Your Best Guide on How to Plan an Outdoor Wedding
There’s nothing quite as picturesque as an elegant, romantic outdoor wedding! So if you’ve been dreaming of it for years, or you’ve been inspired thanks to the many outdoor wedding photos circulating, now’s the time to start planning.
It’s worth knowing that planning an outdoor wedding is much different than planning one that’s solely indoors. But, there are so many options for you to choose from to put together the wedding of your dreams!
I’ve gathered up the top 4 things you need to consider when planning an outdoor wedding.
Four Things to Consider to Plan an Outdoor Wedding
Most people immediately think about the weather when they first decide to plan an outdoor wedding. And it’s true. You do need to consider the season and the average weather conditions for it!
But that’s not the only thing you need to think about.
When it comes to your outside wedding, you’ll need to keep in mind these four things:
- Contingency Plan
- Wedding Design and Decor
Just about all of your decisions will fall into one of those categories.
Plan an Outdoor Wedding Step 1: Location
Your outdoor wedding location is one of the first things you’ll decide on. Are you wanting a wedding venue that has an outdoor option? Would you prefer to have an outdoor tented wedding on a private estate?
This is the first decision to think about. Everything else will come after depending on what your venue offers you.
Decide Where You’ll Have It
Having an outdoor wedding doesn’t mean you’re limited to a backyard. From specific wedding venues with outdoor options to an elegantly planned tented wedding, you have plenty of options!
Best Toronto Outdoor Wedding Venues
Many outside wedding spaces that can serve as the perfect backdrop for your day! Here are some of the best Toronto outdoor wedding venues to help you in your search for the right location:
The Royal Canadian Yacht Club is a beautiful waterfront outdoor wedding venue in Toronto. Not only will your wedding be right on the water, but you’ll also get an amazing view of the city itself.
A mixture of a waterfront venue and a courtyard patio venue, the Palais Royale is a beautiful Toronto outdoor wedding location!
Graydon Hall Manor
A Graydon Hall Manor wedding means you’ll have a ceremony site overlooking fountains, courtyards, and lush gardens. It’s a dreamy outdoor setting, no matter if you’re hoping for an intimate or a large affair.
Outdoor Tented Wedding
If the Toronto outdoor wedding venues aren’t making your list, you may want to consider an outdoor tented wedding! Tented weddings provide an ethereal, sophisticated atmosphere on your big day. And with the help of a wedding planner and designer, they can be a completely customized and unique experience for you and your guests!
Plan an Outdoor Wedding Step 2: Logistics
One benefit of choosing a Toronto outdoor wedding venue is they’re already established to host weddings. So they’ve, more than likely, already thought of most of these logistic considerations.
But if you’ve opted for an outdoor tented wedding or a space that’s not already designed for weddings and events, you will need to think of the following:
You’ll need to think about you, your guests, and your vendor team when you choose the location of your wedding. If you’ve chosen a field, a backyard, or something else, make sure everyone can get to the space easily.
Think of any elderly or handicapped guests. Will they be able to walk across a field of grass and rocks? How can you better assist them? Maybe it’s worth it to rent a golf cart to transport your guests to and from their vehicles!
Make sure you also have visible signage to tell your guests the location of specific areas, such as your ceremony, your reception, or even restrooms.
Lighting and Electricity
From decor to a DJ who’s handling the microphones and speakers for your vows, a wedding runs on electricity. Not to mention, your guests will want to be able to see you and your partner during the ceremony and reception. So depending on the timing of your day, you’ll need lighting.
Find out if there’s a way to add electricity to your outdoor wedding ceremony and reception site. Can you bring a generator? Will you need extension cords to give power to everything?
Menu and Catering
A catering company will need to be well equipped to handle a Toronto outdoor wedding venue. So make sure you ask your catering vendor if they’re able to do so before you book with them.
You’ll also want to think of the menu you want to offer your guests! For example, a buffet-style meal might not be the best option, as you’ll have to worry about insects flying around. Instead, choose a plated meal for dinner.
Even if you only have a handful of guests, you’ll still need to offer a restroom. And if you’re thinking of a space that’s not an outdoor wedding venue, then chances are, you’ll need to find an appropriate option to have on-site.
Nowadays, you can rent a luxury restroom trailer that will have your guests feeling comfortable and clean!
Plan an Outdoor Wedding Step 3: Contingency Plan
When you plan an outdoor wedding, you’re more susceptible to things that indoor weddings inherently don’t have.
So, while it’s always good for any wedding to have a Plan B option, you’ll especially want one for your outdoor wedding!
Here’s what you need to think about:
Outdoor weddings mean you’ll have to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your guests from bad weather. For example, will having an outdoor tented wedding help in case of rain? If so, reserve your tent ahead of time, just in case. Then, if you decide you don’t need it, you can cancel a few days before the wedding.
Keep Guests Comfortable
Even outside of rain, an outdoor wedding is susceptible to all weather conditions. You’ll want to keep your guests comfortable no matter what’s happening outside.
- With heat, make sure you keep your guests hydrated. Offer water bottles as they arrive.
- Make sure you tell your guests to wear appropriate shoes and clothing for the location.
- Consider having blankets on hand for guests in colder weather.
As we all know, being outside means having to deal with bugs. So you’ll need to think about this as you plan an outdoor wedding! Fortunately, there are ways around it. But the biggest thing you need to know is — even if you take every precaution for insects, you’ll still likely have to deal with a few. Knowing and accepting that will make your day move along more smoothly!
But, to prevent the majority of them, consider having an exterminator come out to the site a few days early to spray the grounds. You can also use bug prevention in your decor. Have citronella candles in glass vases as aisle markers and as a part of your tablescape design. Use naturally repelling florals, like lavender, peppermint, and marigolds, too!
Plan an Outdoor Wedding Step 4: Wedding Design and Decor
With the logistics and contingency plan mapped out, now comes the fun part! Here’s where you take your design inspiration and bring them to life.
Keep Decor Minimalistic
The wonderful part of having an outdoor wedding is the location can be the focal point of your entire day. Whether you’ve chosen a large field with mountains in the background or a waterfront wedding, allow nature to take center stage when designing your day!
And if you’re wanting a more formal affair, I highly recommend tenting the space to bring the air of sophistication and romance to your day.
Stay on Theme With Your Outdoor Wedding Space
Find inspiration from your location, too! Allow your outdoor wedding venue to tell you how to design your space. For example, if you’re having a waterfront wedding, you may want to avoid woodsy, rustic decor.
Invest in a Wedding Planner and Designer
Deciding how to design and transform your space, whether you’ve chosen a Toronto outdoor wedding venue or a tented wedding, can feel overwhelming. You may have so many amazing ideas, but bringing them together for your day might be a challenge. That’s where a wedding planner and designer can help you!
Planning an outdoor wedding is much different from planning one indoors. From finding the right outdoor wedding venue in Toronto, planning the logistics of the day itself, and designing the location, an outdoor wedding is a large event to create.
Classy Affairs Weddings and Events can walk you through you every step of the way! We’ll help you determine your budget, help you find the perfect venue, map out the logistics, and design your day.