Milwaukee summers are filled with weddings. While I have equal love for a winter soiree, most couples would rather take their chances with rain then worry about snowmageddon ruining their wedding day. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the thought process but I also think that when many couples envision their summertime weddings, they seldom think of the many other elements that can take a toll on even the most carefully laid plans. Noticed the heat these last few weeks? I’ll guarantee that most couples who had outdoor ceremonies this summer didn’t expect the temps to top 90 degrees!
Outdoor weddings will always be some of the most sought after spaces no matter what Mother Nature may throw at us. So, here are a few key tips for planning a summertime outdoor wedding.
1. Remember the obvious: It may rain. If you are planning an outdoor wedding most couples know enough to book a backup location. But, the key is to actually LIKE your backup. If you only book your backup space on a whim hoping that you will never use it, you will be extremely upset when you wake up to downpour, and that is no way to start your wedding day.
2. From this summer we’ve all learned that it can feel tropical in Milwaukee. If you are planning an outdoor wedding remember that if the temps hit 80, there are going to be a lot of uncomfortable guests counting the minutes until you get on with you ‘I do’s’. In particular, groomsmen will be especially uncomfortable as they will be in heavy suits and generally standing the entire time which means you may be asking for someone to pass out. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen. So, if you see the mercury rising just prepare to be flexible. Perhaps instead of standing the entire time you will allow your bridal party to sit. Are there fans you can bring in? Any sort of shade that you can incorporate? If not, be sure to provide your guests with lots of water to keep everyone hydrated. Move your receiving line indoors and lastly, while it’s wonderful to include grandparents in the formal processional up the aisle, if it gets too warm perhaps you might allow them to sit this one out.
3. One thing that seems to always get overlooked more than others is wind. Especially with those gorgeous lakefront weddings the wind is always going to be a factor. Now, this is most likely not going to be a cause to move the event indoors but with wind, there are some things to keep in mind. Remember, those pictures of events that you see in a magazine were staged. That means a controlled environment and definitely not heavy winds. If you have any sort of draping, expect it to get tangled. If you have candles, they will be blown out. If you have flower petals, they will blow all the way to Lake Michigan. I think you get my drift. While everyone wants a picture perfect wedding, remember it’s not those little things that are going to make your marriage.
Lastly, while this doesn’t have to do with weather, I do want to mention it as I have had many couples contact me with inquiries on getting married in county parks. If you do not have a wedding coordinator and you are getting married in an outdoor public place, be sure to send someone early with some gloves and trash bag to collect little bits of trash. After the 4th of July, there were firework remains everywhere and while you and your family have been county down the days for months until your big celebration, the rest of Milwaukee County has been walking their dogs down your precious aisle. No need for any stinky surprises on your Jimmy Choos.
In short, my advice for outdoor weddings is just to remember that even though it’s summer, weather can still make a big impact in your day. But, with a little extra planning and perspective your wedding will be just as beautiful and perfect as you realistically imagine it to be.