The Wedding Gurus Tips For Planning An Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor WeddingPLANNING

TIPS FOR PLANNING AN OUTDOOR WEDDING

So you want to have an outdoor wedding? Outdoor weddings are beautiful – nothing is lovelier than a sunny day with a gorgeous white tent set up in an outdoor landscape. Then there are the mosquitoes, oh and the rain. Let’s not forget about the wind. And the heat. Oh and the cold. And the fact that you have to build a venue from the ground up – which requires kitchen space, tables, chairs, bars, a dance floor, washrooms, power, parking… the list goes on. Suddenly that little casual inexpensive backyard wedding you wanted to have is way over budget and has you more stressed out than any bride should be.

I’ve planned many outdoor weddings in my wedding planning career – I’ve seen the way to do it right, and the way to do it very very wrong. An outdoor event, more than any other type of wedding, needs precise planning. My best recommendation is to hire a wedding planner if you plan on hosting your wedding outdoors. It’s money well spent to have it planned properly and to have someone on site to deal with problems that can arise. And remember, the comfort and enjoyment of your guests should be your number one priority, so make sure to keep your guests in mind when planning the details.

My motto with planning tent weddings is ‘Plan for the worse, but hope for the best’. You want to make sure you are prepared for anything! Here are my tips for planning a flawless outdoor wedding.

Budget

Some people think that planning an outdoor wedding will save them money. Nothing is further from the truth! Often times they cost more. It all depends on your vision – if you are happy with a simple tent, basic tables and chairs set up on the grass, and a simple meal for fifty guests – then cost wise you are right on track. But if you want the full kit and caboodle, then you will have to give the budget a lot of thought and do your research. There are so many factors to consider that you wouldn’t otherwise have to if you were having your wedding at a venue. It’s a good idea to do some research on costs before deciding to go ahead with it. Tents and everything that goes with them can be quite pricey.

Tents

You will have to rent a tent or several tents – for the dining area, cocktail and/or dancing area, kitchen, and washroom. You will need a tent large enough to fit all the tables and chairs, a dance floor, bars, and enough room for guests to get around. Make sure to create a proper floor plan so that you know you have enough room for everything and everybody. Couples often forget to make room for people. Two hundred people under one tent waiting in line at the bar can take up a lot of space!

You will also need tented space for the caterers that is located adjacent to the main dining tent. If it rains you don’t want food to get wet. You will also have to consider where the guests will be parking and how they will get to the tent area if it is raining. Many tent companies can provide walk-way canopies to keep guests dry as they walk to the wedding site.

Power

I can’t say this enough – have enough power! All it takes to blow the breaker is plugging in the caterer’s coffee maker, and there goes your lighting and your sound. This could happen all night and it’s a real pain. Hire a company to come in to set up a generator that can provide power for everything. Some folks think they can just plug everything into the outside outlets of their house with extension cords – this will never be enough power to run the needs for an entire wedding. The company that provides the generator will ask you what your requirements are and will set you up with enough power to keep you going all night long.

Weather

Of course, every bride envisions a perfect sunny day for her wedding, but it’s inevitable – Mother Nature can be a real pain! The chances of having the perfect sunny day, with the ideal temperature and a slight breeze are slim. The weather can be unpredictable, so you want to be prepared. If an outdoor wedding is planned correctly you can lessen the impact of Mother Nature. Have several back-up plans, especially if you plan on having your wedding ceremony outside. It’s not a bad idea to book a small tent for the ceremony. If the weather cooperates then you won’t have to use it, but it’s good insurance to have in case the weather isn’t ideal. Otherwise, you will end up having to get married in your dining tent – not what most brides envision for their wedding ceremony!

Washrooms

There are several options when it comes to renting washrooms. The good old porta potty does the trick but we all know how nasty those can be! If you want something that doesn’t smell like raw sewage, you can opt for the washroom trailers that come with air conditioning, lighting, running water and flushing toilets. Make sure to have enough washrooms – this is not the place to scrimp on the budget! One toilet for every 25 guests ensures that line-ups are kept to a minimum. If you have some disabled guests, make sure to accommodate them as well with wheelchair accessible units. You also want to ensure the area is covered from the elements so that guests don’t get drenched when they go to the washroom.

Kitchen

Your caterers need a dry space out of the sun where they can set up. Some caterers come with portable kitchen trailers, but they will still need an area away from the elements to spread out so that they can plate and set up the food. Have some tables set up for them as well as large garbage cans with bags for scraping uneaten food into.

Parking

When choosing the location for your wedding, make sure there will be ample space for parking 100+ vehicles. If the planned parking area is in a field or grassy area, have a plan B in case of rain. The ground can get soft with a lot of rain and cars can get stuck!

Flooring

I know what you are thinking – we are fine on the grass. It’s a backyard wedding – let’s just save some money. I can tell you from experience that flooring is your number one guarantee against rain. Just because you have a tent does not mean that you will be high and dry. If there is even the slightest angle in the ground, which there always is as no ground is perfectly flat, the water will find its way in and create puddles everywhere. I have seen it happen! Flooring allows the water to run underneath it and keeps everything dry. Even better, set the entire tent and it’s flooring up on risers to ensure no water gets in! The best part, your floor will be perfectly level so that tables and chairs will be set up straight and won’t slant because of the soft ground and pesky gofer holes.

Tables and Chairs

Most tent companies have tables and chairs for rent. Make sure that it is in their contract that they set up the tables and chairs. This isn’t something you want to be doing the day before your wedding. Give the floorplan to the tent company and let them do all the heavy lifting. It’s money well spent to save the headache of having to set up all those tables and chairs. And don’t forget chairs for the ceremony! You may be able to use the same chairs for the reception, so ask your rental company about the cost of transferring the chairs from the ceremony to the reception site.

Lighting

Yes, it will get dark – people need to see! Hire a lighting company to come in to set up decorative lighting as well as lighting for the bar area, the kitchen area, washrooms and the path leading to the tent so guests can see where they are going once the sun sets.

Staging

Having a band? You must provide staging for a band so that they are up and off the ground and away from any possible water that could get in the tent from rain. Any DJ equipment must be protected as well and power outlets should be put inside power boxes to keep them away from moisture.

Storage

Wedding set-ups come with a lot of stuff. Have a small tent set up to the side to store the caterer’s equipment, boxes from rental companies, ice machines, etc.

Bars

There are many companies that rent portable bars. Talk to your caterer to see if bartending is a service they provide. If not, there are several bartending companies that can do that for you. They will tell you what you need to set up the bar, but here is the list:

– portable bars

– back tables

– ice (there are many companies that can deliver a freezer full with bags of ice for the entire event)

– alcohol and mix

– glassware

– bar tools (shakers, shot glasses, bottle openers, wine corkscrews)

– garbage and recycling cans with bags

You should also ensure you have a cooler source for beer and wine – either portable coolers or bins of ice.

Air Conditioning / Heat

There are rental companies who can set you up with portable air conditioners and heaters. No one wants to sit in a tent in the sweltering heat. On the other end of the spectrum, even in summer, temperatures can get cool at night, so heating can be a life saver. It’s important to keep your guests comfortable. Check the weather forecast and make last minute preparations if needed.

Bugs

Nothing chases guests away faster than the infamous mosquito. There are many companies out there that can come in and spray for bugs to keep them away on your wedding day. Choose a company with environmentally friendly choices only. You don’t want to be spraying foggy chemicals that can be irritating and get in guest’s food and drinks.

Permits

Check with your local community if you require permits for tents, parking, sound, and alcohol. You want to make sure you have this covered so that you don’t end up with fines and the proper measures are taken to ensure everyone’s safety.

Great Ideas for Wedding Car Decorations

Great Ideas for Wedding Car DecorationsWhether you are providing your own vehicle for your wedding or instead are looking at hiring classic wedding cars for the occasion, having your vehicle decorated beautifully can make a big difference on your big day. These not only make the journey to and from the event extra special, but they also provide a memorable experience for everyone attending your wedding too.

Many people look to make an impression by hiring double decker buses or classic wedding cars for their event, and even though these vehicles are already special in their own right, well thought-out and beautiful decorations can still add an extra touch that will help make your day unforgettable in all the right ways.

The first suggestion for a great wedding decoration is the ‘Just Married’ sign, which can be designed to the couple’s particular tastes and preferences. This sign is almost essential for the bride and groom’s transport, and is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to add a special touch to your wedding transportation.

This sign can be placed in the rear window of the vehicle with a suction cup to hold it in place, or can instead be attached to the exterior of the vehicle if it is safe and possible to do so without damaging the exterior of the vehicle. For those instances where this in not possible, the interior option is still a great one in order to implement this popular decoration tradition.

In some cases, classic wedding car and bus hire services will offer ‘Just Married’ signs of their own to the people who invest in their services. These often fit in perfectly with the theme and style of the vehicle, ensuring that you make a great impression as you leave or arrive at the reception in style.

The next suggestion for a great decoration for your wedding car is adding bows and ribbons to the vehicle, including bows on door handles and ribbons fastened to the front of the car or bus. This is a very distinctive look that remains a popular one, not least because it manages to be romantic and classy all at the same time.

Again, many hire companies can and do provide these accessories, although this is not always the case. For those who want a specific colour and style of ribbon and bow decoration, it is first suggested to check with the wedding vehicle hire company to see if this is acceptable and if they have any guidelines or restrictions in this department before you start shopping.

Once you have confirmation of what is allowed and what is not you can then proceed to investing in ribbon decorations for your car. You can either make the decorations yourself to save money, or can invest in pre-made items in a variety of sizes, colours and styles. A popular colour is white – for obvious reasons – but ribbons can be large and flamboyant or small and subtle, as your prefer.

Other popular options for wedding car decorations include custom made flower arrangements that can be positioned anywhere on the vehicle. One popular location for these is behind the rear seating in an open-topped vehicle, or tucked behind the bumper of certain classic wedding cars and buses where possible.

In all cases – and regardless of the decoration that you choose – you should look to ensure that your decorations are securely attached and are unlikely to fly away whilst your vehicle is on the road. If in doubt, ask your wedding transportation company for their suggestions of what will work, ensuring that your car or bus looks beautiful on the day and makes a fantastic impression on guests.

5 Wedding Ideas To Have An Unique Wedding That No One Will Forget

Unique Wedding That No One Will ForgetThe wedding is one of the happiest moments in a person’s life. When you are planning yours, you just know that it is special. However, unless it stands out in a way or another, for most of the guests it might be just another wedding they attend and they won’t remember much of it a few months later.

There are unique wedding ideas that can make yours shine and become a spectacular event not only for the bride and groom, but for each and every guest.

Here are some useful wedding ideas to transform yours from a regular wedding into an unforgettable event for everyone:

1. Pick a theme. Themed weddings are always fun and a great source of unique wedding ideas. Talk with your future spouse and brainstorm together. While your own preferences are always the most important, don’t forget to try to take into account the guests as well. For example, you can’t go for a new movie if most guests will be elderly persons and won’t know what is happening.

The theme can relate to anything within reason so you can be as creative as you wish. If you can afford to splurge a bit, you can include impressive decorations or performances.

If you are mostly interested in outdoor wedding ideas, themes can be even more fun outside as you can include balloons, inflatable cartoons or various games. More space also means a good opportunity to add more decorations such as personalized chalkboards, bouncy castles.

2. Engage the guests. Organise a few activities for them to feel like they are really actively participating to the event. You can get some beautiful memories while you are at it too.

Place a bowl with pens and beautifully designed pieces of paper on each table. Ask your guests to write you a message or to share their favorite memory with one of the newlyweds.

If you have musically gifted guests, you can ask them to sing a song or to play their instruments a bit while your band or DJ is having a break. Also, if you are keen on someone’s talents such as dancing, stand-up comedy or gymnastics, you can plan special performances.

No matter what you pick, make sure that no one is forgotten and that everyone gets to participate in an active way, even the elderly persons or the children.

3. Make the guests feel important. Take a while to write personalized notes. Handwritten ones will be the most appreciated. Share your thoughts on this day or just make random comments about your relationship to let them know how much you care about them.

If you are having a hard time opening up and sharing your feelings, you can just write a message that will indicate nice memories. For example ‘Alice, thank you for being there with me from rags to riches’ or ‘Johnny, you will always be my brother from another mother’.

However, if you are running out of time or you simply don’t have the inspiration to write a message to everyone, a standard card to thank them for joining the wedding will do the trick. Choose an elegant font and an exquisite design for the card to become a small gift.

4. Customize the entire event. Don’t try to copy someone else’s wedding, especially if you are on a budget. From engagement rings facts to the tiara, everything should be personal and according to your liking.

If there are wedding ideas that you really enjoy, try to add a personal touch. The event doesn’t have to be particularly fancy or pricey. A bit of extra time and effort can make a huge difference.

You can use personal family photos as decorations or tie the napkins with ribbons in your favorite colour. Bring a funny photo stand-in or include mini versions of your favorite foods instead of main dishes.

Get bold and don’t stick to eating or dancing the whole evening. Still, whatever you choose to do, make sure that it is fun and that it won’t be regarded as offensive or that it won’t make any guest remember an unpleasant event.

5. Don’t stress out about it. Last but not least, don’t transform your special moments into a highly stressful event. You will only end up obsessing over each and every detail. Also, the chances to be disappointed raise significantly if you want everything to be perfect. Admit that you can’t control everything and just enjoy yourself.

At the end of the day, no matter how flawless everything might turn out to be, the guests might only remember how stressed out and uncomfortable you have been the whole day. A genuine smile is often worth more than exquisite details.

22 Creative Ways to Ask Someone to Be Your Bridesmaid

Ways to Ask Someone to Be Your BridesmaidIf you’re a fan of the TV series Friends, you must remember how excited Monica was after she was engaged to Chandler and how smart she was to throw the question that who’s gonna be her maid of honor to Phoebe and Rachel. Asking your girls that one big question is almost as exciting as getting engaged but sometimes can be tricky too. So we’ve rounded up some creative ways to ask someone to be your bridesmaid and make the moment you pop the question more meaningful to them.

1. Homemade Cookies

Customize cookies with letters that will lead your girls to figure out the “will you be my bridesmaid” message.

2. Chocolate

No one can resist the temptation of a delicate pack of chocolate. Get the message carved on the chocolate and it’ll get clearly delivered in a sweet way.

3. Wine Bottle

Customize the wine bottle with a printed photo of you two together and send it as a gift. Thinking about the happy moments you’ve been together, she’s gonna say yes.

4. Wine Glass

If you’re planning to pop the question at your engagement party, swap out their regular wine glasses with the message stuck on them.

5. Wine Bottle Cork

Never underrate the function of a tiny bottle cork. If your bestie is a wine lover, send the cork as a gift and let it unravel the message.

6. Pack a Picnic

Organize a friend hike and hide the message in the picnic basket you prepared. You’ll get lots of screaming when the special basket is opened.

7. Cooking Recipe

For your foodie friends, blend the message with recipes, put them into a beautiful box and send it out as a gift.

8. Coffee

Buying your bestie a cup of coffee, stick the label of the message on the cup. She’ll be surprised and caffeinated.

9. Bow Ring, Necklace or Bracelet

Send custom bow rings, necklaces or bracelets to your girl friends as gifts and ask them to help you tie the knot. On one hand, your message is cleverly delivered. On the other hand, they can also wear these jewelries at your wedding party.

10. Star Ring, Necklace or Bracelet

Send star rings, necklaces or bracelets together with a note telling your intended that they’re the stars to you and hope them will be your bridesmaids.

11. Locket to Lock the Message

Every girl loves to receive something bling bling. Send your friend a gold locket with the message note hidden inside and she’ll get surprised the moment the locket is popped open.

12. “Will You be My Bridesmaid” Card

Send a sweet “Will You be My Bridesmaid” card to pop the question directly. Pick a card boasting an illustrated bouquet will do the trick better. Or you can slip a favorite snapshot of you two into the card to make it more special.

13. Glass Ornament

Fill a glass ornament with a prominent “be my bridesmaid” message. It can not only deliver the message but also be kept as a meaningful home d├ęcor for a long time.

14. Dreamy Candles

Dreamy candles are gorgeous pieces for your girls to enjoy in the comfort at their homes. The soft smell and beautiful look will allure them to be your bridesmaids. Just kidding, they’ll love to do so.

15. Photo Frame

Pick a beautiful frame and insert the message note into it. Besides delivering the message, the frame can be reused for tabletop decoration

16. Balloon

Slip your message and of course some confetti inside a balloon. For the girls, it’s really a fun way to get surprised while the room is filled with colorful joy.

17. Crossword Puzzle

If your friend is a puzzle lover, a custom crossword puzzle is a fun and unique way to get your message delivered. Imagine how surprised and excited your friends will be once they finally put the letters together!

18. Scratch-off Card

Give your girls a scratch off card that is seriously too cute for words! Besides your proposal, you can include a promotion code for them to buy dresses somewhere for your wedding.

19. A Pair of Sunshades

If you’re going to have an outdoor Summer wedding, send your friends a pair of sunshades and instead of the price tag, you can attach your message note to them.

20. Cosmetic Case

Fill a cosmetic case with beauty-related goodies such as a lipstick, eyeliner from their favorite brand and a note containing the message, too.

21. Custom Nail Polish

Create a custom nail polish, making it your “something blue” or the color used at your wedding and print the “will you be my bridesmaid” message on the bottle.

22. Bridesmaid Dress

Buy them pretty dresses which they will wear at your wedding party.