Lots of couple these days are deciding on outdoor weddings just to get away from the traditional church wedding. One of the big benefits to outdoor weddings is that they are much less expensive and sometimes cost nothing. These events take some special planning to be sure they go off without a hitch while you are getting hitched. For example, if you are being married in a public place you will most likely have to hold the reception in another location. Weather is also a huge concern, if you live in an area prone to hurricanes like Florida you may want to have a backup plan if you are getting married during hurricane season! Here are some guidelines to keep in mind while planning your big day.
The location you choose is the most crucial part on an outdoor wedding and if you are choosing a true outdoor locale like a beach or lake then you need to be sure that you have shelter available in case of rain. Considering that you plan the event months ahead of time there is no way of knowing what the weather will be like on that particular day. So be sure to have your option B ready in case Mother Nature is being uncooperative. You could also opt for a home wedding around a pool; I have attended weddings like this that are very beautiful.
If you are holding the event at a beach or park check with the city or county government to see if they require any kind of permit. Sometimes you only have to get written permission but other times you may have to have a specific permit. Some other things you need to know are whether you can decorate and bring your own tables and chairs, if you can serve food, have music, etc. If your reception will be at the same place and you will be serving alcohol you need to find out if it is allowed. Many parks and beaches do not allow alcohol to be consumed on their grounds. This will prevent any unpleasant situations on your special day, so take the time to plan it properly.
If you are planning to be married outside you can take advantage of natural beauty which will save you some money on floral arrangements and other decorations. Just be sure that if you are using a public location or one run by local government that you have permission to put up any decorations. Most will allow you to decorate but you have to make sure that you take all of it with you when you leave.
Make sure that you let your guests know ahead of time that the event will be held outside so that they can plan accordingly. You don't want people coming thinking they are going to be inside and not be clothed properly or otherwise prepared for the elements.
Be prepared for foul weather if you have your mind set on a place like the beach and be sure that everyone in the wedding party has lightweight clothes that will dry easily if you get wet. You should also abort the idea of a fancy long dress with a train because if it rains it will just get wet and muddy. Be prepared and have a fun special day!