An outdoor wedding in Ireland?
Are ya mad?
When planning a wedding in Ireland, the questions asked are usually; “Where is your church?” or “Which hotel will you be having it in?”. It’s not often that someone might ask “Will you be having your wedding indoors or outdoors?”. It’s just not a question we ask because with our changeable Irish weather we are not used to outdoor weddings. We may have grown up watching Hollywood movies where the weddings take place on the beach or in a beautiful garden surrounded by nature, but this just isn’t something most of us would consider in Ireland.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t happen here!
I have been to a few myself and of course they have been beautiful, and personally I think something a little different is always nice. But here’s a few things I would suggest to think about if you are considering having an outdoor wedding in Ireland.
Have a plan B…
Have a plan B. We can’t depend on the weather here, let’s face it, even in the height of July and August the day could be a total downpour. So be ready for rain. Have a sheltered place nearby where if on the day it does rain, the ceremony can easily be set up there instead.
I was singing at a wedding in this beautiful wedding venue in Killaloe called Anna Carriga Estate. The couple had hoped to have their ceremony outside. But just beforehand there looked to be a heavy shower on the way. So instead the chairs were set up inside the pavilion where the dinner was going to be. The shower passed and the guests and wedding party were able to enjoy the fabulous scenery outside and take beautiful photos.
Think about your guests…
Think about your guests sitting outside waiting for the wedding to start. If it’s a sunny day lucky you! They will be delighted to be out enjoying the sun. But be prepared for a cloudy day, a day there might be a chill in the air. Consider having some blankets left on the chairs so that if there is a bit of a breeze your guests can wrap the blankets around their shoulders. It’s a nice touch, and your guest will appreciate your consideration.
Think about the sound…
If your having your wedding outside it will most likely be a civil ceremony, be that humanist, Celtic or spiritual. Usually celebrants for these ceremonies don’t use microphones. They are able to project their voices and carry out the proceedings without any help from technology. However, sound works differently outside as to in the function room of a hotel. With no walls or ceilings to bounce off the celebrants voice will simply dissolve.
(I’m sure there is a much better description of the inner workings of physics within sound travel but I’m a singer not a scientist! :-P)
I was at an outdoor wedding in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon last summer, I was set up near the top, where the celebrant was, and even I struggled to hear what was being said. I could see the guests leaning forward and their faces frowning trying to hear what was going on.
For the wedding music, I had a couple of songs near the beginning of the ceremony and the rest were placed near the end. So once I had the first couple done I decided off my own bat, to bring my microphone over and offer it to the celebrant.
After that I could feel the atmosphere change and I got a couple of thankful nods and smiles from some of the guests. The rest of the ceremony was heard perfectly, including the bride and room saying their vows and the poems and readings said by guests.
If you are considering on having an outdoor wedding I would strongly recommend you think about this when making your plans. Speak with your celebrant, ask them if they have a speaker system or could they source one to use. Or if you have a musician, ask them if they could bring an extra microphone and lead that the celebrant and readers could use for the ceremony. It is definitely worth doing, after all you invited your guests to be with you during this special day it would be such a shame if they couldn’t hear you say “I do”.
Think about your musician…
If you are booking a musician or singer for your outdoor ceremony, please make sure to tell them! I have turned up to a couple of weddings where I hadn’t been told beforehand that they were having it outside. I bring my speaker system and portable piano with me to all weddings, but for me to able to use them I need power. Although I always bring an extension lead or two with me, more often than not the power supply is a lot further away than the length of my leads. I’ve always managed with the help of friendly hotel staff, but of course if I had known beforehand I would have been prepared and brought an extra long extension lead.
Also by giving your musician warning that they will be performing outside, you give them the opportunity to be prepared for rain. They can bring plastic covers for their equipment, and something to hold down the sheet music from being blown away.
Lastly a small thing that could easily be forgotten.
Think about your candles..
If you are having a candle ceremony at an outdoor wedding make sure you place you candles inside a lantern. This will protect them from being blown out!
The symbol of your infinite union extinguishing instantly isn’t really something you want!
So are you mad planning an outdoor wedding in Ireland?
Not at all, they are certainly possible, and can be magical. You just have a few extra things to consider to make it all work!
I hope that if you are planning an outdoor wedding that you found this helpful.
If you have any experiences of an outdoor wedding and know something that might help future couples please leave a comment!
PS. If you have any questions about your wedding you can contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org