Filled with seaside nuptials and alfresco receptions, there’s no denying that summer is the most popular time to say "I do." For Loulie Walker, president of Loulie Walker Events, a full-service event planning, coordinating, and consulting firm based in New York City, tented weddings are a specialty and she has arranged them in destinations across the country, from New York and Jupiter Island, Fla., to a private ranch in Colorado.
All of Walker's clients rely on her creative and fresh approach, her discretion and sensitivity to their individual needs, and her insider’s knowledge of the industry to help them create the best wedding possible.
Here, she’s sharing her expert advice for planning the perfect outdoor summer wedding, gathered from years of experience in creating a dream day for the most discerning brides and grooms.
• Complement your surroundings. Whether the wedding is on a beach, a horse farm, or a ranch, the décor and design should enhance the natural backdrop, not compete with it.
• Have a back-up plan. Outdoor weddings require a Plan A and a Plan B. In the event of inclement weather, have your rain plan ready for your guests and your vendors.
• Timing is crucial. Consider the sunset and twilight times when deciding the start of your ceremony and be sure to leave enough daylight for your pictures, whether before or after the ceremony.
• Consider the elements. Take into consideration the many elements of summer weather — sun, humidity, insects — and the comfort of your guests.
Some ideas include:
• With any lawn wedding, be sure to have the grass cut and sprayed for bugs a day or two before the wedding.
• Greet guests with a refreshing mocktail such as a peach ginger lemonade or cucumber fizz.
• Offer brightly colored paper parasols or handheld paper fans to keep cool.
• Place baskets with small atomizers of bug repellent around the wedding.