Outdoor ceremonies are becoming a popular choice this year for couples, and we can understand why after the long hot summer of 2018! Getting married outside, with the scent of Spring flowers, the warmth of the sun and the backdrop of the manicured gardens can be both stylish and romantic.
If you’re lucky enough to get the weather, you can hold your ceremony in a choice of two places at Colshaw Hall – the Magnolia Garden and the Walled Garden. Both are lovely areas to tie the knot at this Cheshire country estate wedding venue.
Shelley Jones (Event Director at Colshaw Hall) always recommends the Magnolia Garden as her preferred spot for couples.
“Not only is it particularly pretty, but it also creates a separate zone for your ceremony, so afterwards you can move seamlessly through to the walled garden for your drinks reception. It’s a personal choice, of course, but having two distinct areas means that your guests don’t need to see the dismantling and reassembling required if you have your ceremony and drinks reception in one location”.
If an outdoor ceremony is part of your dream day, then Colshaw Hall would be delighted to make this happen for you. Planning for one is essential, and there a few things that our wedding team here urge you to consider to make sure your day goes without a hitch.
1) The Weather
Sadly, this is the one area that is outside of our control, but we certainly always prepare for it! We ask you to inform us whether you would like an outdoor ceremony, ideally at the time of booking and the very latest at your final meet. Once we know that an outside location is your preferred choice, our team will monitor the ground conditions in the weeks before your wedding date. Even though you may have a beautiful day forecast, if there have been extended periods of rain beforehand, it can make the lawns unsuitable. Because of this, the decision to be outdoors or indoors usually takes place at least a week before your wedding date.
If it’s been dry on the run up to your wedding, but rain forecast for the day, a decision is typically made at 9 am on the day itself, giving the team time to prepare for your ceremony.
For all outdoor services at Colshaw Hall, we ensure guests do also book the ceremony hall, so there are no further costs. Our team will arrange the chairs outside and give you some options on layout, and we will transport them back in if the weather dictates!
Our most important piece of advice is to be open-minded about where your ceremony will take place. Both interior and exterior locations are beautiful, so let the team, and the great British weather advise you, and you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time.
We would always recommend the hire of an aisle carpet for an outdoor ceremony (you can do this through our events team) as not only does it look fantastic but it also provides firmer footing for your wedding shoes. You don’t want to be sinking in the grass in your most beautiful heels!
We also recommend that your ceremony features a microphone so that your guests at the back can hear the service clearly (sound carries differently outside). A sound system is also easily arranged through our events team.
Your flowers are perhaps the most significant consideration for an outdoor ceremony – they can transform an indoor or outdoor space. You should chat through a plan B with your florist should you need to go indoors on the day. Many arrangements can be carried through indoors by your florists, but some arrangements will be suited to the inside or outside, so chat this through with your supplier. Colshaw Hall works with many experienced florists who know the venue well, so we can pass on our recommendations. If you’re sourcing your own florists, then ask them to visit the venue beforehand, so they are prepared for a last minute change.
3) Your guest’s attire!
If your outdoor ceremony looks promising, it may be worth letting your guests know so they can wear suitable clothes. If you want to keep it a secret, then you can ask them to prep for a drinks reception on the lawn. Wedged sandals for ladies means they will be more practical on the grass, hats (particularly for the elderly and the young) are a good idea to make it more comfortable for people during your ceremony if the sun is shining down.
Colshaw Hall’s recommended Event Planners, Irlam Warburton Events also advise to use accessories that can complement your outside ceremony.
“Think about getting personalised fans for every guest to put on the chairs. We have sourced order of ceremony cards that also transform into fans which is a lovely idea. The little details can make all the difference”.
4) Outdoor refreshments
If it is due to be very hot, then a refreshment station set up near to where the ceremony is due to take place is always a good idea. Depending on the nature of your requirements, our events team or Barret’s Event Catering can arrange this for you. Having glasses of cool water to hand on a hot is always a good idea!
With the right preparation and open mind, an outdoor ceremony can be everything you want it to be. We look forward to seeing the garden ceremonies in 2019 and beyond!
Pics: Shelley Jones & Richard Milnes Photography