Tips for planning an outdoor wedding

Outdoor weddings are very popular and bring an informal, relaxed atmosphere to the event. Follow these tips to plan the perfect outdoor wedding.

Tips for planning an outdoor wedding

Dealing with the weather

Wind and rain can be a problem when you hold an outdoor wedding, so look for a venue with indoor backup facilities.

  • Many brides and grooms opt for an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception. If you choose a place with backup facilities, you can move the ceremony indoors if the weather doesn't cooperate.
  • If you plan to use tents for the reception, remember that open-sided tents can still let in the wind and the rain. Be sure to have an indoor backup plan in place in case the weather changes.
  • Choose a wedding gown and bridesmaids' dresses that won't get whipped around in a wind. Lightweight fabrics like chiffon should be avoided.
  • Also, select hairstyles with staying power. Choose reinforced updos, and avoid bangs or loose wisps of hair. Otherwise, you could end up with hurricane hair.

Can you hear me?

As picturesque as a wedding at the beach or in a public park sounds, think about the surrounding sounds.

  • Roaring waves or children at play can drown out the ceremony.
  • Consider renting a sound system with microphones and speaker. That way, the guests will be certain to hear that momentous "I do."


Bugs can be a problem at outdoor weddings. Use citronella candles or an electronic bug-zapping system to keep insects away from guests and food.

  • Put candles or bug zappers in strategic places well in advance of the ceremony so you can create a bug-free zone.

Food and drink

Choose a caterer that has experience with outdoor events.

  • Keep food for outdoor weddings simple and avoid things like mayonnaise, which can spoil if it gets warm.
  • Champagne toasts are romantic, but alcohol can be dehydrating. Be sure to also offer non-alcoholic drinks like lemonade and water.

Keep everybody comfortable

Time your wedding with everybody's comfort in mind if you plan to hold the ceremony during the warm weather months.

  • Sunset often offers slightly cooler temperatures and is a popular time for outdoor weddings.
  • Check out the venue at the time of day you plan to hold your wedding to judge what time is best.
  • Also, think about toilet facilities. Are existing restrooms adequate? If not, consider renting upmarket portable facilities.

With a little planning and attention to detail, an outdoor wedding can be a happy time that will create wonderful memories.

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