I am delighted to have been asked to conduct quite a number of outdoor weddings. Outdoor weddings certainly seem to be on the increase, in the UK. I think that this is partly because we are used to seeing field, beach and garden weddings in many popular films and television shows, from abroad.
Of course, there are many differences between Liverpool and Los Angeles, Chester and Chania or Southport and Sydney but the biggest is the unpredictability of the weather, in the UK, compared to California, Crete and Australia (and many other places!).
That doesn’t mean that outdoor weddings are impossible, or even difficult, it just means that you will have to put a little more into the planning and perhaps have some assistance with your preparations. It also helps if you accept that you need to be realistic in your expectations so that, on the day, you are as prepared as possible for whatever is beyond your control – like the weather!
If you choose to have a Liverpool Celebrant led wedding ceremony, you can rest assured that your big day is in safe hands. I will be able to suggest ways to make the most of your chosen setting and will share my knowledge and experience so that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Here are just a few things to consider if you are having an outdoor wedding:
Wind & rain...
You may think that your veil will look wonderful floating in a gentle breeze but what if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction or is gale force! Similarly, your hairstyle, consider the possible adverse effects of outside elements and discuss options with your hairdresser. Don't spend a fortune on rose petals to scatter and create an aisle - unless you are prepared to accept that they may all blow away five seconds later!
Rain doesn’t have to stop you having your ceremony outside, you just need to be prepared and have a plan. This may be to have enough umbrellas to provide cover for you and your guests, or a contingency to move inside (to a hall, barn, marquee, yurt, etc.). During the planning stages, someone needs to be given the responsibility to decide whether to implement the back up, this can be you or a guest - or, if you prefer, you can give that job to me.
Whether you stay outside, or move under cover, if it rains, you will need to accept that you may get (very) wet!
Heat & sunshine…
Sometimes we forget that it can actually be very hot and sunny in the UK. Consider providing sun block, bottles of water, cheap sunglasses and fans for your guests – these could be personalised if you would like to give your family and friends a memento of your day). If you have umbrellas - either individual or large garden parasols these can double up to provide shelter and shade.
Pashminas and parasols to keep your guests comfortable. If you aren't going to provide them (and there's no reason why you have to), mention on the invitations to your guests that they may like to bring their own.
Pashminas and parasols, and so much more, are available from JQ Events Ltd (Call 07986 074275 or look for @jqevents on Facebook)
Light & sound…
Depending on the time of your ceremony, you may need to provide some additional lighting, particularly if you are continuing your celebrations, late into the evening. This may be provided by your venue, but it may be an added extra. Ask!
You will also probably need some sort of PA system for during your ceremony. Again, this may be provided by your venue but I also have a battery powered, portable, speaker and cordless microphone which, depending on how many guests you have and your location, will probably be suitable. If not, this will be discussed, with you, at the planning stage and, together, we will find a solution.
Footwear & seating...
If you are having your ceremony outdoors, there is a distinct possibility that the ground may be uneven or soft (think gravel, wood bark, grass and sand). Consider your footwear carefully and don’t forget to let guests know (preferably on their invitations). It doesn't mean that you can only wear flats, there are some great heel protectors available (and some fantastic sparkly wellies!). If your wedding is on the beach, shoes can even be optional.
These crystal encrusted heel protectors are from Clean Heels (www.cleanheels.co.uk)
Unless your ceremony is extremely short you will need to consider seating for your guests. If you are using hay bales you will probably need blankets and a waterproof layer between the hay and the blanket. If you are going to use chairs, check that the legs won’t wobble too much or sink into the ground (see above). If you are going for a festival feel, you may want to ask your guests to bring their own blankets or picnic/deck chairs. This will add an eclectic element and also keep your costs down (but don’t forget to let your guests know beforehand).
Don’t let any of the above put you off. Outdoor weddings are wonderful. I love them. They just need to be planned a little more carefully than you may think. I will help and support you with practical solutions. I will discuss options and back up plans, with you, long before your wedding day. On the day, I will arrive at your venue at least an hour before your ceremony and be on hand to ensure that your day goes as perfectly as possible, I will keep smiling and I will never, ever, panic!
Hi, I am Lorraine Hull, an award-winning Celebrant, based in Liverpool.
I am most usually asked to conduct ceremonies in North-West England and North Wales but I am happy to travel anywhere within the U.K. or abroad.
At the risk of shouting (and sounding extremely cheesy) "I LOVE MY JOB!".
I really love getting to know the couples and families that ask me to be part of their special celebration, whether that is for a Wedding/Civil Partnership, Renewal/Reaffirmation of Vows, Naming/Welcoming, or Celebration of Life/Funeral
I love hearing, writing and telling love and life stories (and also finding out about hopes and dreams - which are the stories of the future!)
I love to create and conduct unique, meaningful, non-religious ceremonies that are perfect for each couple, individual, and/or family.
I love helping to create and celebrate happy and poignant moments, which form memories that will last a lifetime (that also includes the memories that I get to keep too - what's not to love?)
I believe that ALL people (and animals) should all be treated kindly, fairly and with respect.
We are all unique and we all matter. I think for myself and act for others. I advocate anti-racism, the appreciation and celebration of diversity, justice, equity and equality for ALL through everything that I say and do: Love is Love, Family is Family, Life is Life.
You may also like to know that I am accredited by Humanists UK and a recommended LGBTQ+ Equality Weddings supplier. I hold Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance, I adhere to a strict code of conduct and I am committed to developing and sharing best practice with my Independent and Humanist Celebrant colleagues, so that we can all be the best Celebrants that we can possibly be.
To contact me please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 0744 932 3988