What to consider when organizing a wedding at an outdoor venue

Celebrating your wedding in a venue outdoors is a wonderful experience. A romantic breeze, hazy blue skies (we hope) and amazing views can leave you with an experience to remember.

To organize it however, you’ll need to prepare a little more. After all, when you’re hosting outdoors you can’t control the environment in the same way as indoors. So here are some things to be aware of.

The venue location

Choosing a beach location for your dream wedding will mean embracing some challenges. Securing décor in the sand will be tricky. Guests in dress shoes may need an on-site alternative, like stylish flip-flops. On the other hand, the sandy terrain becomes an opportunity for memorable aspects, such as if the gentle ocean breeze enhances carefully chosen decorations.

Turning a garden into your wedding brings unique considerations too. Amidst the blossoms and greenery, be mindful of potential wildlife or pests. The soft grass underfoot creates a natural aisle, but for ladies in heels, consider providing plastic protectors. With a little planning, you can navigate the challenges and pul off a harmonious blend of elegance and the great outdoors.

For a remote venue, whilst adding a touch of secluded charm it calls for thoughtful planning. Guests may need transport assistance. Vendors may have logistics issues, and there may be additional costs.

The weather

A potentially breezy locale needs you to consider decor carefully. Avoid lightweight items and opt for sturdier pieces or weights. Incorporate charming details like flowing fabrics that gracefully sway in the wind, adding an extra layer of romanticism.

Opting for a summer wedding at a vineyard introduces the warmth of golden sunlight and the allure of rolling vine-covered hills, but the sun can sometimes be intense. Thoughtful consideration of shade and refreshments is essential. Likewise, make hydration a priority.

While we all hope for clear skies on the big day, unpredictability and the possibility of rain requires some contingency planning. Keep your guests dry with charming umbrellas strategically placed throughout the venue, and suggest appropriate outdoor footwear.

Even in warmer months, unexpected chilly weather can make an appearance. Thoughtfully placed heaters ensure guests are cozy, as do stylish blankets draped over chairs.

It’s always wise to consider the possibility of storms or hurricanes too, particularly in certain regions. Have a contingency plan that includes monitoring weather forecasts as your big day approaches, or work with your venue to have a designated indoor space available just in case.

Have a contingency plan that includes monitoring weather forecasts as your big day approaches

What are the venue facilities?

It’s essential to note the differences in facilities compared to indoor settings. There may be no built-in kitchen. Bathrooms may be scarce or non-existent. Parking may be limited to designated areas, and ample, or even consistent seating is not always a given.

Is the venue secure?

While enchanting, outdoors lacks the controlled entry of indoor spaces. Strategically placed fencing or screening maybe needed to provide a sense of boundary and control, ensuring safety and privacy. In some cases security personnel may be needed to discreetly manage guest access.

Where’s the power?

Embracing the great outdoors for your wedding is magical, but it often comes with the challenge of limited or no electricity! Unless the venue covers it, planning your own power sources may be necessary.

Divide up the space

Outdoor settings will need some layout planning to avoid undesirable guest experiences. Consider the site layout carefully to prevent guests from encountering unsightly elements like trash bins or portable potties on their way to dinner.

Are there restrictions?

Planning an outdoor wedding involves dealing with restrictions on the natural site’s use. Returning the site to its original condition is generally expected (sometimes legally required) so inform guests upfront about their role in this. You could even consider insurance for unexpected incidents. Be aware too of potential limits on sound system volume or curfews to respect nearby residents.

Have a contingency plan

While extra planning may seem daunting, the reality of outdoor weddings demands preparedness. Mother Nature often surprises you, so having a rain plan or a backup indoor room ready is wise. Update guests a day or two before the event with the latest weather report, allowing them to adjust their outfits accordingly.

Try to be seasonal

Tailoring your wedding menus to suit the season and location not only adds a thoughtful touch but also ensures practicality. All that food needs to be kept fresh and presentable, no matter what. By aligning the menu with the potential conditions, you will enhance the overall experience and ambiance of your outdoor celebration.