Having an outdoor wedding is a beautiful way to begin your marriage. It can be as romantic and personalized as your relationship is. But, it can also present some unique challenges when it comes to planning.
Along with the fantastic ambience that nature provides, comes the difficulty in keeping everyone comfortable and happy while at the mercy of the elements. If you face this challenge, here are five ways to keep your guests happy throughout the ceremony and reception.
Rent a Tent
What better way to protect people from the elements than to actually provide some cover? Renting a tent for an outdoor wedding in any season of the year will help ensure a smooth day for all. No matter whether you end up with too much sun, some wind, or even rain, a tent can keep food dry and guests comfortable.
Depending on how much weather you can reasonably expect, you may want to rent either a tent with full sides or just one that provides shade from the sun.
Make it clear to guests that the event will be held outdoors--even if only partially--so that they can come prepared for the proper environment. You can do this discreetly with the wording of your invitations, and you can spread the news through personal reminders and word of mouth. If your wedding will be at a beach, for example, it's a good idea to suggest that guests wear flat shoes and avoid long, flowing skirts.
Have Plenty of Comforts
Outdoor weddings don't always come with all the amenities of an indoor ceremony and reception, so be sure to make up for what is lacking. This means renting plenty of comfortable seating for all your guests...especially any older guests or people with mobility challenges. Modern chair rentals often include fun extra seating options like love seats, sofas, upholstered chairs, and coffee tables.
In addition, make sure the bathrooms are sufficient and easy to access (or rent some extra facilities) and that there is plenty of lighting so that guests can easily navigate their way around the venue and to or from their cars.
Have Snacks and Drinks
Whether it's cold or hot, providing weather-appropriate snacks will help everyone stay comfortable. It can be as simple as providing lots of cold water or a coffee station. Are you having your wedding outdoors in the fall? Why not offer guests some custom made hot cocoa or hot toddies while they wait for the ceremony to begin? An outside summer wedding? Serve refreshing lemonade or create a fun ice cream sundae bar.
You can also embrace the seasonal weather and make it part of your reception food plan. A spring or summer wedding can boast a carnival-themed cocktail hour with snow cone machines or margarita dispensers and boardwalk games to entertain families.
Rent Climate Control
You can make some headway toward keeping guests happy with artificial climate control even outdoors. If the weather might be chilly, rent outdoor propane heaters and place them strategically around the area. Renting a tent with closed sides will help you better circulate and capture their warmth.
Afraid it will be a little warm at your reception? Rent industrial fans and place them in a circular pattern that does not directly face your guests (to avoid messing up everyone's hairstyles!). Or purchase hand fans or handmade lap blankets with the bride and groom's name on them to leave on each guest's chair during the ceremony.
Be sure to plan ahead for the possibility of uncomfortable weather during your wedding day. This way, you can know that not only will you enjoy your big day but that your guests will have a great time too.
Call one of our rental specialists at GOFF Tents and Events and see how we can give you the perfect wedding. We specialize in tents, tables, chairs, wedding arches, linens, floral arrangements, lighting, draping, dance floors and more. Call us today.