Outdoor Weddings

Outdoor lighting?

I'd like to have my reception outback of my farm, in one of our fields. The only problem is it is quite a far ways from any power source. How does that work for lighting, DJ, etc? Can it work at all? I feel like having a million extension cords that are a million miles long isn't really an option. I want to use a lot of romantic lighting, so I"ll buy as many battery powered tea lights and use real candles as much as possible, but what about string lights? How do I use those in the middle of a field?

Re: Outdoor lighting?

  • I'd like to have my reception outback of my farm, in one of our fields. The only problem is it is quite a far ways from any power source. How does that work for lighting, DJ, etc? Can it work at all? I feel like having a million extension cords that are a million miles long isn't really an option. I want to use a lot of romantic lighting, so I"ll buy as many battery powered tea lights and use real candles as much as possible, but what about string lights? How do I use those in the middle of a field?
    Your only option is going to be extension cords, or generators (which will be loud), or having electric poles installed - which would be hella-expensive.  I think you may have to re-think your plan & move it closer to a power source.
  • You can either rent or buy a generator. Some are relatively quiet. If you plan to buy, look for the decibel rating to figure out how loud it's going to be. Where I live, a generator is a good investment anyway, so now might be a good time. You can buy special, noise reducing screens (people use them for tailgating) to put around it if you want to reduce the noise. You can also set it up away from the reception area. You'll still need a few extension cords, obviously, but they won't need to be as long. The DJ should have his own cords, but check w/ him/her to make sure. Make sure you have a plan for covering the cords to reduce tripping hazards.

    If it's your property, you can do whatever you want as far as putting poles into the ground to hold up the lights. But what I'd probably do is rent a tent and then secure the lights to the tent poles with zip ties. That way you have inclement weather plan (which you should have anyway). I'd also have some kind of lighting on the path so people don't trip in the dark trying to get back to their cars. Solar lights or tiki torches might be a good call for this.

    How far back on the property are you talking? I ask because of people needing to walk a long ways to get there. Keep in mind elderly and limited mobility guests. 
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    Knottie08045643
  • Thank you for the info! It will be about 200 ft back or so from our farm. There is a concrete pad that will go up to the tent so it won't be hard to walk out too. If necessary a car could drive right up to the tent for someone who can't walk to it.

    I didn't know about noise reducing screens, I will have to look into those. A generator sounds like the best plan. I was going to rent a tent regardless, so maybe if I set it far enough back with the screens we should be good.

    Thanks for all of the ideas!!

    southernbelle0915
  • That sounds like a really good plan!

    Another thing to think about with having this at your farm is the bathroom. Depending on the size of your wedding, you might need to rent a porta potty or two. Make sure there's a light in there! If you need to light a path to those, you could do it with lanterns on shepherds hooks:

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    Or a candle in glassware:
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    Knottie08045643
  • Ahh I love the shepherd hooks idea! With the jars! Yes...I'm saving that one. Yes, we'll definitley need porta potties...Or figure something else out bathroom wise. I'm not a big fan of porta potties at my wedding, but I've been to a few that are set up really nice and aren't your typical every day kind of one. We'll see. I'd really like to encorporate our farm. Maybe in the long run it will be cheaper to do the ceremony there and then the reception in a place that has power, bathrooms, etc. I'm still trying to weigh the pros/cons of both options... Thank you so much!
  • We used extension cords, but our ceremony was only about 30 feet from a power source (in MIL's shed) and the reception was only about 20 feet from her house. We were able to conceal the cords by running them along the edges of the property in the grass/trees. 

    Also, we didn't have a DJ - we used our own wireless speaker system that H and BIL set up.  We did have one scare where the exterior power went out at around 10 PM, but it turned out someone had just flipped the switch inside the house that controlled the power to outside the house!! Those were some tense moments... haha. If you're running power from the house, make sure you know where all the switches are! :-)

    Good luck! We loved our outdoor wedding and wouldn't have had it any other way.
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    Anniversary

  • You could use tiki torches for some lighting without having any cords running along the ground. 
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  • Karens62Karens62 member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    We're running some cords from the house and our tent guy cautioned us to make sure they are heavy duty. The bright orange big box store cords can overheat and cause fires if being used for a lot of lights, sound system, etc. The good news is, they are easy to rent from the rental place. Our guy is charging us $5 for each cord.
  • Great idea with the lanterns. Love them!!!
  • Two things--ask the tent company.  They have to deal with this kind of logistical problem all the time.  They may even have a generator if that's the best route.

    Next, you definitely need restrooms, but say no to portapotties.  That's nasty.  They're stinky and I refuse to use them, even if they're early in an event, when I go to fairs or festivals.  I will hold it until I get home, Starbucks on the drive home, etc.  For my farm wedding, I had a restroom trailer brought in.  The guests had individual "rooms" to use that were well lit and air conditioned.  I put flowers on the vanities to try to make it as inviting and nice looking as possible.

    These were my restrooms:
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  • Don't forget about solar light options. They come in string lights now too. They wouldn't work for setting up under the tent, but any other areas where you can hang them so they can get sun during the day to charge, they will work. I've also solar powered paper laterns.

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