and fees.

  • If it’s harder for your vendors to access, will extra delivery fees be incurred?
  • Outdoor sites may not have restrooms nearby. For the comfort of your guests, will you need to provide port-a-potties?
  • Will you need valet parking if the nearest parking area is a good distance away?
  • The outdoors doesn’t come with electrical outlets. Will you need to provide generators?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Looking for fun ideas or assistance with your wedding plans? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

5 Quotes about Love and Marriage

Love Marriage Romance Hearts
Romantic Red Hearts

Although much has been said on the topics of love and marriage, sometimes nothing sums it up so succinctly than a good quote.

Short, sweet, and to the point, here are five lovely quotes that you can use on your wedding invitations or ceremony programs, include in readings, signage at your reception, or just as inspiration.

Love with Red Heart
Love with Red Heart

1. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ Lao Tze

2. “Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” ~ Franz Schubert

3. “A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in individuals and in the way they express their love.” ~ Pearl S. Buck

4. “Men always want to be a woman’s first love and women want to be a man’s last romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde

5. “A successful marriage is an edifice that must be built every day.” ~ Andre Maurois

Heart with Arrow
Hearts with Arrow

Be sure to share with us in the comments below other quotes on love and marriage that you particularly love.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Need inspiration or ideas for your wedding? Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Why Your Wedding Planner Needs To Be At Your Ceremony Rehearsal

wedding rehearsal

Came across an inquiry for a wedding planner. For the planning services requested, the bride-to-be checked off yes for “ceremony,” yes for “reception,” and no for “wedding rehearsal.”

Ladies, you may think you’ll save some money if your planner doesn’t have to be at the rehearsal. But IT IS IMPERATIVE that anyone involved with the ceremony to also be at the rehearsal.

Sure, you’ll discuss with your planner in great detail the way you want the ceremony to be, the order that the wedding party will go down the aisle, if there will be a unity candle, what songs will be played for the processional . . .

But, things can change. And even the slightest change can throw things off IF THE PLANNER WAS NOT AT THE REHEARSAL!

So You Want to Be a Wedding Planner – Some of My FAQ’s

What could possibly be changed?

  • The order of the wedding party is different than what the couple decided at first
  • Programs will be passed out (when originally there were none)
  • The bride’s processional song is different than what she initially chose
  • An aisle runner has been added
  • There won’t be a unity candle (or sand ceremony or the like)

Can you imagine what would happen if any of the above occurred at the rehearsal, and the planner wasn’t there?

There would be confusion, and the likelihood that something would not go right.

In over 20 years as a professional planner, I have never left a wedding rehearsal without having any changes or updates to be made to the timeline. Sometimes the changes were minimal and minor. Other times the ceremony timeline had major revisions.

A couple years ago, I was told that I didn’t have to come to the rehearsal. There ceremony site was a bit of a drive, and she didn’t want me to have to make the trip two days in a row.

A very kind gesture. But, I explained to her that yes, I will definitely be (and have to be) at the rehearsal. Although I have done hundreds of wedding ceremonies, I have not done YOUR ceremony.

Being at the rehearsal ensures that all of my information is up to date, any last minute questions are answered, your wedding party knows who I am, and I will know the “lay of the land” if it is at a venue I haven’t been to before.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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If you’re looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: The Bride via photopin cc

Meet the Pros – Interview with Rev. Cindy Lee Carver

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a minister of 20+ years. Over the years, I noticed that rent-a-minister, now called off site minister or wedding officiant more difficult to find, especially those who specialize in alternative, CosPlay, non-traditional, and LGBT weddings.

Often I’m asked about my religious affiliation, which is indigenous. Indigenous often times means Native American. I’m Métis (May-tee) which is a Canadian recognized First Nations People. In the United States we are non-federal recognized Native American. If you are interested in an authentic Eastern Woodland style wedding, it would be my pleasure to help you plan and execute it with all the fine details. My non-denominational training is that of a Spiritualist, making my abilities very adaptable for your wedding ceremony.

2. How did you get into officiating for wedding ceremonies?

My mother and daughters told me to put up a website and offer my non-traditional services. After that, I added traditional services and began answering emails and telephone calls. I’m glad I did it. I enjoy the smiles, the love that shines in their eyes when they look at each other or talk about one another, and the vows are amazing.

3. What is your favorite part of a wedding ceremony?

The vows. Whether I write them or the couple write their own, the emotion that overwhelms them as they gaze into each others eyes is wonderful. We think of the Mothers of the couple as the people with tears in their eyes. But, the couple often have their own tears, choke up while trying to speak, or taking laughing fits. This is the part I adore, their emotion bubbling outward.

4. Are you seeing any new trends for wedding ceremonies, and if so, what are they?

CosPlay and Off beat themes are more popular now, than any other time in history. My blog contains photos of the Halloween themes and Steampunk from 2014. I’m continue to wait for the photos from other wedding couples. 2015 weddings have included CosPlay as the Penguin from the game, Arkham Asylum, Off Beat as a Steampunk clockmaker. 2016 is gearing up for a totally Dr. Who wedding and I’ll dress as the very first Doctor.

The photos I still wait for are the Penguin, a couple of the steampunk weddings, along with me as a Plainswalker. Often Rule 63 is invoked when I officiate a CosPlay wedding.

5. What is your favorite venue and why?

For Steampunk, I like the Boonshoft Museum Space Theater. For CosPlay any outdoor venue. For more of a Masquerade style or a traditional wedding, I like The Event Connection. I look forward to officiating a wedding at the Dayton Art Institute and The Victoria Theater.

6. What are some of your top tips for a stress-free wedding ceremony?

Design an itinerary and stick to it. Develop your itinerary with your wedding planner or your day of the event coordinator, officiant, and DJ. Let the people you hire do their jobs. When you try to micro-manage it over stresses your emotions and it gets overwhelming fast, so allow the people you hire to do their jobs.

7. If you could officiate at any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, I admire Mrs. DeGeneres’ go-give attributes and her natural ability to be entertaining. Brooke Elliott for the confidence she exudes. Bruce Campbell in case he would like to show up as one of his many characters. My list continues on.

8. Anything else you want to share with us?

Every wedding couple should get contracts from each vendor they hire. Whether it is a minister or a friend of the family. Contracts are the glue that provides you with peace of mind that you are hiring a professional that will have a backup plan if something would happen and they could not honor their agreement. I have a network of associate ministers that will deliver your ceremonial service if I am in the emergency room.

The second part of the contract issue is to make sure there is not a non-disparagement clause. A Non-Disparagement clause restricts a person from writing a negative review. In simple non legalese, it means you can not write on facebook, or other social media about how so and so didn’t hold up the contract with you.

While you have hired your vendors, it is polite to offer them a monetary tip the day of the event or in a thank you card the week after to let them know you appreciated their hard work on your behalf.

You can contact Rev. Cindy Lee at
937- 985-7956
Email cindylee@revcindylee.com
Website http://revcindylee.com/

Nina’s Hidden Gardens – An Elegant Garden Venue

I’d like to introduce Nina Griffin and Nina’s Hidden Gardens, a new wedding and special event venue, conveniently located in Beavercreek, Ohio.

Nina’s Hidden Gardens, is a tranquil setting that will provide a memorable locale for your special event, including wedding ceremonies and receptions, showers, family reunions, and corporate events. Nina says whether you’re looking to have a rustic backdrop or a formal setting, she can accommodate both.

Her English heritage lends itself to the enjoyment of cottage gardens and spending time outside communing with nature, and you can enjoy several different areas for your special event, including:

The Scenic Pond

Walled Garden with Stone Steps

Poolside with Terraced Seating
Or bring in a tent on the spacious grounds.

The sense of peace and intimate tranquil setting is a rare find only three miles from the mall in Beavercreek.

“I want to share the pleasure of this lovely setting with those who also appreciate the elegance yet rustic nature and calming influence this unique retreat has to offer. Whether it be a wedding or a small event you will experience that sense of joy that I find here every day.”                                                              ~ Nina

Visit Nina’s website at Nina’s Hidden Gardens for more photos of this beautiful venue, and be sure to contact her at 937-271-1609 or by email at ninamgriffin@yahoo.com and see how Nina’s Hidden Gardens can be the perfect setting for your wedding or special event.

Walk This Way – Alternatives to Traditional Processional Songs

bride's processional - walking down the aisle

Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” (aka “Here Comes The Bride”) is a traditional wedding song choice for your processional at your wedding ceremony. However, it isn’t for everyone. Luckily there are several fun alternative song choices for your walk down the aisle.

Here are a few:

“You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker

“Ribbon In The Sky” by Stevie Wonder

How To Choose Ceremony Music to Express Your Wedding Vision – Part 1

“Something” by The Beatles

“One Hand, One Heart” from West Side Story

“Breathe” by Faith Hill

What other songs do you think would be perfect processional music?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you have questions or are looking for fun ideas, Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647 or at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net.