Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Perfect Outdoor Wedding in America's Cleanest City

Are you living in Miami and planning your wedding? Living in such an ideal city - ranked “America’s Cleanest City” for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets, and city-wide recycling program, plus beautiful beaches on the Atlantic Ocean - you have an abundance of options when it comes to planning where the ceremony and reception will be held – but, have you ever contemplated having an outdoor wedding? Outdoor weddings are romantic and beautiful, and due to Miami’s true tropical climate, you are able to plan a picture-perfect wedding, basically year-round. Miami tends to have hot, humid summers, and warm winters – a wedding outside is usually always possible – although the city can sometimes experience cold fronts from late October to March. But, we have provided you with all the steps to planning an outdoor wedding in Miami year-round.

Miami is also the floral hub of North America, with 32,000 boxes of flowers being shipped into the Miami airport everyday. If you are looking for Miami flower delivery for your wedding you are definitely in the right city, since you will have access to the freshest flowers from a multitude of growers. You will be able to host your wedding in one of Miami’s lush outdoor venues, and decorate accordingly with fresh cut floral arrangements.

Ten Tips for the Perfect Outdoor Wedding
1. Make your guests comfortable: Consider what the weather will be like based on the time of day and the time of year you plan to have your wedding. If it is sunny and hot, don’t leave your guests uncomfortably melting, have ushers serve your guests ice-cold bottles of water when they are seated. Other ideas include having your wedding program double as a fan to cool guests off; plus, have plenty of sunscreen on hand for guests to slather on their bare shoulders, arms, or backs. You could also consider renting large electric fans to cool off guests (remember: you would need to rent a generator too) or you can use a tent to shade the sun rays and provide some heat relief. If your wedding is going to be on a cooler, damp day, make sure to tell your guests to bring extra layers – you might even want to have lap blankets on hand, or rent portable heaters.

2. Have a backup plan: What are you going to do if you wake up the day of your wedding and see threatening rain clouds hanging overhead? The ideal outdoor location (which we will discuss later) would also have an indoor location on site too, just in case of inclement weather. If your location doesn’t have indoor facilities too you can rent a tent, as another option, but this only works for light to moderate rain. A heavy rain will soak the ground underneath, leaving guests with soggy shoes. Also: make sure that any tent you rent is sturdy so it won’t flip over. Thick, weighted sides also help ensure the tent is sturdy.

3.Plan for wind: Planning for wind is also part of having a backup plan. Many outdoor wedding unfortunately suffer from windy conditions; so in order to ensure that things still run smoothly avoid light fabrics like chiffons and china silks in your dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses. When you are getting your hair styled for your big day make sure to tell your stylist that you are having an outdoor wedding, this way they are able to style your hair accordingly.

4. Can everybody hear?: When you picture your dream wedding at the beach, you probably aren’t envisioning the roar of the ocean waves, the rushing of the wind, and the local kids running and screaming about. Therefore, you should look into renting a sound system with clip mikes for the bride, groom, and officiant. Your DJ or band (if you are having one) may be able to set this up for you.

5. Decorations: One of the wonderful advantages to having an outdoor wedding is the natural beauty that surrounds your venue. Due to this natural beauty, you don’t need to invest so much in decorating – perhaps, only chair ties, and flowers are needed. Other decorations you may want to consider are: an arch or trellis to focus on the ceremony and frame the bride and groom as they say their vows, strings of lights or lanterns in the trees, or torches.

6.Make things tasty outside: Does your caterer have experience planning an outdoor wedding menu? This is probably something you want to check. Make sure they are planning dishes that will keep well outdoors in the heat. Avoid foods that contain mayonnaise or dishes which must be served cold.

7.Don’t leave your guests parched: As previously stated have your ushers hand out ice-cold water bottles to guests as they are seated for the ceremony. Also consider serving a variety of lemonades, teas, and punches, instead of alcohol, which is dehydrating. Be sure to have plenty of ice and cold water around too. If you are serving cocktails, serve fancy drinks like mint julep or a mojita – the mint will refresh and cool your guests.

8.Those pesky flying things: Be sure to put out citronella candles or a bug zapper so your guests won’t spend the ceremony swatting at the air.
9.Here comes the sun: Consider timing your outdoor wedding for sunset where your guests will see you take your vows surrounded by the warm glow of the sun. If you are having a daytime ceremony, however, orient the ceremony so that the sun will be on the guests’ backs, not in their eyes.

10.Permits: Don’t forget to contact your city parks department or other local government to get a permit for an outdoor wedding. Be sure to ask about the rules surrounding trash removal, candle or torch lighting, and pre-wedding photographs.

Well, there you have it – the top ten tips/things to remember when you are planning an outdoor wedding. Although these weddings come with additional caveats and pitfalls, if you follow these tips you will be sure to shine on your wedding day.

And as promised, here is a list of the ten more popular (and beautiful) places to have an outdoor wedding in Miami, Florida.
-The Zen House
-Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
-Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
-Koubek Mansion and Gardens
-Miami Shores Country Club
-Coral Gables’ Venetian Pool
-Fastrack Charters
-Kovens Conference Centre at Florida International University
-Grand Salon Reception Hall
-Birdside Bouquet Hall

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