Monday, October 7, 2013

An Outdoor Wedding - Risks and Rewards

This weekend we went to an outdoor wedding of some friends.  It was held at a beautiful farm.  The risk is in the weather, especially in October in Ohio. The reward is in having the wedding of your dreams and gorgeous photos.  The temperature was warm, almost 80 ( a little over 26 C) and the leaves are just starting to change color.  It was beautiful!  The question we were throwing around was is planning a wedding for outside in October, too much of a risk?  Well, here is what happened for this bride.

The wedding was scheduled for 3 PM.  As the guests arrived, so did a huge downpour.  The bride did have a back up plan.  The ceremony would have been held in the barn.  The ushers rounded up  umbrellas and walked people from the vehicles to the barn.    Nobody seemed to mind.  They laughed about the rain and wetness.  There were a few towels around, mostly they were used for drying off eyeglasses.  The warm weather made it very tolerable.  If it had been weather like today, temp of 50 (10 degrees celsius) the guests would have been very miserable in the dampness and wet.

The bride had her heart set on an outdoor wedding.  So it was determined to wait a half hour and see whether it was still raining.  With  modern technology, you can see the weather radar and it looked like it would pass.  At 3:30, the weather cleared.  There was just a bit more of a delay as all the chairs were dried off.  Nobody seemed to mind the delay.

The bride was thrilled to have the outdoor wedding she dreamed of.  She was radiant!

The slightly overcast skies made for beautiful weather.  So much nicer than when you have full sun.  Outdoor pictures in Ohio in October (alliteration unintentional) often have a very deep beautiful color and depth that you don't get other times of the year.  The trees are changing colors and the sky has a unique gray look.  I love it!

The warm weather made the bridesmaids dresses comfortable.  I don't know what the back up plan was to be if the weather had been much colder.  I am sure the bride had one.  She was super organized.  But this is something you would have to think about if planning an outdoor wedding in the fall.

The overcast skies made all the outfits and colors look so vibrant.  One could hardly take a bad picture!

The bridal couple had a super sturdy tent set up to eat under.  The place settings and table arrangements was gorgeous.  It looked perfect!!

The only issue was that the ground in front of the serving table was super saturated with rain.  The main course was served buffet style.  When planning an outdoor wedding, one needs to make sure that the eating area stays dry or that  one has a back up plan to deal with the mud.

The bride, who is a wedding planner in her spare time, had all glass and china for the guests to eat off of.  That made it feel even more elegant.  A cloth napkin and a printed menu made it feel very classy.  I am glad that I didn't have to wash the dishes.  That was a huge job for somebody ( or many somebodies)  as there were about 250 guests and they also served a soup course and a salad course.  NOTE: I don't usually keep my camera bag on the table while eating, but the ground was so wet that wasn't practical to set it there.)  The mud made for very extended serving times on the soup and salad courses.  The servers could hardly keep to their feet as they squelched through the ankle deep (in some places) mud.  Everybody was patient and just collected memories.  Once this path was determined there were no options.

I think if one plans for an outdoor wedding that you have to determine ahead of time to take things as they come.  I have to say, the bride may have been unhappy to have the bottom 8 inches of her dress muddied, but if she was, nobody else knew.  One thought may be, that if planning an outdoor wedding, it may be best to select tea length dresses.

She never seemed to let it bother her.  She put on a beautiful smile and enjoyed her day.

The mud made for some interesting pictures.  Almost every lady had her shoes off and many comments were made about how we would have had to pay lots of money for a mud pedicure in a salon.  If a situation like this would ruin your day then don't plan an outdoor wedding!

The majority of the men kept their shoes on, but there were some interesting looks to keep the bottoms of suits clean.  

I think the bottom line in wedding planning is don't plan for an outdoor wedding if a change in plans will ruin your day!  If you do select the option of an outdoor wedding be ready with multiple contingency plans for a change in weather.  It could be rain. excessive heat or cold or mud!  Plan your dresses for being outdoors.  Consider your beverage choices in regards for the weather.  Lots of hot or cool drinks as needed. Bring along a big bag of towels and have large umbrellas handy.  If it is a fall wedding, you might want to bring multiple stadium blankets.  I do have to note that there was a large watering trough of water outside the dance floor for people to wash their feet, and towels were provided.  This was a nice touch.  If you are using an old barn for a dance floor make sure there is adequate support of the floor.  It can be a tragedy if someone were to fall through while jump dancing.

Outdoor weddings can be so beautiful and special and they will certainly be memorable.  That is the reward.  But you have to be willing to take some risks and do extra planning to get there.

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