Creating the perfect outdoor wedding space for a wedding comes with its unique challenges. However, whether casual or formal, the overall theme should feel complete.
Some couples forgo a traditional church wedding instead of a wedding ceremony and reception outdoors when the weather begins to warm. This option is trendy for non-traditional couples, couples who prefer a secular tradition, or those who have an outdoor location unique to their hearts.
Many wedding venues that previously did not offer outdoor reception space have renovated their landscaping to meet the growing demand for outdoor weddings. Other popular outdoor wedding locations include county or city parks, gardens, and local zoos or the privacy of the home of a family or friend.
Backyard Wedding Reception Pros and Cons
A less expensive version of a garden wedding reception is to have a backyard wedding celebration. Assuming that enough space is available, a backyard wedding reception can be an informal afternoon barbeque or a formal evening soiree.
- Pros: Having a backyard wedding reception makes memories in a familiar place, and is comforting to introverted brides and grooms. The location will probably also be convenient for most family and friends in terms of travel time. It is also the least expensive wedding reception site.
- Cons: The average backyard needs more decoration than a park or garden, and it’s vital to have a rain plan. Brides and grooms will probably need to rent Port-a-Potties for guests, since having hundreds of guests’ troop through their house to use one bathroom isn’t good for the plumbing. A backyard wedding reception involves the most work in terms of set-up and clean-up.
Ultimately, the choice of wedding reception site is up to the bride and groom. The season, their personal preferences, and their budget will all play this crucial decision. All wedding reception places have their pros and cons, so consider them all carefully before making a final choice.
Choosing an Outdoor Wedding Theme
Before making any decisions concerning invitations, wedding favours, or food, it’s essential to take a realistic look at the setting and determine the wedding’s theme or colour scheme. Coordinated weddings and receptions, even those in a backyard garden, need to not only appear festive but organized and well thought out.
Outdoor wedding themes do not need to be fancy or formal but should feel complete. Gardens and yards lend themselves well to floral or outdoor-inspired wedding themes, such as the colours of fall or the pastels of spring.
When choosing an outdoor wedding theme, there are several things a bride and groom should keep in mind:
- What are the naturally occurring color palettes throughout the yard?
- Where do you envision the ceremony taking place, and will that location accommodate all of the guests of the wedding?
- Are there patches of grass or garden that will need sprucing up before the wedding?
- What time of year will the wedding take place, and what plants will be in bloom during that time?
- Will you need to plant anything ahead of time, such as flower bulbs that need to winter in the ground before the wedding?
Planning An Outdoor Wedding
Once the preliminary questions have been answered, the bride and groom can plan their outdoor wedding. While the ideal situation is perfect weather, the couple also needs to create a contingency plan in case of rain or otherwise inclement weather conditions.
In the planning stages, the bride and groom should ensure all logistics have been worked through. In addition to meeting with the florist, the bride and groom should also consider the following when planning an outdoor wedding:
- Will chairs need to be rented for both the wedding ceremony and reception?
- Would a rental tent provide ample room for the wedding reception in case of rain or inclement weather?
- Renting a sound system will allow wedding guests to hear everything over the natural sounds of the outdoors.
- What options are there for creating a focal point for the wedding ceremony? A gazebo or garden arch provides a nice outdoor wedding option.
- What time of the day are the wedding and ceremony? If it will be evening or dark outside, will it be necessary to rent lights?
- What restroom facilities will be available for guests? Will a portable restroom rental be necessary?
When considering logistics for the outdoor wedding, it helps to look at the site from a guest’s perspective. For example, is the site easy to navigate safely? Will it be too cold to be outside? If heat is a factor, would a canopy help keep people cool? Taking the time to consider how the guest perceives the site can help eliminate some of the problems on the day of the wedding.
Rose gardens, parks, conservation areas, or even the backyard are popular outside wedding reception sites. Hosting a backyard or garden reception is a beautiful way to celebrate a marriage, but it has its own set of unique concerns that brides need to address during the planning phase.
Alternate Weather Plans for a Wedding Garden Reception
When hosting an outdoor wedding reception, the most significant consideration is the weather. Realize that unexpected weather may strike at any time, even when the weather forecast looks perfect.
Not only could rain ruin an outside wedding reception, but so could strong wind, high heat or humidity, or even unseasonably cool temperatures. In rural locations, even unpleasant smells from nearby farms could interfere with an outside wedding reception.
Backyard Wedding Reception Insect Control
During the spring and summer months, bugs also pose threats to any outdoor celebration. Be sure to check out the reception location ahead of time for potential insect problems. Still bodies of water attract mosquitoes as the evening comes on, and always be on the lookout for danger signs such as wasp or bee nests near the location of the bridal reception.
If brides are afraid that bugs could ruin their garden wedding party, they could set up tents draped in mosquito netting, which is beautiful yet functional.
Getting Supplies to the Outside Wedding Reception Location
There is seemingly no end to the wedding reception supplies that will need to be transported to the outdoor location. The sound system, dance floor, tables, decorations, and food will all need to be hauled to the garden or park before the reception can begin.
Know who will be doing what and how all goods will be transported. Whenever contacting professional wedding services, make sure to ask about transporting policies and costs.
Backyard Wedding Planning and Restrooms
One important consideration for outdoor wedding receptions is the number of bathrooms available for guests. Know how many guests to expect, and make a point to inspect any park or garden for proximity and the number of available public restrooms.
In the case of backyard wedding receptions, brides and grooms may seriously want to consider renting Port-a-Potties for the night and placing them in a discreet location for guests to use. Having hordes of guests tromp inside the house to use the bathroom all night will lead to muddy floors and a clogged toilet.
Outdoor Wedding Planning and Labor Force
Professionals may handle certain aspects of decorating and clearing the wedding reception area, but a large portion of the burden will fall squarely on the bride and groom.
Have an extensive network of family and friends to help with setting up and cleaning up, especially if the bride and groom leave the reception early and won’t be around to help.
Outdoor wedding planning has a lot of unique challenges, but in the end, there’s nothing more beautiful than a spring or summer garden reception to commemorate a couple’s first day as husband and wife. Brides who anticipate and plan for the challenges in throwing a garden wedding party plan for success.
Preparing The Outdoor Wedding Site
As the wedding date draws near, preparing the outdoor wedding site will require careful planning and timing. Cleaning the garden and yard early makes it easier to maintain in the weeks before the wedding.
To ensure plenty of time to set up and decorate the outdoor wedding site, the bride and groom should plan to have all rentals arrive at least two days early. Completing the setup before the wedding will help to alleviate any undue stress on the bride and groom.
The day before the wedding, a professional yard crew or garden service should come through to mow and rake if necessary. Colourful mulch and potted flowers can be placed ahead of time, while ribbons for fences or trees can wait until the morning of the wedding.
It is also essential to ensure that neighbours are made aware of the upcoming wedding with plenty of time to make other arrangements. Most neighbours will be happy to reasonably accommodate the bride and groom on such a special day. While some may offer their driveways for additional parking, others will be grateful for the thoughtfulness of advanced notice.
About the author: Bianca J. Ward is a professional online essay writer at EssayWriterFree, where she provides people with qualitative works. Besides, she is a passionate photographer and traveller who has visited 52 countries all over the world. Bianca dreams about creating a photo exhibition to present her works to others.