Planning for Outdoor Weddings

Outdoor weddings are just gorgeous to behold and planning for it can be quite overwhelming . Here are top 10 things you need to consider once you start planning.


Always have a backup plan.

Weather conditions are hard to predict (Farmer's Almanac can help) and having a Plan B in case this happens is important. The ideal outdoor location has an indoor location for those times when nature decides not to cooperate. Most brides and grooms opt to have an outdoor wedding ceremony then have an indoor wedding reception.

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Comfort of guests.

When planning for your ceremony, consider your guests too. Is it too hot? Make sure you have a tent that could provide shade for them. Providing bottled drinking water also goes a long way in easing their discomfort and will be very appreciated. How about those flying, buzzing, pesky uninvited visitors a.k.a. mosquitoes and bugs? Lighting citronella candles or placing bug zappers in strategic places can help.

Plan for a windy or breezy day. 

Depending on the location of your wedding, the wind could be a big factor. If  you are having a beach wedding, then there's no question about it.

Make sure that all your decorations are securely held down. Wedding arches could topple over if not properly secured.

If you are planning on having an aisle runner, make sure it is not flimsy and easily blown away. Opting not to have one and just scatter petals up and down the aisle might be a better alternative.

Instead of a Unity Candle consider doing a Unity Sand Ceremony. In this timeless ritual of marriage, you and your groom pour various colors of sand from separate containers into one special container (which could be personalized for the occasion).

Pick the right wedding hairstyle that fits the occasion. You don't want your hair sticking to your lipstick all day!


Plan for Pictures.  Keep in mind good lighting if you have planned for an afternoon wedding. If your wedding date is set towards the end of summer, make sure that you research when it gets dark and plan for having your pictures taken when there is still light available.

A lot of couples are getting married in the fall. Autumn is starting to become the most popular time to have an outdoor wedding, even surpassing the ever popular June month. Maybe because of the cooler temperature and lower humidity. Or maybe it is the spectacular fall colors that is the big draw. 

Wedding Location

Permits, legal stuff and other necessities.

 If you plan on having your event on a public park or on a public beach, check to see if a permit is required. The city/town hall is your best reference for this. Check if they have regulations regarding parking, trash removal or candle lighting.

Clear sound system.

 Make sure that you provide for a good sound system for the musicians, DJs and for the officiating pastor during the ceremony.  In a beach wedding, the sound of the waves could make it impossible for your guests to hear the wedding ceremony.

Tent, Tables and Chairs.

If only the ceremony is outdoors, the most important thing you need to have are chairs. A tent is optional. If you have both the ceremony and reception outside, then you definitely would want a big tent and of course, you need tables too. So where to look for these items?

One place where you can borrow chairs and tables is your local church. They usually don't mind lending you the use of these items, just be responsible enough to delegate someone the responsibility of returning them after the wedding is done.

For the tents, check your local renting place and I am sure they can direct you somewhere if they don't have it.  Tables and chairs can be rented off from your local rental place also.

Plan for and stick to a wedding budget.

The size, location and style of any kind of outdoor weddings depends on this. After all, you do not want to have a grand wedding only to be bound by credit card bills that you have to pay for later.

Click here for more reading on wedding budgets.

Noise and uninvited spectators.

Make sure that the place you choose for your wedding is far from the noise of traffic and is not easily accessible for uninvited and curious spectators. If on a lake, some nosy jet skiers might come and check it out. Consider also if the place is near a busy highway. You don't want the revving of a motorcycle or the blowing of a car horn interrupt the solemnity of your wedding ceremony.

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