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5 Common Mistakes When Planning an Outdoor Wedding

An outdoor wedding is a great choice for many couples. You get the chance to exchange vows while enjoying the beautiful nature that is around you. Outdoor weddings take place in the mountains, parks, on the beach, and in dozens of other places. While you might plan a simple wedding in a local park or a more elaborate event with dozens of guests, there are some common mistakes that other brides made when planning their weddings. When you look at the five most common mistakes, you can learn what to do and what to avoid to make sure that you have the wedding of your dreams.

Backup Weather Plan

The biggest mistake that brides make is that they don’t plan for bad weather. Even if the forecast calls for warm weather and sunny skies, an unexpected storm can roll through at any minute. You should create a backup plan that might involve renting and setting up a tent for the day. Your guests may love the shade that the tent offers on a hot day, too. It’s helpful to have at least two backup plans. What would you do if it started raining and high winds carried away your tent? Your backup plan should include ideas on what to do in every situation that you can imagine. If possible, try to have a second location nearby or an indoor area close to your outdoor set-up. Having a simple fabric tent may not be enough for severe weather. If your absolute dream is to have an outdoor wedding, try to find at least a pavilion of some sort to stand under in case, and always have the electronics such as speakers, mics, lights, etc., covered and dry. 

Wedding Attire

Outside wedding
Photo by Trung Nguyen from Pexels

Getting married outside doesn’t mean that you can’t have a formal ceremony, but you should keep in mind the comfort of your guests. If you plan on a long ceremony and an even longer reception in the middle of nowhere, you might skip the black-tie apparel for more casual clothing. Handing out flip flops or sandals and sunglasses is a fun way to treat guests who come to a beach wedding and keep them comfy. You should also give your guests an idea of what to expect. If you have multiple guests speaking, you can add their names to your programs to help guests see what will happen during the ceremony and reception, and make sure to get event speakers so that everyone can be heard throughout the ceremony. If you’re planning on having a reception after the ceremony, consider selecting a second location for the reception and allowing yourself and your guests time to change clothes for a more casual reception. Having a separate reception will also give you the opportunity to wear multiple outfits and have completely different looks, a trend many brides have on their wedding days. 

Proper Food

Bakeries offer cake tastings to help couples pick their wedding cakes. There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect cake and seeing it melt all over the table. Buttercream and whipped frosting melts quickly and isn’t a good choice for an outdoor wedding. Make sure that your baker knows where your wedding will take place and ask for recommendations on the best cake to choose. You should use caution when choosing all of the other food that you serve. If you don’t have access to refrigerators and other appliances, choosing foods that you have to serve cold is a major problem. Hiring caterers for the event should take a lot of the pressure off of you if you can afford it. Ask your favorite local restaurant if they would be willing to cater the event, and typically they will come with their own tools such as hot plates, heat lamps, etc., to keep the food fresh for your guests for as long as possible. A modern trend more and more couples are taking part in is hiring a food truck for the event. A food truck is a simple, easy, and cute way to cater your event, select the dishes you want them to serve ahead of time, and they will cook and serve directly from the truck. Keep in mind how many guests you’re having at your wedding, as you may want to hire multiple trucks, so no one has to wait too long to get food. 

Parking Spots

No matter where you get married, make sure that your guests know where to park. If your guests spend too much time driving around in circles, they’ll likely arrive late to the ceremony. Some may even decide to skip your wedding because they can’t find a parking spot. It’s a good idea to place signs that state the names of both you and your future spouse, especially if there are multiple events taking place in the area. You’ll also want to set up signs that show them where to park and how to get from the parking area to your ceremony. Some coupons even hire attendants to park their guests’ cars.

Vendor Mistakes

Wedding planner Lisa Vorce recommends that brides that are planning an outdoor wedding work with their vendors and make sure that they know what to expect. You might even meet with them ahead of time at your location to show them where they will work. Vendors include anyone hired to provide things or services for your weddings, such as your caterers and makeup artists, along with your officiant and those who set up your tables and other equipment.

Your outdoor wedding can be as elaborate or as simple as you want. Both the ceremony and reception should match the vibe that you hope to create and welcome your guests to celebrate with you. Looking at the mistakes that other couples made when planning their big days can help you avoid those issues. It’s helpful to have multiple backup plans for problems that you may encounter. You can avoid the hassles of everything, from problems with your vendors and parking at the venue to keeping guests comfy and offering the right food.

Featured Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy from Pexels