Saying your vows under the open sky is as natural as you can get. Many couples want to see nature’s beauty in their surroundings rather than four walls. If you are considering saying “I do!” outside, there are a few things you should think about to ensure that you and your guests have the best wedding experience possible. Keep reading for some of our top tips.

Sun position and shade

Many couples prefer to marry outside in the spring or summer months. Obviously, the position of the sun and the presence of shade are important factors. You don’t want your guests to melt away in the blazing heat. You want everyone to be able to see the ceremony without squinting into the sun. Plus, it will be extremely difficult to take pictures facing into the glaring light so be aware of the sun’s position relative to the time of your ceremony. Survey your wedding site and look for natural shade givers or think about items large or small that you can borrow, rent or purchase for this purpose. Your best bets include:

  • Trees
  • Arbors
  • Parasols
  • Shade Sails
  • Tent Rentals

What did you say?

Even an intimate ceremony with a handful of family and friends can leave everyone lip reading if you don’t think ahead. The last thing you want to hear from your guests is that they missed the entire wedding because they couldn’t hear a thing. A simple beachfront ceremony or riverside event may leave your voices and your vows being carried away in the wind. This is something you need to know about and prepare for ahead of time so hold a trial run. You may need an amplification system to ensure that everyone can hear what’s going on.

Rain cover

For those celebrating their love in the great outdoors, you must take rain into consideration and have a back-up plan ready to go. If you can easily move the event indoors, this may be your best option on the fly. However, if you are determined to stand your ground (literally), you should have a gazebo or party tent ready for everyone to mingle under until the weather is ready to cooperate. No one wants to be soggy and wet at a wedding.

Sun protection and the little extras

Think about offering a basket of goodies for your guests to use that contains sunscreen, sunglasses from the dollar store, fans, refreshing wet wipes and other items that are useful for an outdoor wedding. Have the ushers or your DJ explain that these items are available and offered on a self-serve basis. Anticipating the needs of your guests ahead of time will help keep everyone comfortable.


You should have water, juices and other beverages on-hand (perhaps in an ice-filled stainless steel tub, decorated cooler, blow-up raft, etc.) to help quench everyone’s thirst. Above all, you want your guest to enjoy themselves and leaving them feeling parched is not the way to accomplish that.

Lastly, you may want to consider offering summer-fun items as your guest favors. Here are just a few possibilities to get you started:

  • Flip-flops
  • Hats or visors
  •  Beach balls or frisbees

If you’re considering an outdoor wedding, we can help you stage it at Swan Manor. Our manicured grounds are the perfect, beautiful setting for a ceremony surrounded by nature. In case of inclement weather, our stately manor house and carriage house ballroom are excellent back-up locations so your special day is never in jeopardy. The wedding of your dreams is possible at Swan Manor. Contact us today to schedule a meeting and tour. Call 704-776-2530 or use the contact form here on the site. We look forward to hearing from you.