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12 Top tips to help you plan the perfect outdoor summer wedding

Outdoor weddings have unique charm! The natural setting is romantic, colorful, refreshing and relaxed. Nonetheless, an outdoor venue also presents its unique set of challenges. Unlike indoor venues, the variable factors are more in this setting. Hence, planning a wedding in the outdoors isn’t always easy.

The good news is that despite the possible pitfalls, you can still have a beautiful outdoor wedding when you plan it right. Our team will help you with this task with the following list of tips. This will definitely help you plan your strategy well and host a splendid outdoor wedding that will linger in everyone’s memories.

1.Research the pros and cons of different venues to make your decision

Your outdoor venue can be a beach, a garden, a resort or even your own backyard. Each of these venues have their own perks and pitfalls. Consider these factors seriously before you decide on the venue you want for your special day. Let us look at some of the common outdoor wedding venues and the challenges they present.

Beach: A beach is romantic and fun. However, it is also windy, sandy and with uneven terrain. You will have to limit your hairstyle, makeup and dress choice to what works in this unique venue. You will also have to rent everything for the wedding and pay extra to set up stage. It will also be necessary to secure different items without toppling over or flying away.

Lakeside: These venues are usually calmer than seashores, and yet promising in terms of beauty. However, lake sides are prone to bugs and have damp and dirty soil. They can become unexpectedly windy. You may have to prepare your party to wear bug spray and keep food covered to avoid unexpected disasters.

Winery: Unparalleled beauty, serenity and greenery mark this lovely wedding venue. However, there may be restrictions on custom plans. Many wineries restrict taking booze from outside, and your guests will have to make do with their produce at the bar. It can also become hot and humid in summer.

Park:Very casual and relaxed, this ambiance is well-suited for informal wedding styles. The cons of this venue is that you may have unwelcome onlookers who oversee your wedding. Also, there may be time restrictions. So, you may have to end your party early.

Backyard: Having a backyard wedding is often tougher than you think. You can of course save a lot of money, since you needn’t book a venue. Nevertheless, you will have to hire the décor and seats. Limited number of washroom facilities can be a problem. You will also have to take local rules and regulations into consideration when your house is in a residential locality.

If you still are unsure of which venue you ought to choose, here is some help to make your decision on the Huff Post 

2.Irrespective of the venue, you must have plenty of shade or arrange for tents to keep guests comfortable

It is no fun being seated in a sunny area, especially when it is warm. Make sure your venue has a shaded space where your guests can relax without any harsh sunlight. Summer weddings can often get tiring, especially if there is no breeze. So, arrange for fans around the perimeter of the tents to keep your guests cool and relaxed. Also consider printing your wedding program on fans to work double. Or gift pretty decorative hand fans as your wedding favors and your guests can use them to stay cool.

3.Ensure there are plenty of drinks to stay hydrated

In the warm outdoors, your guests will naturally feel thirsty. Provide plenty of beverages and water stations to quench their thirst. Set it up at different locations throughout the venue, so your guests can simply head over to the nearest spot and refresh themselves. Arrange for a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Flavored water, fresh juices and mocktails, fizzy drinks and local produce can all be highlighted in your wedding venue. For a stunning list of summer cocktails to stock your bar, visit this post on the Brides website

4.Pick sturdy floral décor or arrange them outdoors just before the function

Flowers, especially the delicate varieties, do not tolerate heat well. So, take special care when planning your floral décor, bridal and bridesmaids bouquets. Pick sturdy flowers that do not wilt quickly. Preferably pick what is in season, as these flowers tolerate natural weather conditions better. Have your floral décor set up just before guests arrive, so they look fresh during the ceremony and reception. You can also add fruits and berries to the arrangement for a tropical, summery feel. Other decorative items like candles and embellished figurines are good options for centerpieces and decor items, since they are unaffected by heat.

5.Have everything held down in place

When the wedding is outdoors, you have no control over how windy it can get. The last thing you want is for things to be blown away and the entire scene to look chaotic. Keep this factor in mind when planning the arrangements. Ensure everything stays put by weighing it down with suitable items. Use ribbons or rocks to secure items like place cards and wedding programs in its place. Also keep the table cloth and runner fresh by taping them down so they do not fly with with the wind.

6.Plan your menu wisely

Exercise caution when planning the menu for an outdoor wedding. Heat will quickly spoil food, and you do not want to be responsible for making your guests sick. Catering outdoors also presents unique challenges. Frozen desserts like ice cream are not practical, as they will melt in the heat. Since you cannot control the temperature, it is wise to choose fail-safe food options. Your catering team should be able to confidently handle and distribute the items on the menu on time. Here are some tips to help you plan the food menu right.

  • Avoid serving cheeses, sea food and meat in the open. These items should be served and consumed quickly to avoid spoilage.
  • Use dairy products like cream sparingly in your dishes. Not only do these spoil quickly, their consistency may also be unpredictable when kept outdoors for a while.
  • Ensure all the dishes are covered once they are kept outdoors. Leaving any of them open is an invitation for bugs, ants and flies to attack.

7.Help your guests stay cool and safe

Make sure the site is visually inspected prior to the ceremony, to ensure it is clean and there are no insects or flies in the area. Since you can never be too careful, have some bug spray ready in case someone needs it during the day. In case your guests forget to wear sunscreen, it is a good idea to have that available as well. You do not want anyone falling ill at your wedding, or enduring sun burn. Simply place bottles of sunscreen in baskets at the venue, if your guests will be spending a long time outdoors. Also, make sure that you do not pick metallic chairs for the seating. This can get pretty warm and you do not want your guests to suffer on account of it.

8.Have an indoor location for them to chill in, if necessary

Not everyone can continuously tolerate a hot outdoor setting for a long time. So, your guests will appreciate a chance to relax in an indoor area, if it gets too hot. This is especially true if there are pregnant women or older guests in your party. This can be a smaller hall or lobby area that they can access. If your venue doesn’t have such a provision, consider hiring an A/C unit to or large portable fan for them to sit around and relax, if they find the heat too stifling.

9.Have a back-up plan

Unlike an indoor venue, you can never rule out natural emergencies that can affect your plans. It could be something as big as a hurricane, a torrential downpour or even a small shower. Prepare for such conditions with an alternate plan. It is best if there is an indoor location to move into in such situations. If the weather forecast on the day of your wedding isn’t promising, make your call early and move the ceremony indoors rather than risk your guests getting drenched. The staff at your wedding should also be able to quickly move your wedding tables and other decor items into the secured area, should the need arise. Always arrange for umbrellas or raincoats for your guests, should it suddenly rain. Even it is just a drizzle, your guests shouldn’t have to wait till they dry off. So, arrange for fluffy towels in the restrooms it showers.

10.Find out about licenses, permits and rules for outdoor events prior to the wedding

When planning your wedding, you should  aspects into examine the licenses and permits for the location. There may be a time limit imposed on the use of outdoor venues. Ensure your party winds up before this timeline. Also check with the local authorities on whether you need a permit or license to hold a wedding at your chosen venue. If your venue is in a residential locality, there may be regulations on sound, parking and trash dumping. Make sure you are aware of all these restrictions and do not break any rules on your wedding day.

11.Use plenty of signage all over the venue

At outdoor venues, guests may find it confusing to find their way from one point to another. Save them the trouble by implementing plenty of direction signs all over the venue. Print them and set it up at different positions. Or simply do them in chalkboard and push the boards into the ground or hang them on trees. Use plenty of signs to direct guests to rest rooms and trash cans. You can also rent carpets to separate off the areas of the wedding from the rest of the area.

12.Make the most of seasonal fare

Every area will have its own refreshing produce, and this is what you should indulge in at your wedding. From the décor to the menu, flowers and gifts, let the season dictate your choice. Use fresh potted plants for your natural décor and even consider them for your wedding favors. Include seasonal produce in your salads, dressings, sauces and juices and your guests will love the taste. Use fresh fruits and flowers in your wedding cake and keep it simple for best results. Decorate with seasonal berries, flowers and fruits to create striking masterpieces that will tolerate the weather and look fresh all day long. Embrace the quality of the season, and your outdoor wedding will be a huge hit with your guests.

Summer weddings also give brides the perfect opportunity to explore a wide range of options in wedding fashion. From short wedding dresses to light, airy fabric choices, there are plenty of options available at Best for Bride for outdoor weddings. Here are just a few to inspire you with.

6867 Mori Lee


6861 Mori Lee


8191 Mori Lee

8177 Mori Lee

So, tell us which of these styles will you be embracing at your wedding? To take a closer look at these gowns as well as to explore more of our summer wedding dress collections, visit our bridal dress gallery at Best for Bride.

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Why rain on your wedding day can be a good thing!

I do not have much experience to comment on whether it is good luck if it rains on your wedding day, but I can tell you that it certainly isn’t the end of the world if it does. Every bride who plans an outdoor ceremony during the summer worries whether nature will decide to wreak her plans and throw in a shower or two on her big day.

Our suggestion is not to worry, but plan how you can make the most of this unexpected twist in the situation. One bonus of a rainy wedding day is that you can take wedding pictures that are both romantic and one-of-a-kind. How about that?

Amy & Brendan
Image Credits: Tom 7, via Flickr,[CC BY 2.0] 

Take a look at this Buzzfeed post on couples who nailed their rainy weddings. Look at the happiness on their faces, and you will realize that rain is a good thing, no matter what!

With these tips you will be all set to have fun on your wedding day, even if it rains. In fact, once you begin planning for a rainy day wedding, you may stop wishing away rain, and may instead hope that it actually poured.

Make a Plan B and stick to it if it rains

Guests soaked to the bone, and shivering in their wet dresses throughout the wedding function, may not be a good idea. So, we suggest that you include a plan B, when you have an outdoor wedding. Set up tents, or book an adjacent indoor location, for “if it rains.” Even when the rain wreaks havoc in the backdrop, your wedding will have a fairy tale mood.

Get set with pretty umbrellas and wellies

If you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony, stick to it. Just make sure you purchase umbrellas matching the wedding color palette, and you bring along stylish wellies for yourself and the rest of the bridal party. Don’t forget to click a few pictures in these accessories before you head indoors, it will be a fun one!

Choose water-resistant makeup to look fresh and avoid smudges

You do not want makeup to drip off you and ruin your wonderful white dress during your rendezvous in the rain. So, make sure you choose to use water resistant makeup. Go with light nude colors, so you look fresh and naturally beautiful. Stash the makeup in your emergency kit for a quick touch up before the reception, and you will look great throughout the day.

Find a good photographer

The best thing about rainy day weddings, is that your photos come out looking great due to the color saturation that the natural lighting on the day allows. Nevertheless, you must find a professional who can use this to your advantage, and capture the best possible pictures. Check with your photographer beforehand, to know whether he is comfortable shooting in rain.

Aren’t you convinced yet? Take a look at this picture, and now tell me if you still feel that a rainy wedding is a bad idea!

Image Credit: Joe Martin, via Flickr, [CC BY 2.0]

For more wedding tips and advice, keep visiting us at Best for Bride.

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Wildly Unique Outdoor Wedding Venues

While a church is the traditional choice for wedding venues, so many possible wedding venues often are overlooked. More and more people are choosing unique outdoor wedding venues that reflect their hobbies or interests. There are many unconventional choices for those who want their wedding to reflect their love nature. Here are some examples of wildly unique outdoor wedding venues.

Rustic venues appeal to many couples. Numerous country settings rent space for weddings. A popular version is the barn wedding or reception. Across the United States, barns are rented as rustic chic wedding venues. You may be surprised what is available in your area if you do an internet search for “barn weddings.”

An apple orchard wedding is a way to hold the wedding and reception outdoors in the same location. Some apple orchards regularly rent an orchard space for weddings. Some allow the couple to use their apples in their decorations. If the couple wanted a few bowls with apples or small floral arrangements with apples included on the reception tables, they should verify the policy for using apples from the orchard or bring their own apples. Of course, it would be much easier to buy apples that match the kind at the orchard from a grocery store rather than worrying about picking apples.

Natural waterfalls and caverns may offer wedding packages. Businesses offer waterfall weddings in many tropical locations such as Jamaica and Costa Rica. If you are looking for something closer to home, you may want to contact area tourist locations with the features you want for your wedding. Some may not have considered offering a wedding package until you contact them or might not have the packages advertised on their websites.

Butterfly and botanical gardens make wonderful wedding venues. These are popular wedding venues, so you will want to book yours well in advance. As with all outdoor venues, make sure you are happy with the provisions for a rainy day. Consider things like parking and the availability of restrooms.

Love the outdoors but want something truly unique? Why not have a day of glamping for your wedding? Glamping is luxury camping. Some couples create fun glamping spots in their backyard for the big day. Others rent out a camping park that specializes in glamping. Instead of the usual reception dinners, the couple may go with traditional camping food such as grilled food and smores. If roasting marshmallows is your style, glamping may be perfect for your fabulous wedding.

Who doesn’t love animals? If the couple loves animals, why not rent out a petting zoo or space at a regular zoo. Would you love monkeys or penguins as added guests to your wedding? Believe it or not, some zoos such as the Oklahoma City Zoo and Philadelphia Zoo offer wedding packages. Some zoos truly cater to the needs of the couple and offer several possible wedding venues within the zoo. Even if the local zoo does not have wedding packages, many zoos have areas that can be rented for events like weddings. Now, that’s wildly unique!

For more great tips on creating an amazing wedding, check out the Best for Bride blog. We offer many tips and fun ideas to make the most of your special day.

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A guide to choosing two wedding dresses for the big day

via Best for Bride

The wedding dress you choose as a bride, plays a remarkable role in determining whether you look sexy and sophisticated or feminine and elegant. Choosing a different gown may change your look entirely.

It is in fact, not easy to determine a single look that will be perfect for your wedding day. In certain cases, it is better to consider two gowns instead of one. Let us look at few reasons why this is a better option than limiting yourself to just one dress.

Two looks for more impact

Your wedding day is the one occasion when you want all eyes to be on you. While you can amaze everyone with your wedding ensemble when you walk down the aisle, this interest may dwindle by the time of the reception. The best way to recreate this impact is by wearing another stunning dress for the reception and you can be certain that your guests will be amazed once again!

For practical purposes

Let us face it, layers of organza or tulle in a ball gown skirt with an elaborate and flowing train look fantastic at a traditional ceremony, but it may get in the way of dancing comfortably during the reception.

Stunning wedding dresses that look classic and elegant may not be practical for a fun and action-packed reception. A bustled train is still heavy, and can impede your chances to jiggle to the fun tunes at the ceremony. This is why more brides are opting for shorter and lighter dresses for the reception. This allows them to move freely and not feel restricted.

To match the ambiance of the venues

You may like to consider two different wedding dresses to match your appearance to the décor and ambiance of the venues where each function will be taking place. If you are getting married outdoors, on the beach or in a garden and then proceed to an indoor venue for the reception, the ambiance of each venue is entirely different. Hence, the light weight romantic wedding dress for the outdoor venue could give way to a more poufy or fashionable wedding dress for the ball room.

When you decide to go for the two-dress look, an obvious question is when do you change dresses? A good idea is to do so during the cocktail hour, or before you cut the cake. This way, you will have sufficient time to photograph for portraits in your ceremonial dress, and your guests won’t miss you as they mingle and meet each other.

If you are pressed for time or cannot afford two entirely different dresses, you can also consider a convertible gown such as the Mori Lee 5316, which incorporates two looks into a single dress.

via Best for Bride

With the tulle over-skirt, you obtain a classic A-line silhouette for the ceremony, and when you remove the over-skirt you are left with a stylish mermaid gown for the reception.

via Best for Bride

For more wedding tips and ideas, as well as to find the perfect wedding dresses for your big day, visit Best for bride.