So you are planning on holding your wedding ceremony outside under the open blue sky! What a great idea, but there are some things I’ve learned being a DJ in the Fort Wayne area in the past 15 years and doing many outdoor events.
- Always have a back up plan. In Indiana, you have about 40 days that are perfect for a wedding and if you choose one of those days, perfect. Otherwise rain, wind, heat and the sun are your enemies. I have seen about 35% of my weddings move into the barn or reception hall for the ceremony. In many instances, the bride was in tears, because of the move, but in every instance, it turned out amazing! You can pray all you want for a beautiful day, but Mother Nature doesn’t seem to play favorites!
- Have a gathering place prior to the ceremony. Guests arrive early and don’t like sitting in the hot sun. In lieu of erecting a huge tent which is expensive for a 15 minute ceremony guests can gather under smaller tents, a clump of trees or in the reception hall, anywhere there is shade, and be led out to the wedding area about 5 – 10 minutes prior to the ceremony by the ushers.
- What about providing fans and even small umbrellas for the elderly and those bothered by the sun on a very hot day? It’s a nice touch your guests will appreciate. When playing wedding music, I set up a 10×10 tent in the back to protect my equipment and we usually provide a few chairs in the left over space for those needing the shade. It’s all about guest’s comfort.
- I have seen couples put a big tin bucket (available at a farm supply store) filled with ice and small mini-water bottles in the back behind the seats. Two weddings even had the bride and groom’s name on the label.
- You would think in the open outdoors, you don’t need a mic. Yes you do! There are not walls for sound to carry and your guests will see your lips moving but hear no sound. Consult with your wedding DJ on the best way to accomplish this.
- On the same token, amplify your music. A boombox or phone with a speaker will get lost in the great outdoors. Again, your wedding DJ will have the power to make Here Comes the Bride a grand entrance!
- Check your walk path to the alter. This may sound silly, but I played wedding music for a couple in a barnyard path and one of the Bridesmaids stepped in a small mud filled hole, twisted her ankle and had to limp to the alter with mud covering her shoe. Make sure there are no potholes or rocks!
- Have someone wipe off seats prior to the wedding, especially if it’s recently rained or is very dusty. Plan ahead and take some towels. Be sure and check the chairs in advance for broken or bent legs. Rental chairs get used constantly, so prevent any accidents.
- Start on time. Many of the outdoor weddings where I’ve played the wedding music always seem to start late leaving the guests sitting in the sun way too long.
- Spray for mosquitos, especially for a sundown wedding. Barnyards and backyards can be brutal for the pesky creatures and a lot of lawn maintenance services office this as a service.Follow these great tips and your wedding under the open skies will be amazing!Dan Surface, Fort Wayne DJs, 260-466-4600 http:/fortwaynedjs.com