15 Rules for Great Outdoor Weddings and Events
A wedding in the great outdoors can be absolutely amazing… but the planning process can be pretty stressful! There are so many things to think (and worry) about, from the weather to the wildlife to the bathroom situation, it’s a lot to take on! If you’re thinking of getting married al fresco, here are 15 ways to keep things running smoothly.
1. Rules + Permits: Figure out what kind of rules and permits you’ll be subjected to before you plan anything. Getting married at the park near your childhood home may seem like the best idea ever, but that park may have a lot more rules and regulations than you realize. (Photo by: Ira Lippke Photography on Mindy Weiss via Lover.ly)
2. Make Guests Comfortable: Make your guests’ comfort top priority by making sure your site is well-equipped with things like fans, outdoor heating units, well-lit paths to the bathrooms, refreshing non-alcoholic drinks, and citronella candles. Nail down a plan for buying or renting the things your venue doesn’t offer as early as possible. (Photo by: Kellie Kano on Inspired By This via Lover.ly)
4. Prepare for Weather: Organize weather-appropriate accessories for the bridal party and parents: gloves, scarves, and nice (sturdy!) umbrellas. Then ask someone in the bridal party to be in charge of bringing it the day of. (Photo by: Stephanie on Saltwater Studios via Lover.ly)
6. Photography: Talk to your photographer about where the sun will be during your ceremony so you can plan the ceremony and seating arrangements accordingly. You don’t want to realize the morning of that you’re going to be hidden in shadows or squinting into the sun in your photos. (Photo by: Brittany Putnam Photography on Brittany Putnam Photography via Lover.ly)
8. Windproof Decor: If wind is a possibility (and it is most places), double check that all your decor can withstand a very strong breeze. (Photo by: Brittany Putnam Photography on Brittany Putnam Photography via Lover.ly)
9. A/V: Make sure everyone will be able to hear you! No one wants to strain to hear your vows or the toasts. Depending on how open and/or busy your space is, you may need to hire someone to set up audio equipment. (Photo by: Brittany Putnam Photography on Brittany Putnam Photography via Lover.ly)
10. Find an Expert: If you don’t consider yourself a wedding expert (and you don’t want to become one), find an outdoor venue that does weddings regularly. A venue that does dozens of weddings every year will either have the details covered (i.e. they supply the chairs and the tent) and have advice on best practices for couples getting married (i.e. “Those chairs are beautiful but they will sink on the beach”). (Photo by: Love Bird on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly)
11. Details, Details: Your wedding website is the perfect place to put details about your outdoor wedding so your guests can plan accordingly. Include a photo of the venue, the kind of weather you’re expecting, and the worst-case scenario weather they may want to be prepared for. (Photo by: Kristin Cheatwood Photography on Kristin Cheatwood Photography via Lover.ly)
12. Footwear: Your website is also a great place to post info about what kind of shoes the guests may want to wear. Something simple like “The bridesmaids are wearing wedges so they can walk in the garden without issues!” will reduce your guests’ stress (and urgent text messages to you) the week of the wedding. (Photo by: Kristin LaVoie Photography on Every Last Detail via Lover.ly)
13. All Ages: Keep your very old and very young guests in mind as you plan. For example, if there will be a lot of walking from the parking lot to the clearing in the woods where the ceremony is, let them know ahead of time on the website or even the invite. (Photo by: Love Bird on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly)
14. Welcome Bags: Stock welcome bags with any last-minute things that may be useful to guests: think bottled water, gloves, or and inexpensive sunglasses. Order everything online a few months ahead of time so you aren’t making a midnight run to store with your maid of honor the night before your wedding. (Aloha Chevron Stripe Welcome Wedding Tote Set of 20 From WeddingChicks via Lover.ly)
15. Fans + Parasols: Fill pretty baskets with things like parasols, fans, or pashminas to help guests deal with the elements on-site. The less you’re worried about guests’ comfort, the easier it is to focus on getting married. (Crinkle Fans (10) From BHLDN via Lover.ly)
Are you thinking about planning an outdoor wedding? Or been to any with genius ideas? Talk to us in the comments below.
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.