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Choosing to have an outdoor ceremony or reception can be a tricky or scary decision.  Despite there are so many things that could go wrong, like rain, there are so many things that could go right, like taking in the beautiful scenery.  Here are some tips to get the most out of your outdoor wedding.

Time of Year

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This widely depends on the area or location you choose for your wedding, but most places fall into “peak wedding season”.  Between May and September are the most popular dates for outdoor weddings, as the weather is nice, and it’s generally warm enough to be outside for hours on end.  But, be prepared to pay top dollar for venues, caterers, and other vendors during these months, and be aware that these months book up fast.  If you are looking to save some money, but still want the sunny outdoor wedding, consider a Friday or Sunday event as opposed to Saturday.  Weekday weddings will save you even more!

Time of Day

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Sitting on a plastic chair in the noon sun, in the middle of a field, and in ninety degree heat may not be the most fun for your guest, or even you in layers of fabric.  The best time for an outdoor wedding would be early morning, think starting your ceremony at 9 or 10, or toward the evening, think 5 or 6.

Location

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Picking the right venue or location for your outdoor wedding is also essential.  Look first for somewhere with great views.  A mountain top, ranch, small garden, or beach are great places where the scenery only enhances the feel of your wedding.  Before you make your final decision be aware of highways, airports or other places that provide white noise that may distract your guests, or keep them from hearing.  On first glance the venue may be perfect, but nothing is more annoying then a jumbo jet soaring by while trying to say “I do”.

Attire

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When planning an outdoor wedding, you should take yours, and your wedding party’s attire into consideration.  If it is the height of summer, choose light fabrics and short dresses for the girls.  Also, men no longer feel the need to wear tuxes and suites.  Create a spin on the tradition by allowing them to wear just the shirt, tie, and nice pants, and adding a pop like suspenders, colored socks, or trendy vest.  Stray from being too formal, as formal fabrics may heat you too much, and guests won’t enjoy sweating in their black tie.  Finally, nix the veil and opt for a head band, fascinator, or bird cage instead.  No doubt there are beautiful pictures of brides with their long veils flying in the wind, but they may become cumbersome during the ceremony.

Decor

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Find bold colors to stand out against the landscape, and look for decor to complement the space you are already in.  For example, use mason jars and tin cans for a ranch event, earthy elements for a mountain wedding, or tea party and vintage furniture for a garden wedding.  Have fun and be creative!  Perhaps a Carnival or Alice in Wonderland theme will wow your guests.  Finally incorporate entertainment into your outdoor affair.  Provide lawn games like croquet or corn hole, or set up an outdoor photo booth with frames.

A final word, always have a rain backup!  Also keep in mind that rain backups are never ideal.  It may not be your perfect set up, but relax and take things as they come.  The most important part of the day is the joining of two people into a new life together.

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