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Do’s and Don’ts When Holding a Beautiful and Festive Outdoor Wedding

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David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

You and your fiancé met while on a hike, and you both adore anything and everything that can be done outdoors.

From heading to the links to play a round of golf and checking out some tide pools during your recent vacation to the beach to stargazing, walking your dog through your neighborhood and bike riding, you and your sweetie prefer to be al fresco as often as possible.

It’s only logical then that the two of you want to say your “I dos” under a beautiful blue sky on a warm summer afternoon. While you’re excited to get married and host an outdoor reception, you know it will require a different type of planning than a wedding in a house of worship.

No worries at all, you amazing outdoorsy couple. By keeping these do’s and don’ts in mind, your big day will be beautiful, memorable and go off without a hitch:

Do: Use Your Wedding Invites to Let Guests Know Your Plans

Unless you want your high-heel-loving aunt to aerate your lawn with her stilettos, make sure to tell your guests that your wedding and reception will be held outdoors. The best place to do this is on your wedding invitations. The choice is yours: You can choose a photo invitation that includes the two of you on one of your outdoor adventures or one that features the spot where you plan to say, “I do.” Then, in the text, make it clear that you’ll be hosting an “outdoor ceremony with a reception to follow under the stars” or something to that effect. You can also suggest in the invitation that guests dress accordingly; for example, sandals instead of stilettos and to bring a light jacket.

Don’t: Assume Mother Nature Will Cooperate

Yes, it never rains in your city in July. And yes, you’re confident your wedding day will be sunny and beautiful. But to be on the safe side, come up with a backup plan, just in case Mother Nature decides to show off her cheeky side and brings in high winds and rain on your big day. For couples getting married in their backyard, you could move to an open concept living room/dining area. Or, if you’re getting married in a park, choose one with a large ramada and/or community center to use in case of emergency.

Do: Consider Using a Microphone

Your fiancé has a lovely baritone, and you plan on channeling your inner high school debate team voice to speak loudly and clearly during the ceremony. Despite your best plans, consider renting a microphone to use during the ceremony. This way, if one or both of you are so overcome with emotion that it becomes difficult to speak clearly, everyone will still be able to hear you, as well as the officiant. Opt for a traditional wired microphone on a stand or some lavalier mics that clip to your dress and/or tux.

Don’t: Skip Checking Local Ordinances

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to do your homework on local ordinances regarding noise, serving liquor outdoors and anything else that might pertain to your wedding. After all, the last thing you want is for law enforcement to make an appearance during your outdoor reception due to complaints regarding noise and lighting from neighbors. When it comes to following all applicable laws and regulations, it’s best to be prepared and knowledgeable. That way, you might decide to start the wedding a few hours earlier in order to wrap up the festivities by 11 p.m.

Congratulations, and Have a Beautiful Day!

Outdoor weddings and receptions can be delightfully informal, fun, beautiful and romantic. By keeping these do’s and don’ts in mind, your guests will always know what to expect. Moreover, you’ll have a solid backup plan in place, everyone will get to hear you recite your vows, and you won’t run afoul of any laws — all while having the most amazing wedding and reception.



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