Questions when planning an outdoor wedding ceremony

With the Outdoor wedding in full swing I thought it was time to post some things to consider when planning your wedding outside.

When you are looking for an outdoor venue for your garden wedding ceremony, find out if tents are permitted, or if there is a building nearby that can accommodate your wedding in case of inclement weather.  The Barn at Blueberry Hill offers the ability to have your wedding in the rustic barn or outside under the arbor.

Visit the venue beforehand. Is it big enough?   The barn will accommodate 200, outside will hold more.

Are there washroom facilities?   Their are 3 bathrooms at the barn.

What about parking?  Parking is located across from the barn and a parking attendant will be there before the wedding.

Ideally, visit the site at the same time of day you plan to have your ceremony. That way, you can figure out how to configure your site so that you and your guests are not blasted by the sun.  In the summer months it is best to wait until 6pm for the ceremony to allow the sun to not be so harsh.
Find out if any other events are being held at the location on your wedding date.   Your wedding will be the only event scheduled on your wedding day.
Find out if chairs are provided. If not, find out if chair rental is permitted. Many garden venues will only permit ceremonies, and some do not supply chairs for guests. If you are looking for a simple garden ceremony this won’t be a problem. If chairs are permitted, choose wooden chairs. Metal chairs get scorching hot in the sun.  The barn has wooden benches for the outdoor ceremony that will seat at least 200.
If you are planning to get married in the summer, find out if there is shade where the ceremony is being held. You might be able to stand up to the 90 degree heat, but what about your grandmother? Also, provide bottled water for your guests to keep them hydrated. You could also offer lemonade or sparkling water before the reception. Parasols for elderly guests are also a nice idea. Or you could make your programs in the shape of fans so guests can fan themselves.  These are all excellent suggestions to make your guests more comfortable. Remember the later in the evening your wedding ceremony starts the cooler the outdoor space will be.
If the venue is in a secluded area, make sure you give your guests good directions and allow for extra travel time for guests to find the venue. If your guests have to take back country roads to find the site, they might need some extra time to get there.  the Barn at Blueberry Hill is conveniently located 2 miles off I-77 with signs marking the turns.
Keep decorations simple. Gardens need little adornment.  The barn has shepherd’s hooks mason jars, sheers for the arbor and tree stumps for you to use during your wedding ceremony.
When choosing a wedding gown, make sure you keep in mind that you will be having a ceremony outdoors. A gown that will bustle or has no train is your best bet.
Don’t choose flowers that can’t stand the heat. If you are working with a florist, s/he should be able to guide you in the right direction. Also, keep several buckets of water onsite in a shady spot to store wedding bouquets so that they spend less time in the sun.  Simple seasonal flowers look great in the mason jars.
Go with the flow. Garden weddings are less predictable than weddings indoors. Be prepared for inclement weather. Even if the weather is perfect, unexpected things like bird droppings, sirens and bee stings are always possibilities.

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