Outdoor Weddings: Tips to Success

Photo: Brooke Aliceon Photography

Photo: Brooke Aliceon Photography

Dreamy coastlines and perfect color palettes paint your imagination.  Open space and luscious trees create the perfect backdrop for your wedding dreams.  With the weather looking like it’s heading in a warmer direction, it’s time to start bringing these outdoor wedding dreams into reality!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your perfect outdoor wedding:

PERMITS

Most outdoor event areas require that a permit be purchased in order to use the space.  Whether you plan on having your wedding at the beach, on the grass, or in a shady grove, be sure to check the permit requirements for that location.  Permits are often required to be on file months in advance, and you will need proof of insurance from each vendor that you use.   The cost of the permit will depend upon the number of people you have coming to your wedding.  You can base this on the number of invitations that you send out, and make a guess on how many responses you will get back, or you can ask your guests to respond by a certain date in order to have a better idea of which permit you will need.

WEATHER

While it can be difficult to predict the weather months in advance, it is best to have a plan for the rain (if you are planning for rainy season) or the sun (if you are having your wedding in the middle of summer).  Your guests are going to be a primary focus when keeping the weather in mind for your outdoor wedding.  While you, your bridesmaids and groomsmen can be shaded or protected from the rain with umbrellas, you will need to have a covering options for your guests should you encounter rain.  The sweltering summer sun also creates a miserable atmosphere for guests waiting for the wedding to start.  Even if the seating area isn’t shaded, you can provide a couple of tents with refreshments and even fans with your date on them, so that your guests can have an option to keep cool during the ceremony.

FOOD + DRINKS

Protecting your food and drink is mostly a concern for summer weddings, due to the fact that sweet things are instantly swarmed by bugs, ants, and bees.  Consider waiting to place treats out until the reception starts. For example, if you’re having a donut bar or sweet bar. You can also keep drinks in covered containers.

HEATING + LIGHTS

Consider renting heaters for your winter or summer wedding that will run into the night.  While your guests may move and grove the night away, there will also be times of rest, and it can get chilly quick!  Review your lighting options with your wedding planner to make sure that you can have the type of lighting you want and how many heaters you will need in your reception area (this may also require special permits, or it may be included in the permits that your vendor already has on file). Of course, we have market lighting, which creates the perfect setting for an outdoor evening wedding.

RESTROOMS

This is one that is often forgotten, but is an absolute necessity.  A coastal wedding may have restrooms nearby, however ranch weddings often have the need for restrooms to be rented.  Depending on the number of guests, you will probably need a minimum of 2 restrooms, but 4 or more may be a wiser choice for you and your guests.

Do you have any tips or ideas for an outdoor wedding?  Leave them in the comments below!

As always, send us an email if you have any questions or want to get started on planning your wedding.  You can reach us at hello@stecklairevents.com.

Amy LessardComment