Whether you're tying the knot in a barnyard, backyard, beach, or garden, these wedding planning tips are ones you may have never considered! Come rain or shine, you want to ensure that you and your guests feel completely comfortable. Obviously we can't control the weather, so you can never be 100% prepared, but anything you can do to prevent potential fiascos will save you major headaches on the day of. From preparing for the changing weather to dressing your girls in chiffon bridesmaid dresses, these 20 outdoor wedding ideas will help make sure you are completely prepared for your big day ahead, regardless of the season!
1. Wear heel covers in grassy terrain. This handy little accessory is going to be necessary when wearing any type of pump or stiletto that could sink into the ground. Make sure your 'maids and guests are aware of the terrain so they can also make appropriate footwear choices.
2. Keep your guests bug-free. Make sure to provide insect repellent, wipes, or candles to avoid any nasty little creatures eating away at your guests.
3. Create a makeshift aisle. Usually there aren't going to be defined aisles so create your own by using flowers, candles, and lights.
4. Keep your guests hydrated. On a warm day, providing water or cold drinks will be greatly appreciated! If it's cool, consider a station with hot cocoa, coffee, or tea. Yum!
5. Check for bathrooms. It's very possible that there might not be bathrooms on site, so make sure to scope out the area and ask what guests are expected to do! Don't be surprised if you have to rent an outhouse or two.
6. Give weather-appropriate favors. People like things that are actually practical. If it's sunny, give out sunglasses or flip-flops for dancing. If it's cool, small blankets or hand-warmers are great.
7. Keep your flowers cool. If it's a warm day, you'll want to keep your flowers from wilting, so make sure they are in a cooler or that someone is periodically misting them with water.
8. Keep your hairstylist and makeup artist informed. They'll probably want to make adjustments if it's particularly windy or humid to ensure that your hair doesn't fall flat or that your makeup melts down your face.
9. Create wedding programs that serve as fans. Keep guests from dripping sweat by making multi-purpose programs.
10. See if a permit is required for your outdoor location. No one wants to be kicked out halfway through the event! If you're booking a venue, you shouldn't have to worry about it, but state parks and similar outdoor locations will most likely require that you obtain a permit.
11. Repurpose antique furniture to use for a dessert table or bar. You'd be amazed by what a little paint can do for a gorgeous thrift store, flea market, or garage sale find.
12. Have lights or candles to brighten up the evening. Don't forget that it will eventually get dark, so make sure you have some source of light so your guests aren't tripping over each other.
13. Consider power sources. Depending on the venue, outlets for plugging in lights or equipment may not be an option, so you'll want to know whether renting a generator is necessary.
14. Have stylish umbrellas ready for rainy weather. Not only are they insanely practical for a showery day, but they'll look adorable in pictures with your bridal party, too!
15. Time your ceremony around the sun's location. As silly as it may sound, your guests definitely won't be smiling with the sun glaring in their face. Time your ceremony appropriately, or make sure the direction their sitting isn't set-up to give your guests face cramps from all the painful squinting.
16. Keep fabric in mind for your bridal party attire. If it's going to be warm, choose light and airy fabrics like thin, cotton suits or chiffon bridesmaid dresses. If you expect it to be cool, opt for full-length dresses and have some fun with scarves and cardigans!
17. Entertain guests with yard games. When the ceremony and reception are in the same location, there can sometimes be an awkward lull while switching over. Have yard games or board games to entertain your guests while they wait for the reception to begin.
18. Choose your food based on temperature. Your caterer needs to be aware of the outdoor venue so that they can be flexible. You won't want to be serving foods like mayo or ice cream that could be sitting out in 85 degree weather.
19. Host an evening bonfire. If you're going this route, make sure that the venue allows for it. Otherwise you might be getting a friendly (and not so welcomed) visit from the fire-department.
20. Have a backup plan for bad weather. This is by far the most important wedding planning tip we can give. Many people opt for an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception, so make sure the location can accommodate both, if need be. If you're planning to do everything outside, renting a tent is going to be your safest option just in case the weather decides to work against you.
There are a million different ways to execute your outside nuptials, so we want to know: what are some things you wish you would have known before your outdoor wedding? Leave your comments below!
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Taking Your Measurements
For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn’t be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor.
Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it’s not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.
Compare these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5” (size 12), your waist measures 31” (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5” (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body.
Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).
While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button. Stand up straight and do not “suck in” when taking this measurment.
Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.
Depending on the fabric, a dress can be altered down up to 2 full sizes, but can be very difficult to let out as there is only about .5 inch of fabric to do so at the seams.
Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.