5 Tips for Planning an Outdoor Wedding

Written by Brittany. Posted in Advice, Event Planning

Amelia Island outdoor wedding

Photo By the Robinsons

Although here in Florida it is still approximately 150 degrees outside, the fall is almost upon us! And that means windows open, hopefully a quick love bug season, and plenty of outdoor weddings. Here’s our short list of outdoor wedding tips to help you make the most of your celebration under the stars…

  • First things first, you need a backup plan! Before you even book an outdoor venue, find out what options are available if the weather is less than ideal. Make sure that the backup plan is one you can live with just in case. If a tent is your backup plan, check pricing right away and set aside that amount so there are no hidden surprises in your budget right before the engagement. Many public spaces require a permit to erect a tent, so double check this with your venue as well.
  • Think about how to best use the space. Which direction do you want guests facing during the ceremony? Will the sun be in their/your eyes? Also, receptions usually flow best when the dance floor is near the dinner tables. If you have a large space to work with, spread out the cocktail hour and the dinner reception but keep dancing close to the tables where some people will continue to spend time all night.
  • Be sure there is ample power available outside, and check with your vendors to see what their power requirements are. Need a generator and/or extension cords? Figure those things out early and delegate who is responsible for bringing them on wedding day. As you arrange the floor plan, consider vendors like band, DJ, and electric-powered catering stations so they can be near outlets if possible.
  • The power issue brings us to lighting. Lighting surely enhances any wedding but outside it is a must! If your wedding will continue after the sun is down, then visit your venue after dark to see existing lighting and decide on how much more you’ll need. Market lights are almost always an option, as is dance floor lighting.
  • Lastly, and this is a big one in the South, consider your cake and desserts. Buttercream will melt sitting outside in the heat and humidity. We also worry about bugs (because, gross). To ensure that the dessert stays looking and tasting its best, leave it inside if possible until just before the cake cutting. We often prepare a cake table outside ahead of time but bring the cake out about 10 minutes before it’s cut. Make sure this is something your caterer knows about and designate who will carry the cake out and at what point in the reception.

And there you have it! Happy planning!



You Should Know: Kristi

Written by Brittany. Posted in Behind The Scenes, You Should Know Series

In an effort to give brides, vendors, and friends a more personal and inside look at the goings-on of the Tickled Pink team, we’re bringing you a short series of weekly posts called (you guessed it) “You Should Know”! My hope is that this short answer format will soon extend to other wedding professionals we think you’ll want to get to know as well.

If you haven’t already noticed, Kristi is one of our lead wedding planners and is a total rockstar when it comes to creating some amazing weddings and befriending brides along the way. She has an eye for detail and design and in less than two years with Tickled Pink has already made a name for herself with some seriously gorgeous and inspiring events under her belt. Today we’re checking in on the more personal side of things so you all can get to know her better.  

Kristi- Tickled Pink Brides

First 3 things I do when I wake up: Aside from the usual check phone,brush teeth, etc, my husband and I have what we call ‘5 minute family snuggle’. Our 90lb chocolate lab, Bear, is not allowed to sleep in our bed (he is a complete bed hog), but we like to start each day by letting him up for 5 minutes of uninterupted cuddling. You really can’t go wrong when your day starts with a giant, happy pup!  

Go-to uniform: Blame it on my sorority girl roots, but if I had it my way, I would live in leggings and oversized t-shirts. Did I just wake up? Did I just come from the gym? The world doesn’t know and thats the best part.  

Best advice I’ve ever received: Honestly? Clear eyes, Full hearts, Can’t lose. I truly think it applies to every struggle I’ve been through. Everything I need to know about life I learned from Coach Eric Taylor.  

Truth or Dare: As the daughter of a law enforcement officer, I am a rule-follower by nature and have gotten in the habit of always saying truth :)  

On a free Saturday I…am most likely in Doak Campbell Stadium. Football season is my favorite time of year and (weddings permitting). I try to make it to every home game and as many away games as possible in my family’s RV. Outside of football season, I try to make it to Jacksonville as often as I can to visit my bestie. (Shout out to all you North Florida brides looking for a planner.. I travel!)  

Adventure I’d love to take: My travel bucket list is ambitious (riding elephants in Thailand, vacationing in all 50 states, visiting the 7 wonders of the world) but right now I am really hoping to go to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics.  

Soundtrack lately: I went on a severe Shania Twain bender this summer both before and after seeing her live with my girlfriends but currently I cannot stop playing The Wombat’s newest album “Glitterbug”. It’s just too good.  

Best thing I’ve ever eaten: Food is probably my favorite thing about being alive, so this is so hard. It might be a tie between Voodoo Doughnuts out of Portland, Oregon and Berger Cookies out of Baltimore, Maryland. But also pizza. So much pizza.  

Always makes me laugh: My friends and family. As cheesy as it sounds, I am surrounded by the best, most hilarious group of people I ever could have hoped for.  

Actress that would play me in a movie: My favorite Australian comedian Chris Lilley (genius behind Summer Heights High, Angry Boys, etc). I just really want to see what that would look like.  

My necessary extravagance: Mani/Pedi’s. There are few things I love more than getting my nails done before a vacation or big event.  

On my bedside table: Make It Happen by Southern Weddings editor-in-chief Lara Casey and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (every time I finish the series, I start it over again. Yes, I’m that girl).

Top inspirations: My mom. We almost lost her in 2010 and that event changed the way I look at life. She reminds me every day that I am not promised tomorrow and because of this I strive to make the most of each opportunity I am given.  

The age I am at heart: 24 and 25 were my favorite years. It’s when I discovered my love for whiskey, when I took the leap of faith to change careers and found my home at Tickled Pink Brides, when the friendships that mean the most to me really blossomed, when I watched in person as my noles won a national title in one of the country’s most historic stadiums. I think when I look back on my life, I will always feel the most connected to those years.  

Favorite distraction: Netflix. While I love binge-watching new shows with my husband (when are we getting season 4, OITNB writers?), I use it mostly to re-watch my favorites (Parks & Rec, The Office, Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls) while doing every day tasks like cardio, cleaning the house, responding to emails, etc.  

Favorite part of a wedding: While trends change and brides choose new, unique details to set their weddings apart, one thing stays constant across the board and that is the look on the Groom’s face when he sees his Bride walk down the aisle (same for first looks, as well!). Everything else fades away and I’m reminded why I do what I do. That look will never get old!   Thanks, Kristi!  

The One Thing I’d Have Done Differently

Written by Brittany. Posted in Advice, Event Planning

Sam and Brittany Wedding Ritz Carlton

Brittany and Sam, married in February, 2008.

Photo: Garrett Nudd Photography

What’s the one thing you would have done differently at your wedding? Many of our readers aren’t married quite yet so can’t answer that question but hopefully those that have already tied the knot would respond with “I wouldn’t change a thing!”. I loved every last detail about my own wedding in 2008. I had worked in the wedding industry for over three years by the time I got married, and was able to easily plan the event in 7 months by quickly selecting a vendor team I was completely confident in, having had experience with all of them through work.  On the wedding day I wasn’t a bit nervous or stressed, just excited to get down that aisle and head to the party!  I trusted the vendors I’d hired to do their jobs well and to implement all of our plans, and they all exceeded my expectations.

There has always been just one thing I would have done differently if I could do it all over: I would have done first look photos.

Seven years ago, first looks weren’t as common as they are today. In fact, even though I’d heard of photographers doing them, the thought never even crossed my mind. I assumed that we should wait to see each other until the ceremony because, well, that’s just what people do! My bridesmaids and I were completely ready to rock at least an hour before the ceremony and ended up waiting in our suite with me just totally anxious to get out the door. Looking back, it would have been the perfect time for Sam and I to have seen each other and had a quick moment to ourselves before the hoopla began. It also would have calmed some major nerves going on (not mine, his! ha!) and the ceremony could feel a little more relaxed for us both. Of course we took portraits on our own during cocktail hour but when you have extended family and bridal party portraits to fit in, there’s only so much time before you have to be introduced into the reception.

Now that I’ve planned and coordinated a couple hundred weddings and seen tons of first look photos, I can honestly say that is the only thing I would have done differently. What about you? If you’re married, what might you have changed?



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