Photo: Laura and Gennia of Docuvitae
Before you say, "I do" to a particular outdoor wedding venue or secure certain rentals though, keep in mind the downside of all of the following alfresco ideas.
1. Clear tents
Yes, they're ridiculously picturesque, but if you plan on using one to provide shade on a hot summer day you better think again. "On a warm day with a clear tent top guests might as well be directly in the sun," notes founder of Bravo Productions, Greg Jenkins. "The sun will beam right into the tent, and the translucent top will make guests feel as though they're plants in a hot house." Um, yikes!
2. Tents without sidewalls or flooring
In warm weather conditions, a tent with no sidewalls simply isn't effective at cooling guests off. As Jenkins points out, once you add in everyone, including your entertainment and wait staff, all that body heat will naturally cause the temperatures to rise inside tremendously. Proper ventilation, such as a tent with sidewalls and air-conditioning, is necessary. Choose to get a tent without floors and the rain unexpectedly comes? While you'll be protected from above, ground drainage will definitely be an issue, warns wedding planner Michael Russo of Michael Russo Events.
3. Misting fans
You'll either need to get a ton or your friends and family will have to stand directly in front of them to cool down, says Jenkins. "Imagine an outdoor summer event in Palm Springs, New Orleans or Atlanta. A couple would have to provide a lot of misting fans to permeate the event space." And that costs money!
4. Public beach weddings
Having your wedding on a public beach is free and pretty, right? Well, not always. According to Jennifer Arreguin and Natasha Burton, co-founders of Santa Barbara-based event planning company Swoon California, not only will you have to do a beach cleanup the morning of to ensure there's no trash, but anyone, including that token creepy guy wearing a Speedo, can mosey on over to watch your ceremony.
Everybody loves a good bonfire and wedding s'mores, duh. Combine kids and drunk people with a fire pit though and things could go awry quick, caution Arreguin and Burton. Not to mention, on a very windy night, ashes can fly around and disrupt or hurt guests, says Stefanie Cove of Yifat Oren & Associates.
6. Remote weddings
Secluded and remote wedding locations are no doubt scenic, yet they become problematic when you have to bring in rentals, vendors and electricity/water supply, explains Russo. What's more is, older guests and those in heels may not exactly appreciate the idea of having to take a hike (literally), notes Afeisha James-Kipps, cofounder of Wedspire.
7. Seafood spreads
Opulent spreads of fresh seafood are commonplace at weddings. Outdoors in the heat, however, celebrity event designer, Brett Galley of Hollywood POP, tells us they're a recipe for disaster. If you want to offer your guests seafood, she recommends doing it as a passed hors d'oeuvre or served straight from the kitchen to the table.
8. Wish lanterns
Good luck getting them to launch perfectly! "If there's any wind at all, this task is near impossible, as the flame moves around," explains Allongo. "I've had many instances of the lanterns catching on fire and, in turn, almost catching a guest on fire," she says. Even sparklers are safer!