Updated: Aug 31, 2021
Middle Tennessee is a beautiful place to have an outdoor wedding ceremony. Lush green hills, trees, and lakes are everywhere; any one of them can make a beautiful back drop as you say your vows. If you are opting to have an outdoor ceremony here are 5 tips to make it wonderful and successful.
1. Think about where the sun will be during your ceremony. If you are wanting a sunset ceremony, be sure to check what time sunset is for your chosen date. However, even if you are not planning a sunset ceremony be conscious of where the sun will be hitting during your ceremony. You want to make sure the sun is not beaming down on you and your guests. I once had a couple who did not factor this in and themselves and their guests were cooking on a sunny September afternoon.
2. Be conscious of seasonal concerns. Having a fall or winter wedding? Consider renting heaters or providing blankets for guests. Having a summer wedding? Consider providing paper fans, bottles of water, and even sunscreen. We all know that mosquitos are fierce during the summer months in Middle Tennessee. Consider having some repellant options for guests as they enter the ceremony. Remember a comfortable guest is a happy guest.
3. Consider the terrain. How will guests get to their seats? Is parking far away? Will they have to traverse over a hill, or rocky ground? Be sure to clearly tell guests where they need to go (signs are great for this), but also consider providing a golf cart for guests who may have trouble getting to their seats. I once had a couple do a beautiful pondside wedding, but parking was downhill from the literal ceremony. So, to make things easy they provided a golf cart to shuttle guests up to the ceremony space.
4. Have a rain plan. We all know rain is frequent here in Middle Tennessee. What will the ceremony space be like in the rain? Is there a covered area you can move your ceremony to if needed? If your venue does not have an alternate space in case of rain; watch the forecast leading up to your wedding and consider renting a tent if necessary. If a light sprinkle is possible; consider providing umbrellas for guests and your wedding party.
5. Do you need power? If you are planning to play music at your ceremony, have a microphone for the officiant, or do anything else that requires electricity make sure your ceremony space can support this need. Talk with your DJ and see what he will need, and consider renting a generator if the wedding is in a very rural location. To mention the pondside wedding I coordinated again, there was no electrical outlets down by the pond; so we ran extension cables to power the bubble machine that the couple wanted to use during the recessional, and the DJ set up a little bit away but his speakers were powerful enough to reach where the guests were sitting.
While an outdoor wedding comes with a few additional logistical challenges, having a solid plan in place can make it run smooth and be beautiful as you envision it!