Did you know that I have planned more OUTDOOR WEDDINGS than indoor? YES, it is true! If we know one thing around here it is outdoor weddings are so wonderful. BUT, they do require you think about a few details differently.
MISTAKES BRIDES MAKE ALL THE TIME WHEN PLANNING AN OUTDOOR EVENT.
Don't be THIS bride!
Think about the terrain of your outdoor location, will you have to walk a lot? Is your aisle long? Can your shoes withstand the rain? What about comfort? We always recommend wedges for an outdoor venue, or maybe something with a block heel. But, there are so many heel protectors you can get to stilettos to help balance you on any terrain. We also suggest packing a second pair for your reception. We don't want you to miss out on the dance floor!
Back up plan
Yes, obvious... But, what happens when it really does rain on your parade? Work with your wedding planner to have a solid plan in case of rain. Make sure to have a "call time" for making that last minute decision. Although, the weather is not always predictable, there is a lot that goes into getting a space ready for hundreds of people. So, make sure a decision is made in time that the change of plans can be executed with the least amount of disruption to your guests. And remember, things may not be exactly how you envisioned them, but at least you are dry! Tents are a nice option to have with any outdoor event. This can help with the protection of vendor's electrical equipment, you can also create a great staging area if the tent is not needed to keep guests dry.
Typically, any location you have your wedding event at will have buildings and spaces that have taken care of ADA compliance already. But, with an outdoor space ADA compliance may be something to consider. Where can guests park? Who may need some extra assistance? Is there room for them to wheel in a wheel chair or walk with a walker if needed? If they are walking down the aisle, is it wide enough for them to pass? When dinner is outside, is there enough space between chairs and tables for them to maneuver? Your wedding planner should be asking if you have any guests coming who may need extra assistance. But, if they don't make sure to bring it up to them. A plan can be put in place to get them to all events comfortably!
Not, all venues are created equal. There are so many beautiful spaces to discover to have your dream wedding at. But, when a space is not solely an event venue there can be a few more things to think through. Does your outdoor location have lights? If not, are you allowed to bring them in? Where will their power source be? If generators are needed, have you considered how noisy they can be? Will they be covered in case of inclement weather? Do you have extension cords to reach all the locations you plan to utilize? Ask these questions early on. Figure out a plan with your wedding planner, and make sure you have someone in charge of these details so when vendors arrive they can be pointed in the right direction for use.
Where will your guests go to the restroom? Is there a location on site? Is it easy for your guests to find? If you plan to have an evening wedding, we would suggest not only posting signs for guests awareness of the restroom, but also have it lit appropriately. If guests cannot see it, it can be really frustrating for them. And let's be honest, a restroom is required.
Most outdoor events revert to disposable dishware. Unless, your catering company is providing dishware that they will also clean up, disposable dishware is a great choice, especially when it comes to clean up! Keep in mind, catering companies will usually only take care of items they provide to you. So, if you work with an outside rental company to provide dishes and glassware, the catering company will not collect, clean, or haul away dirty dishes. That is a big job after a very long day. So consider disposable, and where guests will place it. Do you have visible trash cans? You will want to ensure that your guests can see where to dispose of trash and recycling. If not, you will find it everywhere on the property and will have to spend time cleaning up something that could have been avoided.