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Open-air affair

Outdoor weddings are set to soar in popularity with a prospective law change on the horizon that could lift restrictions on permitted wedding venues. The Law Commission has announced a two-year review of marriage ceremonies across England and Wales, including rules dating back to the Victorian era, with an expected overhaul set to open up new avenues for couples wanting to wed al fresco. Inspired by this prospective shift, the wedding specialists at LPM Bohemia have kindly shared with us their top tips for a seamless celebration under the stars…

Open-air affair: Image 1

1 – Ensure your outdoor setup complements its surroundings

Introducing a canopy or marquee to your outdoor event will serve as both functional and decorative, and there’s a myriad of different forms to suit your style. Ensure your supplier considers the setting for your structure and how well the shape and size will sit against the backdrop. A beautifully crafted tent should complement its surroundings, and positioning and scale are crucial to the overall aesthetic. Think vistas, sight-lines and backgrounds; walk the course and ensure your marquee does not obstruct or detract from the surrounding views or gardens.

Open-air affair: Image 1b

2 – Bring the outdoors in

Whether using a marquee as an extension of a property or a standalone structure, it should blend seamlessly into its surroundings and bringing the outdoors in is a great way to achieve this. There’s a growing trend towards wooden-framed, natural canvas structures that feature wooden flooring and botanical-print cotton linings. Table settings and flowers aside, there are plenty of ways to bring greenery into the space; from dressing the beams with leafy foliage, to incorporating beautiful displays of plants and trees as the centrepiece or entranceway to the marquee.

Open-air affair: Image 2

3 - Take your guests on a memorable journey

With a marquee wedding at home or at a beautiful venue, consider the route of your celebrations as you move through the day into the night with your guests. Take your wedding party on a considered journey along the unfolding chapters of your celebration - from arrival drinks to the ceremony, to your reception, to dinner, and on to the party. Make the most of the different areas within the grounds and/or venue, creating unexpected surprises around each corner. Closely planning each detail in advance will enable smooth-running on the day.

Open-air affair: Image 2b

4 – Create an ease of flow around the venue

Carefully consider your floorplan and site map to ensure a seamless flow for guests, particularly if using several locations or venturing between indoors and out. Your supplier can advise on getting the most out of your space; whether that’s choosing round banquet tables or long trestle tables, and where to position your bar area or dancefloor. Ensure the essentials such as refreshments and bathrooms are easily accessible and signposted for guests, planned with the overall headcount in mind. 

Open-air affair: Image 3

5 – Make it personal

A celebration of marriage is extremely personal and emotional, and it's important to reflect this in your chosen venue and décor. Unlike fixed properties or purpose-built event spaces, the great outdoor offers a blank canvas to be dressed and styled to suit your vision, with many elements customisable beyond simply choosing your favourite flowers or table settings. Think about the grand entrance to your marquee, the colour or print of its interior lining, and any additional rooms to sit alongside the main space – from cocktail lounges to chill-out yurts.  

Open-air affair: Image 3b

6 – Remember: less is more

It’s easy to fill a venue with beautiful accessories and décor, particularly with an industry bursting at the seams with fresh ideas and offerings to complement your wedding. But don't let the purity of your matrimony become unnecessarily over-complicated with novelties; keep in mind that this celebration is about you, and focus on the elements that best capture your desired aesthetic and atmosphere within the space.   

Open-air affair: Image 4

7 - Get the basics right to set the mood

Sound, lighting and temperature control are extremely important to setting the overall ambience for the event. Think about how the natural light will change throughout the course of the day, and where support is needed when the evening sets in. Trial your acoustics as these will vary with each venue and the weather conditions on the day. If you are intending on using an outside space, remember to have a back-up plan, such as a marquee, which not only offers a focal point but protection from any unpredictable weather, too.

Open-air affair: Image 4b

8 - Above all, relax!

There are often high expectations for hosts to do something outstanding and the pressures can be overwhelming, but the most important thing is to have fun and surround yourselves with the people and things that you love. This is all about you!

For more information about LPM Bohemia, visit: www.lpmbohemia.com

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