Outdoor Weddings are a favourite of ours at the I Do Crew. There is something magical about a wedding reception under the stars or in a naturally beautiful location. But logistically there is also so much more to consider when having an outdoor wedding as opposed to one inside in a purpose build Venue. And today, we are outlining some of the outdoor wedding planning tips we run through with our own clients when helping them to decide if an outdoor wedding is the right choice for them.
When it comes to outdoor wedding planning tips, this one is on the top of our list and it should be on yours too. And I am sure you do realise that weather could play havoc with your outdoor wedding. But what we have found is that too often, couples think about this after they have already committed to an outdoor wedding – which means that it is too late to back out if you don’t like the compromises you have to make in case of bad weather.
The better approach is to assess your date against the typical weather at that time of year. Is the weather conducive to an outdoor wedding? Will you and your guests be comfortable in the conditions normally experienced at that time of year, in that location?
Rain isn’t the only weather condition you need to consider either; heat, cold and wind can all impact on guest comfort at a wedding. Weather can also affect things like your table settings. For examples, candles can’t be set up in the sun and your tall vases on a windy day can be a hazard. The weather may even impact on you being able to get the photos you want.
What is the availability of flat ground in your outdoor location? Whilst you can work around a lot of things when it comes to an outdoor wedding, there is no denying that most set-ups work best on flat ground.
When deciding how much flat ground you need, consider these things:
- How many guests will be attending your wedding?
- What is the set up; sit down dinner, or cocktail for example?
- Is there flat ground for your other rentals to be set up on, for example; restrooms, lounge furniture, games?
- Is there flat ground for your off-site caterer and bar to be set up safely?
- Are you having a band and dance floor and is there enough flat ground for those things in addition to everything else?
This is an outdoor wedding tip planning tip that a lot of people tend to overlook.
Outdoor spaces are often chosen for their natural beauty, which means you may not need as much décor as for an indoor space. However, if you have your heart set on a certain style or look for your wedding and want to bring that decor into an outdoor space (we do a lot of set ups like this – think vintage lounge furniture and bar carts outdoors), you will need to think carefully about how that will work and whether it is feasible to set this decor up in your outdoor space (time and budget and again weather, come into play here).
What facilities are available on-site and what needs to be hired? Is there power or do you need a generator? Are there restrooms, or do these need to be hired? Is there an on-site kitchen, or do you need a mobile caterer? Does rubbish have to be removed by you? What access will these Vendors have to your outdoor space and will they have enough time for setting up and packing down? And because all of these things can impact on your budget, this is a very important outdoor wedding planning tip to pay attention to!
Very often outdoor weddings require much more set up time. At the I Do Crew we generally allow 2-3 days for a private property wedding; setting up the day before, the wedding day and packing down and bumping out the day after. If your wedding is small and you don’t have a lot of Vendors, you may only need access to the Venue on the day of the wedding. But for larger weddings you will need to confirm when you have access from and to.
Will all Vendors be able to get their equipment in and out easily? Do vendors have to pass through locked gates or security? And what about any guests who are in wheelchairs, or have difficulty with movement; is the site safe for everyone on your guest list?
And don’t forget travel! If your outdoor wedding is in a remote location or several hours from where your Vendors are located, your costs will go up.
Bugs & Wildlife
Other things to consider include mosquitos and wildlife. For example, if you are setting up tables outside the day before, could roaming wildlife be an issue overnight (don’t laugh we have experienced wildlife destroying floral designs and table settings!). And what about guest comfort on the day? Is your outdoor location in an area prone to mosquitos or sand flies?
Take time to consider these outdoor wedding planning tips before you book a wedding in an outdoor location so you can feel confident about your decision and get on the job with planning and designing the perfect outdoor wedding!
Can you think of any other outdoor wedding planning tips that need to be considered? Please add them to the comments.
For help assessing whether your outdoor location is going to work for your wedding, contact us.