Outdoor Weddings

On this Tuesday, August 6th, I look out on my back deck through the glass doors at a fierce summer storm, golf ball size hail showering my deck in a windswept downpour.  Ironically, I am on the phone with a bride planning an outdoor ceremony.  I think back on all of the outdoor weddings the trio has played. I really do get the fantasy of the beautiful garden wedding - yellow, red and deep purple flowers blazing in the sun on a balmy June day with nary a mosquito in site and the air calm.  Then I remember back to the Horse and Hunt Club ceremony outdoors in Prior Lake, Minnesota – winds blowing, dogs barking as they chased by us after a red fox, and my music stand doing cartwheels to my left as it took off in the wind.  Then the rain started and we ran for shelter with the bride and her attendants not far behind.  There was the wedding on a knoll at the Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota.  I could see the gray storm clouds gather above as we bravely played through the prelude music.  We started the processional, and the mist started to fall.  Guests with large golf umbrellas ran towards us to cover my 1934 Italian violin, the cellist’s 18th century cello and the silver and gold flute as the heavens burst in a downpour.  The bride had a vintage car waiting below the knoll and she and the groom said quick vows and ran for the car.  We looked like a strange crew, heading for shelter quite far from the site where we were playing, with valiant guests keeping our music and instruments dry under the shelter of umbrellas.  So, if you are determined to have an outdoor wedding in unpredictable Minnesota here are some planning tips from me:

Step One: Find your outdoor venue

Step Two: Make sure they have an indoor alternative!

Step Three: Make sure they have an indoor alternative!

Step Four: Make sure they have an indoor alternative!

Definition of “indoor alternative” – A structure with a roof and walls that has a heat source if the temperature drops suddenly! 

Step Five: Make sure the site is handicap accessible and has suitable paths for guests to reach the outdoor ceremony site.

Step Six: Decide how many hours in advance of the ceremony you will make the decision to move inside due to inclement weather.  Leave enough time to contact your guests and have a method of notifying your guests of the change if the indoor option is not near the outdoor venue.  For example, if your wedding is at 1PM, commit to deciding whether it will be indoors or outdoors 3 hours before the event.  DO HAVE AN INDOOR ALTERNATIVE!!! That way, you can contact your guests and vendors and make a solid decision, maintain your makeup and not have mud on your gorgeous wedding dress!

 Copyright 2013, The Crocus Hill Trio