As a venue that can offer outdoor wedding ceremonies, we wanted to share with you our top tips to make sure your special day goes off without a hitch!
Sadly in the UK you cannot book the weather – so always make certain if you are planning to have an outdoor ceremony you have an indoor area as a back up. Rain or snow are the most obvious risk factors to not being able to get married outdoors in the UK. So you want to make sure your wedding venue has an alternative location if the day turns out to be wet or freezing cold! Here at Manor Hill House, we are an exclusive use venue with two sets of furniture allowing us the flexibility to have both the indoor licensed room and the lawn set up for your ceremony simultaneously. We can make the final call on the location for your wedding ceremony on the morning depending on how you feel and where you wish your marriage to take place.
If you are planning a summer wedding, you may want to think about the heat and how your guests will feel sitting out in it for the duration of your ceremony. You will want to avoid the hottest part of the day and think about ways that will help keep guests nice and cool! We offer ceremonies after 2pm meaning the peak of the day’s heat has been avoided and your guests won’t be sweltering, a great tip for hot weather is to have some handheld fans in a basket for guests to help themselves to prior to taking their seats. We also have large gazebos that we can put out on our lawn for any guests you may be concerned about sitting out in the sun for too long.
If it is especially hot we can put out a water station on the lawn for guests to keep hydrated in the sunshine, lastly don’t forget the sun cream! No bride wants to be bright red on her wedding day.
If you are outdoors you are going to want to ensure all of your guests can hear you saying your vows. Check where your venue’s outdoor ceremony location is and check whether it is near any noisy roads. Luckily we are off the beaten track and located in the countryside where it is very tranquil and quiet. We close the gate to the venue once a ceremony is taking place to ensure no cars can come through and disturb the ambience. Music can be played from our terrace down onto the lawn, meaning no guests will have to be sat close to a speaker which may be too loud for them, nor will any sound equipment be present in your photos! If you are having an outdoor ceremony, talk to your DJ/ band in relation to providing the ceremony music.
When you visualise your wedding ceremony in your mind and the beautiful décor ideas, consider what the weather impact may be on the day. For example, having rose petals down the aisle may not be a good idea if it is windy and these will be all over the place, the same goes for candles, they are particularly challenging, LED candles in lanterns are particularly pretty and less hazardous. The whole point of an outdoor wedding is to admire the beauty around and just to dress it up with some extras. Flowers at the end of the aisle seats are a lovely idea but you will need to take the heat into consideration; if it’s a hot day flowers will quickly wilt. You will want to put these out as late as possible, we recommend 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time to ensure they look fresh and not drab.
Consider your wedding dress choice if you are aiming for an outdoor wedding, you won’t want something that will make you too hot and feel like you may faint. Something light and airy will keep you cooler on a hot day, maybe consider a reception dress to change into on the evening if you desire a certain look. If you are planning on wearing stilettos down the aisle, check the ground is hard and you won’t sink! Or you can buy heel stoppers to pop on the end of your shoes that act as a guard on softer ground.
Don’t forget the boys.. the men will want to consider the material of their suits is appropriate for the time of year they are marrying. Tweed suits for example look amazing and the colours they do can really make a groom stand out, however a three-piece tweed suit may be too much on a hot day! Consider lighter materials and maybe a fresh shirt for the evening reception to change into.
Here at Manor Hill House, as we are exclusive use we luckily can have the outside ceremony and in the indoor space all set up if we are unsure on the weather forecast. We can and have made the decision as to where to host the wedding ceremony as late as 30 minutes before the ceremony! If our couple wish to get married outside, we will do everything in our power to ensure this happens. Even if the weather isn’t looking promising our licensed indoor ceremony over looks our beautiful gardens, allowing you to still have that country element to your day and the need to ‘dress’ the room is very minimal. Once the weather has cleared, the outdoor pavilion is beautiful for taking photographs and for those confetti shots!