There are so many things to consider when having an outdoor wedding. For starters, weather is a huge consideration. I don’t know about you, but I certainly have no control over the weather. Even when weather patterns and history tell you the weather will be fine, you never know when Mother Nature will throw you a curve ball.
The Dreaded Rain
A few years ago I had a wedding over the 4th of July weekend, which in this part of the country is normally really hot and sunny. Just as I finished setting up the guest tables, a huge down pour of rain arrived, wetting all the linens, place settings, chairs….the flowers were fine, water doesn’t hurt them, but the catering company had to go around and dry everything off…again dishes, silverware, glasses and chairs. The poor DJ went running to cover up his equipment…water and electricity definitely don’t mix!
Have a Plan B
Just in case the unexpected really does happen, have a alternate plan. A tent, in this case, would have prevented all the extra work of wiping off the place settings and chairs and would have protected the DJ’s equipment.
Tents are also a good way to keep the sun off you, your guests and your flowers. What types of flowers will hold up best at your outdoor site? Considerations include the expected temperatures and where the sun will be relative to the flowers. I can’t think of a single cut flower that does well with the hot sun beating down on it!
Some flowers hold up better than others with warmer temperatures. Hydrangeas, gardenias and peony, for example, are incredibly intolerant of heat. If your outdoor event will include temperatures above 75 degrees, I don’t recommend using these types of flowers. Flowers that hold up better in temperatures above 75 degrees are your tropical flowers like orchids, ginger, protea and heliconia. More common flowers that hold up in just about any conditions include carnations and mums.
This same July wedding started out with my brides wanting to use peony for her centerpieces. I advised against it for the reasons noted above. Then she asked for hydrangeas and again I had to advise against it. I will always do what the bride wants me to do, but in cases where I’m pretty sure the flowers will not hold up, I will also tell my brides that I will not guarantee the flowers will hold up. If they still want to use those flowers, then, okay, I will do it.
In this case, we ended up using spider mums, which held up fabulously. As a compromise, I did all the bridal party bouquets using peony, so the bride got to have some of her favorite flowers close to her for her special day.