Articles Tagged with: Wedding trends

Guest blog: 5 Things to Consider When Planning an Outdoor Wedding

In today’s blog we hand the reins over to Caroline Opacic (of Caroline Opacic Photography) who we’ve loved working with over the years and is a firm favourite on our recommend suppliers page. Over to you Caroline!

Today I’m chatting all things outdoor weddings! I’m a huge fan of outdoor weddings and tend to specialise in laid back, festival, tipi, boho or outdoor weddings. They are some of my favourite big days to shoot because they are relaxed, fun and usually set against a stunning backdrop. I adore using nature in my images, so outdoor weddings totally fit with that.

In this blog I’m going to give you my top 5 things to consider when planning your outdoor wedding – from a wedding photographer’s perspective! 


1. Ceremony location / timing

Karin & Neil walking down the aisle

If you are planning on having your ceremony outside – AMEN! I love outdoor ceremonies! It means you can say ‘I do’ in some stunning locations, and why would you not make the most of the great British summer while it’s here? However, if we are for once having an actually good summer, consider the weather during the ceremony. Will your guests be sat in the shade or potentially in a very hot sun? Will they be blinking into the sun – or could even you and your fiancé be as you say your nuptials? 

Claire & Tanya wedding ceremony civil partnership

Because English weddings tend to have ceremonies around 1-3pm, this is when the sun is going to be at its most intense in the sky. From a photographer’s point of view, this is not ideal, but there are ways you can navigate it. Have the sunlight either behind or in front of the ceremony. At least this will mean even shadows on you both. If you’re worried about relatives and friends being sat in a potentially hot sun, look for a venue with a shady area. 


2. Portrait timings

Sarah & Andy hug at Vanstone Park Wedding Venue

Touching on when the sun is at it’s peak leads into my next consideration – leaving time for your wedding portraits. The traditional time would be during the drinks reception/ canapés. The light at this time tends to still be strong but I have some tricks up my sleeve to deal with this. I normally like to have my couples mingle with prosecco and relax for a bit during the drinks reception. With about half an hour to go, I’ll then take them to do  portraits. This is great because of 2 things. One, it means you get to say hi to everyone and enjoy the party, which really is priority #1 ! Second, it means we’ll do your portraits later in the afternoon when the sun is less strong. I’ve also got a secret third reason – you’ll be nice and relaxed after some glasses of fizz! 

Couple photos between the pillars at Vanstone Park Venue

If you are planning wedding portraits, chat to your photographer about the timings of the day and where they could fit in. The end of the drinks reception is great, or even before speeches/dancing. 


3. Embracing the Golden Hour

Abi & Dave at Vanstone Park Venue during Golden hour

My dream couples all love golden hour as much as I do! This is that time just before sunset when the sun is beautifully orange and sending some insane colours across the sky. The light is perfectly soft and has a picture-perfect hue to it. While I tend to do drinks reception portraits, I also like to take my couples for a golden hour stroll. Depending on what month you have your wedding, the exact timing of this will vary. In the summer it tends to fall either just before or after your first dance. 

Bride Esmerelda enjoying the diffused light in the woods

If you are having an outdoor wedding I would seriously consider having golden hour portraits. Why waste that stunning outdoor venue and all it’s grounds! 


4. Party Games / Entertainment

Guests enjoying the bouncy castle at a wedding party

The lovely thing about outdoor weddings is they really do mean you get to soak up every last bit of sun and the outdoors. With traditional weddings, once the call has come for the wedding breakfast, it’s rare everyone will get a chance to go back outside and see the sun go down. One of my favourite things about a Country Tipis wedding is everyone sitting on the grass or cosying up around the fire-pit in front of the tipi after dinner. It makes the day feel longer and is a beautiful pause before the party kicks in properly on the dancefloor! 

Garden games at an outdoor wedding

To keep your guests entertained I would recommend some games or some sort of activity. I’ve seen couples with bouncy castles, rounders, treasure hunts, giant jenga etc. Options are endless and you don’t have to spend a lot of money either. A lot of games can be DIY or be as simple as hula hoops. As a photographer I love them as they can make for some really fun candid shots!


5. Formal or festival dining?

Canapes by Hungry Hog BBQ at Vanstone Park Venue
Canapés from Hungry Hog BBQ – a caterer I love

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you should consider whether you want a traditional sit down wedding breakfast, or something a bit different. Because you are likely going to be required to organise your own catering, it means the possibilities are endless. I would take advantage of that! A great option I’ve seen at Vanstone Park many times is a buffet BBQ as the main meal. You could also consider hiring in food trucks, particularly for the evening buffet.

Esmerelda enjoying the pizza

I can vouch for pizza being a very popular choice, especially once a good amount of alcohol has been consumed! You should also consider whether you want guests to be sat at normal tables, or whether you have a festival feel and allow people to sit in less traditional setups eg: chill out area, hay bales, picnic benches. 

Rolling Dough Pizza Horsebox in the woods
Rolling Dough Pizza have an amazing setup, their pizzas aren’t bad either!

All photos in this blog are by Caroline Opacic Photography and may not be used elsewhere without her permission.

Thanks for writing this guest blog for us Caroline, here’s hoping that we can catch up soon! If you’d like to write a guest blog for us please send us a message.


Hot Wedding Trends to Look out for in 2020

Are you daydreaming of your Tipi or Celeste wedding but struggling for some inspiration? Just like we did last year, we asked Crystal (who loves keeping on top of “what’s hot”) to outline some of the key trends you’re sure to see in 2020 and how you can combine them with your wedding dream!

Whilst some of the trends she predicted last year will remain popular, there are some new ones set to take centre stage. Here are our predictions for 2020:


Comfy Shoes

As outdoor weddings continue to rise in popularity, one of the trends we have noticed is that brides are opting for more comfortable shoes. Not just for the evening reception but for the whole day, allowing them to enjoy their venue just as much as their guests. They’re making it part of their style and companies are now starting to offer options that the whole bridal party can choose from!

© Ben Moore Wedding Photography

Food & Cocktails

For years pick and mix stations reigned supreme during the evening reception and while it’s still a well-loved tradition, couples have expanded on this concept. Last year we saw an increase in dessert tables where guests picked their own dessert from a number of visually impressive options. This gives them control of how much they have, reducing food waste after the large and often heavy meal! This theme is continuing into the main meal for 2020 and couples are moving away from traditional one-plate-fits-all in favour of accommodating a number of dietary restrictions and creating a more relaxed and sociable experience. Food stations, grazing tables, food trucks and BBQ-style meals will provide a range of options to please all and leave even the fussiest of eater well fed. Hall & Co event planners provided the food station below, I think you’ll agree it looks irresistible!

© Emily Little Photography

Help yourself beer barrels and pimp your drink stations have been popular for a while now but 2020 will see it move on to cocktails. Signature drinks and customisable cocktails will give couples the chance to incorporate the drinks into their day. An example of this is The Hammered Peg, who offer their couples the choice of three cocktails to be served on the day which can be renamed, alongside their full bar service. This can be to simply personalise them or to match them to their overall theme.

© Caroline Opacic Photography

Flowers

Flowers will continue to be the biggest feature for wedding day decor next year. Rustic wreaths mixing flowers and wood, and greenery such as indoor trees will play a huge part in the overall look for tipi and marquee weddings. 

We spoke to one of our favourite florists Kerry Ashby from Foxgloves and Alice who confirmed that “small table arrangements have taken a back seat and have been replaced with big freestanding and hanging floral arrangements. White flowers with lots of foliage is still a key colour palette”. She also let us know sustainability is “hugely important now with lots of couples using British flowers and eco-friendly techniques.” 

© Ross Willsher Photography

Wedding Favours

Weddings favours were once an essential component of the day though now many choose not to have them at all or to replace it with a charitable donation. Couples that do have them in 2020 will have to offer something that does not contain wasteful packaging and has a practical use such as an edible, cookable or growable favour.

© Terri & Lori Photography

Venue

Venues offering space for both the wedding ceremony and the reception will be the way to go in 2020. Outdoor ceremonies have been increasing in appeal over the last few years and now couples are risking the delicate British weather to tie the knot in an outdoor ceremony and then move their day into their chosen structure. This way they have a picturesque backdrop for their ceremony and a unique structure for their day while still benefiting from outdoor space and gorgeous views. Dual-purpose venues will be in high demand as they reduce time and costs moving guests to another location.

© Nikkis Moments Photography & Film

Currently, not all outdoor venues in the UK have ceremony licenses, however, as couples become less religious and desire a more personalised ceremony they are moving towards celebrant and blessing style ceremonies that offer them offer the ceremony they want (simply completing the legal one prior). It means they have a completely personal day and can incorporate things that are important to them. Such as, their four-legged friend, who is a big part of their life, so can also be part of the big day too. Vanstone Park offer both the space and perfect backdrop for an outdoor wedding. Guests enter the site through a decorated pergola entrance to the ceremony in front of the gorgeous woodland and huge willow tree before moving into Giant Tipis for their meal and evening entertainment.

© Shoot it Momma Photography

Decoration

Wedding decor is always really personal and as couples have become more creative and with lots of platforms offering inspiration, there is a shift from the traditional colour block looks. The atmosphere and overall vibe of the day are playing a bigger role and couples are creating their own themes and putting unique twists on old favourites. Mixing colour and texture will be a major consideration with unique lighting still a key focus in 2020. 

“Foliage is hanging around (literally speaking!) but with the foliage I’m seeing more big blooms, paper lanterns and dried flowers, being added to create cool ceiling scapes in both tipis and marquees,” says Alice from Fleur de Lace, one of our favourite stylists.

© Pike Photography

Alice was kind enough to give us insight into what her couples are loving for next year. “Tables are becoming less busy making way for sharing platters” she continues. “I’ve never been one to be hellbent on couples deciding and sticking to a colour scheme and 2020 has shown that my couples aren’t particularly bothered too. Many are simply deciding the scheme of the wedding based on the season they are getting married in. These are a few I have heard for this year; Summer Vibes, Autumnal Feels and Mystic Winter.”

With people becoming ever conscious about how they are affecting the environment, growing numbers of couples want to ensure that their day is both eco-friendly and sustainable. With an increasing demand for plastic-free weddings, “couples are scrapping plastic straws for paper ones, recycling glassware/bottles and fusing loral foam-free arrangements. Confetti is becoming more fun, couples are throwing paper airplanes, waving flags, using pom-poms instead of sprinkling confetti over the newlyweds this year,” adds Alice.


Well, that’s it folks, our predictions for 2020 outdoor tipi and marquee wedding trends. With a big thanks to Kerry & Alice for sharing their insights.

What trends are you loving and will be on the lookout for? Need some inspiration for your 2020 tipi or marquee wedding? Why not check out our Pinterest Page here.

Photography credits to Ben Moore, Emily Little, Caroline Opacic, Ross Willsher, Terri & Lori, Nikki’s Moments, Shoot it Momma and Steven Pike. We appreciate you sharing your amazing photos with us!


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