10 PLANNING TIPS
FOR A SUCCESSFUL OUTDOOR WEDDING
With summer in mind, you may consider appreciating the unparalleled beauty of nature and opt for an outdoor wedding. Once you have found that precious gem of an ideal venue, the outdoors offer bright blue skies, golden sun rays, green and lush gardens, revitalising breezes of fresh air and, not to mention outdoor weddings can be very romantic too. Having said this, if things are however not properly planned, the elements and various other factors can quickly dampen the mood.
In planning your event, keep in mind the kind of experience you want your guests to have and with that, let’s get right into some of the things you need to consider for a successful outdoor experience.
- LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION… You are thinking of the outdoors because of all the beauty you will get to see right? Well, if this is the case then make sure that you select a venue that is both meaningful to you but also practical for an outdoor event and that will accommodate the number of guests you have.
- THE WEATHER….sounds rather obvious but the weather involves much more than just assessing the temperature and likelihood of rainfall on the day. Also assess if the day is forecasted to be windy or not as a lot of wind can potentially cause some discomfort for your guests. To avoid being caught by surprise, consider a weather forecast that shows you the hourly weather conditions for your selected date and location. Consider your seating arrangements carefully to make sure that the rays of the sun do not end up impairing your guests’ visibility resulting in them battling to properly witness your ceremony. Use parasols or strategically place umbrellas all around the open areas to avoid direct sun, and to avoid overheated chairs due to the chairs being exposed to the sun.
- INSECTS AND BUGS… these are part of nature and trust me, they will be making a special appearance at your event invited or not! Be prepared for how to deal with these especially where food is involved. Place the necessary insect repellents at your table settings and be careful with the choice of flowers used at tables, as some flowers are more prone to attract bees than others.
- WHAT’S ON THE MENU … some foods tend to quickly go off if kept outdoors for a long period so keep this in mind. If any of your confectionaries have frosting, the frosting could easily start melting away before the food is eaten. Consider the menu of the day and the manner in which you will serve your food. Have the necessary discussion with your caterer and verify that they have experience running outdoor events, that they are on board with not only health concerns around the food served, but that they will also ensure good presentation of the food and will have access to electricity and running water.
- KEEP HYDRATED… have plenty of water and other drinks readily available to keep everyone hydrated especially on a particularly sunny day.
- SOUND SYSTEM… outdoor factors such as wind, sea waves, trees and birds chirping can end up interrupting sound. Do not overlook this important aspect during your planning. Speak to your DJ and venue liaison to ensure that the quality of sound on the day is not compromised as a result of hosting your wedding outdoors.
- RENTAL ITEMS … with an outdoor wedding, additional items will be required to set up the scene such as tables, chairs and glassware. Keep the associated costs of renting out such items in mind and plan accordingly with your wedding coordinator to ensure that all aspects required will be available in an outdoor setting.
- SHINE BRIGHT … lighting is particularly important if your celebrations will continue after sunset. Your guests should still be able to see what is taking place once the sun goes down. If your venue is not adequately lit, you may need a generator to ensure that you provide adequate lighting in the evening. Consider the services of a lighting professional to ensure everything stays lit up during the entire evening.
- HYGENIC RESTROOMS… don’t forget to think about what available facilities are at your selected venue and that these are clean, and will appropriately accommodate the number of guests present on the day.
- CONTIGENCY PLAN … also known as “Plan B” – say it all of the sudden starts to rain as a result of the weather unexpectedly changing… what will you do? Have you thought of a backup tent or standby indoor reception room to accommodate your guests? Worst-case scenarios may happen so properly think through these scenarios.
The idea is to keep everyone as comfortable as possible during your outdoor wedding or event. Keeping your guests’ comfortable means that they get to relax and they can properly appreciate and enjoy the day with you. So, to ensure that your outdoor wedding is a memorable affair enjoyed without any glitches, properly cross your t’s and dot your I’s. Do not leave things to chance and make sure you have your contingency plans in place to allow you to relax on the day.
What are some of your ideal venues for an outdoor wedding?
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