The Great Outdoors

As summer is fast approaching and the weather is warming up, I thought I’d write about holding your civil ceremony outdoors. The sheer beauty of the English countryside is a backdrop in its own right, and would help to create the most beautiful photographs of your wedding day.

The biggest point to remember is, in England, outdoor civil ceremonies must take place under a solid structure and must have a roof. In Scotland, this is not the case and allows you to hold your ceremony in a field or on a beach if you wish. If this has always been a dream of yours, then panic not as there is a way around it. You could hold a wedding blessing ceremony in any location of your choice (as these do not have the same guidelines as civil ceremonies) conducted by a Celebrant. The legal decorations will be said at your local registry office, often during a 10-minute appointment, with just 2 witnesses present.

The second point to remember is the great British weather is unpredictable and it’s worth having a back-up plan. It’s every Brides worst nightmare to think it will rain on her wedding day, but with the UK being wet by nature, it’s something to consider, to minimise the impact on your big day. On the other hand, if your ceremony location has no shade, and you are lucky enough to have a glorious summers day, you may want to consider investing in some sun parasols to ensure your guests comfort.

Location is another point to consider when choosing your outdoors ceremony location. The UK has many truly beautiful locations which all have their own unique selling points (and non-more so than Gisburne Park Estate!) Our 10-acres of land featuring cliffs, bridges and river, not to mention the wildlife such as rabbits, sika deer, kingfishers and peacocks create a perfectly dressed ceremony venue every time. It’s also worth considering how your guests will travel to your ceremony location. Is it easy to find? Will you need to provide transport from a certain pick up point? Is accommodation available in the local area for guests?

If you have a large area of land, it might seem like a brilliant idea to erect a marquee at home. While there is something I find truly magical about holding your wedding reception at home, there is a lot of important factors to consider first. Is there enough room? Do you have the correct access required? Is there enough parking? Do you have power and enough power outlets? Will there be enough lighting? It may sound like a wonderful idea, but it could end up far more expensive than you first thought.

Even when your venue is a natural backdrop for your wedding ceremony, there are many extra’s which can be provided to wow your guests. Florists can create flower arches to match your colour scheme and if you have opted for a later ceremony, fairy lights and festoon lighting can create a truly magical setting. You can also opt for large flags to create a festival theme if you choose.

I for one, am a huge fan of outdoor ceremonies, I think there is something very romantic about them. I just wish I could bottle up the sunshine to make sure everyone had a wonderful day weather wise. The biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone thinking of an outdoor wedding ceremony is to always have a plan B, we are after-all in the UK.

Sarah