People are increasingly looking for more unusual places to get married for a variety of reasons; It could be a lack of availability in venues, a love of a certain spot, or it could even be a way of saving money that has driven your desire for an "al fresco" wedding. Options and Some Helpful Do's and Don'ts If you want to get married outside in England then the venue you choose must be approved by the local authorities. Generally local authorities will only provide approval to permanent structures that are open to the general public. Hotels and stately homes are the ideal candidates but occasionally authorities will licence bandstands and pagodas which is good news for those wanting to get married outdoors. Many couple get around these laws by going to a registry office a couple of days before the big day and getting the legal side of the wedding all sewn up. This means that you can then hold an open air ceremony as and where you like.
Ok, so you have negotiated your way through the bureaucracy of planning an outdoor wedding, congratulations! But what next? Have you considered the weather? Your guests? A theme? And have you thought about how you are going to orchestrate your big day?
Umbrellas, Sunnies and Tents
Don't let the gloomy English weather dampen your spirits - you know there is a good chance of rain, so customise your outdoor wedding with some old fashioned umbrella stands and umbrellas. This is particularly well suited to a vintage themed wedding, and it needn't cost the earth; simply scour the charity shops looking for an eclectic mix of brollies - trust me, your guests will thank you for it!
We know it's a long shot but as we occasionally do get a spot of sunshine in England you could also consider providing sun glasses, fans or even bottled water for your guests.
And maybe a few discreetly hidden tents would be a nice touch? If you have any elderly guests or young children coming it could provide shade and rest for them - particularly if there are any hold ups in the ceremony.
Staying with an outdoor theme (and saving a bit of money) you could take a different approach for the catering; such as picnic blankets and hampers. What a unique and memorable way to solve the catering problem. Lots of bunting, fresh pots of tea, glasses of champagne and some deliciously packed picnic hampers for you and your guests. Its turning into a real English country garden party, and it could save you a few pounds.
There are plenty of companies around that provide furniture hire. So whether you are in the north, the south, the midlands or the capital then you should be able to find suitable furniture for your wedding. Alternatively you could head back to the charity and thrift stores to source an eclectic mixof tables and chairs, and once you have finished with them you could either offer them to friends and family as wedding gifts for a quick clear out, or if you want to recoup some money then you could even sell everything on eBay afterwards (great tip: photographing it in its wedding setting could make it more saleable). Also consider how you are going to get your furniture to its location. Most of us know someone with a van, so try to rope in a few helpers where you can to save a bit of money.
Planning a wedding should be fun and rewarding, not distressing. Unfortunately if you are planning an outdoor wedding you could experience a few logistical AND legal problems, but hopefully this article will provide you with some reassurances and some useful tips...and it might even save you some money. Remember, just plan in advance, be organised, and remain patient. You will be fine.
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