Outdoor weddings can be beautiful affairs, set with many natural elements.  However, there are many more moving parts involved in planning an outdoor wedding than there are in planning an indoor wedding. Here are six tips for planning your outdoor wedding.

1. Don’t Forget To Make Restroom Plans

There is a variety of options to choose from for restrooms for an outdoor wedding, including restroom trailers. Make sure you check whether there are restrooms available on-site, or if you need to rent trailers. Restrooms are important at any event, even more so at a wedding that can last several hours. . It’s a good idea to find ways to dress them up a bit, by adding decorations that match the rest of your wedding decor, and possibly hiring restroom attendants.

2. Think About What Dining Outside Means

You need to look for a caterer that can provide food and drinks for outdoor events. Look for caterers that have plenty of experience storing, preparing, and serving food outdoors. Make sure you’re able to pay for extra equipment for storing and preparing food outdoors, and check whether you’ll need to rent that separately or whether it’s part of an outdoor catering package. It’s better to choose a plated meal and passed appetizer option than a family-style or buffet package, as the latter carries more risk of attracting insects.

3. Have a Contingency Plan for Inclement Weather

Planning an outdoor wedding means your event is more at-risk of inclement weather-related issues. Even if you have a tent, heavy rain can penetrate the fabric, cause the tent to collapse, or make the ground too muddy or slippery to walk on. If you plan a wedding for the winter or for midsummer, you’ll risk extreme temperatures and potentially extreme weather, such as snowfall and thunderstorms. Unlike other issues, the weather can’t be planned for far in advance, so you should discuss contingency plans with your wedding planner and wedding party.

 Outdoor wedding dining room

4. Make Sure Your Guests Are Aware It’s an Outdoor Wedding

Your invitees should be prepared well in advance for your outdoor wedding. Make sure you mention the outdoor venue on your invitations and provide any relevant information on your wedding’s website. This may include suggestions for appropriate attire for the season and weather, what the terrain will be like so they know what shoes to wear, and requests for any accessibility needs. Guests who use mobility aids or who don’t do well in cold or hot weather may need assistance or may not be able to attend the ceremony, so you should be aware of their potential needs.

5. Utilize a Sound System

It’s more difficult for sound to carry outdoors than indoors, so you’ll need a sound system with excellent microphones and speakers. You may want to invest in wireless microphone and Bluetooth speaker options so they can be easily moved around and passed between the DJ, coordinators, and guests. This will also prevent wires from needing to be strung across the ground and becoming potential tripping hazards.

6. Invest in Good Coverage

Even if inclement weather during your wedding is unlikely, there are still good reasons to provide various types of coverage. Depending on your location, your guests may not have natural shade available, bugs may be bothersome or temperature control may be required. You should rent a tent or umbrellas so guests have shade. See what climate control options are available to you. Make sure your caterer is capable of protecting food and drinks from high temperatures and pests. If you know bugs will be an issue, get the venue treated by professional exterminators and utilize mosquito netting and insect-deterring scents or flowers in your decor.

It’s always a good idea to coordinate with a professional planner when you plan a wedding, but especially for outdoor weddings. A professional will know the ins and outs of dealing with weather, temperature, coverage, and catering, among other things, for an outdoor wedding.

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