Your outdoor wedding needs to be meticulously planned to ensure not only that everything goes smoothly, but there are contingency measures in place should the weather turn foul. There would be nothing worse than your special afternoon coming apart in a squall of heavy rain. When you’re arranging your location, decorations, and even your caterer, you need to consider ways to curb disaster should it begin to rain, hail, or blow a gale.
Choosing a Venue
Sourcing and booking your venue, after your budget and catering, is perhaps the most important item on your to-do list. Whether you’re hiring a venue or staging your wedding in your own backyard, you need to have contingency measures in place.
Backyard weddings are a trend on the rise: modern weddings are somewhat rinsed of formality and instead relaxed, casual affairs that can be held in almost any location. If you’re planning your wedding on a budget, a backyard affair might just be the answer. Should the weather turn foul, you can always take your celebrations inside your home. You could also ask amongst your circle of family and friends: does anyone you know have a backyard with a view, and an expansive, comfortable home to match that they would be willing to lend you for an evening? Using your own home – or someone else’s – as a contingency measure saves you the cost of hiring a marquee, or a venue with both an indoor and outdoor space.
There are a number of venues along the coast that offer outdoor spaces for hire alongside their banquet halls and ballrooms. Search around for a hired venue that can offer you a marquee or a second indoor space for a reasonable price: outdoor venues with marquees included in the base price are ideal if you’re looking to save yourself some money for your honeymoon.
You may, of course, decide to hold your wedding in a public space, such as a scenic local park or on a beach front. Even if you prefer to have your wedding completely out in the open air, hire a marquee to have on hand just in case the clouds decide to burst. While marquee hire can be costly, it certainly pays to have some form of cover on hand should it begin to rain.
Table and Furniture Hire
You will need to have your guest list well-and-truly sorted should you decide to have an outdoor wedding: this is because you’ll need to hire out your own seating arrangements. If you’re unsure of attendance, you could always hire extra chairs and tables: however, this could turn out to be an unnecessary expense added to your wedding costs. This expense can be avoided by knowing precise guest numbers at the time of hire: don’t forget to include yourself and your spouse-to-be!
You might also decide to include extra pieces of furniture for your guests to lounge upon, particularly if you’re opting for a cocktail service or wedding barbeque. Most hired venues with outdoor spaces will offer you a number of couches, lounges, chairs, and tables to scatter around your reception space: the result is a relaxed, casual vibe in which your guests can mingle amongst themselves. If you’re holding your outdoor wedding in your own backyard, you might choose to include items of your own furniture in your reception arrangement.
When you’re celebrating outdoors, your catering arrangements need to be thought through carefully. You should discuss your choice of venue with your caterer to ensure that they are able to safely and hygienically cook or transport food to your reception. If you’re holding your reception in your own home, ask your caterer whether your own cooking facilities are suitable for the preparation and plating up of meals. Similarly, if you’re hiring a venue, ensure that they have kitchen facilities on the premise that your caterer can utilise.
If you’re holding your reception in a public space, you and your caterer may need to undergo some careful planning. You could hold a barbeque reception for which your caterer arranges their own barbeque and equipment: or perhaps a series of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres that your caterer will need to prepare offsite and then transport to your location.
Consider, too, when your caterer is preparing food outdoors, what kind of damage or harm could occur in the case of rain mixing with electrical equipment. Be sure to discuss your outdoor reception catering with your caterer: the right caterer will have had enough experience to plan for every issue.
Time of Day
If you’re holding your reception outdoors, you won’t have the luxury of air-conditioning or even ceiling fans to keep you cool. Because of this, a midday summer wedding reception might not be your best option. Summer weddings are generally held in the late afternoon or at dusk as the heat begins to give way to the cool of evening.
Many couples holding outdoor weddings don’t think to consider ground cover. While this may seem unimportant, it can be important should the weather turn foul and the pleasantly green turf under your feet turns to mud. Hiring portable flooring is a simple, clever way to beat the rain. Portable flooring works particularly well inside of a marquee, but you could also consider putting down an outdoor dance floor. Search around for portable flooring that will take the combined weight of your guests and has a non-slip surface.
Holding your wedding outdoors is a great way to take advantage of the summer sun: you can also take advantage of a thrilling view. With some careful planning and with contingency measures in place, your outdoor summer wedding will go off without a hitch.