Outdoor Weddings

Planning an outdoor wedding?

Anything can happen in the great wide open so here are some tips (and backup plans) to help keep you prepared for the unexpected:

Have an alternative plan arranged just in case of bad weather. This could be the rental of a tent, moving to an inside area, or changing locations.

If Alaska is famous for its beauty, it’s also famous for its bugs. No matter how beautiful a location is, unless you’re careful, the mosquitoes will steal the show every time. Consult with the site’s manager for solutions such as strategically placed mosquito traps, or spraying the ground with a nonpoisonous bug spray an hour or two before the wedding. Choose a spray that won’t leave a lingering odor. If these aren’t an option, then a location away from water might be your best bet.

You’ve taken care of the insects, so what’s that buzzing noise? A float plane, perhaps. Or a motor boat, or a jet ski, or a four-wheeler. Some popular sites might provide more than just the chirping of birds. And depending on your vision, the noise of summer sports might add to the fun or might shatter the mood – an important consideration when choosing a site.

Use your location’s natural décor. Many sites come complete with greenery, floral gardens, lakes, mountains, and a gorgeous view of the setting sun. When searching for your ideal location, look for natural or built-in points of beauty for great backdrops and photo opportunities.

For your bouquet, consider choosing a single type of flower, loosely tied, that doesn’t fight the beauty of the great outdoors.

For added décor, potted arrangements are beautiful, but bear in mind that it takes a lot of planning to get cultivated arrangements safely to an outdoor site. Many plants will do their best if they wait in the shade before making their grand entrance.

• Heat and sun can intensify the effect of alcohol. Make sure to have plenty of soft drinks, coffee, and high-carb foods available to stave off any problems.

Provide plenty of finger-foods – eating outside can be messy!

• If indoor plumbing is inaccessible, provide moist towelettes.

Make sure any porta-potties are strategically located – easy access for high heels, but not so close that odor is an issue.

You can never have too much ice, especially on a sunny day. Borrow a canoe to hold the ice and cold drinks. Attach a bottle-opener to it. Inflatable boats or kiddie pools also make fun casual ice buckets.

Provide small bottles of sunscreen and hand-held fans as wedding favors. Provide baseball caps or umbrellas to negate the effects of rain or sun.

Beware of buttercream frosting, which will melt. Choose fondant for your cake.

• For a heat source and some added ambience, rent some heat lamps to keep your guests nice and cozy.

Respect the pristine beauty of your outdoor “reception hall” and make sure there is no trace of you or your party when the wedding is over.

• Above all, keep your sense of humor. Even if a breeze blows your veil off, just relax, smile and know that you are having a beautiful and joyous wedding with an unforgettable backdrop.