Having your wedding outside can be a beautiful but challenging experience if you know what you're doing. An outdoor wedding complemented by picture-perfect weather is the most prestigious, impressive, and jaw-dropping event we can imagine.
Remember that achieving an outdoor ambience isn't as cut and dry as its indoor counterpart, whether you've dreamed of having an outdoor wedding for as long as you can remember or you've been inspired by all the beautiful outdoor "I do" inspiration as of late.
There are a lot of moving parts involved in planning an outdoor event, but the possibilities are practically limitless. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an outdoor wedding venue, whether you plan on holding just the ceremony outside, the cocktail hour outside, the reception dinner outside, or the entire event outside.
In what ways might this affect my guests? What kinds of weather conditions should you anticipate? Have you considered whether or not you have the financial means to cover any unforeseen expenses that may arise?
Outdoor ceremonies and receptions are an option for any couple, but they present their own set of challenges, especially if the bride and groom have a hard time letting go of control or if they don't like spending five or more hours in the fresh air.
And even if you have a passion for the great outdoors, you must consider the season in which your wedding will take place Vines of the Yarra Valley is your perfect wedding venue in Melbourne delivering fairytale weddings for the bride and groom.
If you're considering having your wedding vows exchanged in the great outdoors or hosting your reception in a more natural setting, this article is for you.
Table of Contents
Planning an Outdoor Wedding
How to successfully execute a beautiful, glamorous outdoor event, including details you may not have considered.
Get Your Campsite Ready
Roofs over ceremony and reception sites are a must for most outdoor weddings. Tents have the benefit of being easily set up in a variety of environments. Put one next to your dream home or in your favourite park.
The size, design, and construction of tents can be customised to meet the needs of any event. You should talk to a local rental business to identify a layout that fits your needs and the space constraints of the venue. Whether you'll be camping on concrete, grass, sand, or something else, tents that can be built on the ground there is a necessity. Also, make sure it stays dry and out of the elements.
If the wedding is in the summer, install portable aircon and fans to keep guests cool, and if it's in the fall or winter, provide tall patio heaters or propane heaters to keep guests toasty.
Floors and wall panels could also be added as a precaution against the elements.
But a word of advice: even the strongest tents can be blown down by driving rain and high winds. You should therefore make arrangements for a backup indoor location, such as a nearby restaurant or reception hall.
And if you live in a region where the weather can be fickle, you may want to purchase additional wedding insurance that will reimburse you for some of your costs in the event of a rainout.
You Might Want to Rent Some Extras
Tents are essentially a blank canvas, consequently, you'll probably need to supplement your outdoor ceremony arrangement with some supplementary ornaments to achieve a cohesive visual effect. The good news is that you may hire a wide variety of interesting furnishings, such as unique chandeliers, colourful throw pillows, and textured drapes and tiebacks.
If you want to get the most out of your budget, you need to prioritise what you want the most. Before making a purchase, it's important to learn the rental company's return policy.
If you return votive candles or glasses to a store and they aren't properly cleaned and packaged, you may be charged a fee. You should discuss who is going to be charge of this with your maid of honour and wedding planner, who is a huge plus, and incorporate it into the day's schedule.
The venue should be reserved for both your wedding and the following day. If you plan on having a tent, use rental equipment, and decorate with flowers and other items, planning extra time for setup and breakdown is essential.
Make the Location More Appealing
Whether you have a little yard in the forest or a huge, grassy lawn, you can make either more appealing and comfy by adding some lounge chairs and plenty of pillows. The eating room will feel more intimate with four-person tables rather than the eight- or ten-person tables that would normally be required. While you're at it, relax and take pleasure in embellishing your home. You can soften the tent's inside or divide it up into multiple "rooms" by hanging fabric from the tent's ceiling.
Hanging elixirs from the structure's crosspieces and adding other decorative elements will make guests feel more at ease and give your wedding a more unique appearance. The warmer and cosier your tent will be if you stuff it to the brim with extras. The vibrant tablecloths, energetic lighting, and unique ornaments all work together to create an unforgettable ambience. Additionally, you must not assume that your visitors are familiar with the area.
If the reception and ceremony are taking place at the same venue, make sure there is a smooth transition between the two. Signs pointing guests in the direction of the celebration and the facilities are a terrific idea to help them find their way from the wedding to the reception.
Creating the Right Ambiance with Lighting
You can create a relaxing atmosphere with the help of lanterns, lighting, shimmering lights, or elegant chandeliers. Better illuminate the routes to the restrooms to make your travels there more pleasant. Lighting the walkways with lanterns and uplights, as well as hanging glass jars or fairy lights from nearby branches, can help set a mood of romance.
What, you don't think of that already? Before putting up lights in the tent, a professional electrician should inspect the premises. They can make sure you're in compliance with all rules pertaining to inspections, and they can also offer guidance on things like if you should rent additional generators and how you can help guarantee your lighting fittings.
A power failure during a wedding reception is the last thing anyone wants to deal with. Keep the lights on all night by having a trained electrician on call.
Make the Most of the Outdoors
You probably want an outdoor ceremony because of the significance of the location's natural features to you and your future spouse. Perhaps you've decided on an outdoor site, such as a garden or a park. You can get creative with your interior design by drawing ideas from nature.
Set up some lounge furniture and fiddle around with the plants to create a picturesque setting for your next photo shoot. Tree clippings can serve as table centrepieces, while wildflower cuttings can be used as name cards.
Avoid Uninvited Visitors
No one appreciates having their guests spend the evening slapping away insects or discovering they were seated on an anthill. Whether or if the venue will allow an exterminator to come spray or clear the area before the event is crucial. If you want to have an outdoor wedding ceremony at night, don't forget to add citrous candles or polynesian lanterns to your wedding planning to-do list.
Have a Plan
You can't change the weather, therefore it's important to be ready for anything. If you're having an outdoor wedding, weather is something to keep in mind, both for yourself and your guests.
Your guests will still get wet if you don't supply umbrellas, even if they're under tents. Prepare for the cold by gathering blankets and fans. Renting huge fans and giving guests folded hand fans to keep cool in the heat are both good ideas.
Plan a Special and Appropriate Menu
At a wedding held outside, the catering is completely up to you. Tents are useful for hosting a wide range of barbecues, from the mildly spicy barbeque of the South to the furious pig roast of Hawaii.
Still, you wouldn't dream of bringing such decorations to a black-tie event. Even if you're not planning on drinking, hot days call for a stockpile of ice water as well as other non-alcoholic beverages. Iced tea and lemonade are safe bets.
The caterers for your wedding should check over the location ahead of time to ensure they have everything they'll need to feed your guests. The caterer will likely require their own tent for setup, so keep that in mind. The availability of both power and water is also critical.
Get with your caterer to make a precise floor layout. Last but not least, be sure the caterer you choose has worked events under tents before. They will not only have everything on hand, but also the manpower to set up, serve, and tidy up after the event.
Choose Songs Based on the Ambience
There's nothing quite like the beat of steel drums on a beach. In line with the outside setting, a country or bluegrass band would be great entertainment for a dinner party. The first and foremost concern is making sure the musician or Disc Jockey has enough electricity to run their gear.
A backup generator may need to be brought in in case there is a power loss during the party. Depending on how they respond, therefore, you will have a decent notion of what they need to bring with them to your site. Finding a good position for the DJ and the dance floor is essential.
Most municipalities have rules against late-night outdoor music, so it's important to plan ahead and determine whenever the band or Disc jockey will shut down their equipment.
Give Them Everything They Need
Portable toilet rentals are not something to be considered if there are suitable, permanently installed facilities in the neighbourhood.
Luxury portable toilets are now available with convenient amenities like TVs, air conditioning, and even heaters for those who live in colder areas.
Adding posh amenities like scented bath salts, fresh flowers, and embroidered bath towels is a classy move. There will be less time spent waiting in line, more opportunities to let loose and have a blast on the main stage.
Outdoor Wedding Planning Tips
Some of the advice in this article may come as a surprise, but all of it will help you immensely as you make plans.
Consider a Planner
There are many good reasons to hire a planner, but one of their greatest superpowers is making sure everything is in order (very early on!) for an outdoor wedding.
They can advise you on whether to look for a well-known wedding venue with a reputation for lush outdoor intrigue, or a more remote, undeveloped site that allows for more customization.
Couples who want to have their entire event outside (ceremony, cocktails, dinner, and dancing) but who don't want to use a traditional one-stop-shop platform will have to bring in everything from decorations to lighting to catering to restrooms. We suggest 14-18 months of lead time in planning under these conditions in our market.
Ask Questions from the Start
You should bring a list of specific questions with you on tours of potential locations.
We suggest bringing up outdoor space options with venues before even scheduling any site visits or making any preliminary contact.
Outdoor space may be included in the base price at some venues but not at others. Don't fall in love with a place that might not work by not asking the tough questions up front if an outdoor space is essential to your event and the venue doesn't provide one.
Book Your Venue Early
Since the best locations are in higher demand and have a shorter window of availability (the warmer months), outdoor weddings are becoming increasingly popular. Your wedding venue should be booked as soon as possible, either in your backyard or elsewhere, to avoid scheduling conflicts and competition from other couples seeking these unique settings.
Manage Your Overall Expense Expectations
Our team's professional wedding organisers are all in agreement that an outdoor wedding ceremony or reception can quickly become prohibitively costly.
Know that the price per person or the site fee can quickly add up if your venue offers an outdoor option but does not include all of the elements.
Permitting is another issue to consider in addition to the obvious ones such as tent, flooring, lighting, tables, chairs, linens, power, etc.
Don't forget to budget for guests' transportation, parking, and space for caterers and other vendors to set up if you're thinking outside the box and having your ceremony or reception somewhere extremely out of the way.
Be Clear on Your Invitation
In order to prepare your guests for the effects of an outdoor wedding, you should mention it on the invitation.
If the invitation reads, "Join us for dinner on the lawn under the stars," for instance, guests will know to bring wedge shoes and a wrap for the cool evening air.
Keep Guests Comfortable
We can have a wedding outside in the winter! Guests should be kept inside until 10 minutes before the ceremony begins.
Make sure the heaters are on and have some hot beverages ready, like mini hot chocolates or spiced apple cider served in mugs with cinnamon sticks.
So doing ensures that visitors don't have time to get chilly while waiting inside.
Choose Safe Lighting Techniques
Get the advice of a professional in the field of lighting. Too often, people only think about lighting in terms of emphasising furnishings.
Dark areas are not only unsightly, but also potentially dangerous. Lighting the ways to the kitchen, restrooms, and exits is a must.
Have a Back-Up Plan
Whatever day of the month it is or where you are in the world or the United States, you should always have a backup plan.
It can be pricey to be ready for anything at any time, but it's crucial to never give up hope.
A wedding planner is useful whether you're having your ceremony indoors or outdoors.
They will have years of experience in event planning and will be able to take your vision and make it a reality. Check out our Directory to locate a local wedding planner or other event coordinator.
Outdoor Wedding Etiquette
As the host of an outdoor wedding, you should put the comfort and enjoyment of your guests first and foremost in your planning. Here are some solutions to the most frequently asked questions about proper behaviour.
Check out our Top List of Wedding Caterers here.
Should We Have a Weather Contingency Plan?
Couples who are organising outdoor events should always keep the possibility of bad weather in mind.
Even if you don't think you'll need it, it's best to reserve a tent with sidewalls if you're going camping.
Tents are currently in high demand, so it's best to book one well in advance and then cancel it just before your event.
If the weather forecast calls for rain the week of your wedding, it is better to take a hit on your deposit than to be stressed out trying to find a tent at the last minute.
Even though side walls aren't strictly necessary for light rain, they'll become invaluable if your guests are outside in a deluge.
How Can We Prepare Our Guests for an Outdoor Wedding?
Your invitation and wedding website should both make reference to the wedding's outdoor setting.
Telling guests that the event will be held outside will give them a head start in deciding what to wear, as well as whether or not to bring any substitutions, accessories, or extra layers.
Invitees should be informed in advance if the wedding ceremony or reception will take place on grass.
If you don't want your guests' heels to sink into the floor all night, a good idea is to provide heel stoppers.
How Should We Approach Our Vendor Team for an Outdoor Event?
Planning an outdoor feté is not much different from planning an indoor feté in terms of where to find vendors for the day.
In spite of this, it is unquestionably helpful to look into bands or DJs, floral designers, photographers, officiants, caterers, etc. who have prior experience with outdoor events.
To avoid any misunderstandings, you should know exactly what each of your vendors requires (Do they need amps? Can they use a common circuit?) to ensure smooth sailing on your big day.
The next step is to collaborate with a dependable rental firm that can supply the necessary generator power and other equipment.
A reliable rental service will conduct a similar evaluation, measuring the area and providing advice based on their findings.
Tents, tables, chairs, lighting, bars, generators, and even assistance with obtaining necessary permits are all available from a number of one-stop rental shops.
Check out our Top Wedding Planners here to help make your special day as smooth as possible.
The stress and anxiety of planning a wedding can be significantly reduced when you trust the details to the experts.
Having your wedding outside can be a beautiful but challenging experience if you know what to do. Roofs over ceremony and reception sites are a must for most outdoor weddings. Tents have the benefit of being easily set up in a variety of environments and can be customised to meet the needs of any event. Tents are essentially a blank canvas, so you will likely need to add in some other accents. If the wedding is in the summer, instal fans and portable air conditioners to keep guests cool.
Make arrangements for a backup indoor location, such as a restaurant or reception hall. The more you pack into your tent, the more comfortable and toasty it will be. Fabric hung from the roof can be used to soften its interior or to partition it into several smaller "rooms". Paper lanterns and small up-lights along the walks can help to create a romantic atmosphere. If you're having an outdoor wedding, you should think about how the weather can affect you and your guests.
Prepare for the cold by gathering blankets and fans. For hot and steamy days, it's essential to stock up on ice cold water and non-alcoholic beverages. If you're planning an outdoor wedding, here are some tips to help you make sure everything is in order. Make sure the musician or DJ has enough electricity and a good position for the dance floor. Consider hiring a caterer who has worked events under tents before.
Best locations are in higher demand and have a shorter window of availability (the warmer months). Don't fall in love with a place that might not work by not asking the tough questions up front if an outdoor space is essential to your event. Make sure the heaters are on and have some hot beverages ready, like mini hot chocolates or spiced apple cider served in mugs with cinnamon sticks. Get the advice of a professional in the field of lighting to ensure you avoid any unsightly dark areas. Planning an outdoor feté is not much different from planning an indoor feté.
Invitees should be informed in advance if the wedding ceremony or reception will take place on grass. A reliable rental service will conduct a similar evaluation, measuring the area and providing advice.
FAQs About Outdoor Wedding
Plan to set your ceremony time two and half hours before sunset if your reception is inside. If your reception is outside, set it 3 hours before sunset. If sunset is at 7 pm, your half-hour ceremony should start at 4 pm. You will get all those pretty natural light wedding photos before the light runs out.
May, June, September, and October are popular times for outdoor weddings because of the mild weather. These months also have the least risk of distributive weather. But, if you have your heart set on an outdoor winter or spring wedding, never say never!
When the temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, it is no longer safe for people to be outside for long periods. You should also consider the temperature when planning an outdoor wedding in a location that usually has cooler temperatures but may occasionally get very hot.
In general, the formality and location of the wedding should help guide your attire. For example, a tuxedo or floor-length gown is an appropriate choice if you attend a black tie outdoor wedding. Conversely, a sundress or lightweight suit are safe bets if you're attending a casual beach wedding.
In most circumstances, yes, you do have to wear a tie to a wedding. It's a formal event, and it's better to wear a tie that you can always take off later than show up tie-less with no options!
- You should therefore make arrangements for a backup indoor location, such as a nearby restaurant or reception hall.
- The venue should be reserved for both your wedding day and the following day.
- If you plan on having a tent, use rental equipment, and decorate with flowers and other items, you need a lot more time for set up and breakdown.
- Before putting up lights in the tent, it is wise to have an electrician check the area.
- You can get creative with your interior design by drawing ideas from nature.
- Though you have no control over the weather, you should always be well-prepared for any eventuality.
- Prepare for the cold by gathering blankets and fans.
- Get with your caterer to make a precise floor layout.
- Finding a good position for the DJ and the dance floor is essential.
- There are many good reasons to hire a planner, but one of their greatest superpowers is making sure everything is in order.
- In order to prepare your guests for the effects of an outdoor wedding, you should mention it on the invitation.
- Whatever day of the month it is or where you are in the world or the United States, you should always have a backup plan.
- Invitees should be informed in advance if the wedding ceremony or reception will take place on grass.
- Planning an outdoor feté is not much different from planning an indoor feté in terms of where to find vendors for the day.
- The next step is to collaborate with a dependable rental firm that can supply the necessary generator power and other equipment.
- The stress and anxiety of planning a wedding can be significantly reduced when you trust the details to the experts.