We’ve all seen stunning pictures of backyard weddings where couples dance under the stars, moonlight scatters across a shimmering pond and children romp through flower gardens. But what does it take to make that vision a reality? It takes planning, attention to detail, an experienced caterer, an easy-going temperament (outdoor weddings are not for the faint of heart), and a little bit of luck in the weather department.
Without these essential skills and the support of an experienced event manager, your backyard dream can quickly become exceedingly stressful and costly.
Here are a few tips to help you as you consider, or plan for, your outdoor wedding:
- Parking – How much space is there? How close is it to the venue? Is it secure? What course do guests have to travel to get from the parking area to the tent, and what is the terrain like? How much could inclement weather complicate the matter?
- Accessibility – Take time to consider how your elderly guests or those with mobility issues will get around at your venue. If the terrain is uneven or there are considerable distances between the parking lot and the tent, you may want rent a golf cart to shuttle some guests.
- Restrooms – Take the number of guests into consideration when you’re selecting portable restrooms for your event. There are many luxury restroom rentals available with high-end finishes, temperature controlled facilities and generous space for guests to freshen up.
- Electrical requirements – You will mostly likely need a professional electrician to upgrade/expand your electrical panel or rent alternate power sources such as generators (be sure to consider the noise created by a generator) to power your event.
- Utility locates – Professional tent rental companies will require locates for gas and underground power lines to prevent any issues during installation. You can call your utility provider to schedule locates.
- Rental fees – Make sure you discuss rental costs with your caterer. You don’t want to be saddled with unexpected bills for tents, tables, chairs, linen, china, glasses, flatware, cooking equipment and more!
Of course, we neglected an obvious consideration, a mighty force with the power to make or break your big day: mother nature. We’ll leave you to tackle that beast on your own, but we like to follow the Boy Scout’s motto when it comes to weather – plan for the worst and hope for the best!