THE BLOG
05/15/2012 12:20 pm ET | Updated Jul 14, 2012

Summer Outdoor Weddings: Top 5 Must-Dos When Saying 'I Do'

With Memorial Day just around the corner, more couples are planning to exchange their vows in the great outdoors. Although it's important to focus on the right shoes to accompany your custom-made wedding dress, it is also vital to keep the guests' comfort in mind.

Below are five things to note when planning the perfect outdoor wedding:

Choose a Back-Up: No matter what season of the year it is, there is always a chance that the forecast won't hold up. In the event of torrential downpours or a flash flood in the middle of hot July, always have a back-up plan! I've seen too many wedding ceremonies get rained on and everything go to waste. Research some places that could be used as a last minute rental, or have an oversized tent on-site that you can scoot your guests and tables under in the event of light rain. Be sure to let everyone who is going to be a part of your special day, including guests, your bridal party, caterers, florist, band, etc, know where your back up location is PRIOR to the day of your wedding. Quick Tip: Include a space on the bottom of your invitation that reads something like: In case of rain, our wedding will be held at xyz.

What's on the menu? There are certain foods that pair well with each season. For the summer, make sure your caterer serves up the most refreshing and light hors d'oeuvres that compliment your summer ceremony. Some popular summer bites are melon, mozzarella and prosciutto brochettes, zucchini and goat's cheese tarts or even a bowl of mixed berries and tossed greens. But, there is no better way to wash away the heat and snacks than sipping on a mouthwatering fruity drink. Chill down your guests with sparkling white sangria, limey mojitos, or even a classic Pina Colada. Quick Tip: Be sure that all summer drink choices have a non-alcoholic option! Provide as much filtered water as you can to avoiding dehydrating yourself and your guests... it's going to be a long night!

Be Heard: If you're outside in the mountains or down in the valley, there will always be background noise. Whether it's a light summer breeze, the loud chirp of singing birds or the distant sounds of engines on a nearby highway, your guest should always be able to hear your vows and music clearly. Make sure the DJ, your microphones and the speakers are in appropriate places that will enable everyone to hear perfectly and comfortably. Quick Tip: Do a sound check a day or two before the wedding. This way, any changes and adjustments will be taken care of prior to the day of the wedding.

Avoid the Bites: The last way you want your wedding night to be remembered is the attendance of uninvited guests: BUGS! Many people worry that Citronella candles ruin the ambiance of their reception. Correction -- Mosquitoes will ruin the ambiance of your reception! There are citronella candles that come in pillars rather than tin buckets that can easily replace scented candles. Plus, a couple of Tiki Lamps and Citronella candles will enhance the feel of your summer wedding. Quick Tip: Cover the citronella tins and tiki lamps with decorative floral arrangements to brighten your candles.

Design to Shine: Nothing says summer better than this year's bright pink and orange hues. Rather than incorporating a bunch of colors in one space, choose a bright color and an accent color to coordinate your décor. When planning your centerpieces, stick to the bright color and combine different shades to create an original color combo. Bright colored lilies, roses and tulips make for an elegant but bold centerpiece with the help of natural sunlight. Be sure to coordinate your table linens and dishware with a paler, lighter color to balance a calm contrast.