7 Survival Tips for an Outdoor Wedding - The Hill Farm House
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7 Survival Tips for an Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor Wedding Survival Tips

Across the Lake
Photo credit : http://www.lyndseygoddard.com/
As far as we’re concerned, there is nothing better than an outdoor wedding in the English countryside. However, because you are not being handed a ready-made venue with everything included, organising such a day is not for the faint-hearted. But fear not! Borrow the Bride is on hand to give you some essential survival tips for navigating this glorious process…

1. Assume it will rain
This is the biggest worry for most people when it comes to booking an outdoor wedding. No one fantasizes about being trapped in a marquee sheltering from a torrential downpour. However, if this does happen, it is far better to smugly square up to those grey clouds in your best bridal poncho screaming ‘BRING IT ON’ than to be foetal and shivering in the corner crying out ‘whhhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyy’! If you are getting married in the UK, there are sadly no guarantees. However, saying that, a friend of mine had a destination wedding in sunny Portugal for this very reason, only to be met with a hurricane. So really, you may as well stay local and suck it up, and if anything, embrace it.

2. Pray for Sunshine
Wedding rainbow
Photo credit: http://www.lyndseygoddard.com/
Even if the run up to your big day is incredibly soggy, like the summer of 2012 where it rained EVERY DAY for 60 days, the sun may still shine. I got married that very year and in the days before had totally given up hope. The journey down to our venue was horrific with flash flooding across the motorways and the morning of was constant grey drizzle. My uncle was the vicar and had made everyone pray for sunshine during the rehearsal, and lo and behold just ten minutes before I was due to walk down the aisle, the clouds parted, and the ruddy sun came out! This is the first time I have questioned my disbelief in our great Lord and Saviour 🙂

3. Be Prepared
Hay Bales
Photo credit : http://www.lyndseygoddard.com/
Basically, you just need to have a game plan for a day of rain, or a day of roasting heat. You will hopefully have a fair idea of which way things are heading thanks to that blessed 10-day forecast. So if it’s looking like showers are inevitable, here are a few suggestions:
● Consider paying for real flooring. A lot of wedding venues may insist on this anyway to protect the ground, and that’s no bad thing. You then have a level, sturdy and dry floor.
● Befriend a local farmer so you can get your hands on a shed-load of hay. If the ground is very soggy, this will help soak it up, especially around the edges of the tent and along any obvious walkways.
● Lay matting down on those walkways to make it easier for your guests, particularly those in stilettos, but really they should know better.
● Position your dancefloor, if having, by the entrance to the marquee/ teepee so that you have an immediate space for the drinks reception in case of a poorly timed shower, or;
● Fork out for an entrance pagoda to create more space.
● Talk to your marquee or teepee supplier, they should be able to make lots of helpful suggestions as pro’s at weathering a storm.

On the flip side, if you are staring into the face of the hottest day since records began: Pat yourself on the back for being so clever and order loads of ice 🙂

4. Embrace the Conditions with Thoughtful Extras
Wedding Umbrellas
Photo credit: http://www.lyndseygoddard.com/
People will be having a super time anyway, obviously, but it will be a lot more fun if they are able to embrace their surroundings. Spend ten minutes on Pinterest and you might even be praying for a downpour. Loan out colourful umbrellas, wellington boots and cosy blankets and if it’s safe to do so, a well placed fire pit with marshmallow toasting will certainly warm the cockles. And think of the photos! Dramatic clouds as the backdrop and close-ups of all your thoughtful extra details will make for some cracking shots. Blue skies and sunshine are soooo last year.

5. Assess the Venue Vibes
Enough about the blasted weather! When organising a wedding of this sort, it is essential that you get good vibes from your venue. You are going to be asking them A LOT of questions over the coming months so it’s best that you’re not finding their attitude annoying after just 3 emails. A flexible and accommodating venue will make for a smooth and enjoyable process! Within reason obviously, if you’re making ludicrous demands and changing your mind every 5 seconds then we can’t help you.

6. Don’t Make any Assumptions about what’s Included
Inside Marquee
Photo credit: http://alexa-loy.com/
Whether you’re hiring out the grounds of a farm or a manor house, make sure you are crystal clear on what is included in their fees. You might literally be paying for the use of the grounds with everything from marquee hire, power and water being charged on top. Same goes for said marquee or teepee hire; you should be given a detailed breakdown of what’s included and additional costs like flooring, furniture, toilets, catering tents, lighting, bar, dancefloors, stages etc. Some venues may insist that you use particular suppliers so it is very important that you check these out and their associated costs before you tie yourselves in. Linked to this make sure you’re clear on any restrictions the venue may need to impose, for example on noise, how late the party can go on, corkage charges, parking etc.

7. You have a Blank Canvas, Go Nuts
Finally, having an outdoor wedding in beautiful surroundings is an amazing opportunity to put your own stamp on the day. You can make it totally unique and a true reflection of your own style. You won’t regret it!!

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