I know I shouldn’t be greedy. Our wedding day, after all, will be beautifully sunny as of right now. But look at all those beautiful temperatures in the 60s. And then our wedding day? PLUMMET. We knew this was a risk of planning an outdoor wedding in November.
To recap our planned wedding, taking place at a campground we’re renting for several days:
- Ceremony in outdoor, uncovered area at 3PM
- Reception in covered pavilion with plastic siding immediately following the ceremony. The pavilion has picnic tables and benches.
- Indoor area, called the Mess Hall, with the photobooth, games, and additional drinks. The Mess hall has tables and benches.
I’m really torn about what to do. 54 degrees is not really that cold. But I don’t want to be one of “those” couples who insisted on having their wedding outdoors at the expense of the guests’ comfort.
So, instead of continuing to worry about everything, I figured it would be helpful to write things down. Here are our options:
1) Keep everything the way it is. Outdoor ceremony, reception in the pavilion. Keeping the pavilion warm shouldn’t be a problem. We’ll have 3 patio heaters, each with a 15 foot heat radius, plus a HUGE fireplace in the pavilion. The park ranger has told us that sometimes the pavilion can actually get hot if the fireplace has kept roaring for about 24 hours. To make the ceremony area warmer, perhaps we can have the patio heaters at the ceremony site, and then have our stronger family and relatives roll them into the reception pavilion, about 150 feet away, after the ceremony ends. I figure we can also ask the officiant to shorten his homily or nix it altogether to keep the ceremony as brief as possible.
2) Move ceremony to indoor space (called the Mess Hall). The Mess hall has its own picnic tables and benches. I figure we can move the tables to the perimeter of the room, and set up the benches in “church” type rows. There’s a fireplace in the mess hall, and Ken and I could get married in front of the fireplace. The one problem is that the mess hall is kind of a tight squeeze with all 147 guests inside. Plus, it’s not terribly pretty (although I have a more positive opinion of it than Ken does). It’s very rustic looking, but it does have some old linoleum flooring. But, at least our guests would be warm and comfortable for the ceremony.
3) Hold both the ceremony and reception inside the pavilion. Since the pavilion will have covered sides, we could always just have the ceremony in the pavilion. We could get married in front of the fireplace. But, the layout is not great for a ceremony. First, the way our tables will be arranged, our guests would not be looking straight ahead at us (in other words, the tables would be perpendicular to where Ken and I would be standing, not parallel). And it’s not like those tables can be moved easily. Each picnic table weighs 400 pounds. And since the benches are attached to the tables, we can’t move those like we could in the mess hall. To illustrate, this is a scaled version of our reception floorplan:
Another downside to this option is the catering setup. The caterers were planning to set up their stuff during our ceremony. If we hold the ceremony in the pavilion, that would delay setup of the food and bar.
4) If, for whatever reason, the pavilion does get too cold, we can invite the guests to move to the mess hall. We’ll have music going in there, and I think that once the buffet is actually done, the mess hall might be a cozier place anyway since the pavilion is just HUGE. And this option has always been part of our plan. But, people aren’t used to weddings where they can just move around from place to place. They’re used to being assigned to their table and then never moving anywhere else except maybe the dance floor and bar. But, we tried to avoid this by letting our guests know in the programs that there will be things set up in the mess hall.
As Ken keeps saying, we’ll just have to play it by ear. But what do you think? Would you think ill of a couple that had an outdoor wedding in 55 degree weather? After seeing weddings like this and this and this, I don’t feel so bad. Maybe I’ll try to buy one or two more patio heaters just in case!
And, to look on the bright side of things, there is a 0% chance of rain on our wedding day! Initially, they were predicting “showers.” Plus, the fall foliage will be at peak of the peak! The trees are GORGEOUS around here.