If your ideal day includes having an outdoor wedding, then the next concern is location. Every outdoor wedding venue has its own unique essence to offer. But they all share one important characteristic: they are all vulnerable to the weather.
Rain can render the ground soggy so that chairs sink when the guests take their seats. Wind gusts can send decorations flying. The temperature can take a sudden spike, and the wedding party and guests can find themselves melting under a relentless sun. Any weather event that can be imagined can become a reality.
The best way to protect any outdoor wedding from being ruined by an unforeseen weather occurrence is to have a backup plan. Commercial tents with available walls can provide shade and protection against rain and most winds. Once the tent is erected, the choice of using it or lowering its walls can be made the day of the wedding. The tent can also be partitioned at one end to provide a dressing room for the bride and the wedding party.
If Mother Nature has cooperated and the weather is perfect, the nuptials and the reception can be held under the tent or outside of it as desired. But without a tent as a backup, wind, rain or heat can ruin the event. The other available backup plan is to have an indoor location on standby. Depending upon the number of guests, this backup location could be a relative’s home, a church, a hotel banquet room or a rental hall.
The cost of getting married is significant, and paying for two venues is generally beyond what any wedding couple is willing or able to do. That’s why creating an outdoor wedding requires diligent research and planning. A summertime outdoor wedding in southern Ontario will not have the same concerns as a wedding in Sudbury at the same time of the year. When planning outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions, the Almanac and the Canadian weather service are valuable resources.
Outdoor wedding supplies and decorations
Other precautions that will make the outdoor wedding experience more enjoyable include:
• clips to hold tablecloths in place
• umbrellas for shade
• hand fans for individual cooling
• insect deterrents
• flags, balloons or lanterns to dissuade birds from joining the celebration
• designated access for disabled guests
• space heaters if cold
• a beverage station with cool or hot drinks as weather appropriate
• shelter for the cake table
• pins, ties, tape and clips to secure altar and reception decorations
• moist towelettes for guests
• clean portable restroom facilities
• a portable dance floor
Questions to ask
• Is alcohol permitted?
• Is a band or disc jockey permitted?
• Is there a curfew time for the reception?
• Where can guests park?
• Does an attendant maintain portable restrooms during the event?
• Is it permissible to erect a tent?
• Can poles, a bridal arch, lampposts or other structures be inserted into the ground?
• Are any special permits needed for this wedding or reception?
Nothing quite compares to a day celebrated under the open skies. All the additional preparations are worth the effort, for getting married amid the wonders of nature is amazing.
Coping with rain
You’ve chosen a summer wedding. Whether it’s in your parents’ backyard or on the beach or in a flower garden, reciting your vows under blue skies and warm sunshine surrounded by nature (such as sweet-smelling, multi-hued flowers, chirping birds or crashing waves) is as good as it gets. Members of the wedding party and guests alike will walk away with enhanced memories of the event. Give out beach or garden wedding favours and your wedding will be remembered by all for
many years to come.
However, it can literally rain on your parade. No one can predict the weather, especially months in advance; unless, of course, you go to the trouble and expense of
flying the wedding party and guests to a place that has a Mediterranean climate. There you know that it will not rain during the summer. It is pretty much guaranteed that during certain months of the year, there is zero rainfall. Thus the bride and groom can plan an outdoor wedding ceremony or reception with no fear of them or their guests being drenched by a sudden downpour.
However, most young couples contemplating an outdoor summer wedding do not travel to a place with a no-rain guarantee. So do the young lovers have to ditch their dream of an outdoor wedding because of the very real possibility that it may rain? Do they have to have the ceremony or reception indoors? Not necessarily. There is the possibility that the soon to be newlyweds can have their (wedding) cake and eat it (outside) — all the while having everyone attending their wedding protected from the elements.
How can this protection be achieved? That’s easy to answer. By renting a tent! The couple can plan their wedding as an outdoor event, yet as the day of the wedding gets closer and the weather report for the upcoming nuptials is available, they can modify their plans. If the weather forecast calls for a sunny day, then there is no need to change what they have already decided to do. However, if there is a strong likelihood of rain, than they can have a huge tent erected on the grounds and have the ceremony and reception inside — but not actually indoors.
Some people might think that it’s a big step down to be married — or celebrate a marriage — in a tent of all things. Rental tents can be quite elegant and enormous, with the ability to comfortably seat dozens, if not hundreds, of people. In fact, it might not be a bad idea to rent a tent even if the weather is sunny with no clouds in sight. After all, if the day is very hot and humid, the guests might prefer to be indoors away from the strong rays of the sun. Or there may be lots of mosquitoes and other undesirable bugs or pests flying or crawling around, and being in a tent will provide welcome protection from them. Sunny or rainy, a tent can help make one’s wedding the amazing day it deserves to be.