How to get married virtually anywhere (with the help of an event tent)

While some couples still prefer a traditional wedding, held in a church or country house, there is a growing trend for getting married in more unusual places. People get hitched atop mountains, in local forests, aboard boats, in public parks, in zoos and safari parks, on beaches and in hundreds of other wacky and wonderful destinations.

If you’re the adventurous type and this sounds like your sort of wedding, you’ll need to do a bit more planning than the average wedding organiser. The reason for this is that there are lots more factors conspiring to potentially spoil your day, from terrible weather to problems with car parking and transport for your guests.

Here’s our guide to overcoming all obstacles and getting married virtually anywhere…

Get permission

The very first thing to do before you start planning any of the finer details is to find out whether you are actually allowed to get married there or not. Each venue will have different rules and regulations relating to everything from wedding licenses to consumption of alcohol. Some are licensed for weddings, but most won’t be – so you might need to plan an official ceremony at the registry office later on. You’ll also need to get in touch with your local council to find out about their rules, permits and regulations for weddings in public places.

Get a roof over your head

If there is no building of any kind at your dream wedding destination, you’ll need to sort out some form of shelter. Even if you hold your wedding at the height of summer, it could still rain and spoil your day. How much shelter you think you need is up to you, whether it’s a large marquee for emergencies or a full event tent to hold your whole wedding in. The beauty of an event tent or marquee is that it can be popped up virtually anywhere, as long as there is enough space and the owner of the land gives you permission. It’s your key to holding a wedding virtually anywhere!

Umbrellas, blankets and sun cream at the ready!

To pull off an outdoor wedding in a venue that is not normally equipped for such events, you need to be one step ahead of the weather. Be prepared with umbrellas, blankets and warm clothing for bad weather (along with sensible shoes!) and sun cream and parasols just in case it’s a very hot day. Think of the comfort of your guests, and take steps to make sure everyone is warm, dry and having a great time.

Consider access

You might think it’s the most romantic idea ever to get married in the middle of a lake or in a treehouse, but some of your guests might not agree. You need to consider things like local parking and transport links as well as access for disabled and elderly guests. Plan out everything as if you were a guest yourself, even down to walking the route from the car park to the venue to check for potential hazards and problems. Also – don’t forget to plan access for all of your suppliers, from the caterers and musicians to the team setting up your event tent.

Come up with a Plan B

There’s more chance of something going wrong with an unconventional wedding, compared to one held in a traditional venue. This means you’ll need a Plan B, or to be more accurate, lots of Plan Bs. It may not be fun, but you need to imagine absolutely everything that could potentially go wrong on your big day and come up with a plan to avoid or resolve it. You might not need any of your back-up plans, but it’s reassuring to know that you’re ready for anything.

Watch out for the wind

The wind can ruin the best-planned of outdoor weddings, from blowing up bridesmaids dresses to blowing away the marquee. You need to prepare for it by ensuring every event tent or structure is properly secured, that dresses aren’t made of light, overly flimsy material, plenty of hairspray is used to secure hairstyles and that nothing can be blown away.

Can everyone hear you?

If you’re holding your event in a busy, noisy public place or in an exposed outdoor location with the wind rushing around, your guests may struggle to hear what’s going on. Make sure everything from vows to the best man’s speech can be clearly heard with a proper sound system.

Keep decorations simple

When your wedding isn’t held in a traditional venue, one that is set up for weddings, you’ll need to do a lot of the decorating and styling yourself. You can make life a lot easier on yourself by sticking to simple, portable decorations – i.e. candles and flowers – and keeping your theme low-key. However, if you’re having the whole wedding in an event tent, you can be a bit more elaborate with the decorations, or you can keep things simple by doing all of your decorating with lighting. If your wedding is held in a public place, such as a local park, you could arrange for the grass to be freshly mown and the flower beds tidied up before the big day.

Choose suppliers with experience in unusual weddings

This will be a huge help, as caterers, photographers, musicians and florists who have supplied weddings in unconventional locations won’t be fazed by the challenge. They may even come up with great practical ideas to help plan the day. The same goes for the venue – if you choose a location that has hosted at least one wedding before, you’ll find the whole process a lot easier.

Ultimately, it’s not impossible to hold a wedding in a really unusual location and for the day to run smoothly – but you will need to put in the work and do some thorough planning to make it a success. Good luck!



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