What You Can Do to Have a Flawless Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings can be incredibly beautiful, with stunning landscapes like a rocky ocean shore or a romantic botanical garden. However, a lot of effort and planning are required to make an outdoor celebration a success. This can include everything from lighting to food selection, and it’s important to follow a checklist to make sure no important details are overlooked. 

There are several unexpected elements that can impact an outdoor wedding day, like wind or thunderstorms. To minimize the risks and potential setbacks, it’s important to consider things like the weather, guest comfort, and additional costs when choosing an outdoor wedding venue. These factors can help you better plan for the unexpected and ensure a smooth and successful celebration. 

To help you plan a stress-free celebration, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about planning an outdoor wedding. From creative ideas to practical advice, our guide has you covered so you can focus on what really matters—your big day.

Choose Your Venue Wisely

When deciding on an outdoor wedding venue, it’s important to consider the location and environment. Your venue, whether it’s a private estate, a public beach, or your own backyard, will serve as the backdrop for your special day, and its scenery will become your built-in décor. Take into account the climate, above all, as it can significantly affect many aspects of your celebration, from the cake to your guests’ comfort. 

Having to make last-minute plans due to the weather can ruin the happiest day of your life, so as much as possible, take the necessary precautions to ensure everything works seamlessly. For that, investing in a backup tent is a smart idea in case of inclement weather. Comfort and a stress-free experience for you and your loved ones are key when it comes to an outdoor wedding. 

To make your outdoor wedding venue more inviting and comfortable, consider adding lounge furniture and plenty of pillows. If space is limited, arrange smaller 4-person reception tables instead of larger ones to create an intimate look and feel. Have fun and get creative about the decorations. Soften the space by draping fabric from the tent’s ceiling or create separate “rooms.” Add unique details like pomanders, colored linens, vibrant up-lighting, and quirky knickknacks to create a one-of-a-kind vibe. 

When it comes to directing guests, don’t assume they will know their way around. If the reception site is also home to the ceremony and cocktail hour, make sure there’s a natural flow between the spaces and consider adding signs to direct guests and point out the restrooms. This will ensure that guests can easily find their way around and enjoy the celebration without any confusion.

Stick to Your Budget

When planning a wedding, it’s important to keep in mind that just because a public outdoor area like a beach, park, or campsite is open to the public, it doesn’t necessarily mean it can be used as a wedding venue for free. Ask yourself this question: Is there a site fee or donation required? This should be confirmed in advance to avoid any unexpected expenses. 

If the location is remote, additional delivery fees may be incurred. Make sure to check if you’re expected to pay for sanitation services, which is often the case in parks where you’re required to leave the site as you found it. Valet parking may also be necessary if the nearest public lot is far away. Finally, consider if hiring security is necessary, especially if you have a large guest list.

Keep Your Guests Comfortable in Every Way

In this aspect, it’s important to go the extra mile. Giving guests information is helpful, but providing them yourself with protective tools from outdoor elements is even better. For hot months, prioritize shade and hydration by offering fans, big floppy hats, or outdoor umbrellas over tables at the reception, and setting up a help-yourself lemonade or iced tea stand. 

In case of rain, it’s important to have umbrellas on hand to offer shelter. A stack of fluffy towels in each restroom can be helpful too. When you anticipate your wedding day to be rainy, make sure your wedding gown and bridesmaid robes are of the right length too so the hems will not get soaked in the rain. 

In colder months, it’s important to be prepared for temperature changes. Temperatures can drop significantly after sunset, so make sure to have space heaters inside tents and provide pashminas for the ladies. To avoid guests getting too cold during a winter wedding, hold them inside until 10 minutes before the ceremony, serve something warm like miniature hot chocolate or warm apple cider, and have the heaters on. This way, guests will be in and out and will not have time to be cold.

The weather will affect a lot of items in your wedding, especially the cake, your bridal gown, bridesmaids’ satin robes, electric equipment, and more. Taking the necessary measures to keep the food fresh and chilled in hot weather ensure the best experience among your guests too.

Mind the Sound and Liquor Laws in Your Area

When planning an outdoor wedding, it’s important to be aware of sound ordinances and liquor laws that may apply to the venue. Outdoor venues, such as vineyards, often have strict restrictions on noise levels and alcohol service. Sound ordinances limit loud noises after a certain time, so be sure to check if your favorite dance floor anthem can be played past a certain hour. 

Liquor laws, on the other hand, dictate what kinds of alcohol are allowed on the premises, so if you’re planning on serving a signature cocktail, make sure the venue allows it. It’s also important to consider the impact of your wedding on neighbors. By being aware of these restrictions and laws, you can ensure that your wedding runs smoothly and everyone has a great time.

Maximize the Lighting and Other Electric Equipment

When planning an outdoor wedding, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to control the lighting, sound, and temperature yourself. This means that you’ll need to secure generators for your caterer’s kitchen appliances, amplifiers and speakers for your band or DJ, and heating or cooling systems depending on the weather. An electrician can survey your setup and help you determine how much power you’ll need. 

To create a cozy and romantic atmosphere, you should consider incorporating lighting features such as paper lanterns, pin spot lighting, twinkling lights, or chandeliers. The lighting affects how elegant bridal gowns and satin robes for women look, too, so if you want to give yourself and your entourage a highlight, mind the lighting. 

Moreover, make sure that the pathways to the restrooms, kitchens, and exits are well-lit for safety and easy navigation for the guests. A lighting expert can provide guidance and help you achieve the desired mood for your event.

Prepare a Backup Plan

Having a wedding planner to assist with the planning process can be beneficial, especially if you are having an indoor or outdoor wedding. The planner will not only bring your vision to life but also have a wealth of experience and knowledge in organizing events. They can help you come up with a seamless main plan, and contingency plan, just in case, since outdoor weddings are fraught with risks.

You wouldn’t want yourself to get caught in the hassles of having to plan a second wedding during your wedding, so never rule out the possibility of a worst-case scenario and ensure a backup plan in place. Putting tents in place is a huge step toward taking precautions. You can use the weather tool AccuWeather app, which provides minute-by-minute forecasts for your specific location, just to be sure of the weather.

Outdoor weddings can be a wonderful and memorable way to tie the knot, but unfavorable weather can easily ruin them. The more time you have to prepare, the better. Talk it out with your wedding planning to make sure not a single aspect is missed out on.