Is there anything more romantic than an outdoor wedding? The sun shining, the breeze gently blowing your wedding gown, and the candlelit al fresco dinners – outdoor events are truly magical. But guess what? It takes some effort to make that magic happen. When planning an outdoor event, don’t forget these helpful tips.
- START WITH A WEATHER-APPROPRIATE WELCOME DRINK. On a hot day, have a lemonade stand at the ready. On chillier days, apple cider or hot chocolate is always a nice treat. More and more often, guests are seated for the ceremony with a cocktail in hand. Be sure to have alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
- KEEP YOUR GUESTS COMFORTABLE, WHILE ADDING PERFECT LITTLE DETAILS. Your loved ones aren’t packing for a camping trip, so have necessities on hand to battle the elements: fans, water, sunscreen, bug spray, shawls and blankets. Provide enough lighting for pathways and parking areas to keep everyone safe.
- EMBRACE MOTHER NATURE. Funny thing about getting married outside: there are living creatures that inhabit outdoor environments! Shocking, right? If you aren’t prepared to deal with random birds landing on the aisle, or bees buzzing near your bouquet, choose and indoor venue.
- GET A PERMIT. ALWAYS. GET. A. PERMIT. Thinking a ceremony in a public park or beach is a quick and easy location? Think again. You need a permit to get married almost anywhere.
- COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR GUESTS ABOUT YOUR OUTDOOR PLANS. It isn’t fair for your family and friends to arrive to your event unaware that it is an outdoor celebration. They need time to prep – proper shoes, appropriate clothing, sunscreen, a hat, maybe a jacket. Also be very clear about where the ceremony is located and how you plan on getting there. Is it a five-minute walk into the woods? Are there golf carts to transport those with mobility issues? Even a short stroll on uneven ground can be tricky for some, so let your guests know what they are in for. The same goes for the reception. Many people would expect it to be indoors, so be clear if you’ll be dining under the stars that night.
- PLUG IT IN. DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH POWER? Lighting, sound equipment, catering equipment, fans and portable heaters all require electricity, and it’s not as simple as plugging them all into an outlet. Figure out if generators are needed, and make your musicians/DJ aware of the power sources that will be available to them.
- UNDERSTAND THAT NATURE CALLS, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE OUTDOORS. Don’t forget the bathrooms! One portable washroom might not be enough. Calculate how many you will need, and whether you will require more accesible facilities. You can actually rent really pretty portable washrooms that mimic an indoor setting.
- RECYCLE YOUR FLOWERS. Allow your ceremony flowers to pull double duty as your reception décor. A great florist can dismantle a floral arch and turn it into reception arrangements in between the events.
Need more outdoor wedding tips? Check out our Outdoor Wedding Guide!