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Email Author: Ellen Hopkins
Story Posted: 8/11/2004 07:23 pm

Create Your Own Outdoor Chapel

You’re ready to tie the knot - now. You had a wedding chapel in mind, but they’re all booked up. Why not create your own in the outdoor location of your choice? Beach, campground or park, here’s how.

Go to a store that carries sporting goods. Find one of those great screen tents that go up in a matter of minutes. You should be able to buy one for around $60. (Bonus: you can use it every summer for years to come.) If you have a choice of colors, opt for white or the lightest color available. Slide the poles into the sleeves, and presto! You’ve built your chapel.

Decorate with swags of silk or plastic greenery and flowers. Intertwine colorful ribbons, or tiny lights, if you can find them and are planning an evening affair. For candles, consider citronella, which will keep pesky mosquitoes far away. Use several, in different shapes and sizes.

You also can purchase real flowers at a supermarket. Try to find long-stemmed varieties, to place in buckets of varying heights. To keep them fresh longer, add one aspirin to each half-gallon of water. For a daytime ceremony, use large, colorful blooms. For an evening wedding, white flowers are lovely. Delineate your "altar" with your fresh-scented blooms.

After you say your "I do’s," you can set up a folding table for an intimate celebration. Later, if you’re in a campground, or on a beach where camping is allowed, you can inflate an airbed and roll out a sleeping bag for an overnight honeymoon stay.

Considerations:

·A campfire might add to the romance, but never light one except in a designated fire pit. Campfires often get out of hand, especially if it’s breezy.

·You may want more lighting than just candles. The newer rechargeable battery-type lanterns can give you all the light you need without the hassle of propane bottles.

·Spread a tarp or drop cloth under your screen house to keep clothing unspoiled (not to mention your dinner) dust-free and facilitate sleeping.

·This set-up also can accommodate a few guests. If you’ll invite some, do bring along folding chairs to make them comfortable.

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