Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Outdoor Wedding Tips

Like I mentioned last week, I wanted to share a couple things we learned about planning an outdoor wedding with Bonnie's wedding. You live, you learn, right? And pass the knowledge on!

I think the three main things (and one not so main thing) to tell you about are:

1. Bugs. The wedding was in a field, in the woods, and on a lake. That's gotta be like a bug trifecta or something. I came home with 33 bug bites on my body alone! I'll admit that I am a bug magnet, for whatever reason, so there are probably others that this wouldn't be an issue for. I also will admit that I don't like to wear bug spray, so I kind of tend to let myself get bit until I can't stand it anymore and then I throw on the bug spray. I just hate that bug spray gets all up in your mouth and you smell like it all night! I will usually take a shower before hopping into bed because I hate the smell so much. However, I do like the Off Skintastic wipes because they smell "pretty" (as pretty as bug spray can smell!).

But, because I am a bug magnet, and bugs do... well... bug me (hehe), I felt the need to have 8 million debugging options at my wedding. Or 3. Same thing. We used a lawn bug spray a few days before the wedding, which worked WONDERS. Apparently, since I'm pretty sure not even one of the tons of containers of Off wipes I bought was used up. We also had tiki torches sporadically around the property, which I like to think helped as well. If you want to see some other ways to debug your outdoor wedding, you can check out some options here.

2. Wind. As much as you try, you can't have a perfect weather plan. You can have a contingency plan for rain, you can rent heaters if you think it's going to be cold, but you can't always plan for everything. Case in point - wind. When we were hanging the glass bottles around the tent, I wondered if the wind would knock them into each other, but it didn't even cross my mind that it would blow everything off the tables! So note this on your list, future brides, be ware of wind in addition to extreme hot/cold and rain. Picture if you will, the tent adjacent to the lake (not right down on it, but still). The tent walls were originally put up on the back of the tent (furthest from the lake) in order to buffer the sound of the DJ so as to not annoy the neighbors too much. That left the front of the tent (closest to the lake), wide open to the wind coming off the water. We set everything up in the morning, but I guess the wind got worse as the day went on. We were off getting our hair and makeup done and the men were scattering to hold things onto the tables. The tent walls ended up getting moved to the front (closest to the lake) to prevent the wind from coming through, which then changed the layout a bit (of where the placecard/guestbook table and bar would go, along with just where Bonnie had envisioned guests would be entering from).

3. Weeds. I know I wouldn't have thought about this ahead of time. Shoot, I probably wouldn't even have thought about mowing the grass ahead of time if I didn't have my neighbor and my cousin talking about all the lawn "designs" they were going to do for me from the minute we announced the wedding! (Side note: the design didn't happen, but I guess at least I didn't have to remember on my own that the grass had to be mowed.) Apparently fields can have these prickly vines running through it. I suppose that makes sense. These bad boys were brutal, though. They pretty much were everywhere and you couldn't rip them up bare handed and once you started pulling the end was nowhere in sight! We didn't realize they would be a problem until people started to trip while setting up. Then we had Bonnie's now hubby and his bro start hacking away at them under the tent. I think they did pretty well under the tent, but outside of the tent was another story. I know they worked really hard to get rid of those, so I'm not knocking the effort. It's a difficult job hacking those weeds, and anticipating where people will walk as well! Especially when the wind changes the layout last minute, and you thought people would be entering a different way. I'm glad no elderly people tripped and really hurt themselves, though, which is what I was afraid of! I think mostly it was just people getting caught and stabbed by the thorns.

*4. Pollen. Now, this is something you absolutely can do nothing about, unless you change the time of year you get married. Turns out, according to Matt's dad (who lives on the property), the pollen invasion we experienced over Memorial Day weekend happens for about a week and a half every year, which just so happened to be the week they decided to got married! The pollen was everywhere. And I do mean ev-ry-where. I joked that I didn't even need my yellow shoes because my feet were already yellow! Once you accept that your car, your feet, your shoes, everything, will get coated in yellow, all you can do is laugh about it. It's not like if you go wipe it off it won't come right back!

via Google Image Search
Not picture of the actual pollen this weekend, but pretty darn close to what we saw! It may have actually been worse than that!

So there you have it, a couple more things to think about when planning a backyard wedding! Got any others to add?


1 comment:

  1. comment from Bonnie:
    "Party crashers, only one neighbor stopped by, but oh well.

    Oh also, if you get married where there are no lights, it is hard for people to get to their cars. The drunks thought it was fun, but not so sure the guides felt the same. If I had to do it again, I would have gotten blue flashlights from the dollar store, tied a bow around them, and made the adventure back a little better lit, would be fun, and drunks do like props, maybe still annoying to their DDs."