For many couples there is no better backdrop for their exchange of vows than an open sky and rolling field of green grass. When you choose an outdoor wedding venue, you are in for a truly unforgettable experience.
In addition to the standard wedding planning items, here are the top five tips from event planners on what NOT to forget when planning your outdoor wedding.
1. A variety of terrains can pose a challenge to guests.
Soft ground, loose gravel, and uneven terrain can pose an inconvenience or even a risk to guests in heels or with limited mobility. Ensure your guests can get from point A to point B by:
- Add a note in the invitation instructing guests on recommended footwear.
- Provide some last-minute footing aids for guests in heels such as slip-on heel covers.
- Set-up designated pathways or even a shuttle for those who might need some additional help getting around.
2. The elements may take a toll on guests.
A tented wedding venue is always a great hedge against too much sun or even a little rain. A little shade will go a long way towards keeping guests comfortable and providing you with some insurance against any surprises. Other thoughtful items to provide your guests might include:
- Handheld fans (which can double as wedding programs)
- Handkerchiefs and shawls.
- Sunscreen and parasols.
3. Beware the winged wedding crashers.
Insects may buzz in the ears of your guests at dusk, drown in glasses of wine or get stuck in your wedding cake. Some easy ways to keep these guys from crashing the party include:
- Provide insect repellent at strategic points along the way.
- Outfit glasses with drink covers (*Pro tip: cupcake tin liners work great for this).
- Use mosquito netting to create a canopy around the cake table.
4. Power outlets outside will be few and far between.
While many outdoor wedding venues will provide you with electrical power options it is important to know that they will be limited. Planning experts recommend utilizing non-electrical options as much as possible. They also stress doing a test of audio equipment to see how well guests can hear with and –just in case—without a microphone. Some other tips:
- Look to camping gear for lighting options.
- Make sure any candles used are insulted from the wind.
- Look for battery operated options when selecting audio equipment.
5. Outdoors after sundown? Pitch. Dark.
It can get dark outside. This means that places you might not think about – like the path people follow from their tables to the bathroom or even between the tables to the dance floor, will be hard to see. Make sure you and your guests are able to see in the dark!
- Illuminate pathways with ground lighting (solar path light stakes, LED string lights, candles in jars all will work).
- Set out baskets of small flashlights.
- Hang lights from and place them atop every available surface – think tree branches, under and on top of tables and around out of the way spots like the bathroom.
There are plenty of other disasters out there, but the right outdoor wedding venue will help you plan for and successfully avoid them. You can never prepare too much when it comes to weddings- especially when they’re outdoors!