The ambiance that’s created at an outdoor reception is completely different to that of a traditional indoor reception. The magical, English country garden feel that an outdoor wedding reception has creates a formal yet free setting. The only real downside to an outdoor wedding is the threat of the weather not going your way so it’s essential to have a backup plan just in case.
The great thing about an outdoor wedding is the flexibility that comes with it. You could hold it somewhere as close as your back garden or even on a sunny beach or on in the middle of a wood. So, if you think an outdoor wedding sounds like it could be for you then here is a small ‘to do’ list that will pull everything together nicely.
Things To Think About When Holding An Outdoor Wedding Reception
o The first and most important thing to think about when holding an outdoor wedding reception is the venue. You need to discuss all of the possibilities and settle on your favourite; remember that you’re not just limited to yours or a family member’s garden and could hold it by a lake, on a boat, at the beach, in a forest, at your local park or a country club – or anywhere else you can think of. Once you’ve decided you need to contact the owners of the land or the local council to check that you’ll be able to use the land for a wedding reception.
o Next your need to hire a gazebo, chairs and tables so that you and your guests have somewhere to go if the weather isn’t as you’d planned. If you have a gazebo set up and the weather remains suitable then your guests might want to head in their to get away from the sun for a while or you could have your food and bar in there so that there’s more room outside.
o If you’re having your wedding at a beach, park or in a wood where there isn’t likely to be any toilets nearby it’s essential that you hire portable ones.
o You should monitor the weather in the days leading up to the wedding and if it’s not looking good then you should get the gazebo ready just in case.
o There will be things that you’d never expect to need at a wedding reception but you can almost guarantee you’ll need them so have some scented candles, extension cords and umbrellas at the ready.
o Just because you’re holding your wedding outside doesn’t mean that you can leave it until the last minute to plan; if you’re planning on having a band or DJ play at the reception then you need to book them a few months before if you’re going to avoid disappointment. This is another reason to have a gazebo too – most bands will only play outside if the weather is fine, if there’s any threat of rain they won’t risk it and will only play undercover.
o If you’re planning on serving alcoholic beverages then you need to obtain the relevant permits that will allow you to not only serve but also consume it at your location. You should also find out whether there are any noise restrictions held over your chosen venue.
o Finally, you need to invite your guests – it’s always a good idea to have invitations that follow the theme of your wedding but if you go for something that’s completely different it’s essential that you tell your guests that your reception is outdoors so that they can dress appropriately.