Friday, November 19, 2010

Having an outdoor ceremony?

...then take a look at our advice in this month's issue of An Essex Wedding (page 94).

Their reader said:  "I have my heart set on an outdoor ceremony next summer, but I'm conscious that the British weather can be very unreliable.  What's the best way to prepare for the grisly conditions?"

We said:  "It’s lovely that you are planning an outdoor ceremony – it’s such a romantic idea and will save on venue decorations, as you’ll have the natural beauty of your surroundings to wow guests!

And don’t worry; there are quite a few things that you can put into place to put your mind at rest on the day, so that you can relax whatever the British weather brings! Here are some of our ideas...

• Choose a venue that offers an alternative indoor space if the weather makes a turn for the worse. Braxted Park in Essex is a great example. You can hold your wedding outside in the beautifully restored Knott Garden, and they also keep the Orangery free for your use in case of unexpected downpours!

• Consider having some sort of cover like an open-sided canopy where your guests can sit out of the rain. Mangapp Manor in Essex provides just the thing, with the opportunity for you to marry in an African thatched gazebo, floating on water. Your guests are seated on the lakeside, under cover if required.

• Make sure that you tell your guests that the wedding will be held outside so that they can dress appropriately. If there is a drizzle, leave a selection of pretty umbrellas for your guests to huddle under. My personal favourites are the ones by Lisbeth Dahl.

• The outdoor surroundings can sometimes also drown out the sound of you making your wedding vows, especially if the rain is coming down too, so consider hiring in a sound system for you and your groom. Your DJ or band should be able to organise this for you.

• With rain often comes a drop in temperature, so why not consider leaving cosy blankets on everyone’s chair. That way, guests won’t be left in the cold should the rain come down! You could also consider using portable heaters and have warm drinks ready for your guests after the ceremony.

• If all else fails, use the weather as an excuse to acquire more pretty wedding accessories. Embrace the rain with a pair of wellies! I love the ones by Weddington Boots ( They can even be customised with diamante, feathers and ribbons!"
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