We have so many requests for a dream outdoor wedding at Cragun’s Resort. Standing in the sunshine with a beautiful cloud-free sky, Gull Lake in the background, a light wind, no mosquitos – everyone’s idea of a perfect Minnesota resort wedding. Diane Heinlen, Cragun’s wedding coordinator advises that the outdoor wedding is not for the faint of heart. You may have to deal with every aspect of Mother Nature and handle it all calmly. At Cragun’s, we always book a bad weather backup option but try to do everything we can to accommodate the wedding couple’s wishes.
Some tips for planning an outdoor wedding:
- Have a backup plan and know that you may have to use it. You may consider renting a tent but that option will only work for light to moderate rain storms. Typically, we will have to make a call no later than 3 hours before the ceremony as to whether the wedding can be held outside.
- Plan for wind for everything from hairstyles and dress fabrics to the decorations you plan to use.
- Inform your guests in advance that the wedding will be held outdoors so they can plan accordingly. They will want to take into consideration everything from hats and light wraps to appropriate footwear.
- Decorating an outdoor wedding is a delicate balance. You don’t want to overpower the natural surroundings. You may want to consider an arch or trellis to focus the ceremony and frame the bride and groom as they say their vows. Be sure to visit the wedding site prior to the ceremony so you know what flowers and other plants are part of the natural décor. If it has been an unnaturally cold spring, you may need to supplement with some extra flowers. Our wedding coordinator has books of pictures to help you with this planning and Pinterest is also a great source of ideas.
- If you are from Minnesota, you know that mosquitos and other flying insects can be a nuisance. Talk with our wedding coordinator about the options for minimizing the problem.
- Consider timing your wedding for sunset when your guests will see your vows surrounded by the setting sun. Cragun’s primary outdoor wedding location is located on the north beach facing east. For an afternoon wedding, the sun will be at the guest’s backs rather than shining in their eyes.
- Consider how guests will flow from one part of the day to the next and pick your spots logically. Many of our wedding couples choose to have an outdoor ceremony and cocktail reception but then move inside for their dinner and dancing. Or, if the wedding is informal, a beach barbeque and bonfire might be the perfect end to a perfect day.
- Brides, know that your dress mostly likely will get dirty. One of the wonderful things about an outdoor wedding is all of the great photo opportunities for you and your wedding party. Unfortunately, moving from photo op to photo op can take a toll on your dress.
With proper planning and the right attitude, an outdoor wedding at a Minnesota resorts can be everything you dreamed it could be. Whether or not it rains, it’s still going to be a beautiful day.
For more help on planning an outdoor wedding, click here.