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!

Confidently Display Your Wedding Ring In 1 Easy Step

bride and groom's hands with wedding rings

Your photographer is going to be getting a lot of great photos to capture your wedding day. And some of those pictures will be close ups of your hands with your wedding rings.

So why not schedule an appointment with a manicurist to get those fingers photo ready?

Ladies, you’ve got this on your agenda already. But I’m talking to you fellas.

Whoa! What? Get a manicure?

Yes! Let’s put the MAN in those MANi’s.

Of course, I’m not talking high gloss and color, or French tips, but your hands will be on display and your photographer is going to be taking several hand shots with your wedding bands, so your fingers need to look presentable too.

Man's Manicure
Besides, you deserve a little pampering too!

Be a well-groomed groom. Ditch the dirty or ragged fingernails. Relax at the nail salon and get:

• Trimmed (so your nails are neat and tidy)
• Filed (to even out ragged nails)
• Buffed (instead of polish, for a healthy shine)
• Moisturized (to soften dry skin)
• Treated Cuticles (with an orange stick and cuticle oil, NEVER cut this skin)

Worried that you’re going to be subject to a woman-dominated space getting your “nails done” with all the girls hanging around, talking about all the latest gossip, and girly stuff like shopping?

When scheduling the appointment, be sure to let the folks at the salon know that you’d prefer some privacy.

Carly Mote with Destiny Salon & Spa in Clayton, Ohio tells us that at their salon men can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere in a private room as they get their manicure.

You can contact Destiny Salon & Spa at 937-771-0950.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more tips and ideas for your wedding day (and the days leading up to it!), contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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Fun Engagement Party Themes and Planning Tips

Engagement party decor
The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here—you’re engaged!

Congratulations are in order but first, take in the moment. Enjoy your now fiancé and the fact that no one knows this awesome news. When you’re ready to share your engagement, get creative with how you tell family and friends.

One of the best ways to share the news is with a party! These days, couples are taking over and planning their own engagement party. If you’re not sure where to start, wedding stationery company, Wedding Paper Divas, compiled 50 ideas and themes that you can browse through. Check it out here!

After you figure out which direction you want to head for your engagement party, it’s time to start thinking of the venue, decor and guest list. If this is all new to you, keep reading for my engagement party planning tips.

Engaged couple

Engagement Party Etiquette and Tips

Purpose of an engagement party – The purpose of an engagement party is to celebrate the couple’s engagement, pure and simple, and to help family members to get to know each another before the wedding day.

Who do we invite? – Keep in mind that just as with a bridal shower, those invited to an engagement party should also be invited to the wedding. The absolute “have to invite” people include the immediate families of the couple, their close friends, and the wedding party members (if they have been selected already).

Are gifts required? – No they are not. Again, the purpose of an engagement party is to formally announce and celebrate the engagement, and allow family members of both sides to get to know each other. Some guests may wish to bring a gift, but it isn’t necessary.

Who hosts the engagement party? – Unlike a shower, gifts are not expected. Because of this, anyone can host an engagement party (the couple can host if they choose, or either set of parents).

What should guests be served? – It depends on the style of the party. If it’s a dinner party, then some sort of substantial meal is expected, although a party with just snacks and simple desserts, or a buffet with finger foods can be just as enjoyable (as long as the time of the event doesn’t fall during a typical dinner time).

Cupcakes

Does the engagement party’s theme have to match the theme of the wedding? – Not at all. The host can choose any theme he/she wants, as long as it is reflective of the happy couple. Like the rehearsal dinner, an engagement party should not be grander than the wedding. Remember to check out Wedding Paper Divas for fun engagement party ideas.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more ideas, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

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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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Guy’s Night Out

There are several alternative ideas for the bachelor party thrown for the groom.

While what we see on TV and in films are often stereotyped groom’s parties, there are alternatives that can be fun for the groom and his friends without the specter of having to claim “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.

  • Instead of bar hopping to the same old favorites, why not try an evening exploring tap rooms? Whole phenomenon of craft beers and their popularity offers an evening of “something new” and still fun. Arrange for a limo to drive the group or an absolutely trusted “designated” driver. The best man can organize the evening of craft beer tastings and spicy nibbles topped off with a late dinner. Check with tourist information centers in your town for possible tours that are all planned and waiting for the groom and his guests.
  • Many groom’s parties have been built around major league baseball, soccer or football. For a twist on the sports theme, build the groom’s party around their own “game” day. A round of golf is a logical choice, but what about doing miniature golf, followed by an hour or two at batting cages, followed by bowling, brews and supper.
  • Instead of heading to Vegas what about a weekend of fishing or camping closer to home? Many areas in the country are also close to a casino that could arrange a fun evening of dinner and blackjack or slots.
  • A few brides have suggested that instead of separate bachelor and bachelorette parties, that they combine them. Both groups can play 9 holes of golf or attend a concert or amusement park if there is one close by.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean
For more fun ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.