Outdoor Weddings

Starting the journey for planning an outdoor wedding…

I have done some work.  But I am starting to really dig into planning an outdoor wedding.  I am looking through the old posts and going over recommendations of the past.  Does anyone have a list of tasks to plan something like this out? I am a bit overwhelmed. Also if anyone has any recent tips from planning an outdoor wedding I would greatly appreciate it.

Looking at Saint Paul, MN in the middle of June.

Re: Starting the journey for planning an outdoor wedding…

  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member

    I have done some work.  But I am starting to really dig into planning an outdoor wedding.  I am looking through the old posts and going over recommendations of the past.  Does anyone have a list of tasks to plan something like this out? I am a bit overwhelmed. Also if anyone has any recent tips from planning an outdoor wedding I would greatly appreciate it.

    Looking at Saint Paul, MN in the middle of June.

    The biggest tip is to have a Plan B in case of inclement weather. 

    Also, I was in Rochester, MN one summer and it was rather hot.   Is that normal? 



    Anniversary
  • The best advice I can give you is to have a Plan B. You cant control the weather and you don't want to be freaking out the week leading up that the forecast isn't what you wanted. 

    Other than that it's not really that different from an indoor wedding. Depending on the venue you may need to figure out things such as power and bathrooms. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    OurWildKingdom
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    I need more information, but I third a weather Plan B. Is this at an all-inclusive venue, or do you have to do everything yourself?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • Start with a list of things you'll need:

    - Plan B (not just for rain, but for temperature, humidity, bugs, mud, etc.)

    - Security, if in a public place (we used physical barricades and our DOC)

    - Bathrooms

    - Sound and lighting / electrical

    - Equipment (chairs, tables, dance floor, etc.)

    - Serving stuff (linens, dishes, glasses, etc.)


    I kept an excel file with the following headers for everything: Item, Vendor, contact person, phone number, delivery time, pick up time, cost, notes


    We only did our ceremony outdoors and the biggest challenge for us was that everything was a la carte. Coordinating all that was difficult - it was actually more expensive and necessitated hiring a DOC. For us, it was worth it. But really consider if you have the budget and time to do it right.

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    OurWildKingdom
  • Does your venue have electricity?  People want to be able to hear your vows.  Also, if the reception is outside how will hot food stay hot and cold things stay cold?  Is there a building there with a kitchen?  Will your caterer have to prepare food off site and then bring it to the venue?
    Is there running water?

    And as everyone else has stated have a plan B that  you can put into place early so there is no panic and you and your guests will enjoy the day.

    Keep in mind that a tent for rain has other issues too.  If you set up the tent due to rain and your bathrooms are 40 feet away do your guests have to walk in the rain to use the restroom?  Wind is just as big of a problem as rain if it is serious wind.
  • Thank you for all of the great advice.

    Location:  Working on dialing down a spot between a few parks that have restrooms and electricity.

    Security:  Thank you for bringing that up.  Many of the parks do not let you “fence” or rope off an area and I had not thought about issues with uninvited guests.

    Weather:  This one has been a BIG one for just about everyone I discussed my plans with.  I have been using a long range weather service for my travels over the last 2 years and found them to be accurate.  In fact they saved me big time on one of my overseas adventures. Using weathertab.com to figure out my days and overall game plan.

    Back Up Plan:  Even with some tools to help me pick a day, I am definitely listening to everyone that recommended a Plan B.  I have a family friend in the area with a large house but I am looking for other options.  It is difficult to reserve a “just in case” location.

    Bathrooms:  This one was also mentioned repeatedly.  I have some friends in the area checking out the options in the parks.

    Excel Spreadsheet:  Just getting this going as one of you recommended.  Much better than my mess of notes.

    Thank you all for your comments.  Keep them coming.  I am sure there are others that could use the advice as well.

    southernbelle0915
  • Hny65Hny65
    Eighth Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment
    member
    edited March 2016
    My advice is to try to find a site that has a Plan B already.  This way, even in case of sudden drastic weather changes, you can move immediately and you don't need to stress beforehand about finding a second place.

    Besides the city parks, check the county parks and golf courses around you in any driving distance you think is possible.
    If you find a place outside the city, double check with your vendors their delivery radius - there may be a little extra fee.

    For example, we really lucked out with our site.  We got married at a county park and reserved the hall, but had the reception outside it on the patio/grass/picnic tables.  Since there wasn't quite enough enough trees/pavilion space for shade, we used a couple of those camping pop-up tents.  The food (buffet) and cake were set up in the hall.  It had electricity, bathrooms, a kitchen, tables and chairs, and coat check area where we had the guest book/table.



    1. Parking - will the location have enough parking for the amount of guests you will have
    2. Will your plan b location have enough parking for everyone
    3. How late can you go with noise
    4. If there is electricity, is there enough for what DJ and caterer will both need, you don't want to blow a fuse
    5. Lights if this goes into the evening
    6. How will trash be handles
    7. If chairs & tables need to be rented (and tent) when can those be set up, then based on that, how much time will you need to put up any decorations
    8. Depending on time of year, how hot/cold will it be. You don't want guests (or yourself & FI) sweating like crazy & being uncomfortable, nor do you want people to have to be bundled up


    Check with different cities in the area on what type of city owned facilities or parked owned that are available for rental. I know in my area several cities have community centers and other type of city owned venues that actually quiet nice and have nice outdoor areas. That allows for outdoor ceremony, move indoors for meal (caterer usually has a full kitchen then) and DJ has all the electricity end needs indoors or outdoors. And if it rains, your plan B is at the same location as Plan A so guests aren't left wondering where to go.

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