Tips for Planning an Outdoor Ceremony

May 8, 2020

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Outdoor weddings make my heart happy! There’s something about holding a ceremony in a garden, under an oak tree or overlooking a mountain that gives me goosebumps. I just love being surrounded by love in this beautiful world. Here are a few tips for all of the couples planning an outdoor ceremony this year!

Sunset Time

Before you print your invitations, be mindful of the your ceremony time in relation to the time the sun sets. You’ll want to make sure there is plenty of time and light for portraits following the ceremony. If you have chosen to do a first look together before the ceremony, you won’t be crunched for time after the ceremony to get family, bridal and glowy husband and wife sunset portraits after the “I dos!”

I love helping all of my couples create a wedding day timeline that creates a smooth day for all of the beautiful portraits we want to capture. Sunset time is the first thing I always look at πŸ™‚

Making Your Guests Comfortable

Depending on the season, the weather can be a little uneasy on our friends and families but that doesn’t make hosting an outdoor wedding impossible! Consider providing fans or umbrellas if the guests are in the bright sun on what could be a potentially hot day. Maybe even letting your guests stay inside an air conditioned building leading up to the ceremony. And if it’s a chillier month, put a basket of blankets for them “to have and to hold” during the ceremony. It also makes a cute party favor πŸ™‚

You can prepare the guests for the ceremony setting by including a snippet on your wedding invitation. For example, “Join us on the back lawn…” or “Join us overlooking the mountains…” Just to give them a heads up, they may come prepared with things of their own.

I’m so thankful our wedding venue had extra umbrellas on hand. Our guests used them for shade during our 95 degree May wedding date! It was so unseasonably hot and we didn’t even think about this while planning. We also provided water bottles to stay hydrated! It’s the little things that count.

Have a back up plan

Now let’s address the things we don’t like to think about… the weather. Planning an outdoor wedding can be a little bit of a gamble so that is why it is important to have a back up plan, just in case! And even more than that, a back up plan that you LOVE. I emphasize loving your back up plan because if you have to go with Option B on your wedding day because a rain or snow storm came in… I want you to still be happy and enjoy your day and images. Don’t settle here!

Some options can include a tent or an indoor space on the property! Ask your venue what their options are. Most should already have something prepared. I’ll do my best to still create the best, most romantic images that you imagined. And if you are brave enough to tough the rain, I’ll bring clear umbrellas too so we can get our toes wet but not ruin your hair <3

Photos shot while second shooting with Katie Gallagher Photography.

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  1. Theresa says:

    Having a back up plan is crucial – especially for out door weddings! These photos are really stunning! The lighting makes the look timeless!

  2. Ahh yes the sunset time is SUPER important when planning an outdoor ceremony! Great tips! πŸ™‚

  3. Loved your images! Outdoor ceremonies are def. a fav. Of mine esp during the right times!!!

  4. Catherine Hurt says:

    Yes yes yes to all of this! I’m going to need to show this to my couples too!

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Hi there! Welcome to the my blog, a journal about our lives, travels, and photography highlights. Stay a while and say hello!

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Tricia Michael is a North Carolina based photographer who values the legacy of your unique love story and enjoys preserving your heart-felt, in between memories with fine art imagery.

She photographs weddings, elopements, engagement sessions, proposals and young families in Southern Pines, NC as well as throughout the Carolinas & destinations across the country.


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