Words by Carey Crawford
Photography: Paula Adams Photography
Carey Crawford owns and runs the popular C Club, a beautiful wedding venue in Chintsa East known for their outdoor weddings and receptions.
Having an outdoor wedding can be so beautiful if you are lucky enough to have beautiful weather. However, being glued to the weather forecasts in the weeks leading up to your big day can be very stressful. That is why having a back-up plan that you are happy with is absolutely essential!
Wedding couples often worry about the rain, but there are other elements that should also be taken into consideration during your planning as well.
Wind is not your friend if you are planning to have your reception outside either. Soft, flowing draping which is often preferred, will not be possible unless there will be no wind. A safer option will be to choose décor that will withstand a slight breeze.
Try to avoid lightweight vases and centrepieces and choose flowers that will be able to withstand warm or windy conditions. Discuss these options with your florist as they will definitely be able to recommend which flowers will work well. Your arrangements need to be kept out of the sun as long as possible so they will be the very last item to be setup on the day.
If you would like some candlelight ambience, cover the candles with wind-blocking vessels as well.
If you are fortunate enough to have one of East London's lovely wind-still clear skied days, we have a few tips to prepare for that as well.
Remember that the guests spend up to 30 minutes at the ceremony before the bride arrives. On hot and sunny days, this can become quite uncomfortable. Always ensure that your guests have access to some cold bottled water to stay hydrated. Enquire with your venue whether they have umbrellas that your guests could use. If they do not have suitable ones, consider renting a few - especially for the elderly guests.
The majority of guests will not keep the colour scheme of the wedding in mind when they are uncomfortable in the sun and any shade-bearing object will be moved closer in order to create some shade for them to sit under. You wouldn't want your day transformed into a rainbow of beverage branded umbrellas, now would you?
Visit your venue at the same time of day and during the same season that your ceremony will be held. This will give you an idea of the sun's position at the time of your wedding so that you can assure that you and your guests will not be squinting into the sun during your vows.
Outdoor receptions can also become quite chilly once the sun goes down. Hat heaters work very well and blankets make lovey party favours for our guests.
Another important aspect to remember during outdoor receptions is light sources once the sun goes down. it is important for the space to be well lit but bright lighting options will take away from your ambience. Rather opt for a lot of warm glow - ample amounts of soft, dimmable lights will work well to achieve this. Discuss these options with your photographer as well as they will also be able to give you advise on this.
The important thing to remember when planning to have your reception outside is that you are taking a very big risk that things will not work out as you planned. Be prepared to fall back on a Plan B and to be happy with it. Remember, you can control almost all the elements at your wedding, but the weather is not one of them. Make the call early in the morning so you can minimise all the stress you might have during the day. Don't look back and don't overthink it. You can still control the fun element!
Don't be too afraid of rain either. Rainy ceremonies with wellies and brollies make pretty guest favours and great photos too! In the end, your day will be what you make of it.