A wedding reception can happen anywhere, but more and more people are choosing to do theirs outdoors. And why not? It’s pretty tough to match the ambiance the open air and a beautiful sunset can provide. However, an outdoor reception area can also spell trouble for the unprepared bride, so here are a few things to keep in mind:
1.) Pick a location that’s practical. Putting a significant amount of money down on a pricey winery location won’t be any good if they won’t let you decorate it. Choose a spot that has a bit of room for guests to mingle as well as a spot for you to walk down an aisle. Oh and always, always be conscious of the price.
2.) Provide some kind of shelter. Even if the forecast is 90 degrees and sunny for the next three weeks, a tent or some kind of covering is absolutely necessary. First of all, you really shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to predictions about the weather, and second of all, the sun is just as harmful as a rainstorm. It melts cake and chocolates, it ups the temperature a good 20 degrees, and as an extremely fair-skinned individual, it makes it incredibly difficult to enjoy the experience unless I’m completely drenched in sunscreen.
3.) Provide bathroom facilities. It might not be the most romantic topic, but it’s definitely necessary, and it’s not going to be free. It shouldn’t be expensive, by any means, but you definitely need to plan for this in your budget.
4.) Inform your guests. As I mentioned earlier, I’m incredibly fair skinned, so last year when I attended what was described as an “outdoor, tented wedding” I was relieved. The 2-hour ceremony, however was not held under the tent; it was held in an open field in direct sunlight. While the bride was in the middle of her vows, I was desperately hoping the SPF 15 in my body lotion would hold up.
5.) Plan accordingly for food. Some foods don’t keep as well as others outdoors, and some foods are also more difficult to eat outdoors. Finger foods, like lamb skewers, small sandwiches or small deserts are always sure bets. It’s also to keep in mind the temperature though. Cupcakes with delicate frosting may melt in high heat, and that’s never appetizing.
6.) Work with the natural setting. If you’re getting married on the beach, you don’t need to look far for decorations. Driftwood and seashells can be used to carry the beach theme throughout your setting. And if you’re getting married in a garden or a field, consider using a trellis or gazebo to add some structural interest to the area.
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