Outdoor Weddings

Outdoor wedding/reception.

Im thinking about having both the wedding and reception in either my paretns backyard or my fiance's grand fathers. I just dont really know where to start. I mean Im going to need tents and tables and chairs and linen and dishes and all of that. It seems over whelming. Does anyone have any pointers for me. We wanna do it at the end of april in 2011 so i have time but i still wanna plan out how much this is really gonna cost us and i dont know where to start. I have my dress already and i think i wanna do a tangerine with pink for my colors with gerber daisys for my flowers. Please any advice would be helpful! thank you!!

Re: Outdoor wedding/reception.

  • Search local vendors in your area. If you really don't know where to start searching, visit local wedding venues, pretending that you're considering their location for your ceremony/reception. Often times they'll provide you with and informational packet--and a list of local vendors :)

    Additionaly, you'll find that florists have connections with bakers, caterers have connections with rental facilities, etc.  Ask around!

    Hope this helps :)
  • Definitely post on your local board and ask for local rental place recommendations.

    Things to think about:

    You'll need to rent tables, chairs, linens, dishes, glasses
    You'll need to hire a bartender and a caterer
    Is there enough parking available?
    Can the bathrooms handle the extra use?
    Does the city/county require a permit?
    Is there outdoor access to electricity for lighting and music?
    Are you willing to handle all of the set up and tear down?  (You can't expect friends and family to do it for you)

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  • Start by going to a party rental company.  They can give you an estimate of the number of tables, chairs, glasses, plates you'll need based on area + guest count.  They'll proably do tent rental/set up/take down as well.  You'll need a catereer - who can provide the details on food, drinks, servers, bartenders etc.  Think about hiring a day of coordinator.  Just get a florists & DJ and your set!

  • Thanks for the information. I just feel like this is going to be alot of work for myself. Im not sure whether to just go to an indoor place so that i dont have to worry about all the little details.
  • I'm late on this, but I had an outdoor wedding/reception at my ILs' house/garden, and while it was a lot of work, it was worth it. Think simply, and make a list of everything you need to cover. I went with a tented reception, and disposable flatware and plates. I had a picnic "theme", so it was casual and simple, but still elegant. You can see pics in my bio, and PM me if you have any questions. I'm happy to help!
  • I'm feeling long-winded....

    I too had an outdoor wedding in my mom's yard, and I will tell you, it was an INSANE amount of work, definitely more expensive in the end than a venue, and totally worth it for us.

    Everything the prev. posters all said is good, particularly danieliza, pay very close attention to the toilet issue...one thing we had a lot of trouble figuring out how to handle was how to have that many people tramping in and out of 3 bathrooms and still keep it clean, etc. 

    As for tents/food etc,, do the rentals and food first.  We found that lots of caterers who specialized in off-site catering had experience working with rental companies, and our caterer did everything for us in terms of working out how much of each item we needed, and I was able to look at what was being ordered and make sure I had what I wanted without the stress of dealing with yet another vendor.  I also think you should make sure the caterer has a mobile kitchen unless you have a massive kitchen they can use (think at least double ovens, loads of space, 2 fridges, etc).  Talk to lots of people in your area, insist on references, and then actually call them and ask about ease of set-up/clean-up, billing issues, etc.

    The other thing to think about is that it's at home, which means it can, and should be, more relaxed (not necessarily informal, but more YOU) and that there are way more risks of things going askew because you don't have a "staff" per se.  We had loads of family and friends who went way out of their ways to help us, and that was amazing.  If you don't have that, I strongly recommend hiring a DOC to help keep things smooth. 

    Honestly, having everything at home was the best decision we could have made, and 6 months later people are STILL telling us that it was the best wedding they'd ever been to, not because it was fancy/extravagant, which it so wasn't, but because it was so perfectly "us" and all about the love, not the picky details normally associated with a wedding.

    I have some info in the links below, and feel free to page me on the July 09 nest board if you need more info.
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  • Hi, My daughter is planning an outdoor wedding at our home for Oct. and the best help we have gotten has come from the party rental place and the caterer--they do these types of events all the time and can really help you out in the planning.  Our rental place will deliver and set up the tent a few days before the wedding so we can decorate he will bring everything else at he same time--tables, chairs, lighting etc.  He even has "floorplans" for the table set up so we don't have to figure out where the dance floor should go and where the cake table should go.

    We are doing a family style meal with wine and beer so we won't need a bartender and we will need fewer plates than a buffet.  We will also be using disposable flatware--and disposable salad/dessert plates--the meal will be on  rented china.  The caterer brings her own staff of servers and helpers.

    We decided it was worth the effort because it will be a truly personal event for my daughter and future son-in-law.  With some organization and time--which you have it can be done.  Good Luck!
  • I think it will be worth all the effort! At least I hope so! I'm having an outdoor wedding this August.  We're still mid-planning but have found it's very important to talk to the owner of the home(s) first.  Find out if they have a septic system in the backyard...also if there are sprinkler systems or anything else that might get in the way.  Keep in mind the tent will put large holes in their yard...so you have to make sure that they are okay with this.  Our caterer (a local restaurant) has been very helpful.  They're willing to include dish, silverware, and glasses for a very reasonable rate.  So you may want to ask if that's a possibility.  I went to a bridal show and asked every party rental place for a quote (6 total) and that has allowed us to bargain quite a bit! Prices range drastically and many have different delivery/pick-up dates.  Some deliver Wed for Saturday and others deliver on Friday.  I'm shooting for a Wed delivery so I have time to arrange lighting, etc. beforehand.  Also, if you are unable to use the house's bathroom(s) renting portable trailer restrooms can be a big part of the budget.  Something to keep in mind! :)  Good luck with the planning!
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