It’s official – Spring has sprung, and you know what that means – warmer months are coming! With the change in weather, it’s no surprise that outdoor weddings are trending, and I for one could not be more excited about it! Outdoor weddings are some of my favourite weddings to plan, particularly those situated within a beautiful, natural setting. Nature provides the perfect backdrops for your big day, and we are so lucky here in Australia to be surrounded by picturesque landscapes. However, planning an outdoor ceremony or reception requires a different approach than if you were planning an indoor wedding. Today, I’m going to be sharing my top tips for planning your outdoor wedding.
Tip 1 - Have a Backup Space
This is my best piece of advice for planning an outdoor wedding – have a backup space. It’s all well and good that you have found the perfect location, whether it be a beautiful garden, park, beach, backyard, lakeside etc. and I know that you don’t want to think about inclement weather, but there are some things that we cannot control – the weather being the main culprit. Whether it be rains, floods, or even heatwaves – you don’t want to risk having to cancel your wedding at the last minute or scramble to the nearest local restaurant in the hopes that they have room for your guests. I know that it might be pricey, but consider leaving room in the budget to put a deposit on a local hall or even think about booking a marquee as your backup space. When looking at particular wedding venues, ask them about their wet weather backup option, for instance, do they have a chapel that you could move your guests to?
Tip 2 - Consider the Climate & Time of Year
My second piece of advice is to consider the time of year that you want to get married, and what the climate will be like. Now, just because you’ve planned a midsummer wedding, doesn’t mean that it won’t rain, but you are more likely to have rainfall during the cooler months of the year. The time of year you choose for your outdoor wedding will also help you decide on the appropriate heating or cooling that you will require. Having an outdoor wedding in Summer may be lovely, but on those particularly hot days, you don’t want to risk your guests getting overheated. Ensure that you have equipment available to keep the temperatures down. Similarly, you don’t want your guests freezing in the middle of Winter, so think about hiring appropriate heating to keep everyone warm. During the hotter months, you might also want to ensure that you have lots of seating available, so that guests aren’t left standing around getting sweaty!
Tip 3 - Ensure you have Power Available
If you are having a completely outdoor wedding, then you will certainly need power. Everything from lighting, microphones, music, heating/ cooling, speakers etc. will need power. Speak to your vendors and ask what they will require, for example, your celebrant might have their own speaker system for your vows, but your DJ will probably need connections for their setup. Check in with your caterers if they will not be working in a kitchen set up and enquire about what power sources they plan on using. You may need to book generators to help power your wedding.
Tip 4 - Make sure there are Appropriate Facilities
If you are having a completely outdoor wedding, and there are no bathrooms or buildings nearby, then there will be some logistical planning involved to ensure that there are appropriate facilities at your wedding. You may need to look into hiring portable toilets/ bathrooms for your guests (there are actually some really nice ones that look like real bathrooms that you can hire for events). You will also want to make sure that you have appropriate lighting surrounding your wedding area, particularly in high traffic areas, such as between the reception area and the bathrooms, or surrounding pathways. You might also want to consider purchasing/ creating some extra signage that will direct guests throughout the space i.e. towards the food/ drinks/ bathrooms/ guest table/ car park, as you won’t be in a traditional wedding venue which is set up with appropriate signage already. Finally, think about how you will be removing any rubbish at the end of the night because unlike a traditional venue, you probably won't have large rubbish bins readily available, so you need to think about how you will ensure that any rubbish is removed from the site.
Outdoor Weddings can be great – you have so much more variety with your locations/ backdrops and will often have a lot of space if you have a particularly large wedding. But planning an outdoor wedding does involve a lot more planning with more moving parts, but you can have a particularly great outdoor wedding if you take heed of the above tips.