It’s no secret that outdoor weddings are our favorite. We love the chance to sit among the trees with a fresh breeze blowing through. That being said, outdoor weddings do present some challenges, so it’s important to have solutions to every problem!
Budget: A lot of people think that having an outdoor, backyard bash is a great way to save on your wedding. Definitely not true! Most outdoor weddings cost just as much if not more than a wedding at a hotel or indoor space. You’ll need to bring in everything to the space which means you need to outsource everything. Definitely prepare your budget ahead of time to account for all the costs: tents, flooring, tables, chairs, linens, bathrooms, lighting and more.
Read more on tents here.
Time of Year: It’s important that you consider the time of year. For example, if you’re getting married in the South, then Spring or Fall will be better because of the heat. Or, if you’re getting married in Chicago, May and June or September to early October would be great months for you. You’ll also need to consider the actual time: when is the sun the hottest and when is it setting? These are things to consider when you select your ceremony start time as you don’t want guests sweating in the sweltering heat.
Bad Weather: This is probably the most likely concern when you’re considering an outdoor wedding. Unless you live in some magical place where the weather is the perfect 82* all year long, you’ll need a back up plan. If possible, having an indoor option is your best bet. If that’s not possible, then definitely consider having a tent that can also have walls put up just in case of rain.
Catering Kitchen: You’ll need a kitchen that can accommodate everything that a caterer needs. You might need water sources, generators and refrigeration. It’s important that you contact caterers that do quite a bit of outdoor weddings, and they’ll be able to explain their needs. Our favorites in Chicago are Boutique Bites, The Entertaining Company and Paramount Events.
Bathrooms: Even if you’re hosting a backyard bash, you’ll need to have Porter Potties. They actually are way more glamorous than they sound! You can have some beautiful, high-end Porter Potties these days. We suggest at least one bathroom per 50 guests.
Parking: Your best bet here is to opt to have a shuttle service pick up guests from their hotels. If that’s not possible, hire a valet service to park guests cars. If you are having a backyard bash, make sure to let your neighbors know about the extra cars that will be parked all night long.
Lighting: It will get dark once the sun fully sets. Prepare ahead of time by having great lighting. Opt for cafe style lights in the tent, and then create a pathway with lights for guests outside of the tent. In addition that, place citronella candles around the tent to help prevent mosquitoes. A fun touch for guest favors: gift guests custom flashlights that they can use on their way out!
Wedding Cake: Don’t place the cake out until the very last minute, and then take it away once you’ve cut it. When you’re outside, the cake will definitely attract bugs, and they will get stuck in the frosting. We know: not cute and kind of gross, but very true.
Final Touches: Make sure to have the grass cut, and spray for mosquitoes the day before the wedding. In the bathrooms, make sure to have some extra goodies for guests like bug spray and sunscreen.