An outdoor wedding is an entirely different experience than an indoor wedding. There are many different variables in play, as well as a variety of different vendor needs. It can be intimidating to figure out the most important aspects and outdoor wedding fundamentals, but we’re here to help.
Outdoor weddings have always held a special place in our hearts. From beautiful surroundings to gentle breezes, and the practically effortless incorporation of nature into your wedding theme, there are plenty of reasons to love an outdoor wedding. Over the last few years, outdoor weddings have become even more popular, which comes as no surprise. They afford you more space for a larger wedding ceremony and reception, with the added benefit of giving your guests plenty of elbow room and fresh air.
FIRST, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A WEATHER PLAN IN PLACE.
It may be considered good luck to have rain on your wedding day, but outdoor weddings are inevitably hinged on pleasant weather. If you hail from the Midwest, you know just how finicky weather can really be. Regardless of whether your ceremony, reception, cocktail hour, or even just a portion of your wedding day will be held outdoors, it is absolutely essential to have a plan in place for weather.
Whether your wedding will be held on a private estate or at another outdoor venue, you need to have a backup plan in place in case rain, wind, or any other inclement weather conditions should arise.
Some outdoor venues provide covered “outdoor” structures, such as a barn or similar canopied space, but private estates typically do not offer anything of the sort. No matter what type of venue you choose, consider the benefits of renting a tent. By opting to rent an elegant wedding tent, you’ll have the option of moving a portion or the entirety of your wedding under shelter if needed.
When choosing and reserving your wedding tent, be sure to consider:
- What size of tent is needed to cover all your guests?
- How many days in advance do you need to make the final decision to have the tent set?
- Will your tent rental vendor provide a crew to set up and tear down the tent? How long is it expected to take so that you can begin setup underneath?
- Is there an additional cost for set up and tear down on a weekend?
- Do you need to pull a permit at the location you are hosting your event to set up a tent?
NEXT, CONSIDER HOW YOU PLAN TO HANDLE CLIMATE CONTROL.
No matter when your outdoor wedding will take place, you need to have a plan for climate control. This note on the outdoor wedding fundamentals, will keep your guests from sweating through their Sunday best. “Outdoor wedding” and “climate control” may seem like an oxymoron, but seasonal allergies are real and can be brutal, and while outdoor weddings are beautiful, the heat and cold can at times become unbearable.
Thankfully, there are solutions! Herc Rentals is the industry go-to for a plethora of options to control the climate of an outdoor tent, barn, or other outdoor structure, including air conditioning or heat. They also provide options for power sources to help with lighting, sound, and more.
Rather than leave your guests and wedding party to fend for themselves, opt to provide some welcome relief from the heat or cold. Everyone will have a more enjoyable experience at your outdoor wedding, including you!
When choosing your climate control and power source needs, be sure to consider:
- Historically, what has the weather been like on your wedding date for the past few years? Will you need cooling or heating?
- Will your reception music and lighting need a power source, or do they provide their own? And if they do, will it be wise to provide a backup source, just in case?
BE SURE TO PLAN FOR A DANCE FLOOR.
If there’s one thing all wedding guests agree on, it’s that there’s nothing quite like a great dance floor. Nothing’s more fun than watching a happy couple glide across the floor for their first dance, or a dance floor filled with those you love having the time of their lives. That’s why an outdoor dance floor is an easy addition to the outdoor wedding fundamentals.
Outdoor weddings provide you with the versatility to create a dance floor virtually anywhere, but we caution against creating an outdoor space for dancing without providing an actual dance floor. A bare ground dance floor is prone to divots, dips and has great potential for sprained ankles, accidents, or spills.
Don’t try to skimp on this step: if you’re planning to have dancing at your outdoor wedding, you need a dance floor…and it’s worth considering flooring for your entire tent.
Be sure to consider the following when communicating with your flooring vendor:
- What styles of portable flooring are available? (Be sure to ask for pictures!)
- Who handles setup and tear down? When will delivery be available?
BRING INDOOR CONVENIENCES TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS.
The allure of outdoor weddings is perhaps only dampened by the lack of items which are naturally available indoors, but don’t let that deter you from the outdoor wedding of your dreams.
Plan for every possible need, and consider providing a “convenience station” or two at ideal locations around your venue. Keep them stocked with outdoor necessities that make sense for your wedding, such as: water, sunscreen, bug spray, fans, busy kits for children, tissues, breath mints, and hand sanitizer.
Don’t forget to provide clearly marked signs for your guests, which point the direction to restroom facilities, reception, ceremony, yard games, dance floor, cocktail hour, and more. Consider providing a large sign with timing and your schedule of events, to help guests make sure they are where they need to be at the appropriate times.
Say goodbye to the overwhelm, and hello to overjoyed! Once you’ve covered these outdoor wedding fundamentals, you’ll be ready to host the beautiful (and perfectly planned) outdoor wedding of your dreams.