One rather unpredictable element in outdoor weddings is the presence of bugs. Whereas I can look at the weather forecast and be able to anticipate the likelihood of rain, sun and wind; bugs are an entirely different matter. Bugs come in many different sizes and types. They can come alone or in swarms. They can just be an annoyance or they can have some bite. Sometimes you see them, sometimes you don’t. But one way or another, they will bug you!
I was in a clearing near the Wakefield Inn just north of Ottawa. It was a wonderful day. The weather was perfect. The couple wanted to have the wedding near the creek close to the Inn. This would provide a very serene and natural setting for the wedding. The bride processed down the trail towards us to the sound of a flute that was played by her friend. All was going well, until the flutist had to stop because a mosquito decided to have a meal of her. The distinct SLAP against her skin startled us a bit. I knew then it was going to get interesting.
The couple were now together and I was into the ceremony. I looked up to the groom and saw that spiders were descending upon the couple. With a good natured swipe, they cleared them so we could go on. As we were into the vows, the groom then turns to me and reaches for my shoulder. He gingerly pick up an Daddy longlegs spider and sent it on its way. We finished the ceremony with no more interruptions. As I was getting into my car, I had to remove a caterpillar from my pant leg.
The arrival of August also announces the arrival of wasps. There is nothing more disconcerting that have one or two wasps buzzing around you during the ceremony. The ceremony usually degrades into screeching brides and desperate flailing of arms in an attempt to drive them off. I occasionally make contact with the wasps with my book.
There are a few things one can do to avoid bugs. Obviously, natural settings like gardens, parks and woods are their domain. If you want to have a ceremony in these locations, then consider timing nowhere near dusk. Unfortunately, they really love the scent of the freshly cut flowers in the bouquets and boutonnières. Fogging with pesticides can be an option. Alternatively, have lots of citronella candles lit. Personally, I wear my favourite cologne, “Eau de Deep Woods Off!”