Top Five Tips for Planning an Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings can be beautiful and aesthetically pleasing but there are certain things you need to plan ahead for if you want to enjoy the great outdoors at your wedding and/or reception.

Follow these tips for a memorable and comfortable wedding experience!


Tip #5.  Dress for the weather.

Be season-conscious when choosing fabrics for the bridal party’s clothes. In summer, lightweight fabrics such as cotton, linen, and chiffon can be much more comfortable than heavier fabrics.


Choose sensible shoes – heels tend to sink in grass or sand, but many brides are opting for stylish flip-flops for the wedding party.


A complete suit, tie, and vest ensemble can be brutal in summer sun for the men! Consider slacks and vests or lightweight linens for suits.


Tip #4. Select venue-conscious foods.

If you choose to have an outdoor reception, take the weather into consideration when planning your menu. If you are expecting heat and/or humidity, mayonnaise-based salads or finger sandwiches are not the best idea, as they must be served cold.


Likewise, consider what type of icing you’d like on your cake: fondant holds its shape much better under warm conditions than buttercream, which is prone to melting. Be sure to discuss your choices with your caterer and your cake maker.


Tip #3. Expect wind and/or sun exposure.

Prepare for the possibility of wind and sun. If your ceremony is outside, try to angle the chairs so the sun is at the backs of your guests, not in their eyes. Let your hairstylist know that you’ll be outside for an extended period of time so that your hairstyle will last through the event. It’s a good idea to have the men use a bit of pomade so their hair stays in place as well.


Tip #2. Have a back-up plan.

Always, always, always have a back-up plan. For your outdoor reception you may consider having a sturdy, weighted tent so that you and your guests don’t get soaked in the downpour. And some of them nowadays are simply lovely.


Tip #1. Make your guests comfortable & plan for the essentials.

Will the weather be warm and sunny? Brisk and cloudy? Be prepared. If your wedding is planned for July and it’s likely going to be hot, consider printing your programs on fans or setting up a tasteful stand in the back where guest could find water before the ceremony.


Your guests will also need restroom facilities for your wedding guests. Look for professionally designed, luxury restroom trailers complete with air conditioning, a stereo system, full length mirrors, flat screen TV’s and more.

(Check out our full line of luxury restroom trailers here!)

Preparing for the Perfect Outdoor Wedding


Outdoor weddings are a picturesque way to take advantage of the season and infuse your wedding with some non-traditional elements. There are different concerns you’ll need to keep in mind about having your ceremony and/or reception outside. Use these tips, rules, and general guidelines to ensure that your outdoor wedding is everything you imagined it would be:


Comfort is key.
Make sure you and your guests are comfortable in an outdoor venue. Depending on the season, this may mean providing fans or outdoor heating, refreshing or warming beverages.


Researching these aspects early on in venue planning can help you determine if amenities are offered at your proposed venue and, if they are not, then you can obtain them in plenty of time. Another nice touch is to make sure that there’s at least one well-lit path to the bathrooms, whether they are located inside a building or a temporary restroom trailer.


Check the Rules.
Check to see what kinds of rules and/or permits you may need to obtain in order to get married or host a reception at an outdoor venue. Tying the knot at a picturesque park, beach, or mountaintop is wonderful, and complying with any regulations or paperwork before the date helps ensure that your day runs smoothly.


Here comes the sun.

Talk to your photographer and/or videographer about lighting. Consider how and where the sun will hit when planning the ceremony and seating arrangements so Aunt Margaret doesn’t go blind from the sunset.


Also consider how the natural lighting will affect your wedding photography; you may decide you want to plan taking wedding pictures on a different day entirely, or you might ask your photographer to bring lighting equipment. Foresight regarding lighting can be useful with the festivities and the behind-the-scenes photography.


Provide weather accessories for your guests.
Pretty baskets filled with items such as parasols, paper fans, and pashminas can help guests deal with the elements. Not only is it a thoughtful gesture to take care of your loved ones, but the coordinated accessories will contribute to the ambience of your day and the pictures commemorating it.


Windproof (and waterproof) your decor.
Make sure that all your décor can withstand a strong breeze, as wind is a possibility in most places. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding and reception, consider having a back-up plan or a tent in case of precipitation.


Find an expert.
When in doubt, find an expert! If an outdoor venue does weddings regularly, they are likely to either cover details such as furniture and tents, or they’ll be able to offer advice on the best practices for weddings.


Prepare your guests with details.
A wedding website is the perfect place to include details about your wedding so that guests can plan accordingly. You can include a photo of the venue, a weather prediction, advice regarding footwear, and information about any worst-case scenario plans you may have.


Barring a website, including this in invitations is a thoughtful way to inform all your guests while reducing the number of urgent questions you receive in the week leading up to your wedding.


Your outdoor wedding adds another layer of personality to your special day – it can be adventurous or serene, wild or carefully cultivated. The options are limitless, and it’s entirely up to you!