Nothing is more dreamy than an English summer wedding.
We love every kind of wedding. Big, small, intimate, extravagant, rustic and elegant,; those held in our Old Farm Barn and those that fill our Garden Pavilion with love and romance. We. Love. Them. All. But there's nothing more special than an outdoor wedding, your guests looking a million bucks in our beautiful walled garden as the sun shines down on them from a bright blue sky. That's what dreams are made of.
But while this is what your dream wedding might look like, days like this are not guaranteed (even in the middle of summer) and so you might find yourself staring out of the window in the most perfect wedding gown as the rain comes down. But even though none of us can control the weather, there are certain things you can do to make sure your wedding is magical come rain or shine.
So without further ado, here are the best kept secrets to planning the perfect al fresco wedding, from your ceremony to your first dance, no matter what the skies bring you. Ready? Let's do this:
Keep Your Guests In The Know
The moment you decide you're going to tie the knot in an outdoor wedding, let your guests know the perfect plan so they can start preparing themselves to brave the elements. That could be a little note included in your invitations, an update on your wedding website or a letter of its own dedicated entirely to your decision to hold an outdoor ceremony. But don't stop there: give your guests as much information as you can. From the surface they'll be walking along to any facilities or shelter there might be. That way they can begin to prepare themselves for the chance of a light shower on your wedding day. Translation: pack a brolly.
Always Have A Plan B
Options. The best thing you can have as a couple planning an al fresco wedding in the UK is options. So make sure you have some sort of back-up plan in case that chance of slight drizzle becomes a full-on downpour. Sure, keeping your fingers crossed and your mindset positive will help, but it won't be enough to completely eradicate the chances of rainfall on your big day. That's why it's so important to have a Plan B in place, you know, just in case. Whether that's having a small marquee to one side or asking your venue if you can reserve an indoor space as a backup, you won't regret having another option should the weather turn awful.
Fill Hampers Full of Supplies
You know what, we're going to send you all the positive vibes possible and say your outdoor wedding will perfect. There will be sunshine and dancing, beautiful tans, loved-up guests holding hands and not a single chance of rain on your big day. That said, there are a few things worth preparing for. Have a few towels on hand in case there is a light shower in the morning before the blue skies come out to stop your guests getting wet bums. Or pop a rain poncho under each chair just in case the forecast of brilliant sunshine involves a few light showers. The more you can prepare for, the more chances you'll have to keep spirits high, smiles wide and people having the time of their lives.
Too Hot To Handle
We know what you're thinking: there's no such thing as too hot, especially in good old Blighty. But should you get super-lucky with the weather and find your wedding is taking place in the middle of summer's heatwave, your suited and booted guests will be eternally thankful for a few ultra-cool items. Yepp. We're talking about popping a bottles of water and a paper fan beneath each chair, and some factor 30 suncream at the end of each aisle. After all, the last thing you want is overheated guests that aren't in the mood to clink drinks and dance all night long.
Show Your Suppliers Some Love
When it comes to planning the perfect wedding, you want to make sure you and your guests have the kind of day they'll smile about for decades to come. But remember: it's not just your guests you need to think about -- your suppliers need looking after too. Whether you plan on braving light showers or you're having a pop-up marquee put somewhere nearby, make sure you tell your suppliers so that they can make their own weather-based plans too. This could mean your officiant brings a waterproof cover for their documents, an usher is on hand to hold an umbrella over you during the ceremony, your band is able to bring their own protection and your caterers can serve dry food despite the rain.
The Power of Love
From the microphones you'll be using for your speech to the sound system that will get your guests on the dance floor, make sure your outdoor venue-slash-space has all the power you need. That could be a generator to power your food vendors, extension cables to keep your, and fully-charged devices (with extra batteries on standby) -- anything to keep your wedding rolling without any hiccups. After all, the last thing you want is for your entrance music to cut out as you start your walk down the aisle.
Que Sera Sera
Whatever will be, will be. That's the always-positive, nothing-will-ruin-my-vibe kind of attitude you need to make your outdoor wedding the best day of your life. It's about going with the flow, laughing at whatever happens, having everything in place to have an amazing time, trusting your Plan B will be just as fun and just promising each other you'll make every moment movie-style romantic no matter what hiccups happen. And if you're not sure you can do that, well, our advice would be to make Plan A an indoor wedding (in which we have a plethora of stunning spaces for you to make the most of).