by Tori Lawless, Estates Event Coordinator
An outdoor Florida wedding in the summer months is not a common choice. The heat and humidity are brutal, the bugs are thriving on the moisture, it rains almost everyday, and there’s always the threat of a hurricane!
Whether it’s a sentimental date or off-peak vendor rates, many couples still opt to get married outside in the summertime despite these potential day spoilers. Here are some tips for making your outdoor wedding a success.
SHADE – If your ceremony site is not under a covered pavilion of some sort, consider renting large garden umbrellas to protect your guests from direct sunlight. Make visits to your venue a few weeks before the wedding around the time of day you plan to get married. This will give you an idea of where the sun is in the sky and where there is the most shade. If you visit the site much earlier, your sun times will not be accurate due to Daylight Savings.
HYDRATION – Find out if your site can provide bottled water for your guests. They can be distributed along with your programs by your ushers. You can even order custom made water bottles for your wedding. Check out iWantMyH20 – I like that they even discuss their water source on their website.
FANS – Hand fans are a growing trend in weddings. Handmade raffia fans are available at the Estates for only $1.00 each when purchased in bulk. Tie ribbons in your wedding colors to the handles or hot glue your program to the front. Hand fans are inexpensive favors and your guests will thank you. Electric fans are also a good idea if electricity is available at your site. The circulating air will help keep some of the bugs away. Remember to be careful with your power cords – nothing ruins a wedding day like a sprained ankle.
RAIN – Hand held umbrellas or parasols are nice to have for shade. Unfortunately, Florida’s summer rains almost always bring lightning. The best plan is to consult with the venue’s site coordinator to see if, in the event of rain, you are able to postpone the ceremony until it clears. You should also make backup plans to hold the ceremony at your reception site in case the weather does not clear. Find out what the policy is regarding cancellation due to bad weather or hurricanes at both your ceremony and reception site. Start watching the weather one week out. I like to use www.weather.com.
WELCOME GOODIES – Be sure to put items such as sunscreen and insect repellent in your welcome bags for your out of town guests. Remember that they do not live here year-round and may not think about these items. Off! has a new product that clips-on to things like pockets or chairs rather than covering your body with stinky spray. The Estates even sells individually packaged insect repellent wipes that are perfect for stuffing into welcome bags.
INFORMED GUESTS – Tell your guests on the invitation that it is an outdoor wedding. This will give them the cue to wear light-weight clothes and sunglasses.
STAY FRESH – Be sure to let your makeup artist and hair stylist know that you’re getting married outside. Between the ceremony and pictures, you’ll want to remain shine-free and frizz-free. Don’t forget to pack your emergency kit with deodorant and blotting towels.
RESPECT YOUR ELDERS – Keep in mind that Grandma and Grandpa may not be as mobile as you are. Make arrangements to have your senior guests dropped off and picked up close to the ceremony location. They should be seated in a very shady and cool location. Our elders are often more sensitive to heat, so keep their health and comfort in mind while planning.
Photography: Jamie Lee Photography / 239.872.0419 / www.jamieleephotography.com