Things to Think About When Planning an Outdoor Wedding

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For us Albertans, we have a very small window during the year to have an outdoor wedding. The vision of a beautiful white tent (or marquee), decorated to the nines is the dream of many a bride.

But what most brides do not realize is that a tented wedding is one of the most expensive and challenging events to plan.  Here are some important things to keep in mind if you are considering having an outdoor wedding:

Mother Nature is Not Always Your Friend - When planning an outdoor wedding, it is essential to have a back-up plan! Not only is it important to have an indoor location set aside in the event of rain, but other factors such as wind or pesky insects could also force you to take your wedding inside.  Even if the morning of your wedding day is rain-free, your venue may be mudslicked from the downpour days before.

Wind can also affect the temperature and comfort of your guests.  While you may not feel the cold amidst the excitment of your day, don’t forget that your guests will be sitting for 20-40 minutes during your ceremony. Wind can also affect how sound travels – you may want to consider having a microphone on hand so that your guests will be able to hear you exchange your vows.

Outdoor Wedding Canopy

{photo courtesy of ArisingImages.com}

You’re Going to Need Some Power - If you are dreaming of a tented dinner with a great dance party reception afterwards, don’t forget that you’re going to need electricty to make that happen! Depending on where you will be setting up your tent, you may be looking at renting generators for things such as: lighting, refrigeration and heating/cooling.

Make Sure Your Guests Are Comfortable - Whatever the weather, make sure that your guests are comfortable. If it’s chilly, provide lap blankets and hot drinks; if it’s warm, provide bottles of water and fans so that guests can keep cool.

Another thing to consider is – where are the washrooms? If you are setting up your tent in an area where there are no facilities nearby, you will have to provide portable washrooms for your guests. (Forget the typical “Port-A-Potty”! There are new luxury washroom units that you can rent that won’t put off your guests.)

Mojitos on Tray

{image courtesy of oncewed.com}

Bringing It All In - If you have to provide your own tent at your venue, keep in mind that you will have to rent everything! From the tables and chairs, to heating/cooling and even flooring, everything will need to be brought in. This means that you will have to budget more for rentals and delivery and set-up costs.

Do You Have a Permit For That? - Depending on what you have selected as your venue, you may need to obtain a permit from the city or parks administration office.  Don’t forget to ask questions regarding trash removal, do’s and don’ts for the site, noise restrictions and any other regulations.

Project: Share the Love! – My Story

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Interracial Couple

My husband, Adam, and I met during the summer of 2000 after our first year of University. My first impression of Adam was that he was “that skinny, blonde guy” who I kept seeing at every party and get-together that my friends and I went to.

One of the summer “staple” events was “Margarita Mondays” at Earl’s. Adam called me up one night and invited me out for Margaritas. Thinking nothing of it, I said that I would go…since I thought that all of my friends were also going to be there.
When I arrived at the restaurant, Adam was the only one there. I even asked Adam, “Where is everyone?” To which Adam replied, “I couldn’t get a hold of anyone else”.

When I returned home, I called my friend to ask why she didn’t show up for Margarita Monday and was informed that Adam hadn’t called anyone else. In fact, he didn’t even have anyone else’s phone number!

And so Adam had tricked me into going on our first date!

Island Dress

The Proposal (10 years later!):

While on vacation together in Oahu, Hawaii, Adam and I attended a Luau. We dressed up in our finest Island attire (bought at a “Swap Meet” the day before – gotta love those!) and headed down to Paradise Cove to take in the food and entertainment.

At the end of the evening, as the crowds disappeared and the staff began to close down for the night, I wanted to take one last walk on the beach. Unfortunately the beach was roped off. So instead we sat on a nearby picnic table and listened to the waves crash onto the shore.

After sitting and talking together for a few minutes, Adam turned to me and said, “Nina…” and proceeded to drop on his knee in the sand. Adam continued, “…will you marry me?” Now at this exact moment (no word of a lie), a bunch of cute little kittens came out of nowhere and walked around us. (Apparently they wait for the tourists to leave before coming out to pick at the scraps).

I was too busy crying to be able to give a verbal answer, and so I just nodded my head “yes”.

Tower Bridge Wedding Photo EnglandAnd that’s my Love Story. What’s yours?? ;)

Bride and Groom with Picket Fence