Friday, June 10, 2011

13 tips to plan an Outdoor Wedding

Are you planning an outdoor wedding? Outdoor weddings are quite beautiful to have in the spring, summer or fall-the greenery of the outdoors and the natural eco friendly environment gives a unique and intimate ambiance. However, it is more elaborate than a catering hall wedding, it requires a lot planning, such as a contingency plan in case if it rains, getting the proper measurements for a tent, the list goes on. Outdoor weddings can be a challenge, do your research, pay close attention to every detail and work closely with your wedding vendors.

Here are 13 tips that may be helpful for you when planning your outdoor wedding:
1)It is necessary to do your proper research, such as you need to know your budget and the location before meeting with vendors/venues. Keep in mind, some outdoor venues may have their own exclusive caterer and some outdoor venues may not have a catering company they use so you need to reserve a caterer. In addition to catering, there can be a fee to utilize the venue.

2)Make sure the venue has a kitchen for your caterer, such as refridgation, oven, stove, cooking space. Some outdoor venues do not have a kitchen nor refridgeration. The catering staff might have to prepare the food at a off-site location and transfer it to the venue or may preare the meals in a equipped truck near the reception area. Therefore, you need to inquire if the venue has a designated area for the catering staff to work.

3)Some venues do not have a table floor plan, therefore you will need assistance from the caterer, the venue facilitator/or your wedding planner to assist you in creating your floor plan. This is necessary because the caterer or rental company needs to know the space of the reception area and needs to know how many tables is required to fit in that area.

4)A tent for your reception is necessary. You do not want your guests to have dinner in a hot scorcher weather, they will not enjoy it neither will you. Therefore, you need to think about the proper shade for a tent. In addition, when searching for tent companies, schedule in person consultations at your venue. (it is useful so they can give you the exact measurements and the vision)

5)In advance, you need to require about logistics of the site, such as where should guests park when they arrive at the location. The venue grounds might be spacious and spread out, so you may need to consider renting a golf cart driver to escort the guests to the ceremony location, especially if you have guests that are disabled.

6)Inquire if the venue has a dance floor, otherwise you may need to rent a dance floor from the rental company. If it is a smooth granite/brick floor that should be fine for guests to dance, but if its on grass, or a rough brick floor you will need to rent a dance floor so guests heels do not get stuck on the grass or mess up their shoes.

7)Make sure you have the proper permits, if necessary.

8)Make sure you plan a reasonable timeline for setup and disemmbling. Your wedding planner can create a timeline for you. Other vendors such as the florist and entertainment cannot set up until the tent is set up and the tent cannot be taken down until all guests and vendors have left the area.

9)Make sure the tent is airconditioned/fans especially during the hot summer evenings.

10)Provide Citronella candles near the tent area to prevent mosquitoes

11)If your ceremony is outside without a tent and mother nature decides that it will rain on your day- you must have a contingency plan prior, such as renting a tent. You need to reserve that at least 2 months before your wedding date.

12)Inquire if your venue has valet parking. Otherwise you may need to hire a responsible company with good insurance. Ask them to arrive at least 45 minutes before the wedding to accommodate guests who arrive early.You should let them know if there is a increase in guest numbers so they can provide enough valet drivers.

13)Make sure you to meet with your audio/visual technicians on site for a walk-thru before the wedding. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, they would need to have have the proper audio/visual equipment such as mics, speakers, outlets, and lighting

Please contact to schedule a free consultation to discuss more tips about Outdoor Weddings!
Happy Planning!

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