Outdoor weddings are considered a modern, romantic luxury while harkening back to the days when people got married surrounded by the splendor of nature. However, if not prepared thoroughly, the end result might not be what you’ve expected. In this article, we’re going to give you 5 essential tips for the perfect outdoor wedding.

Provide Shelter

Just imagine if it just happens to rain during the ceremony. Everyone is left rushing inside the too-small building, and you have to have the vows exchanged in a cramped space or the event rescheduled for another day. One option is having tarps put up, if not entire tents, so that you can move everything into a sheltered area in an orderly fashion if weather doesn’t permit. Pole tents are ideal since they have a high roofline and are attractive. Don’t plan on a shaded area being enough, because it won’t protect you during a downpour or heavy winds.

Also remember to provide enough bathrooms not just for your guests but any workers supporting the event. The last thing you need is bathrooms for 300 but forgetting the caterers and servers. As far as location goes, put an outdoor wedding porta potty near the dance floor and around the dining area for added convenience.

Plan on Temperature Control

If you’re getting married in the spring or fall, this may not be an issue. However, if you’re getting married in the summer, portable outdoor air conditioner units are invaluable. Misters are a second-tier solution.

If it could be chilly, you could arrange outdoor heaters or a heated tent. And if it is going to be warm, skip the frozen desserts; if you do insist, have them far away from the food warmers and kept cool with extra ice. On hot summer days, avoid cheeses and meat trays that will sit out all day, and then you don’t have to worry about issues because they warmed up too much.

Plan Your Traffic and Parking

Have a plan for where everyone is going to park. This needs to include family, guests, vendors and support staff. If you don’t want a line of cars behind the intended spot for wedding photos, say so up front. Give people clear signs regarding where to park so that limos or buses can get through.

Secure Lighting

Yes, candles are beautiful. But they can also be a hazard. Consider lighting options that aren’t as risky. Bring in lights that make the event crystal clear for everyone, even if you’re expecting a sunny day. Also arrange for lighting to and from tents and parking areas so that no one is left struggling to find their car in the dark after dinner. You can use lanterns to literally light the way for guests.

If you manage to follow the few tips in this article, you should be able to hold the outside wedding you always wanted. Remember to have a plan B if anything goes wrong, have the proper accommodations set up, and make sure your guests are as comfortable as possible.

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