Let’s chat about outdoor weddings.
They’re beautiful right? Natural backdrops, built in photo lighting, & fresh air.
But, just like with any other venue there’s also a lot to consider. Some of which may not even be on your radar.
In order to avoid having your gorgeous wedding turn into a flop check out these 15 outdoor wedding tips.
Related: How To Plan Your Own Wedding
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Although it’s beautiful having an outdoor wedding can be more expensive than other venues.
Parks, mountains, gardens, they aren’t free to use.
In addition to the rental cost you have to consider other fees & situations.
- Is the location far from parking? Do you need to provide some form of transportation?
- Are there restrooms close by or do you need to do rent some?
- How is the lighting? If having your reception during the night do you need to pay for lighting & a generator?
- How do want your guests to be seating? Will there be chairs or are you going to Boho route & use pillows or benches?
- Are there extra vendor fees such as delivery?
Have A Back Up Plan
You never know what type of weather you will have on your wedding day.
Therefore you need to have a solid back up plan.
Check with your venue to see if they have an indoor alternative space for you to use.
Be sure to also look at all of your rental contracts about “wet grounds”. Some vendors may refrain from setting up on wet grass/mud.
While others won’t mind.
Another alternative is to have a tent setup outside.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Consider if your guests will be able to hear what’s being said during your ceremony.
If there is a wide open space, background noise, or if you have a large guest list consider adding a sound system.
Ask your DJ about adding a microphone for the ceremony portion.
When having an outdoor wedding or even just a outdoor wedding reception you have to take your hair into account.
You don’t want to look back at pictures & realize that your hair ended up looking like a giant frizz ball.
Make sure that you have a hairstyle that will hold in heat, humidity, wind, & lots of movement.
For the fellas it’s best to use some type of styling gel to hold everything in place.
You know that iconic picture of Marilyn Monroe holding her dress down?
Bridesmaids shouldn’t doing that on your wedding day.
To avoid that, avoid very light materials such as chiffon. Although they’re beautiful, they blow like crazy in the wind.
At first I was against reception dresses. You spend a small fortune on your wedding. Where the thing the whole dern time!
Then I started working with brides in outdoor wedding settings.
And you know what I realized?
Gowns are freaking hot! So to avoid overheating, I suggest a quick wardrobe change into a reception dress.
The last thing you want to have on your wedding day is dirty muddy shoes.
Wearing heels for both you & your guests can make it difficult to walk & leave your shoes a dirty mess.
Avoid that with stylish wedges or flats. Or even go against tradition & wear boots or even your favorite sneaker!
Prep For Bugs
Whenever you’re outside you’ll get bugs. It’s going to happen when you’re entering their home.
However, you can get ahead of the game & ward them off.
- Ask the venue about spraying for bugs
- Use citronella candles
- Place torches around the area
Choose The Right Flowers
Remember 2 seconds ago when we talked about bugs?
Well your flower selection also plays a big role in controlling them.
Steer more towards flowers that have a natural bug repellent. Such as,
- Mint leaves
You’ll want to avoid the florals like baby’s breath that tend to attract the little buggies.
When considering your flowers you’ll also need to talk to your florist about which flowers are sturdier.
When outside you have to deal with all the elements like heat, moisture, & wind so you want to make sure the flowers can handle it.
Flowers like dahlias are more stable than delicate flowers like orchids.
Think About Your Guests
When I say think about your guests, I mean consider how comfortable they are outside.
If your wedding will be in the middle of July you know it’s going to be hot. So help your guests stay cool with hand fans.
Here are some other ideas to comfort your guests. These ideas could also be used as festive favors.
- Cool drink stations
- Warm drink stations (for those fall weddings)
- Umbrellas or shade areas
- Sun screen
- Small towels
- Bug repellent towelettes
- Portable heaters
- Paper fan wedding programs
Use your website to alert guests to any changes due to weather.
The site can also be used to make wardrobe suggests. For instance, “it gets breezy in the mountains, you may want a sweater”.
Choose The Right Food
If you don’t want to end up with sick guests at your wedding then you need to be very picky about what types of food you’re serving.
Certain foods like cheese, raw seafood, & mayonnaise based sides won’t hold up in the heat.
Talk with your caterer about which foods will work better with your season.
*Pro Tip: You can keep costs down by choosing seasonal fruits & vegetables to serve.
Wedding cakes are a big focal point to wedding decor.
But when having an outdoor wedding reception you need to be very mindful of the type of cake.
Buttercream icing won’t be able to stand up to the heat of a summer wedding.
It will melt very quickly. So you would need to have a fondant covered cake.
Or, if you’re heart is set on only buttercream, you can keep the cake indoors & covered until it’s time to cut the cake.
If there is no indoors to your location then ask your for your cake to be delivered closer to the cutting time.
Weigh Down Table Decor
Just like with your hair & the dresses, wind plays a major factor in your table decor.
Make sure that you avoid have any decorations or papers on your table that may blow away. If you want menus or thank you cards on the table, then consider weighing them down with silverware.
For table numbers, place them in a picture frame or use a weighted paper weight.
Create A Path
Help your guests get from one part of your wedding to the next by creating paths.
*This is mainly for when your venue doesn’t have trails or sidewalks.
These paths will take them from the entrance to the ceremony site. Then from the ceremony to reception.
In order to create a path you can use:
- Powder to create designs
- Flower petals
- Stepping stones
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