Mother Nature can be capricious, but nowadays, 35% of soon to be married couples put their trust in her for their weddings. Beaches, parks, fields, barnyards, forests–these are just a few of the outdoor wedding venues that have become popular with couples over recent years, and we think this is fantastic! Outdoor wedding venues are almost always cheaper than the average banquet hall rental, and with the overall costs of weddings skyrocketing due to additions like the cocktail hour, a little prudence isn’t going to hurt anyone. Furthermore, outdoor wedding venues offer more opportunities to be quirky and non-traditional with some aspect of the reception. Whether it’s decorations or corresponding outdoor activities, 40% of couples nowadays are looking to shake things up a little. (One bride we spoke to went white water rafting right after the “I do’s” in her dress!) Below are a few tips to make your outdoor wedding the best that it can be.
1. Don’t forget the tent. It’s all well and good to pray for sunshine, but if Mother Nature is angry that day, she’s going to rain all over your parade–literally. That’s why it’s best to invest in a tent as a fail safe. We recommend sailcloth tents due to their elegant and simple design and the fact that they are assuredly waterproof!
2. Adequate seating is a must. Even if you’re going for a “Survivor” theme, make sure there are enough logs for the guests to sit on! This isn’t merely an aesthetic necessity, but a matter of safety for any of your older guests who might get overheated or exhausted from standing for long periods of time.
3. Strip down the catering. Catering for events is always a difficult decision. When you’re sampling tasting menus, it might be a good idea to visualize how the food would hold up on a paper napkin or in the heat. It’s probably not a good plan to order the melting chocolate mousse, for example, but elegant finger sandwiches might be the way to go. If you’re absolutely determined to go super heavy on the food, you’re going to have to invest in good place settings and chairs as well–under the tent of course!
4. Explore new reception activities. The typical receptions are held at wedding halls where the go-to fun activity is dancing to the top 40 spun by a DJ. But you’re not typical–you picked an atypical venue after all, so why should you settle for the usual reception fun. Before the wedding, survey the landscape of your venue and search for inspiration. Perhaps instead of dancing, you could have a scavenger hunt, or model the grounds after an old-fashioned harvest festival. Maybe there’s archery or paint ball in your guests’ futures.
If you forget everything on this list but remember only one thing, remember this: Your wedding is your day! You don’t have to conform to anyone else’s idea of what it should be like, so if you’d like to stomp through the mud with your beloved under Mother Nature’s watchful eye, then that’s what you should do.