No matter the season, outdoor weddings are a popular choice. Especially for couples who love nature and the openness of the great outdoors, hosting all (or part) of their wedding festivities outside suits their personalities perfectly.
However, while outdoor weddings are naturally beautiful and need less decorating, they also require a bit more effort to ensure guests are comfortable. Whether your wedding is being held in a backyard, at a day barn, or out in a vineyard, here are five essential tips for making your outdoor wedding a success.
Mind the Weather
When it comes to an outdoor wedding, being attentive to the weather is very important. Tents and canopies provide some protection against the sun and rain, but make sure to have a backup plan. Check the forecast so you have an idea of what to expect.
Especially if you want to have your ceremony completely out in the open, have a designated indoor space for guests to go should the weather turn sour. If you’re concerned about wind, secure your wedding tablecloths using table skirt clips or tablecloth clamps.
Ensure Guest Comfort
Depending on the season, providing comfort items to your guests is a good idea. For hot and sunny days, consider bug spray, sun screen, misters, parasols, and/or fans. If it’s brisk, windy, or chilly, set up some lamp heaters or offer blankets and hand warmers.
Always have water or a themed beverage (like hot chocolate or lemonade) to keep guests hydrated. If your event will be held on grass or sand, let your guests know ahead of time so they can wear appropriate footwear.
Have Plenty of Lighting
Especially if your event is happening after dark, sufficient lighting is a big must-have. Candles, lamps, and lanterns make for great table decorations, while fairy lights strung through tree branches always look magical. Make your event glow by placing colored lights inside flower vases, within water fountain displays, or underneath tables covered with white tablecloths.
For guest safety and enjoyment, also make sure your pathways from the parking area to the event tents to the restrooms are all clearly lit. Since outdoor weddings are in open space, don’t forget microphones and a sound system so everyone can hear what is going on.
Be Creative with Nature
Involve nature as much as possible with your outdoor wedding. Flowers, gourds, pinecones, and leafy archways all make great decorations, while serving seasonal fruits and vegetables makes for a tasty touch. For a rustic feel, try burlap napkins or chair sashes.
Don’t be afraid to use the season to your advantage. For example, a cute fall wedding idea involves using bales of hay for photo shoots, aisle decor, and guest benches.
Don’t Forget Outdoor Fun
A big benefit of an outdoor wedding is that there are some great activities you can do that would be difficult if the event were held indoors.
Provide fun activities such as piñatas, croquet, badminton, or a bouncy house for a spring/summer themed wedding. For a fall/winter celebration, keep everyone warm with dancing, karaoke, or a popular favorite, roasting s’mores by a bonfire.