Planning an outdoor vow renewal ceremony requires special care, mainly because nature is so gosh-darn unpredictable! Take the necessary precautions and ensure your day is as stress-free as possible:
1) Have a Backup Plan
Even if having your renewal in the most temperate climate ever, it’s still a very, very good idea to have a backup plan. Have a tent or alternative venue ready in case of not-great weather, and don’t forget to alert all vendors to said plan. You may even go so far as to have three tentative dates.
2) Ensure Everyone Is Comfortable
No one at your renewal ceremony will want to deal with insects, terribly hot weather, and no restrooms. Spray the ceremony area with insect control spray and use citronella candles; fans are also great for keeping the bugs away and creating an otherwise comfortable environment. Paper fan programs are nice if having the ceremony in a hot climate, as are cold drinks. If restrooms are not readily available, consider adding Port-O-Johns to the space. Small blankets are also lovely if the weather is a bit on the chilly side, as are heat lamps.
3) Lighting is Important
Should the sun set before your ceremony ends, ensure you’ll have adequate lighting so guests can move around easily and enjoy the space/décor. You’ll also want guests to reach their cars easily, so remember to light paths to parking areas. Strands of lights on trees and bushes, candles on tables, and rental lamps all work. If the space is especially sizable, hire professionals to come up with a proper lighting scheme.
4) Pick Outdoor-Friendly Décor
Having a ceremony near a body of water, garden or backyard means dealing with wind and other elements. Plan décor with this in mind! Heavier centerpieces and tablecloths, candles with glass hurricanes and secure paper place cards are merely some examples of the type of décor you want to use.
5) Remember the Food
Heat can wreck havoc on even the most beautiful of buffets, so plan your menu accordingly and avoid foods that spoil easily. This includes mayonnaise, which goes bad in hot weather easily, and melt-able foods, such as cheese trays. If possible, store the wedding cake in a cool, dry area, or have it frozen and allow it to thaw in the heat. Fondant is a good option for outdoor ceremonies, as it doesn’t melt as easily as buttercream.