There can be a lot of stress when wedding planning, particularly one that is to be held outdoors. Here are some tips to help you make prepare for all of the possibilities that you may encounter with planning an outdoor wedding.
Tip 1 - Weather
One of the biggest risks associated with an outdoor wedding is being exposed to the elements. Don't trust weather reports for the "big day". Have a backup plan or ideas already in place. One way to ensure there will be no disasters on the wedding day is to book your wedding at a place that also has indoor facilities. You can plan for it to be outside, but if weather doesn't permit, the plan is already in place to move the wedding indoors.
If you are determined to have the wedding outside, renting tents is a good idea. Keeping your guests dry in the rain, warm in the cold or cool in the heat will make the event more enjoyable and memorable. If your wedding is exposed to high heat, be sure to provide water and fans for your guests' comfort. If cold weather is the problem, serve hot cocoa and provide a place to go to warm up by renting portable heaters.
Tip 2 - Amenities
Make sure the outdoor area has the necessary electricity for lighting and DJ equipment. Test all outlets at least the night before and tape/secure all extension cords to avoid tripping and/or outages. You will also need to make sure there are restrooms close by for your guests to use. If it is a remote location consider renting portable restrooms. There are nice ones for special occasions such as this. The bride will need a place to get ready before walking down the isle. You may need to rent an enclosed tent for this purpose.
Tip 3 - Food
At an indoor wedding the cake in usually on display during the entire wedding. Outdoors, you may run the risk of insects getting on the cake. Consider bringing the cake out right before the cutting to avoid unwanted pests. Your caterer will need to know the location of the closest kitchen. If there isn't one in the vicinity they may have to bring meals precooked on warmers. Also, drinks need to be kept cold, so inquire with the facility's event planner about access to refrigeration.
Tip 4 - Timing
Think about the time of day you are planning your wedding. Where will the sun be during the ceremony? Make sure the sun will not be directly in the eyes of your guests, making it uncomfortable to witness your special day. Think about the pictures. If you want a sunset picture, plan accordingly. You may need to visit the site before any planning happens to figure out a good picture location and arrangement of the chairs to avoid the glaring sun.