9 Things You Must Consider For A Joyous Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

outdoor wedding cermony

I love an outdoor wedding ceremony.

Lush green settings, fragrant flowers, the sounds of birds chirping. And considering the popularity of outdoor wedding venues, it’s obvious that many brides and grooms do too.

But not every outdoor location was designed with the needs of a wedding ceremony in mind, which causes it’s own set of issues that have to be planned for to ensure the enjoyment, ease, and comfort of everyone involved.

Make sure everyone has the best experience by checking out these 9 tips for a joyous outside wedding celebration.

1. Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy (But Not When It’s In My Eyes).

wedding ceremony at sunset

There’s nothing like sitting outdoors, the sun beautifully shining, witnessing a loved ones wedding vows.

Unless the sun is shining directly into your guests’ eyes, making them squint, or having to close their eyes. You know they won’t be thinking happy thoughts for you and your fiancé while their eyes are closed and watering.

Also, you don’t want the sun to be in your or your fiance’s eyes either. How can you exchange vows and say “I do,” if you can’t clearly and comfortably see your fiancé (or have him/her see you)?

How to avoid this? Easy.

Go out to your ceremony site at a similar time of day as well as time of year to see where the sun will be at in the sky. That way you can decide what will be the best placement and orientation for seating.

Sometimes changing the angle that the seats will be facing isn’t a good option. If that’s the case consider providing programs or hand-held fans that guests can also use to shield their eyes, provide inexpensive sunglasses, or getting a tent.

2. “I Think Truth Has No Temperature.” (quote by Cameron Diaz)

blue fans for guests to use at a wedding ceremony on a hot day
Photo credit: joshuaraineyphotography / 123RF Stock Photo

Truth may not have a temperature, but your outdoor ceremony will. The question is, how comfortable will that temperature be?

Ok. You’re probably not planning on an outdoor ceremony in December. But considering the potential temperature (and humidity) is important to everyone’s comfort.

June is often comfortable, but it can be humid. October is often warm enough for short sleeves or a light sweater, but is can turn cold.

Doesn’t mean you can’t have your ceremony outside. Just be sure to provide means to provide comfort for your guests. Maybe a fan or an outdoor heater. Bottled water on hot, humid days, and hot chocolate for when it’s cold. Cheap, pashmina wraps for the ladies (Google “cheap pashmina wraps” and you will find lots of sources).

3. “Love Is Like The Wind. You Can’t See It But You Can Feel It.” (Quote by Nicholas Sparks).

The temperature isn’t the only type of weather that can affect your wedding. Even though you may not be able to see the wind, everyone can see the problems it can cause.

Altar arrangements get blown about. Unity candles won’t stay lit. Aisle runners won’t stay in place. Your beautiful up-do can come undone in the wind. Candelabras can topple over.

Some easy remedies include:

  • Securing the base of tall candelabras or other tall decorative pieces.
  • Incorporating a sand ceremony or other unity candle alternative.
  • Placing décor such as pretty containers of flowers along edge of an aisle runner to keep it from blowing up (and becoming a walking hazard).

4. The (Six-Legged) Uninvited Guests

Outside means nature, and nature means bugs. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony chances are there will be pesky bugs. Avoid swatting at mosquitos while you’re saying your “I dos” with these tips.

Outside means nature, and nature means bugs. Especially if you’re in a wooded area or near standing water. They’re also attracted to perfumes with a floral or fruity fragrance.

There may be just a few pesky bugs, or there may be a lot. But they will be there. And they will be distracting and unpleasant for everyone – your guests and you.

Avoid swatting at mosquitos while you’re saying your “I dos.”

Set off bug bombs. Burn citronella candles. Spray for bugs beforehand.

Provide insect repellant (Burt’s Bees makes a nice herbal based repellant). Have a basket with individual insect repellant wipes on hand for your guests. (Google “individual bug repellent wipes in bulk”).

Decorate with flowers and other florals that are a natural insect repellant, such as sprigs of rosemary, lavender, mint, and thyme.

5. Can You Hear Me Now?

Your guests want to hear your vows. I mean, how can you expect them to be engaged and enjoy being there for you if they’re struggling to hear what’s going on?

If they can’t hear, they’re going to be thinking (or worse, whispering) “what’d she say?” “What part are they up to?” “How much longer?” “I can’t hear a thing!”, instead of “Oh, I’m so happy for them,” and “Their vows are so beautiful,” while dabbing tears from the corners of their eyes.

Many indoor ceremony venues have a sound/PA system. Others venues were built with beautiful acoustics.

However, that’s not the case outside.

Unless the size of your guest list is relatively small, consider renting a microphone and speaker.

6. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (But How Far Is That Walk?)

walking to remote wedding location
Photo credit: arinahabich / 123RF Stock Photo

Chances are your beautiful outdoor ceremony site is remote and secluded.

This may sound romantic, and is probably part of the charm that made you choose that site. But it may prove tricky for some to actually get to. Or awkward for those ladies wearing heels. (Help avoid this by clearly indicating on your invitations of the outdoor nuances of your ceremony so your guests can choose proper footwear).

Think about how far is the distance between parking and the actual site? Are there long meandering paths? Uneven terrain? Trails through tall grass? Rocky walkways?

If that’s the case, it is likely that it will take more effort on everyone’s part to actually get to the ceremony site.

Is there a closer access road for your elderly guests?

If possible, arrange to have golf carts or a shuttle available to help get guests as close as possible. Designate a few hearty bodied gentlemen to help those who may need assistance.

For the ladies in heels, provide plastic heel protectors, such as The Solemates, Heels Above. or Grass Walkers. They keep high heels from sinking into the ground. Makes it easier for them, and protects their shows at the same time.

7. Baby, You Can Drive My Car (But Where Will It Be Parked?)

Again, chances are your beautiful outdoor ceremony site is remote and secluded.

So, where will your guests have to park?

Is there a nearby parking lot? A parking lot that’s a 5 minute walk from your ceremony site? Or is parking more scattered?

You will need to be more creative with the parking situation if yours is not a traditional ceremony site. Parking may be off the street, in a field, or down a gravel lane. Will it be easy for your guests to see their way to find their cars at the end of your event?

8. It’s All About Location, Location, Location. Unless It Isn’t Easy To Find Your Ceremony Site.

wooden sign pointing towards a wedding ceremony
Photo credit: chrishumphreys / 123RF Stock Photo

I don’t mean finding the address, that’s the easy part (especially the help of a GPS). I’m talking about them finding your ceremony site once they get out of their car.

It may be obvious to you as to how to get to your ceremony site, but if there are other paths that lead elsewhere, your guests can become confused or lost.

Reaching some remote outdoor ceremony sites isn’t always obvious. Do we take that close by path on the right, or do we have to walk down that lane?

Make it foolproof with some simple signage. Providing a sign that states, “Ceremony this way” with an arrow pointing the way works wonders.

9. Extra! Extra! (Fees, That Is).

Perhaps the cost to use your outdoor wedding ceremony location is minimal (particularly so for private homes or sites that are open to the public, like parks or arboretums).

However, with some non-typical ceremony sites come additional planning and fees.

  • If it’s harder for your vendors to access, will extra delivery fees be incurred?
  • Outdoor sites may not have restrooms nearby. For the comfort of your guests, will you need to provide port-a-potties?
  • Will you need valet parking if the nearest parking area is a good distance away?
  • The outdoors doesn’t come with electrical outlets. Will you need to provide generators?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Looking for fun ideas or assistance with your wedding plans? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Expressing the 2017 Color Trends in Your Spring Wedding Style

Blue Color Palette

Spring is finally here and it’s time to celebrate the upcoming wedding season, and the fabulous color palettes that express the freshness of the season.

Of the top color schemes of 2017, several incorporate shades of blue. Blue is such a versatile color, evoking feelings of such as sophistication, playfulness, and sweetness.

blue color palette

From deep midnight blue and sapphire to pale shades such as aqua or French blue, there is the perfect blue hue for every taste and wedding style – whether it’s rustic and more causal to an event that is elegant, which is further expressed in the choice of accent colors.

Blush, French Blue, and Gold

Fuchsia, Grape, and Dark Turquoise

Navy, Gold, Coral Navy, Gold, and Coral

What’s one of the first things couples think of?

What they’re going to wear, of course!

Attire

For Her

How about a white wedding gown with blue accents?

wedding gown with blue sash

Or for something more daring, walk down the aisle in a wedding gown that is entirely blue.

blue wedding gown

Accessories

blue swarovski crystal earrings

blue nail polish

blue bridal shoes

For Him

Grooms and men in the wedding party will need a tuxedo or suit fitting with the formality of your wedding.

The Black Tux offers several stylish attire for the men, as well as ties, vests and shoes.

Here are some fashionably elegant and sophisticated choices that will coordinate with your blue color scheme.

royal navy blue suit Royal Navy Blue Suit

midnight blue tuxedo Midnight Blue Tuxedo

midnight pin dot tuxedo Midnight Blue Pin Dot Tuxedo

navy suit Navy Blue Suit

Flowers

Let’s start with the bridal bouquet. This gorgeous blue bouquet is a show-stopper with orchids accented with a few white roses.

blue bridal bouquet
Photo Credit ktay21 / 123RF Stock Photo

If your taste leans more toward a traditional bouquet, accent a white bouquet with a few blue blooms.

White and Blue Bridal Bouquet

If your wedding party will be in blue, bouquets with lighter colored blooms will look fabulous and really pop against the blue fabric.

blue bridesmaids dresses

For your centerpieces and decor, you have many options –

Floral arrangements that are pink . . .

Pink roses

Photo Credit: yeko / 123RF Stock Photo https://www.123rf.com/profile_yeko

shades of blue . . .

white and blue floral centerpiece

Photo credit: darkkong / 123RF Stock Photo

or a mix of colors.

pink roses, ranunculus, and grape hyacinth

Photo credit: funlovingvolvo / 123RF Stock Photo

Color Tip: When talking with your wedding pros, don’t rely on color name only. One person’s idea of Indigo for example will be way different than the next person’s. Bring color swatches, photos, paint chips, whatever it takes to show them the color you are actually thinking of.

Other Decor

Seating Chart
blue wedding seating chart Seating chart by Yellow Belly Project

Lighting
blue lighting wedding reception

Linens
blue wedding reception table linens

Napkins
blue napkin folds

Cake

Just a touch color . . .

wedding cake with blue fondant swirls

or in full color.

tiffany blue wedding cake

Of course there are a gazillion more ways to incorporate your color scheme into your wedding. How have you chosen to express your color palette for your wedding day?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For unique ideas for your wedding day contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

3 Money Saving Tips Without Sacrificing Style for Your Wedding

wedding
Looking for ways to save money without sacrificing the overall feel of your wedding? Check out these tips.

Decor

Greenery and candles are still one of the best ways to save money on centerpieces. It’s elegant and cost effective.

Want something with big impact, but not the big price tag? How about a graceful candelabra,
Silver Light Brass Candelabraor a large, elegant vase or candle holder? Gorgeous, but costs a fraction of a large floral arrangement.

You can also add some pizzazz by easily dressing up plain glass candle holders with adhesive rhinestones, ribbon, lace, glitter or paint.

Word of caution: If you do use real candles, get the unscented kind. When you get a room full of candles, a scent will get overpowering, can aggravate someone’s allergies, and (believe it or not) will affect the taste of the food.

Dessert

Serve cupcakes or cake pops rather than a traditional tiered wedding cake.

Chocolate and Pink Cake Pops
You’ll save money per serving (cupcakes & cake pops are often .50 – $1 less per serving than cake). You won’t be paying a cake cutting fee (that most venues charge).

And you’ll be able to order just the amount you need.

For example, if you have 100 guests, you’ll want 100 servings. For a tiered cake, you’ll end up with at least 118 servings as an 8″ tier serves 24, a 10″ serves 38, and a 12″ serves 56. Not that there’s anything wrong with having extra leftover cake, some couples do so on purpose, but if you need to shave something off your budget, this is an easy way to do so.

Fun Stuff

Photo booths are still popular. And with good reason – they’re fun, a great activity for your guests, people can be silly or or serious . . .

However, many couples whose budget doesn’t allow for a traditional photo booth are changing it up.

photo booth wedding party bridesmaids girls

Ok, DIY Photo Booths are a bit more effort on your part than having a professional photo booth, (not to mention that there won’t be the fun extras that the pros offer, such as a custom logo, booth attendant, professional equipment, and on-site prints). However the DIY route can be relatively easy. Get a digital camera on a tripod, and guests can snap away. You’ll have to wait until after the event to load up all the photos online for you and your guests to see.

A relatively new service is perfect for use with a DIY photo booth. Veri is a photo and video sharing product which was created specifically for weddings. Before your wedding day, your guests will get a link for the Veri app. Then any photos and videos they take at your wedding will be shared instantly. Unlike a hashtag where the photo has to be uploaded, with this app your guests won’t have to do anything other than snap the picture. Be sure to check out www.veri.com for more details.

For more money saving tips, or unique ideas for your wedding, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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I’m Dreaming of . . . My Wedding!

bride dreaming of her wedding

If you’re engaged and planning your wedding, (or even if you aren’t engaged, but thinking about “someday”), I imagine you’ve spent some time dreaming about your wedding . . .

. . . the dress

. . . the cake

. . . the flowers

EVERYTHING!

You’ve probably spent some time looking at wedding magazines, surfing through Pinterest, checking out the wedding planning sites like The Knot, Wedding Wire, and MyWedding.

And you’re getting ideas of how you want YOUR wedding day to be.

Recently in the “wedding industry world” it’s been floating around that we, as wedding professionals/vendors, should not be telling you that we will help you have your dream wedding.

Um, WHAT??!!

Of course we’re going to help you with that.

I mean, how can we not help you achieve what you are wanting?

Any wedding professional who is good, respectable, and has integrity will help you achieve this.

In the process we are also going to be honest and realistic with you, because, let’s face it, sometimes our dreams are bigger than our wallets.

Like I tell my couples, after your wedding I want you to be able to have money to buy groceries, put gas in the car, and not have just racked up a boatload of debt for your wedding day.

We’re not going to promise a “perfect” day. Sorry, perfection does not exist in real life.

We’re not going to guarantee that everything will be exactly as imagined, or planned. Again, sorry. There are just too many factors and too many details that just cannot be controlled (such as the exact shades of the flower colors).

Wedding professionals are creative people. If necessary, we can offer suggestions to help you create that dream, yet not break the bank.

So . . .

In the immortal words of Steven Tyler and Aerosmith,

Dream On!

And when you’re choosing your wedding vendor team, choose those who will be happy to help you reach that dream.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans?
Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: ismagilov / 123RF Stock

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Wedding Rings – Why Are They Placed on the Left Hand Ring Finger?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The symbolism of exchanging wedding rings originates with the ancient Egyptians.

Egyptians are one of the first cultures to use rings in their wedding ceremonies because of what the shape of the ring, a circle, represents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A circle represents eternity because it has no beginning nor end. This makes a ring the perfect symbol for a long-lasting marriage.

Egyptians were also the first to designate the third finger as the “ring finger,” and the ring finger of the left hand as the finger where the wedding ring is to be worn. They believed that a vein from this finger went directly to the heart and if this finger were circled with a ring, the love was captured and would not escape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And they believed that the third finger of the left hand is the weakest. (Technically it’s not the weakest, but its movement is limited due to the way the muscles and tendons are connected).

Anyway . . . What “does a weak finger have to do with weddings” you ask?

Because of this perceived weakness, the Egyptians felt this finger is the most dependent on the others for help in lifting and holding. For couples who are marrying, this is a symbol of their dependence on each other and combined strength as a couple.

Alone they can do many things, but together they can do even more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The double ring ceremony, where both partners give and receive a ring came into practice in the 20th century. There has never been a law requiring the exchange of rings, but this is one tradition that remains strong.

Do you have a question or wedding concern? Let me know at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Photo credits
Two rings: rasoft / 123RF Stock Photo
Egyptians: mohamedifm / 123RF Stock Photo
Rings on left hands: wajan / 123RF Stock Photo
Rings on pumpkin: Faye Sommer Photography

Have Fun With Your Wedding Shoes


We’ve come a long way from the plain dyables.

Remember those? The bride got hers in white, and her bridesmaids got the same style but dyed to exactly match their dresses.

Pumps, slingbacks, strappy, embellished with bows or rhinestones, or left unadorned. And who says they have to be white? Why not pick a beautiful pair in a color that coordinates with your color scheme?

There are so many options to what you can wear on your feet on your wedding day.

Your shoes are accessories to your whole wedding ensemble. Their style and height should work with your wedding gown.

You’ve got style. Your gown has style. So why not your shoes?

Have fun with your shoes.

Easy Ways to Personalize Your Ceremony


Today, more couples whether traditional or more contemporary, are choosing to customize and personalize their wedding ceremony. Although relatively short in comparison to the rest of the wedding day, your ceremonies deserve some thought. After all, it is the point of the day.

Many couples choose to compose part or all of their wedding vows. However, even if you aren’t allowed to alter your vows, or really don’t want to, there are other ceremony elements that you can adjust to make it more personal and unique to you and your groom. Some easy and low cost (or no cost) ways are:

  • A special reading or prayer
  • A special hymn or song (how about a children’s choir or a hand bell choir?)
  • Observance of ethnic or family customs
  • Carry your grandmother’s handkerchief or wear your mother’s pin
  • Use a type of flower that was in your sister’s bouquet

    One bride who wanted to wear her mother’s wedding gown, was disappointed to find out that it had deteriorated to a point where it couldn’t be worn. She chose to use fabric from mom’s gown to make her ring bearer pillow and garter. This idea also works well for brides who are having their gowns custom made. Use leftover fabric for the ring pillow, or to make special handkerchiefs for your mom and future mother-in-law.

    For another wedding, the couple figured that since they decided not to have scripture readings, they couldn’t have any type of reading at all. The bride was very excited when I suggested poetry – she wrote poetry as a hobby, and one of her poems was absolutely perfect for their ceremony reading.

    Let your imagination be your guide. But before making any specific changes, as always, check with your officiant. He/she may have specific ideas on what can or cannot be included in the ceremony, and you don’t want to get your heart set of something, only to be told on your wedding day, “No, you can’t do that!”

    • The Special Event 2010

      In 4 days I’ll be attending The Special Event in New Orleans. Hmmm. How to describe The Special Event? It’s part conference, trade show, workshop, (and sooooo much more) for the event industry.

      It’s my second time attending, and I am proud to be a finalist (for the 2nd year in a row) in their Tabletop Design Competition. Here’s a pic from last year’s entry. (Yes, that’s a 30 inch Eiffel Tower in the middle of the table).


      I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, making new ones, learning new ideas and discovering new products that I can share with my brides.

      ‘Why We Do That’

      Origins of Wedding Traditions

      Bridal bouquets
      The bridal bouquet was originally made of herbs, not flowers. It usually contained herbs which had a strong smell, such as thyme and garlic. The purpose was to frighten away any evil spirits which may be trying to cause trouble or harm to the bride.

      Through the years, this ‘fragrant’ bouquet evolved into the lovely (and beautifully scented) floral bouquets that brides carry today.