Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies. Risk vs Reward. Here's what you need to know.

So you've decided to have an outdoor ceremony for your wedding in a public place like the beach, or at a park, etc... Great, Now what? 

You've found a nice way to have a beautiful setting for your vows and save some money versus having the ceremony at a venue.  So now what?  Here is a quick, hopefully helpful guide to having an outdoor ceremony in a public space. 

Typical outdoor wedding ceremony rental items. 

  • rental chairs for the wedding ceremony (people usually use white garden chairs for wedding ceremonies)
  • flower petals / a runner for your aisle. 
  • a wedding arch / chuppah (a structure that acts as a backdrop of focal point for your wedding)
  • Music!  (live or via speakers)
  • A CONTINGENCY PLAN! (we will dive into that in a moment)
  • an officiant (with a loud voice or a mic). 

From a rental perspective, weddings in a public setting are tricky because the items must be delivered, setup and removed within a matter of hours.  You can't leave the items just laying around, so delivery and pickup have to happen immediately before and after the ceremony.  MANY RENTAL COMPANIES DO NOT DO THIS.  Think about it, its expensive to have a few guys just sitting around for an hour or two while you have your ceremony. 

OK Great, you have a plan for a beach ceremony...What if it rains?  

No tent rental company is going to agree to be "on-standby" with men and equipment to pitch a tent in a hurry if its raining.  Additionally, tents are probably not legal or practical at a beach or in a public park.  So you need a contingency plan.  Here are a few options:

  1. rent umbrellas.  Sounds crazy, but it's more common than you think. 
  2. move the ceremony indoors at your reception venue (you will probably have to eat the costs of the ceremony rentals).  They already have chairs for everyone for your dinner, so you may be able to use those chairs for a quick ceremony then bring them back to the reception area.  Even if this means asking guests to carry a chair or two. 
  3. ask your rental company if they can move everything from the park or the beach to your reception venue.  This may not be doable, so ask in advance!