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St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | How to Plan Your Outdoor Wedding
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Jekyll Island Convention Center Wedding
Dec 26 2016

How to Plan Your Outdoor Wedding

Jekyll Island Convention Center Wedding

Jekyll Island Convention Center Wedding Photo by: Tamara Gibson Photography

Outdoor wedding planning can be nerve wracking– while you have the allure of a beautiful wedding ceremony at sunset and reception under the stars, you also have the possibility of dealing with blistering winds, excessive heat or torrential rains.We have some amazing wedding venues on Saint Simons Island and Jekyll Island.  Many of these wedding venues capitalize on all the elements that make a perfect Southern destination wedding:  the live oaks, spanish moss and ocean views. Each year, many a bride crosses her fingers and prays Mother Nature takes mercy on her special day.

What’s the best way to plan your outdoor wedding?  Well have no fear, we’ve got some great perspective for you to consider as you start your wedding planning. Review these tips when considering your options for venues–

Consider Your Space.  Some venues have great options for both outdoor and indoor event spaces.  If you are having any element of your wedding outdoors, be it the wedding ceremony, cocktail hour or wedding reception, double check that your venue has adequate backup space for each of those events.  This may require a flip at some point, but you want to ensure that you can confidently and comfortably move your event if necessary.

Consider Your Guest List. There are several venues that offer both indoor space, with an outdoor overflow for seating. These type of venues are usually best for strolling cocktail parties versus buffets or sit down dinners. This usually causes a problem when whether concerns rear their heads as you end up paying for a venue and a tent. As a rule of thumb, if possible, it is always best to keep your guests together as much as possible, to avoid additional, avoidable fees.

Consider Your Budget.  If your wedding is completely outdoors, be sure to add in the costs of a tent as soon as you have selected your venue.  This is important.  You do not want to get caught the week of your wedding scrambling to put money together for a tent.  Moreover, keep in mind– if it is the weather is less than ideal for you, it is also wreaking havoc for other outdoor weddings in your area. This will cause tents to become in high demand on a first come, first served basis. To avoid this stress, consider putting a deposit down for a tent after you’ve booked a venue.  This allows you to have a tent reserved for your event ahead of time, avoiding the rush if the weather takes a turn for the worse.  If you turn out not to need it, you will lose your deposit, but you’ll still have priority of having a back up plan. Af

Consider Your Design. When we design for our clients’ outdoor weddings, we always design for two different events– one under a tent or indoors, and one with ideal conditions. This allows us to prepare our clients for the possibility of less than ideal weather. This always helps tamper down disappointment or the chance that our initial design does not translate well into a contingency plan.

Consider Your Time of Year. Tents aren’t just needed for rain.  It gets very hot here in the South– especially in June to August.  The sun can be unbearable during an outdoor ceremony where guests are waiting up to 30 minutes prior to its start.  If you cannot find an indoor back up for your entire wedding, consider a chapel or ballroom for the ceremony and tent for the reception.  Speaking of rain– it doesn’t just fall vertically. Rain can come in at an angle.  This means in addition to your tent, you’ll also need to secure tent walls.  Heaters and fans can keep your guests comfortable, depending upon the weather would also be a good investment.

Consider Protecting Your Investment. Hurricane Matthew turned our quaint coastal town into an near shambles, canceling many events in the process. Sadly, many couples did not have wedding insurance protecting their event from such acts of God or lost deposits from vendors. Wedding insurance provides coverage for all kinds of instances that could affect your wedding — from damage to weather, it is certainly an investment worth making.

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