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Outdoor Wedding Tips

Updated on April 24, 2012

Make Sure Your Nuptials Go Smoothly

It can be risky to choose to have an outdoor wedding. You never know if Mother Nature will be on your side on W-Day. But if done well, it can really be spectacular.

I've compiled this list of tips based on what I learned helping to plan my sister's outdoor wedding. We were lucky that everything went relatively smoothly, but it definitely helped that we did a ton of planning and preparation work long before the big day. Read on to find out how you, too, can have a successful outdoor wedding!

Image source: Flickr.

General Outdoor Wedding Tips - Just the Basics

  1. Have a back up plan. This is the number one tip! And you should follow it even if you plan to get married indoors. You never know what life will throw at you, so have a plan for a back-up venue. We rented a tent to use in case of light rain, and our house was big enough to host the reception if necessary.
  2. Rain isn't the only problem. Sure, having rain on your wedding day can be a pain. But it's not the only thing you need to think about. Wind, temperature, and even insects are all things you should prepare to deal with if you think they'll become an issue.
  3. Try not to dawdle. Things can change quickly outdoors. A sunny day can get cloudy, the wind can pick up, and it can get hotter (or colder). Everyone appreciated that my sister's ceremony was short and sweet. Don't sacrifice your ideal nuptials, but do keep your guests' comfort in mind.
  4. Don't despair. Even if things threaten to become tricky, keep your head up. The important thing is, you're getting married!

Are Outdoor Weddings Sucky or Sweet? - You Decide!

What is your opinion on outdoor weddings?

Outdoor Wedding Tips: Tent, Tables, and Decorations - Make Your Wedding Pretty and Perfect

  1. Rent (or buy) a tent. The tent we rented for the wedding was a great investment. It really gave the backyard a festive feel, and made the wedding feel much more "real." And it made us worry less about the weather. We also rented tables, chairs, and tablecloths from the same place.
  2. Set up a sample table beforehand. Wedding planners always make sure to perfect the look of the table settings before the big day. You can always tweak later, but having a firm idea beforehand is best.
  3. Start buying decorations and settings early. Spreading out your purchases will help soften the blow of the cost of decorating your wedding. Plus, it gives you time to add items - or change your mind and take things back.

Need a Wedding Tent? - Look No Further!

10' x 30' Party Wedding Tent Gazebo Pavilion Catering Shelter White
10' x 30' Party Wedding Tent Gazebo Pavilion Catering Shelter White

Tents are kind of a pain to set up yourself, and don't do well in breezes. However, if you really want to save money, buying can be a good choice.


Outdoor Wedding Tips: The Food and Drinks - The More, the Merrier

  1. The more food, the better. Figure out how much food you'll need, and then plan on making more. Sure, you might be eating leftovers for a while, but it's better than having people go hungry!
  2. Limit drinking by limiting drinks. It seems to be a rule that people will consume however much alcohol there is at an event. You want people to be happy, but to be safe, as well: so don't overbuy on liquor. In fact, sticking to wine and beer can be a great way to simplify and save money. Make sure there are plenty of tasty non-alcoholic beverages on hand also.
  3. Consider getting helpers. I'm a big fan of making your own food for parties (or having potlucks); in my opinion, the quality is usually better than catering, and the cost is less. However, I would have liked to have hired some helpers (neighborhood teenagers, perhaps?) to do things like bring out food and clear the dishes.

Don't Forget Bathroom Facilities!

We had my sister's wedding (30 guests) at my parent's house, which boasts five bathrooms. So we didn't have to worry about facilities. However, if you have more guests, consider looking into renting Porta Potties.

Outdoor Wedding Tips: The Music

  1. Figure out the local rules. Many places are willing to be flexible for a wedding, but it doesn't hurt to know what you're up against beforehand.
  2. Choose some fun songs. There's something freeing about being outside; don't worry too much about sticking to traditional songs. Also, unless you set up a dance floor, you don't have to worry as much about having songs that "people can dance to."
  3. If you want to have a DJ or a band... consider the unique challenges an outdoor ceremony will pose, such as electricity and lighting.

Have You Experienced an Outdoor Wedding? - Vote Here!

What did you think of the outdoor wedding?

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Share them here! Or just leave a note telling us you stopped by :)

Have Any Good Outdoor Wedding Tips? - Or Disaster Stories, Perhaps?

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great LENS!! SquidLike 4 u! If your looking for some interesting ideas for uplighting your special event - visit my new lens LED Uplighting

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      NC Shepherd 5 years ago

      I'm planning an outdoor wedding. Thanks for the tips.