You’ve always wanted to have an outdoor ceremony and now it’s finally happening! With any event, there are special considerations for your guests and an outdoor ceremony or reception is no exception. Below we’ll explore some things you may want to mention to your guests and plan accordingly.
1. Parking and Directions
Often with an outdoor wedding venue, there is no exact address and limited parking. It is very important to communicate to your guests, in the most specific way, how to get to the venue and where to park. The best way to do this is to instruct your guests on a general level (map insert with the invitations, specific directions on your wedding website, etc.) and then tailor your instructions to the guests you’re most concerned with. Think about your brother, Kyle who says, “I’ll just Google it later.” To make it even easier on your guests, consider using mass transportation or recommend your guests use Uber or Lyft.
Tip: I’ve planned a lot of outdoor ceremonies and almost always, “Googling it” ends with the guest in the wrong spot. Luckily, when you plan your ceremony with Elope Southern Utah, we always send you a specific map and instructions for you to pass along to your guests.
2. Young Children/Elderly guests
More often than not when you’re having an outdoor ceremony, say on a red sandy beach, in the gorgeous green mountains, or on a scenic red rock, you are in a public area that is reserved for your private use. This means the original intent of the spot was most likely for recreational use and has few amenities. You’ll want to make sure everyone knows if there are any bathrooms (or if not) and where they are located, especially those traveling with young children or elderly guests. You’ll also want to consider terrain. If you have a guest who needs mobility accommodations, you won’t want them trekking through deep sand or uneven landscapes.
3. Time of Day
Here in Southern Utah, I always recommend choosing an early morning or evening ceremony to avoid a number of things, including peak midday temperatures, public crowds, and harsh midday lighting. This will keep your guests much more comfortable and cool. Plus, if you choose an evening ceremony (just before sunset is popular) that means you get to take your time getting ready and spend the day with close family and friends. If you choose an early morning ceremony (sunrise is also popular) you get to spend the entire day celebrating! Depending on the time of day, you may also want to consider if there will (or will not) be a breeze.
Bonus Tip: ask yourself, who is notoriously late? When it comes to outdoor weddings, timing is everything. Make sure this notoriously late person knows exactly how to get to the venue, where to park, and to use the bathroom before leaving the hotel room. Even if this means telling Aunt Mary that the ceremony starts an hour earlier than it actually does. (I've had many couples use this tactic, and it always works!) If this means, YOU are the notoriously late person, tell yourself to be there an hour earlier than you should. Your guests may become uncomfortable, if they end up waiting for longer than anticipated.
Looking to have an outdoor wedding in Southern Utah? We are here to help! Check us out at ElopeSouthernUtah.com. Plus ask us about our favorite outdoor wedding venue that has convenient parking, easily accessible bathrooms, and an amazing backdrop for your ceremony!