An outdoor rustic wedding sounds like a simple affair, but just as with a traditional ceremony and formal wedding breakfast, good planning goes a long way. You can just turn up in a field with a registrar, a barbecue and a handful of guests, but to really make your day as awesome as it should be, take heed of these top tips.
1. Make An Entrance
Image: Laura Leigh Photo
In an indoor venue the bride has ample time and space to prepare herself before making her big entrance into the ceremony room. At an outdoor wedding, guests can turn and gawp from the moment the bride arrives on site. Give yourself a little privacy by screening off an area behind the guests. Use a pretty vintage screen, or create a giant photo collage board.
2. Never Look At The Sun
Image: Andrew Weeks Photography
"Do not look directly at the sun" applies every day of your life, even on your wedding day. Plan the layout of your ceremony carefully so that no-one, bride, groom or guests are positioned with the light glaring into their eyes.
3. Flexible Seating
Use hay bales instead of seats as a flexible seating option. A row of hay bales covered in blankets make comfortable pews, and are easier and quicker to reconfigure around tables for the reception than individual chairs would be.
4. Prepare For The Worst
Image: Maggie Lord
There's every chance the Sun will have his hat on and be coming out on your wedding day, but just in case a storm brews instead, arm yourself with a weather contingency plan. Jumbo umbrellas, and a marquee will protect you from rain showers, but if downpours or wind show up, you will need a sturdier construction to retreat to.
5. Keep Bugs At Bay
Keep uninvited guests at bay with a few clever techniques. Not all friends and family will want to apply insect repellant, but you should at least give them the option by leaving out bottles and wipes of critter spray. Use netting to keep minibeasts away from food, and use upside down cupcake cases as drinks covers. Citronella candles will create a boho wedding atmosphere and discourage bugs from joining the party.
6. Hire Specialist Caterers
Image: Andrew Chan
When choosing caterers for your outdoor wedding, focus on the outdoor element, rather than the fact it is a wedding. Most wedding caterers will be accustomed to working in well equipped kitchens. An outdoor catering company with experience working at festivals and fetes will be happy to serve your guests relaxed food, that's easy to eat outdoors.
7. Stay Warm
Image: Vitalic Photo
No one wants to cover up their gorgeous wedding outfit with a coat, but even in the Summer outside temperatures can plummet as the evening draws in. Keep guests comfortable by supplying a basket full of wrap around blankets and lighting a campfire for you all to sit around.
8. Night Lights
Image: Orchard Cove Photography
In the countryside the nights can be very dark indeed. Use solar lights to mark out communal areas and pathways, and provide a basket of small wind up torches for guests to use in the evening. Add name labels to these cute tealight holders so they can be used in the evening, then taken home as wedding favours.
9. Sound Systems
Image: Nathan Addison Photography
In the absence of walls and a ceiling to trap sound waves and bounce them back, voices will quickly get lost at an outdoor wedding. Invest in a good sound system that can be used for the ceremony, speeches and evening party.
10. Permission To Party
Finally, and most importantly, make sure you have all the necessary permits and permissions to hold an outdoor party.