Planning an Outdoor Wedding

So you’ve conjured images of your dream wedding: in your Grandmother’s manicured rose garden, overlooking the ocean; or in your parents’ backyard, by the pool; or out on the lawn of a public park or an historical site. Either way, an outdoor wedding is something very special; something you and your guests will forever remember.

An outdoor wedding can be splendid indeed, but do your homework first. Visit the location many times during the planning months, especially at the time of your event. Pay attention to the ambient noise, the lay of the land, the size of the parking area, and even the direction of the sun. You want to ensure that your guests can easily get to the site, can hear and see you without loud traffic or the sun in their eyes, have convenient and clean restroom facilities, and that there are no large swathes of grassy areas where women in high-heeled shoes will be required to traverse. Additionally, if you have any handicapped or elderly guests attending, be mindful of their special needs.

A few salient points to also consider:

A tent provides shade, as well as sanctuary from inclement weather, and is a must for potentially hot summer afternoons and should be able to accommodate all of your guests if needed. If getting married at home, send a note to the neighbors that may be inconvenienced by cars lining the street. Your courtesy will make for a less stressful day for them and may avoid problems later. Besides, the last thing you want is your neighbor weed-whacking during your I do’s.

You may want to inform your guests of your outdoor intentions, whereby they may dress appropriately. Be mindful of any ‘wind factor’ with regards to candle-lit centerpieces, hairdos, place-cards, etc.

Consult your tent rental professional and caterer to provide you with everything you may need, from china and stemware, tables and chairs, linens, lighting, fans, heaters and dance floors. Account for bars, gift tables, sign-in and seating chart tables, and cocktail tables when planning space requirements for the tent. Reserve ahead of time so that you may have the items you want and need in order to make your day what you’ve always dreamed of. Also, be sure to check with local requirements for holding an outdoor event, from serving alcohol to required permits, and noise restrictions.

Written by Sarah Pineault