Tips for Planning an Outdoor Florida Wedding

Having an outdoor wedding in Florida can be nerve wracking. Along with our gorgeous scenery comes some pretty crazy weather. Sunny in the morning, thundering in the afternoon, and then gorgeous again come evening. Some people choose to just avoid dealing with it and go all indoor (which I totally get) but they miss out on the wild, timeless beauty of nature. Since I've been a part of more than a few weddings, I'm sharing some tips today so you can see that it's totally possible to have a dreamy outdoor wedding in Florida.

 
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Tip # 1 : Know Your History

If you've already chosen your date, then go to Weather Underground and check out the average temperatures and precipitation for that month. For example, in Jacksonville, August typically has a high of 90 and precipitation of 0.21 inches. In contrast, December has a high of 71 and precipitation of 0.07.  So if you haven't chosen a date, and really want to avoid a hot and humid wedding day, then knowing the weather history of your area would be a big help.  Also, if there is going to be a thunderstorm, it usually comes sometime after lunch.  So although it can be tricky, having a wedding in the AM would definitely reduce the risk of heavy rain. 

Tip #2: Always Have a Plan B

If you don't like the weather, just wait 20 minutes and maybe you will. Rain in Florida can come and go super quickly. So even if the forecast says sunny, make sure you and your guests can get covered quickly. You can do that with umbrellas on hand, a venue that has both outdoor and indoor spaces, or a beautiful, see-through tent. (I love these even if it's not raining!) 

Tip #3: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!!

The Florida sun is beautiful and warm but also very strong. Between the photos and ceremony, you and your wedding party can be outside for several hours. And in the excitement and busyness of the day, it's so easy to forget to drink water.  As a photographer I make sure to hydrate really well the day before and as much as I can during the wedding. If you don't, it's really easy to get a headache, start feeling cranky, dizzy, or, in rare cases, pass out during the ceremony. So be sure to have plenty of water available for you and the wedding party. Maybe even appoint someone bossy-water-boy/girl to make sure that everyone in the wedding party is chugging their H20, including the bride and groom. ;) 

Tip #4: Don't Forget Your Clothes

What you wear will have a big impact on how you feel throughout your wedding day. Context is so important when choosing your dress/tux/bridesmaid dress. You wouldn't wear a bikini to go ice fishing, and you probably wouldn't wear a full snowboarding outfit to hang out at the beach. So think about the weather and venue when choosing your outfit.  

Since the beach is often windy, a strappy, body-skimming dress with great movement in a softer fabric is amazing. Not only will you be comfortable, but you know that you look amazing whatever the weather throws at you. ;) If you're having a summer, garden wedding, be careful of gowns with lots of layers of tulle. For whatever reason, gnats love it and I've had brides with tons of them caught in their skirt. It's a quick fix in pictures, but it doesn't make your feel your best knowing you're carrying a ton of bugs down the aisle with you. Yuck!

If the thought of all this makes your head spin, I'm introducing a styling service to my wedding and portrait clients, to help you think through the perfect clothing choices for you.

Tip #5: Roll With It

Weather is at the top of the list of things we can't control, so don't let it stress you. Kissing in the rain is SUPER romantic. Remember THAT movie scene? You know that one I'm talking about... 

 
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this one...

 
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...and this one... and... and... and...

and there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of rainy romance scenes. If you don't believe me, ask Google. ;) It makes me wish I had a rainy wedding day! Nothing is as gorgeous as a couple so in love, that not even the weather can pull them apart.  

So moral of the story,
plan as best you can, and then
enjoy everything your amazing wedding day brings.

 

Go ahead and share your outdoor wedding musts in the comments. Sharing is caring! ;)