Depending upon where you live, outdoor fall weddings can be pulled off. Regardless of the season, outdoor weddings have challenges and contingencies should be planned. Consider the options and choose the one that best suits your idea of the perfect wedding day.
Outdoor Fall Weddings Checklist
Set a Date
When planning an outdoor wedding, research the normal weather patterns for your area. For example, if you live in the northeast, determine what the average daily temperature is for the date you want to schedule your wedding. Based on the average decide if the temperature is acceptable for guests to be comfortable outside without additional clothing such as coats. If the normal temperature is too cold, move the date to earlier in the season or hold the ceremony indoors. It is not advisable to schedule the ceremony if the weather is not suitable or you and the guests will be uncomfortable.
Choose a Venue
Good choices for outdoor fall weddings are parks, country clubs, mountains, and even gardens. Though flowers won't be blooming like they do in the spring and summer, many outdoor venues will reflect the brilliance of fall foliage. Mountain settings book as much as a year in advance for fall weekends so make sure you call well in advance if you choose a mountain location.
Plan for Weather Mishaps
Unlike indoor locations, when planning an outdoor wedding it is imperative to have a back up plan in the event of poor weather. Depending on what type of venue you scheduled, there may be a building close by that can be used if rain, wind, or snow threaten. Other options include tents or awnings as long as they are large enough to cover all the guests and not just the wedding party.
Outdoor weddings typically require chairs, tables, and even lighting to be rented. Determine the number of guests that can be seated comfortably in the designated area and rent accordingly. If the reception is going to be held in the same general area or the guest list is small, chairs can be moved by the staff to the reception area after the ceremony. For daytime ceremonies, lighting is probably not required but for late afternoon or evening ceremonies, lighting should be rented. This may be as simple as torches placed along walkways, patio lights strung throughout the area, or actual lights professionally wired. Consult with the venue coordinators to confirm whether any permits are required to use electricity or open flames.
Flowers and Decorations
Fall outdoor weddings lend themselves to fall colors and foliage. Instead of the traditional cut flower arrangements, choices may include large baskets of mums in bright orange, reds, and yellows. Silk autumn leaves tied with matching ribbons can add a rustic charm. Since most outdoor weddings take place in scenic venues, keep the flowers and other decorations simple so as not to detract from the area's ambience. Using potted plants also cuts down on the expense and can be planted and maintained as a keepsake from the event.
Though perhaps a bit more difficult to plan than an indoor wedding, outdoor fall weddings can be memorable and beautiful. If a few simple precautions are taken, you can spend the time enjoying your day while viewing all the surroundings have to offer.