Post # 1
We recently booked our wedding venue and the date is set for exactly a year from today (yay!). I’ve always dreamed of having an outdoor ceremony. After speaking with the venue coordinator she told us our ceremony needed to start at 5pm as to have the ceremony flow right in to the reception. After thinking about this I realized it gets dark at 5pm around this time of year. She assured me there was electricity out by the gazebo and I was free to light and decorate it as I please. It just makes me so nervous! Have any bees done this before? I think it would look beautiful but I’m afraid that I won’t light it we’ll enough that my guests won’t be able to see or that the pictures won’t turn out. There is an inside space we could use too. I’m so torn.
Post # 3
@seaofgrace: An outdoor ceremony could be amazing! Congrats booking your venue & the date! It does get dark by 5pm, so an important focus of your reception decor should be lighting. The other considerations may include how cold it will be outside, and the general weather. Will you have a tent, or will it be open air?
Open air with no tent may result in candles getting blown out by the wind, or concerns with rain or even snow. With a tent may restrict the type of lighting you have.
My SO’s sister had her engagement party outside with a tent. They had some very moroccan cool lanterns in the trees, these tiki-sticks that had open flame to keep the mosquitos away, and some bright lights. It was lovely.
I think you might want to consider testing out some lighting at the venue, or even just in your backyard. It sounds silly, but it might help give you a sense of how much light you need to keep the venue picture friendly.
You can also try some really cool decorative ideas – “glow jars” – these jars with glow in the dark paint.
Post # 4
I have never seen an outdoor ceremony after dark but I think it would be absolutely beautiful! You can definitely make it work but I agree with @MsYouandMe: that you should definitely do some testing out of lighting to find out what will work beforehand. Congratulations on getting your venue set!
Post # 5
It could be chilly but tomorrow it’s supposed to be like 55 degrees here so you can never tell! In the case of super inclement weather we would definitely move it inside. I plan on placing a few baskets of cute fleece blankets that guests can grab if they are chilly. I wouldn’t want to use open flame candles so the wind shouldn’t be an issue. I’d use flame less led candles and twinkle lights most likely. I never thought of testing them out in the backyard! Sometimes the most obvious things are the least obvious.
I’d be going for something like this
Post # 6
@seaofgrace: These pics are gorgeous inspiration! Notice there is a big difference between the two – the second one seems to have lighting built into it, because the couple is under a very bright light that makes them easy to see.
The first pic is very romantic, though it is a little harder to see the couple and the guests. I love the candle aisle runners (could be done with flickering flame lights too!).
Blankets are an awesome idea, and asking people to bring sweaters (or reminding them the ceremony is outdoors) is a great idea.
Some of the ideas in this list are good too. From the list, for your evening ceremony, I like the idea about providing pillows for tough chairs (tip #1), the cement blocks for bridesmaids (tip #3), warning people about shoewear when walking in grass (tip #2), insect repellent (tip #6), providing blankets/wraps (tip #15), using flowers & lights for makeshift (tip #18), chalkboard for seating chart (tip #19), (tip #21) the camping laterns under the tables for lighting (SO SMART and would gorgeous!), maybe even a bonfire? (tip #24), entrance with curtains (#26), cupcake wrappers to prevent bugs getting into guest beverages (tip #29), netted canopy to keep bugs out of dessert & cake (tip #30), and microphones (tip #32).
This is a silly question based on your pictures, but does your venue have a gazebo?
Post # 7
Thank you for all the helpful info! I will definitely let my guests know it will be outside. There is a gazebo we will be using. I will be incorporating lots of lights. I’d rather have too much than not enough. I don’t plan on having a very long ceremony so hopefully people won’t feel too put out. Then we can move inside and warm up on the dance floor!
Post # 9
@seaofgrace: Love the idea pictures! And your plan of the fleece blankets is great! Some kind of fire element bigger than candles would be so unique (tiki torch thing or a bonfire on either side of you) and would be good for lighting. I am getting married outside after dark (in 12 days! OMG) and this was one of the issues that helped me choose a photographer. I am in Florida so the weather will not be as much of an issue as the lighting. The ceremony is next to an outdoor dolphin pool at an aquarium and the only lighting already there is an emergency exit sign. When discussing this with various photographers, some said “Hmmmm, how will you make sure there is enough lighting?” and the one we chose said “Oh wow, so we get to come up with some creative lighting! I’ll talk to some theater people I work with!” BAM! You’re HIRED!
Post # 10
@seaofgrace: Maybe you’d like to have warm drinks available just before your ceremony? Hot spiced apple cider would be nice.