You've decided to say "I do" in the great outdoors. It’s a magical way to start your marriage.
That said, it’s going to take a little preparation. Inclement weather, insects and ill-prepared guests may cause issues. If you're planning on a campground venue for your wedding, remember the following seven tips.
1. Plan the Right Time of Year
This advice may seem obvious, but the weather plays a starring role in any outdoor event. If you reside in colorful Colorado, for example, you don't want three feet of snow to keep guests away from a winter wedding. Nor do you want to get married in the middle of hurricane season if you live in Florida.
Likewise, keep competing events in mind when coordinating your dates. While many locations offer unparalleled scenery for photos, you don't want unwanted guests ruining your pictures. Take note of any major events or festivals taking place the same weekend, so you don't run into overcrowded conditions.
2. Prepare Supplies, Anyway
Even if you plan your wedding for the perfect time of year, storms can still blow in unexpectedly. You don't want yourself or your guests to end up sopping wet. It's a good idea to bring a supply of towels as well as extra umbrellas for guests who may have forgotten.
Additionally, be sure to include a first-aid kit in your supplies. As beautiful as the outdoors are, rocks can trip the unwary, and thorns can make you bleed. When it comes to emergency medical supplies, it's best to have them and not need them.
3. Make Sure to Have Cover
Even though you're well-stocked, few people enjoy standing in the rain for hours. You need to ensure you and your guests have a pavilion or some other form of cover in case of inclement weather.
Many facilities rent large tents and canopies that fit the bill if your site lacks such amenities. It's also a good idea to locate the ceremony as close to the parking area as possible. You don't want guests to have to make a quarter-mile dash to their vehicles to grab an umbrella.
4. Advise Your Guests in Your Invites
When you host a wedding outdoors, you need to advise your guests of all the pertinent information in your invitations. For example, are you planning on trucking in picnic benches for the reception, or will invitees need to bring outdoor chairs for comfort?
Additionally, you should advise out-of-town guests on weather conditions. If you live in the desert Southwest, but your family is flying in from the Northeast, they may have little clue how much colder the dry air makes the evenings feel. The Weather Channel can only tell them so much — you have the inside 411.
5. Figure Out Heating and Cooling
Even though you're getting married outdoors, feeling too hot or cold can put a damper on the festivities. It's a wise idea to have patio heaters if your location gets chilly after dark.
Likewise, you may want to bring fans to an event that takes place at noon in the summer. Of course, you'll need a power source, so if your campground lacks electricity, you'll need to provide a generator.
6. Keep Pesky Bugs at Bay
Insect scourges can ruin a catered reception dinner. Even if you plan on cooking hot dogs and marshmallows over a fire, you need to protect your stash. You can put the feet of picnic tables in upside-down frisbees filled with water.
This action prevents ants from crawling up the table into your meal. For flying pests, hang pennies in a bag of water. The reflection on the coins baffles the eyes of flies, keeping them at bay.
7. Determine Accommodations and Transport
Unless you plan on everyone camping out where you are, you'll need to make arrangements for guest accommodations and transport. If your honeymoon doesn't include roughing it, you'll need to secure a ride for you and your spouse, too.
Provide suggestions for hotels at different price points in your invitations. If you know people who can help with glamping supplies or Airbnb-style rentals, advise guests.
You may wish to charter a traditional charter bus or limousine for transport, but since you're in the wild, why not be more original? Consider a horse-drawn carriage ride or even a Hummer decorated with bows.
Make Your Campground Wedding a Success
Campground weddings take a bit more forethought than traditional venues. However, with a bit of planning, you can pull off the successful outdoor celebration of your dreams.