Baby, it’s Cold Outside! A look at autumn weddings.

I’ve often written about the importance of a rain plan for an outdoor wedding, but as I prepare to leave for a wedding on this brisk autumn day, I’m reminded that a cold plan is also necessary.

Here in the Pocono Mountains spring and fall temperatures can vary widely. Yesterday I officiated outdoors and it was sunny and warm, today I’m scheduled for another outdoor ceremony and it’s quite chilly. Average October temperatures in PA swing between 64 and 38 degrees. Average – and you never know how big that swing will be. I recall one Halloween when it was hot and another when it snowed.

So what can you do when you have your heart set on the great outdoors for your autumn wedding? As always the answer is simple: be prepared. And although you may be, are your guests?

Here are a few that will help:

Make if very clear to all your guests, in any and all ways possible, to dress appropriately. Include it on your invitation, any website you may have, and follow ups you might do. Include with the driving directions another gentle reminder to bring coats, warm shoes and even socks – stating that you can change for the reception. When your feet are warm, you are warm.

Warm and beautiful!

Hand out blankets as guests enter the ceremony site. ‘Pocket warmers’ for hands and feet are very inexpensive and work wonders. You can get them at a camping store.

Buy shawls for bridesmaids (what a great gift) and have a gorgeous shawl, shrug, wrap or jacket of some sort if you are the bride.  I know you want to show off that beautiful dress, and it will be a great ‘reveal’ at the reception when you remove the outdoor layer. It’s almost like having two dresses – how fun! Men – you have it easier since a suit is itself providing layers of warmth.

Warm beverages for a cool day.

Some venues offer those outdoor heating lamps, or patio heaters, which are great, but only if you are sitting right by one.

Remember to consider the time of day including changing the clock from daylight savings time. When the sun dips down, so does the temperature.

Serve warm beverages outside.

Think about the time your guests will be sitting and waiting for the ceremony to begin, and tighten up the processional. Perhaps have everyone wait indoors until ‘go’ time and then usher guests out in their very own processional, followed by the actual bridal party.

The ceremonies I create tend to be about a half an hour long, but if guests are already sitting down for 10 or 15 minutes before we even begin the processional, well… it adds up.

After the ceremony skip the receiving line, or at least don’t have it outdoors, and make sure there will be a good flow of guests so they can quickly get inside after the ceremony and not wind up standing in a big long line in the cold.

This is perfect!

And finally – have an indoor plan that you are happy with – so you can move inside if necessary. Please remember, while you may love the cold and be ready for it, all of your guests may not. A wedding isn’t only about the couple; it is about the family and friends who are there to support you. Please consider their needs.

There is no reason you can’t have an enjoyable outdoor experience if you are prepared.

Again, this is how its done!

 

Thank you Lisa Rhinehart Photography for these gorgeous photos.

 

 

 

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