Welcome back to #WeddingWednesday, our semi-weekly column where we bring you wedding tips, tricks, crafts, interviews, and interesting Chicago wedding happenings from Chicago’s creative wedding venue, Catalyst Ranch.  

‘Tis the season for outdoor weddings!   An outdoor wedding, of course, has more variables than an indoor one, but is absolutely worth the effort!  Outdoor summer weddings might add a few additional steps to your planning process, but also offer opportunities for you to get brilliantly creative!  Also, nature can play a part in helping you take the best wedding photo ever!  (See Lily and Michael below!)  Here are five quick tips for outdoor wedding perfection.

michael and lily wedding pic

1.) Take good care of your guests!

If it is particularly hot, help everyone stay hydrated by providing plenty of water.  If you don’t want people swatting mosquitos during the I Do’s, offer your guests some bug repellant.  Folks may not have planned ahead and brought their own sunglasses or fans, but you can save the day AND turn those items into fun wedding favors!

cool sunglasses-wedding-favors

To provide these essentials but keep your wedding style, presentation is everything.  Get creative with personalized labels that match your theme.   Put sunscreen in a pretty vintage dispenser.  Even bug spray can be adorable if you package it correctly.

bug spray basket

2.) Lighting

There are endless possibilities with simple strands of white holiday lights.  Create a starry night under a tent or wrap lights around trees.  Choose unique lanterns, rustic or elegant, to add color and personality.  Outdoor lanterns can be placed underneath tables for some unexpected illumination.  Bonus! Strategically placed citronella candles can help keep the bugs away!

cake table light


3.) Seating

Make sure the seating is comfortable yet durable enough for outdoor use.  Covering hay bales with fabric is a beautiful way to create seating for your ceremony.  I attended a wedding where each hay bale was covered with a beautiful quilt made by someone in the bride or groom’s family. The colors really popped against the natural landscape and expressed how important family is to the couple.

rustic wedding seating

4.) Footwear

The shoes make the outfit, so pick the right ones!  Just because a wedding takes place in the great outdoors does not mean you need to wear flip flops or even flats.  Wedges are a super stylish choice that will keep you stable on uneven terrain and be comfortable enough to dance the night away!

If you really want to wear your heels, get a set of these nifty high heel protectors.  Who knew this amazingly invention existed?! Put these puppies over your heels to protect your shoes and save yourself from sinking into the grass!

heel protector

5.) Makeup Setting Spray

Use a make-up setting spray to keep your face in place!  Believe me, it is magic!  No bride or bridesmaid should be without it!

Whatever the weather on your wedding day, it will be a beautiful day if you plan properly and expect the unexpected!  Do you have an outdoor wedding tip or mishap to share?  We want to know, so make comment below!