Make the most of the British sunshine and beautiful countryside by holding your wedding outside. You can be prepared for every eventuality with these eight top tips for a UK outdoor wedding.
1. Seek Shelter
Whether it rains all day, or your guests are sweltering in the sunshine, you will need to provide some form of shelter. Marquees are the traditional way to go, but for a boho wedding, why not invest in some yurts or teepees.
2. Embrace The Rain
Isn't this just magical?! Image: Jessica Painter
Don't fear the inevitable, anticipate it, prepare for it, maybe even look forward to it a little. Think up some fun and frivolous photo opportunities and games to enjoy if the heavens open, and you may find you are eagerly watching for those first rain drops. Brightly coloured, or co-ordinating brollies and wellington boots make great props for rain soaked wedding photos.
3. Be Prepared For Heat
Image: Lara White
The sunshine can be fierce in the UK in Summer months, so you should be equally as well prepared and protected against that as you are ready for rain. Make sure there are shady areas for your guests to get some respite from the Sun's rays, especially as many will have shunned the sunblock to avoid staining their outfits. Make sure there are plenty of soft drinks available as alcohol and heat don't mix well.
4. Don't Sink
High heels and soft soil are arch enemies. If you don't want your guests spiking through a manicured lawn, or getting stuck in the mud, send out broad based high heel protectors with your invites. If guests or bridesmaids will be standing in one spot for long periods of time, during the ceremony or photographs, place stepping stones on the grass for them to stand on. Alternatively, suggest wedge heels!
5. Keep Bugs At Bay
Image: Portraits by Lucinda
Keeping out unwelcome guests should be a priority for an outdoor wedding. Citronella candles can be useful, as can insect repellant sprays. Most venues will have experience dealing with the critters native to their neighbourhood so ask what measures they intend to take. Citronella candles can be disguised within pretty holders such as hanging lanterns.
6. Hit The Hay
Image: Love Me Do Photography
Most outdoor seating is excruciatingly uncomfortable. For a rustic wedding use bales of hay to create pews for the ceremony, then re-arrange around tables for the wedding breakfast. Cover with large blankets to create a soft guest / bale interface. Decorate the tables with nature-inspired decorations to tie the look together.
7. Wrap Up Warm
Image: Sutherland Kovach
Even on a gloriously sunny day, the air can turn chilly in the evening. Leave out baskets of snuggly warm blankets for guests to help themselves to. Your guests can get warm and cosy, and stay coordinated with your wedding colour scheme at the same time.
Create a 'Keep Warm' or 'Cosy' station! Hand warmers, hot mulled cider, and maybe some hot chocolate. Let your guests help themselves and take a warm, comforting sip during the chilly evening.
8. Have A Campfire
A roaring campfire is the perfect way to finish the day. Warm, atmospheric and a great way to draw the guests back into one place, an open fire is the perfect entertainment for a rustic wedding. Give guests a s'mores kit (find out what the British version of that American staple is here!) each as their wedding favour, for something yummy to scoff before bedtime. Now would be a good time to swap champagne for hot chocolate to ward off hangovers and warm up your friends and family.