Choosing your wedding venue is the most important and exciting part of planning your wedding. Your guests may not remember the music you played or the food you served, but they’ll always remember where your wedding took place. Your venue sets the tone for your wedding from the moment your guests arrive.
If you’ve been dreaming of getting married outdoors, you have to prepare for a special set of challenges. From weather to budget and more, outdoor weddings require extra considerations to be successful.
If you want your outdoor wedding to go off without a hitch, we’ve prepared the questions you’ll need to answer before you tie the knot.
What are your needs?
Once you’ve decided that you want an outdoor wedding, you should make note of what your specific needs are. These can include:
- Date and time. Before you get attached to a venue, check that it’s available for your ideal wedding date. Some venues book years in advance, meaning you may be left choosing a date that isn’t ideal. Plan ahead and start looking for a venue as soon as possible.
- Budget. When setting your wedding budget, your venue will likely be one of your biggest expenses. Knowing your limits on price will prevent you from falling in love with a venue you can’t afford.
- Size and location. Consider where your guests are going to be traveling from and how many guests you intend to have. See if your venue is within a reasonable distance and can hold all of your guests comfortably.
- Vendors. Some venues place restrictions on the vendors you can use, so be sure to ask before booking your DJ and caterer. You’ll also want to ensure the location of your venue is accessible to your vendors.
- Ambiance. If you want to have a country wedding, getting married in a ritzy hotel courtyard may not match your vision. Think about how your venue will reflect the general atmosphere of your wedding.
What preparations should you make?
Once you’ve established your needs, it’s important to prepare for any contingencies. A wedding taking place outdoors should make special note of these three factors:
Weather is the biggest threat to an outdoor wedding. The best way to avoid any weather-related disasters is to choose a venue that offers an indoor venue to be used if inclement weather occurs. Make sure your vendors have a plan in place for poor weather as well.
Don’t forget to plan for your guests’ comfort in the weather. If it’s going to be especially hot, consider putting up a tent for shade or offer hats and sunscreen as wedding favors. If wind is in the forecast, consider setting up your seating in a way that shelters your guests from the breeze.
When planning your wedding, think about what your venue offers as facilities. If you need a dressing room, is one offered? Are there enough restrooms for the number of guests that you have?
If your venue is at a location that requires driving, check to see what the parking situation looks like. Some venues may charge you extra to use a parking lot or may only have room for a certain amount of vehicles. If you need your guests to carpool, make this known far in advance.
Outdoor wedding venues are great for those who want their decor to come from the natural beauty of the land around them. Keeping your decor for an outdoor wedding simple will save you time and money, plus it prevents your venue looking too cluttered.
Focus on putting decor in the places where it matters most. Visually signal where you’ll be getting married with a trellis, or use tea lights down your aisle to create mood lighting. These simple accents can make a big difference in your wedding style.
Are you looking for the perfect country wedding setting?
Contact us at San Cayetano Ranch. Our unique venue is perfect for the outdoor wedding of your dreams.