Outdoor Weddings

Let's talk heaters!

For those of you who had heaters outdoors (not in a tent) what did you use?  What did you like about it?  What didn't you like about it?

Looking at possibly rescheduling for mid-October in Illinois.  3 out of the past 5 years it's been +/- 80, one year it was just under 70 but 5 years ago it was only 40!  The 30-year average is between 65-70.  No rain since 2006.  If it was crazy cold like in 2009 I'd just skip the Outdoor Ceremony and have it indoors where the reception would be, but if its just jacket weather I'd like to just get some heaters for the ceremony to keep people comfortable.  

I was looking at propane patio heaters, the bonus of course being after the wedding we could use them outside when cooking or grilling out in the spring/fall.  The small tanks supposedly run for 3-4 hours, which is more than enough time for a short & sweet ceremony.  We could also then relocate them to the porch of the reception area for people wanting to spend time outdoors.  They aren't super attractive, but I doubt anyone sitting close to one would complain about how it looks. Thoughts?
Formerly known as flutterbride2b

Re: Let's talk heaters!

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    As a Chicagoan, I think you are taking a big risk.  Look at this winter.  Last year, we had had 4 inches of snow at this date, and this year.........yowser!  The temperatures last St. Patrick's Day were mid 70's......we'll probably still be snow covered this year!

    You have a Plan B, which is perfect.  I guess the only issue you would have is the potential to waste money on heaters you may not need.  Do you know if your venue will allow the heaters?

    The other thing to consider is that many women will have on dresses and be bare legged.  And there are not a lot of "jackets" that women have to coordinate with cocktail dresses.  Heaters or not, I would err on the side of caution and be cautious about an outdoor ceremony if temperatures dip much below 70.  
  • @mobkaz

    Yes the venue we're looking at would allow us to use the heaters.  The outdoor space I'm looking at for ceremony is out of the wind and we'd be renting golf carts for those who prefer not to walk.  I have no objection to buying pashminas and heaters to keep people comfortable.  They can keep the scarves/wraps if they want and we can use the heaters at our house afterwards.  If we don't end up using the heaters we can return them (I'm assuming we'd get them from somewhere local like Home Depot, Lowe's or Menards.)  I can buy extra fuel tanks at Walmart for $3.57 so we can test one inexpensively to see how well they function as well as have spare ones on hand.

    I think that any outdoor ceremony is a risk, and I wasn't thrilled about October and hadn't seriously considered it until looking at the weather history.  The detailed history I found could only go back to 2001, but from 2001-2013 it only rained one year.  6 of those years it was +/- 80 and 3 of them were +/- 70.  1 year +/- 65.  The 40 degree year was the odd low one out of the bunch and the other 2 were in 50s.  So 3 I'd consider nos, 1 maybe and 9 yeses.

    I'd honestly prefer to have it earlier but I can't find a date that works with our conflicting VIP schedules.  There *may* be a date in mid-August, but then we're worried about heat.  One of my BMs also has an out-of-state event she would like to attend that weekend, if possible, although I don't believe she has committed to it yet.  If the August dates is also open I'll probably ask people their preference over potentially-hot or potentially-cool.  Personally (as a guest) I'd rather put on a wrap and snuggle with FI with a heater nearby sipping cocoa or tea than be dripping sweat (even with a fan and a bottle of water).  Base stats for the August date - 11 out of the last 13 years it was over 80, with one year hitting above 90.  Also rained 4 years.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    More often than not, we do have some beautiful Indian summers and gorgeous October weekends. And I agree 110%..... I would much prefer to tolerate a bit of a chill versus turning into a melted guest.  

    Being out of the wind will also make a huge difference.  As a guest, I don't know that I would expect you to provide pashminas.  If you have a website that can let guests know about the potential for an outdoor ceremony, guests should be responsible to prepare for weather contingencies.  And, your bottom line is that you have a Plan B if necessary.

    If I had to choose, I would gamble on October over August weather.  

  • WildMageletWildMagelet member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    edited February 2014
    Yeah, and obviously for our state 80 in October is way better than 80 in August to humidity differences.  

    Our wedding will be small enough that picking up pashminas JIC won't be a big deal.  I can looking into buying a bunch of neutral colors in bulk and return, keep, gift or donate them if we won't use them.
    I'm also sort of digging the idea of a cider/cocoa/tea/coffee bar now, haha.  When we had originally planned for summer I was planning on providing water, lemonade, and tea so now I guess I should shift my beverage choices too.

    Plan B is easy.  If it's too cold or rainy we just sit guests at their reception seats indoors instead.   (I'd probably still use the heaters on the porch of the venue anyways if it was chilly to help provide relief for people who want to go outside for a few minutes for air/smoking/whatever.)  Will I be disappointed?  Yes.  Will it ruin the wedding?  No.  

    *Edited so it didn't sound like I was making some people sit outside for the reception, which would be ridiculous.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
  • I think it'll be fine. You have a Plan B. You're open to providing warmth for people. Personally, I'd rather be cold than hot. There will be plenty of chance to get hot while dancing, anyway.

    As to your original question, the patio heaters seem like a good idea, and you have good alternate plans for them, as well.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Thank you both for your feedback!

    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
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