Don’t Forget These 9 Essentials for Your Outdoor Ceremony

Outdoor wedding reception

The sun sets over the horizon as the couple leans in for their wedding kiss; it looks like you’re living a fairy tale. Getting married in the outdoors can paint a perfect setting, but there are a lot of things that go into making this kind of wedding as perfect as it looks. Here are some essential things you need to remember for having an outdoor ceremony.

1. Hydration Station

No matter the time of year, water is very important for guests, but during the warmer months, guests can quickly get parched and dehydrated. Set up a hydration station separate from where the alcohol is served. Infuse water with different fruits to give guests something special and refreshing. If you have it in the budget, buy personalized bottles of water so they can double as a wedding favor and guests can easily carry around the plastic bottle instead of glass.

2. Lighting

Nighttime lighting

The right lighting brings the night to life. It’s not only practical, but perfect for decoration. You can string lights around trees and through the tops of a canopy for an amazing look.

Lighting doesn’t have to be expensive if you go with twinkling lights, but if you want a fun accent, rent a spotlight. Solar lights are another great option that conserves energy while giving a great look.

No matter what you use, make sure you have spare lights and/or bulbs to replace any lights that burn out.

3. Fans As Programs

If a breeze isn’t naturally blowing through the air during your wedding, guests might get a little antsy in the heat. You can rent fans to place around the reception area if the temperature is steamy, but you don’t have to go that far to just create a simple breeze. You can use programs as a double for fans. Give each guest a program with an attached end so they can use it to cool themselves. This means your programs are functional and won’t just be left on the floor of the venue for you to clean up later.

4. Buffet Chafer

Buffet chafers

Outdoor weddings mean food must be kept fresh. You can rent buffet chafers to ensure food will stay at the appropriate temperature, and they’re perfect because you can serve a large amount of food to hundreds of guests at one event. Buffet chafers also keep food covered so insects won’t jump on in. So, if you are having your wedding catered, make sure they have the proper equipment to keep all food fresh outdoors.

5. Plan B

Weather can put a damper on a wedding no matter the season. From rain to snow, be prepared for anything; always have a Plan B. Have an indoor option or covered option available for inclement weather. If the venue doesn’t have one, be creative and make your own options. Think of other spaces and/or nearby locations that would suffice as a Plan B reception location, too. Rain or shine, make sure you are prepared with a backup plan so you aren’t stressed out once you see a cloud.

6. Shade

Shady park

There are perfect days with perfect weather for your perfect wedding, but these days are rare. Many spring and summer days have bright sunshine beating down on your guests, so make sure your guests have adequate shade during the ceremony and reception. You can rent a tent to ensure guests have a place to escape the sun, you can use a location at your venue with lots of trees, or you can also place oversized umbrellas throughout the area to provide extra shade.

7. Insect Repellent

The warmer months bring pesky insects along with the sweet sunshine. Consider placing insect repellent in an easy place where everyone can access it. It’s not the prettiest piece of decoration, but guests will thank you when their legs aren’t being attacked by mosquitoes. You can even place lanterns or candles on the tables that repel bugs. These days they come in many different fun designs.

8. Sunscreen

Sun block

Nice weather means lots of sunshine, but lots of sun also means a bright red sunburn for many guests. Ensure the comfort of all guests by providing spray sunscreen as they come into the venue. Make it fun with a cute display. The spray kind works best because it won’t leave spots on your clothing. It’s fast, easy and practical for guests.

Even if you have shade, note that this is still a necessity. Some people with sensitive skin can get burned regardless.

9. Extra Seating

If you’ve ever been to an outdoor wedding, you know how important it is to have a place to sit when you get hot and tired. Place extra seating in all areas so guests aren’t just confined to the eating area. Rent comfy, oversized furniture for a neat look with a comfortable fit. You can even add bales of hay around the reception if your wedding has a rustic feel; just make sure to cover them somewhat to save guests from the prickly straw.

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