Outdoor weddings have always been popular among engaged couples as they provide a natural setting appropriate for many couples looking to get married.  

By celebrating the beauty of your natural surroundings, you won’t have to bring in as much added décor. Outdoor weddings also tend to have a more casual and relaxed feel, which many couples — and their guests — enjoy.

Although outdoor weddings are a fun and safe option for couples, hosting a wedding outside does not guarantee success. There are several things you need to put in order. These things include: 

Pick the right venue

Before you get into the finer details, you should look for a wedding location that is not only certified to handle outdoor ceremonies but also has extensive experience with them. 

Some locations, for example, would have backup plans if it rains. Still, others have many built-in amenities designed exclusively for outdoor events, eliminating the need to rent a lot of equipment. 

Another thing to consider is that because the season for outdoor weddings is relatively short (i.e. the warmer months), there is likely to be a higher demand for these venues. If you want to secure your dream site, plan to book your venue well in advance. 

When viewing locations, look at interior and outdoor areas to ensure satisfaction. Remember that if the weather worsens, you may need to move the party indoors, so make sure you’re also happy with the indoor spaces.

Be cautious of the weather.

The weather is usually unpredictable, and even if you’re planning a summer wedding, there are always chances of the weather getting worse. For example, there is always the chance of it raining. 

You should discuss this with your venue before the wedding date. In any case, it may be a good idea to hire a tent or covered structure so that guests have somewhere to take cover if the heavens open or to find some shade on a hot day. 

You can always cancel the tent at the last minute once you know what the weather will be like, but be aware that this may result in the loss of a small deposit. 

Let the guests know what to expect.

Outdoor weddings are fun for guests and couples but are less enjoyable if the guests are unaware that the wedding will be held outside before attending. 

 If you’re having an outdoor wedding in the middle of the summer in a location known for its warm temperatures and asking guests to wear black tie attire, they won’t enjoy the event as they will be drenched in sweat.

It is in your best interest to consider how your guests will react to the occasion and advise them accordingly. 

For example, you should advise them on the footwear that will be most appropriate for the occasion, as certain shoes may be difficult to wear when walking on gravel or grass. 

If you will have a dance floor and you expect the guests to dance, let them know ahead of time so they can bring women’s ballroom dancing shoes or any other units. 

You shouldn’t expect your guests to know better. Ensure the message that you will be having your event outdoors is communicated clearly and multiple times.

A good way to do this is to post it on the website and spread the information via word of mouth.

Think about food and drink.

If your venue already has an in-house food team, that’s excellent. They will already be familiar with the venue’s restrictions and what is doable within the available space and facilities. 

It becomes a little more difficult if you hire external caterers, but it is not impossible. Simply ask them a few questions ahead of time to ensure they can cater for your outside event.

Find out how many outdoor weddings they’ve catered to in the past, what facilities they can bring, and what may need to be rented separately.

If your venue has a kitchen, they may be able to prepare food there. If not, ask them if they are comfortable cooking in an outdoor tent.

While you can serve a more traditional sit-down meal around a table, being outside provides numerous options to be creative with your catering.

You can hire a pizza oven, organize a large BBQ, or go all out with a hog roast. There are other ways to integrate food and drink outside the main course at your wedding. 

Food trucks are a popular choice, but you could also hire an ice cream van if you’re planning a summer wedding. Having your event outdoors allows you to think beyond the box, and you should take full advantage of it. 

Pay attention to the decorations.

One of the advantages of arranging an outdoor wedding is the opportunity to enjoy the natural surroundings. Due to this, you don’t need a lot of decorations. 

Ideally, your decorations should enhance, not obscure, the beauty of your surroundings. If using a tent, consider how you want to decorate it. Some will allow for chandeliers and proper wooden flooring, but if you keep it more casual, twinkling lights will help make it feel magical.

Of course, decorating your outside space may vary greatly depending on the surroundings, but you should take advantage of your existing landscape. 

Consider hanging lanterns from tree branches, illuminating specific paths, or adding a theme. DIY signage is a fun and inexpensive way to decorate your surroundings, as is upcycling mason jars with tealights to decorate the aisle

Like when serving food and drinks, you have plenty of options for decorating your outdoor space. Let your imagination and creativity take over and create the venue of your dreams. 

Get enough restrooms 

It may appear to be a minor detail, but having enough restrooms within easy reach of your major wedding venue is critical. No one wants to walk for a long time to find the bathroom, so consider whether they’re easily accessible to guests and whether you’ll need to hire extra.

Parting shot

Putting together a beautiful outdoor wedding is easy but you need to ensure all the above things are in place. Even if it’s your big day, always consider your guests and let them know ahead of time that you are having an outdoor event. This way, they come prepared with the appropriate outfit for the outdoor weather. As a rule of thumb, never try to catch your guests by surprise.