5 Tips for Planning an Outdoor Wedding

Amelia Island outdoor wedding

Photo By the Robinsons

Although here in Florida it is still approximately 150 degrees outside, the fall is almost upon us! And that means windows open, hopefully a quick love bug season, and plenty of outdoor weddings. Here’s our short list of outdoor wedding tips to help you make the most of your celebration under the stars…

  • First things first, you need a backup plan! Before you even book an outdoor venue, find out what options are available if the weather is less than ideal. Make sure that the backup plan is one you can live with just in case. If a tent is your backup plan, check pricing right away and set aside that amount so there are no hidden surprises in your budget right before the engagement. Many public spaces require a permit to erect a tent, so double check this with your venue as well.
  • Think about how to best use the space. Which direction do you want guests facing during the ceremony? Will the sun be in their/your eyes? Also, receptions usually flow best when the dance floor is near the dinner tables. If you have a large space to work with, spread out the cocktail hour and the dinner reception but keep dancing close to the tables where some people will continue to spend time all night.
  • Be sure there is ample power available outside, and check with your vendors to see what their power requirements are. Need a generator and/or extension cords? Figure those things out early and delegate who is responsible for bringing them on wedding day. As you arrange the floor plan, consider vendors like band, DJ, and electric-powered catering stations so they can be near outlets if possible.
  • The power issue brings us to lighting. Lighting surely enhances any wedding but outside it is a must! If your wedding will continue after the sun is down, then visit your venue after dark to see existing lighting and decide on how much more you’ll need. Market lights are almost always an option, as is dance floor lighting.
  • Lastly, and this is a big one in the South, consider your cake and desserts. Buttercream will melt sitting outside in the heat and humidity. We also worry about bugs (because, gross). To ensure that the dessert stays looking and tasting its best, leave it inside if possible until just before the cake cutting. We often prepare a cake table outside ahead of time but bring the cake out about 10 minutes before it’s cut. Make sure this is something your caterer knows about and designate who will carry the cake out and at what point in the reception.

And there you have it! Happy planning!



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