How to plan an outdoor wedding

Turning Points 3 min read

Hosting an outdoor wedding can be one of your best choices! Outdoor weddings have great views, ample space, and often lower venue fees. There are, however, a few unique things to keep in mind when planning an outdoor wedding that make it different from an indoor affair. Learn more outdoor wedding tips to follow for a perfect wedding day.

Tips for planning an outdoor wedding

Celebrating your love outdoors under the sun on a warm, beautiful day is a dream for many people. Still, there’s no guarantee that the weather will cooperate. If you’d like to know how to plan your outdoor wedding without worrying about the weather, these outdoor wedding tips can help.

Plan for inclement weather

While superstition says it’s lucky to have rain on your wedding day, it may not feel that lucky if you don’t have a backup plan. If there is no indoor option, rent a tent for the day on standby. If the weather looks gray, you can easily pop up the tent and protect your reception. If you plan to use a tent, plan for wind. If you are using a tent, have the tent sides rented as backup, and if the day becomes windy, you can easily pop up the tent sides to protect your reception area. For a non-tented wedding, choose short centerpieces, as the wind can easily blow over large glass vases and soak your linens and place cards.

Recent rain can leave the ground muddy or soggy even if the weather is dry on your wedding day. Consider finding some elegant paving stones or decorating your own to create paths for people to walk without getting their wedding clothes dirty.

Spray for bugs

A week or a few days before your wedding, have a professional company spray the venue for mosquitos. If your venue is especially buggy, provide bug spray for guests and burn citronella candles.

Have a plan for outdoor lighting

While wind, rain, and bugs may be the first setbacks that spring to mind for an outdoor wedding, other factors can complicate an outdoor wedding even if it doesn’t rain. An evening wedding on a cloudy day can get dark and make things difficult for your photographer. Make sure you have a lighting plan if the sun isn’t out.

Get sound permits and generators

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding away from a professional venue, you must provide the power for the catering, lights, and band. Make sure you purchase generators and speak with a professional to understand how much power you need.

Often, cities have stringent cut-off times for noise. Make sure you know about your city’s time and have the right noise permits to host your event. Some cities even require special permits for weddings of 50+ people. Make sure you are aware of these rules before your wedding so there are no surprises.

Plan for guests and event companies

When planning an outdoor wedding, consider your guests’ comfort. You want to be able to quickly warm guests up or cool them down. If your wedding is in the fall or winter, baskets filled with throw blankets and scarves are a thoughtful touch. Fill the space with fire pits or outdoor heaters, so guests are cozy. You will want to ensure an ample supply of bug spray, fans, and water for a spring or summer wedding. It also helps to provide areas of shade for your guests to relax.

The catering company will need a space for food prep. Provide a space with a small tent so that they are hidden from guests’ view. If there is no indoor space nearby, you will also want to make sure there is space to store your wedding cake. There’s nothing worse than eating cake that has been left in the sun all day!

Other considerations for outdoor weddings

No matter where you get married — outdoors or in, destination or local wedding — every venue has its unique challenges. But with the right approach, planning your outdoor wedding doesn’t have to be more difficult or expensive than any other kind of wedding.

When planning for inclement weather, a tent can help with rain, but there’s not much you can do to save the day if a hurricane, flooding, or severe inclement weather strikes. Special event insurance can help protect you from financial loss for a specific occasion, such as a wedding. Learn more about how event insurance works.

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