Outdoor weddings have unique charm! The natural setting is romantic, colorful, refreshing and relaxed. Nonetheless, an outdoor venue also presents its unique set of challenges. Unlike indoor venues, the variable factors are more in this setting. Hence, planning a wedding in the outdoors isn’t always easy.
The good news is that despite the possible pitfalls, you can still have a beautiful outdoor wedding when you plan it right. Our team will help you with this task with the following list of tips. This will definitely help you plan your strategy well and host a splendid outdoor wedding that will linger in everyone’s memories.
1.Research the pros and cons of different venues to make your decision
Your outdoor venue can be a beach, a garden, a resort or even your own backyard. Each of these venues have their own perks and pitfalls. Consider these factors seriously before you decide on the venue you want for your special day. Let us look at some of the common outdoor wedding venues and the challenges they present.
Beach: A beach is romantic and fun. However, it is also windy, sandy and with uneven terrain. You will have to limit your hairstyle, makeup and dress choice to what works in this unique venue. You will also have to rent everything for the wedding and pay extra to set up stage. It will also be necessary to secure different items without toppling over or flying away.
Lakeside: These venues are usually calmer than seashores, and yet promising in terms of beauty. However, lake sides are prone to bugs and have damp and dirty soil. They can become unexpectedly windy. You may have to prepare your party to wear bug spray and keep food covered to avoid unexpected disasters.
Winery: Unparalleled beauty, serenity and greenery mark this lovely wedding venue. However, there may be restrictions on custom plans. Many wineries restrict taking booze from outside, and your guests will have to make do with their produce at the bar. It can also become hot and humid in summer.
Park:Very casual and relaxed, this ambiance is well-suited for informal wedding styles. The cons of this venue is that you may have unwelcome onlookers who oversee your wedding. Also, there may be time restrictions. So, you may have to end your party early.
Backyard: Having a backyard wedding is often tougher than you think. You can of course save a lot of money, since you needn’t book a venue. Nevertheless, you will have to hire the décor and seats. Limited number of washroom facilities can be a problem. You will also have to take local rules and regulations into consideration when your house is in a residential locality.
If you still are unsure of which venue you ought to choose, here is some help to make your decision on the Huff Post
2.Irrespective of the venue, you must have plenty of shade or arrange for tents to keep guests comfortable
It is no fun being seated in a sunny area, especially when it is warm. Make sure your venue has a shaded space where your guests can relax without any harsh sunlight. Summer weddings can often get tiring, especially if there is no breeze. So, arrange for fans around the perimeter of the tents to keep your guests cool and relaxed. Also consider printing your wedding program on fans to work double. Or gift pretty decorative hand fans as your wedding favors and your guests can use them to stay cool.
3.Ensure there are plenty of drinks to stay hydrated
In the warm outdoors, your guests will naturally feel thirsty. Provide plenty of beverages and water stations to quench their thirst. Set it up at different locations throughout the venue, so your guests can simply head over to the nearest spot and refresh themselves. Arrange for a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Flavored water, fresh juices and mocktails, fizzy drinks and local produce can all be highlighted in your wedding venue. For a stunning list of summer cocktails to stock your bar, visit this post on the Brides website.
4.Pick sturdy floral décor or arrange them outdoors just before the function
Flowers, especially the delicate varieties, do not tolerate heat well. So, take special care when planning your floral décor, bridal and bridesmaids bouquets. Pick sturdy flowers that do not wilt quickly. Preferably pick what is in season, as these flowers tolerate natural weather conditions better. Have your floral décor set up just before guests arrive, so they look fresh during the ceremony and reception. You can also add fruits and berries to the arrangement for a tropical, summery feel. Other decorative items like candles and embellished figurines are good options for centerpieces and decor items, since they are unaffected by heat.
5.Have everything held down in place
When the wedding is outdoors, you have no control over how windy it can get. The last thing you want is for things to be blown away and the entire scene to look chaotic. Keep this factor in mind when planning the arrangements. Ensure everything stays put by weighing it down with suitable items. Use ribbons or rocks to secure items like place cards and wedding programs in its place. Also keep the table cloth and runner fresh by taping them down so they do not fly with with the wind.
6.Plan your menu wisely
Exercise caution when planning the menu for an outdoor wedding. Heat will quickly spoil food, and you do not want to be responsible for making your guests sick. Catering outdoors also presents unique challenges. Frozen desserts like ice cream are not practical, as they will melt in the heat. Since you cannot control the temperature, it is wise to choose fail-safe food options. Your catering team should be able to confidently handle and distribute the items on the menu on time. Here are some tips to help you plan the food menu right.
- Avoid serving cheeses, sea food and meat in the open. These items should be served and consumed quickly to avoid spoilage.
- Use dairy products like cream sparingly in your dishes. Not only do these spoil quickly, their consistency may also be unpredictable when kept outdoors for a while.
- Ensure all the dishes are covered once they are kept outdoors. Leaving any of them open is an invitation for bugs, ants and flies to attack.
7.Help your guests stay cool and safe
Make sure the site is visually inspected prior to the ceremony, to ensure it is clean and there are no insects or flies in the area. Since you can never be too careful, have some bug spray ready in case someone needs it during the day. In case your guests forget to wear sunscreen, it is a good idea to have that available as well. You do not want anyone falling ill at your wedding, or enduring sun burn. Simply place bottles of sunscreen in baskets at the venue, if your guests will be spending a long time outdoors. Also, make sure that you do not pick metallic chairs for the seating. This can get pretty warm and you do not want your guests to suffer on account of it.
8.Have an indoor location for them to chill in, if necessary
Not everyone can continuously tolerate a hot outdoor setting for a long time. So, your guests will appreciate a chance to relax in an indoor area, if it gets too hot. This is especially true if there are pregnant women or older guests in your party. This can be a smaller hall or lobby area that they can access. If your venue doesn’t have such a provision, consider hiring an A/C unit to or large portable fan for them to sit around and relax, if they find the heat too stifling.
9.Have a back-up plan
Unlike an indoor venue, you can never rule out natural emergencies that can affect your plans. It could be something as big as a hurricane, a torrential downpour or even a small shower. Prepare for such conditions with an alternate plan. It is best if there is an indoor location to move into in such situations. If the weather forecast on the day of your wedding isn’t promising, make your call early and move the ceremony indoors rather than risk your guests getting drenched. The staff at your wedding should also be able to quickly move your wedding tables and other decor items into the secured area, should the need arise. Always arrange for umbrellas or raincoats for your guests, should it suddenly rain. Even it is just a drizzle, your guests shouldn’t have to wait till they dry off. So, arrange for fluffy towels in the restrooms it showers.
10.Find out about licenses, permits and rules for outdoor events prior to the wedding
When planning your wedding, you should aspects into examine the licenses and permits for the location. There may be a time limit imposed on the use of outdoor venues. Ensure your party winds up before this timeline. Also check with the local authorities on whether you need a permit or license to hold a wedding at your chosen venue. If your venue is in a residential locality, there may be regulations on sound, parking and trash dumping. Make sure you are aware of all these restrictions and do not break any rules on your wedding day.
11.Use plenty of signage all over the venue
At outdoor venues, guests may find it confusing to find their way from one point to another. Save them the trouble by implementing plenty of direction signs all over the venue. Print them and set it up at different positions. Or simply do them in chalkboard and push the boards into the ground or hang them on trees. Use plenty of signs to direct guests to rest rooms and trash cans. You can also rent carpets to separate off the areas of the wedding from the rest of the area.
12.Make the most of seasonal fare
Every area will have its own refreshing produce, and this is what you should indulge in at your wedding. From the décor to the menu, flowers and gifts, let the season dictate your choice. Use fresh potted plants for your natural décor and even consider them for your wedding favors. Include seasonal produce in your salads, dressings, sauces and juices and your guests will love the taste. Use fresh fruits and flowers in your wedding cake and keep it simple for best results. Decorate with seasonal berries, flowers and fruits to create striking masterpieces that will tolerate the weather and look fresh all day long. Embrace the quality of the season, and your outdoor wedding will be a huge hit with your guests.
Summer weddings also give brides the perfect opportunity to explore a wide range of options in wedding fashion. From short wedding dresses to light, airy fabric choices, there are plenty of options available at Best for Bride for outdoor weddings. Here are just a few to inspire you with.
So, tell us which of these styles will you be embracing at your wedding? To take a closer look at these gowns as well as to explore more of our summer wedding dress collections, visit our bridal dress gallery at Best for Bride.