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Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Want An Outdoor Wedding…Where Do I Start?

Have you always dreamed of getting married outdoors? Whether it’s the beach, a farm, or a large family backyard, there are several things that must be considered when planning this type of wedding.

What time of year/season is your wedding?
One of the first things you should do is take a serious look at where you plan to marry and how the weather typically behaves around your wedding date. Are you getting married in the southern part of the US or on an island during the summer? If so, don’t forget about hurricane season! Is your wedding date in the middle of winter in the northeast? If so, don’t forget about snow storms! Yes, the weather is unpredictable, but you can expect to have a certain kind of weather during certain seasons of the year.

What are my options for keeping my guests comfortable while outdoors?
One of the best things to consider is tents. Tents can provide overhead covering only, can include curtains for an airy feeling, or can be completely enclosed with ‘windows’ around the sides and even skylights in the ceiling (a skylight is an excellent idea for evening events, so you can see the stars!) If your concern is cold or hot weather, tent heaters and fans can be rented to make the space very comfortable (in fact, they can feel so good, your guests may forget all about the weather outside!)

Things to consider when planning an outdoor event
Planning an outdoor event takes much more coordinating than an event in a banquet hall or hotel ballroom. Some of the items you will need to rent include chairs, tables, china, linen, silverware, glassware, and lighting. And depending on where you plan to set up, you may also need to rent restroom facilities for your guests. If your tent is open, don’t forget about insect repellent, so your guests are not swatting bugs away all night!

Should I have a Plan B?
Absolutely! What if a major storm is predicted to blow through your town on your wedding day? Yes you may have a tent lined up, but if the winds are too strong, it may not be an option for you. Always have a plan B in place to address the unexpected!

Your Planning Assignment
Ponder the option of an outdoor event very carefully. Because of the many details that have to be coordinated and executed, an event planner may be just the person to help you pull it all together!

Happy Planning!


  1. One of the things I frequently find that couples forget about in planning an outdoor wedding is the heat. I'm amazed at how there is always a Plan B for rain, cold, and wind, but the temps can soar to 95 degrees and so many couples insist that the ceremony (and maybe even the reception) be held out of doors in the blazing sun.

    There is nothing more pathetic than a nervous groom in a black tux wilting (and broiling) in the sun.

    I agree that there are lots of considerations in planning an outdoor wedding--some of which wouldn't even occur to the bride and groom until it's too late to make changes.

  2. You are so right Maureen! I attended a wedding back in May, and although we were under a covered pavillion, the temp was in the 90s! Thankfully, the ceremony didn't last long, but we were all sweaty after it was over!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Well said Bre! Couples should also have shelter for their musicians/DJ and photographer in case of bad weather. Rain will ruin all that equipment in a hurry.

  4. Excellent point about the shelter for the DJ and photographer! Thanks for taking the time to read and share!