Outdoor Weddings- What to Consider

Having your dream wedding outdoors under the stars may be great in theory but it is also a huge undertaking. Whether your event is in your parent’s backyard, a vineyard or a public park, there are many things you may not think to check.

Location, location, location!
Finding your perfect spot may be more difficult than you realize. Most rental companies require that their equipment (tables, chairs, linens, etc) be protected from the elements. So a canopy or tent would be needed. To erect a canopy, the terrain should be flat with good drainage. And have the backdrop you want to frame your event. You also must consider that permits may be required to erect any temporary structure. While the city of Omaha does not require a permit, you must have a locater company come out to survey for underground cable and gas lines. The city of Lincoln does require a permit. Public parks in Omaha do not allow your canopy to be staked to the ground, which means you must have adequate weights to hold your structure secure.

Parking Area
Do you have adequate space for parking? What kind of surface will your guests be parking on? Making sure your guests aren’t wading through mud puddles in case of a previous storm. Or will they be navigating a gravel space in high heels? Is it accessible for handicapped guests? Checking the area out during all kinds of weather can help you decide whether the space will be adequate and safe.

Electricity Accessibility
Will you be using additional lighting? Using a DJ? Will your caterer need to hold food warm? Depending on your answer to the questions posed, you may be required to have a generator to power all the areas necessary for your event.

Comfort Stations
Are there any facilities for your guests? There are several options for portable restrooms. You can go for the standard box type. Or there are luxury restroom trailers equipped with hot/cold water, air conditioning/heat, and individual stalls. The possibilities are endless. Only your budget knows for sure.

Your Caterer
Depending on your menu, your caterer will need to have an area portioned off for their work area. You may also need to keep food hot or cold before the event begins. Make sure to check with your vendor to find out what they require for your event.

Consider the time of year you will be having your event. What is the average temperature for your date for the last 10 years? What are the chances of inclement weather? You may want to add walls to your canopy to block out sun or rain. You can check with “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” to get an idea of what to expect. Or stock up on umbrellas. They are good for either rain or shine.
Or maybe you & your guests could be provided with colorful goulashes to show you aren’t afraid of any storm that dares show up on your special day.

Planning a ceremony during the peak heat of the day can leave you and your guests a hot mess! Maybe an early evening ceremony would be more comfortable for all. Or why not try for a mid-morning wedding complete with a brunch following.

Party Pests
No we are not talking about any of your guests. Those pesky flies and mosquitoes can be troublesome to you and your guests. Citronella candles can help. There are also companies which can come in the day of your event and spray to eliminate those pests hours before your guests arrive. Make sure you check the area for standing water or other causes for insect activity when surveying your space.

Plan B
This may be the most important item of all when planning an outdoor event. Your backup plan. What to do if your space is not going to work due to any myriad of reasons. Rather than having to cancel everything and probably lose your deposits or all of your costs, have a designated location for you and your guests. This could mean changing your location entirely. To make the weather part of your ceremony or reception, you can provide fans with your initials for your guest.

Any outdoor event comes with drawbacks. Don’t let it ruin your day. Make the day your special day no matter what and don’t sweat a little rain.

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