Here in SA, we’re spoilt with beautiful landscapes that make for breathtaking bridal photos. But, with unpredictable weather in many places, it takes solid planning to pull off the perfect outdoor wedding. Use these tips to make sure yours is an affair to remember.
1. SOUND THE BELLS!
Whether you decide on a dreamy beach wedding or to say your vows at the edge of a dramatic cliff, get the audio right. The last thing you want is your voice getting lost in the sound of crashing waves or a gentle breeze, leaving your audience (or even your beau!) trying to make out what you’re saying. If you’re using a videographer, bear in mind the quality of the audio during playback. Get a microphone system hooked up to the closest power source, and if you’re using wireless microphones, make sure the batteries are fully charged. The same goes for the music, entertainment and speeches at the reception.
2. A MONKEY’S WEDDING
As the saying goes, if the sun is shining and it’s raining, a monkey’s about to get married. So take notes and don’t greenlight your Plan B if it pours on the morning of your big day but your outdoor ceremony or reception is only later in the afternoon. While we agree it’s only practical to let your guests know the venue has changed, the rain may stop in time. Instead, use a canopy or arrange umbrellas if you’re expecting a light drizzle. For longer ceremonies or the chance of heavier rainfall, ensure you have spoken to your venue about a contingency plan. Remember: rain is said to bring good luck to a couple on their wedding day, and can make for some memorable candid photos too.
3. LIGHT IT UP
You’ve browsed Pinterest, ogled at different photographers’ sites, and may even be sold on the idea of an outdoor wedding solely because of the beautiful lighting opportunities it lends. Whether you are after a magical enchanted forest look with thousands of fairy lights hanging from trees or a beachy do with strings of Consol jars hung from beams and paper lanterns lodged in the sand, keep it all well lit and as hazard-free as possible. If your ceremony is around twilight, max out on the amazing golden light two hours before sunset. The flattering natural light + your own beautiful additions = mesmerising photo perfection.
4. EVERYONE’S INVITED!
Everyone should feel welcome, including your pregnant cousin or frail uncle, so try to make your wedding as accessible as possible. The key here is structure and practicality, and you don’t have to forfeit aesthetics in favour of this. You may be working with an open space, but use lighting and decor to contain it and make sure everyone has a great time. Think about wheelchair access (smooth walkways), steady ground (mats and rugs on the beach, for example) and close proximity to amenities.
5. SITTING PRETTY
Make sure there’s enough comfortable seating and mingling space for everyone. This is especially important for a more casual affair. Think couches, benches and swing chairs in neutral colours that you can customise with the textures and colours of the wedding.