One of the great rewards of living in Shreveport-Bossier City is being able to gaze upon the colorful foliage of the South. Growing up in this area, I always have been partial to outdoor weddings because of the natural landscape in northwest Louisiana. There is something about seeing a beautiful couple say their vows and take their first steps as man and wife against the backdrop of nature that brings tears to my eyes. As lovely as an outdoor wedding is it does come with its own set of challenges such as Mother Nature. No worries though — if you are considering having an outdoor wedding just follow my dos and don’ts for a picturesque and tranquil ceremony.
- Do provide extras for guests so they are comfortable.
Since it tends to be quite humid in Louisiana make sure you provide a fan for guests to beat the heat. You could even have the programs made into fans and give it to the guests as a gift. If you choose to have an outdoor wedding in the fall, lay small blankets or large scarves in each chair so the guests can cover themselves if they are chilly. Humid and hot weather tends to make people parched, so it would also be a good idea for guests to be greeted with water infused with fruit or set-up a self-serve ice water station.
- Don’t make the mistake of not having a back-up plan.
One of biggest concerns with planning an outdoor wedding is the weather. You should always have a back-up plan just in case of inclement weather. When planning an outdoor wedding, it is wise to look for locations where there is the option of moving indoors. There are also weatherproof tents that can be used for outdoor weddings. A tent is always a great addition for weddings outside because you can have the best of both worlds. With a tent you still have the beauty of nature while having protection from the rain, heat or cold weather.
- Don’t only rely on natural light for the wedding and reception.
Some of the most beautiful outdoor weddings are the ones that take place at dusk. Even if the wedding starts during the day, as the evening draws near, you will need special lighting to see at night. A plus is you can use the lights as part of the décor for the reception. For example, there could be lights that line covered walkways and lights that lead to and light up the dance floor. Also, you could place twinkling lights around trees and tent poles, and paper lanterns and chandeliers in the tents and on the tables.
- Do have a cocktail hour planned for guests while transitioning from the wedding to the reception.
Many outdoor weddings utilize the same space for the reception as the wedding, so you should consider having a cocktail hour for guests who are waiting for the reception to begin. A well-planned cocktail hour allows the wedding party to take pictures and time for staff to transition to the reception.