Celebrity Weddings

Tips to Consider When Braving the Outdoors

With so many new breathtaking outdoor wedding venues sprouting up each year, it’s no wonder so many couples in Lebanon are opting to say their “I dos” under the stars.  From Faraya to Arnaoon, your choices are many and can range from an extravagant wedding village to a cozy garden setting.  But before you get swept away with the idea of a romantic garden wedding or consumed with the thought of an intimate beach wedding, be sure to consider the following factors which must be accounted for when planning an outdoor wedding.  
While indoor weddings can be held virtually any time of year, outdoor weddings require more consideration in terms of season and weather.  If you have your heart set on a beach wedding or a venue by the coast, it is best to plan for May or September.  These months, while still warm, are less humid than mid-summer months and will be much more comfortable for both you and your guests.  Alternately, if you are planning your big day in one of the many mountain resorts, the months of June through August are ideal to avoid cooler temperatures and evade the extra expense of outdoor heating.  Since the weather in Lebanon is becoming increasingly unpredictable, consider the option of erecting a tent or canopy.  Not only will this provide shelter from the sun for guests if it is a day wedding, but it also serves as a backup in case your luck runs out and it rains.  
Consider timing your outdoor wedding for sunset; taking your vows surrounded by the warm glow of the sun is nothing short of romantic. If you prefer a daytime outdoor wedding, you should orient the ceremony so that the sun will be on your guests' backs rather than in their eyes. Don’t forget to factor in lighting for post-ceremony photos of the bride and groom; that is, if you are planning a sunset ceremony, make sure that it finishes in time to give you perfect lighting for photos as well.  
One of the bonuses of an outdoor wedding is the natural beauty around you, lessening your need to decorate. Let the setting speak for itself and rather than compete with Mother Nature, let it serve to subtly enhance your background.  Choose a complementary color palette and décor items; depending on your setting, natural items such as shells, pinecones, vines or berries can provide gorgeous décor inspiration.  In addition, when selecting your blooms, be sure that they can brave all sorts of weather; the safer options include calla lilies and sunflowers.  
The key to a successful outdoor wedding menu is keeping it simple.  Discuss the options with your caterer and ensure that the items you select can withstand varied temperatures.  It is best to avoid dishes that contain mayonnaise or dishes that absolutely must be served chilled.  An advantage of outdoor weddings is that they allow for live cooking stations, not just for pastas but also for meats and poultry which would otherwise have filled the ballroom with their aromas.  Be sure to keep your guests refreshed.  Since the weather will be warm, you will require a range of beverages, including festive summer cocktails, to keep your guests hydrated and comfortable.  
Outdoor weddings provide a host of options for favors.  Consider selecting favors which are both decorative and functional such as personalized fans to keep your guests cool.  Alternately, for an evening celebration at a mountain resort, personalized pashminas will not only keep your guests warm should the weather take a turn for the worst, but are also a unique favor which guests are bound to save as a keepsake from your big day!
Additional costs
One of the most significant factors for a couple when deciding on whether to host an indoor or outdoor wedding is the additional costs involved in the latter.  First and foremost are the rental fees of the venue; additional costs may also include cleaning staff for bathrooms, rental of a backup generator, equipment rental including chairs, tables and dance floor as well as valet charges. Photographers may also require additional equipment for an outdoor venue and if your venue is a fair distance from your caterer, food transportation fees may apply. For most venues, these additional fees amount to a significant increase in the total cost of the wedding.  Thus, before making the decision to go for an outdoor venue, ensure that you are fully aware of all additional charges in order to avoid extra costs (which have not been budgeted for) popping up in the planning process.
Emilio Pucci 2019
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