Blue skies and fresh air - celebrating outside can be beautiful but as I’ve learned there are an awful lot of things to consider.  For everyone planning an outdoor summer wedding, keep the following items in mind.

CONSIDER THE PROS AND CONS

Booking an outdoor wedding (especially one in a family member’s back yard) is easy on the budget and the location is full of sentimental value, however any savings are often countered when you consider other expenses like portable washrooms, flooring and a tent (if inside isn’t a viable rain plan). It’s also important to consult with a caterer to get a proper estimate on cooking utensils, ovens, staffing etc. Also, examine the location for pests and bugs, (hello Winnipeg mosquitoes). Then consider parking, permits, and liability insurance, which covers personal injury and property damage.

POWER

Audiovisual needs aren’t just limited to indoor celebrations. If your location doesn’t have electricity, you’ll need generators for your caterers equipment and power for your band or DJ. Think about evening lighting and no matter the time of year, fans, air-conditioning, or portable heaters are almost always necessary. I recommend walking through the site with an electrician so you know exactly what you will need.

JUST THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE

Always have your guests comfort in mind.  In case of light rain, make sure you have umbrellas on hand.  If it is a hot day, offer guests fans and a water station upon arrival and the opposite if it’s a bit chilly – pashminas or a blanket will do!

PLAN PLAN PLAN (AND HAVE AN OPEN MIND)

You always need to consider the worst-case weather scenarios. If there’s no indoor option, put a deposit on a tent, just in case. 

If you wake up to inclement weather on your wedding day, don’t wait until right before guests start arriving to make the call. The more time we have to prepare, the better.

THE SCENIC VIEW

Think about the safest and most direct route to direct guests from ceremony to cocktails and dinner. Start by designating a wide route that’s easy to walk on, which might mean putting down stepping stones or carpet on grass. Don’t direct your guests past washrooms or the caterers headquarters. Instead, make the walk pretty and fun: Create playful directional signs, use luminaries to light up paths, or have servers carrying trays of signature cocktails along the way.