1. The Weather
While Mother Nature is impossible to accurately predict, advance research and planning can help your outdoor wedding go off without a hitch. What time of year do you plan to marry? What is the weather historically like during that time? Should you plan for wind, rain, extreme heat or cold?
Think through the ways that you can minimise the impacts of these weather events. Hiring a marquee provides shelter against the most extreme elements, but you might need to bring in fans or portable heaters for additional comfort. Let your hairstylist know that your wedding is outdoors so that he or she can design a look that is both elegant and likely to last. Provide sheltered space for your caterers and other vendors, along with refrigeration if possible.
Consider your guests’ comfort as well. Is there a place to leave umbrellas when they arrive? Do you want to create customised hand-held fans? Is there a sheltered route to the toilet facilities? Think about what you might like as a guest, and then strive to make it a reality.
2. The View
Each outdoor venue has its own unique selling points, one of which is often its view. Before you get too excited, though, think about how you could incorporate the view into your wedding. If the only available spot to watch the sunset can hold only 10 people, it might not be the best location for a wedding with 250 guests. On the other hand, a sweeping vista might overwhelm the festivities at an intimate wedding for 20. Visit your favourite venues at different times of day to see how the view changes, and try to envision your wedding actually occurring in each location.
3. The Practicalities
The fact that an outdoor venue is a blank slate can be both a blessing and a curse. You have the opportunity to design your wedding however you like, but you must also take charge of providing for your own needs and those of your guests. Is there enough room to run multiple generators far enough away from the ceremony site to dampen the noise? Can you tap into power from a nearby building? Are toilet facilities available on site, or will you need to rent portable toilets? Also speak to the vendor about such site preparations as weeding, raking, or even planting flowers. Are these tasks included in the site fee or available at an additional charge? Or will you spend the morning of your wedding attending to grounds keeping tasks?
4. Light and Sound
The complex interplay of natural light and ambient sounds lends a real sense of atmosphere to any outdoor wedding venue. Make sure you choose something that fits the theme, style, and overall feel of your wedding. Think about how you can work with rather than against nature when designing your own lighting and sound schemes, and choose a venue that lends itself to the way you envision your wedding.
5. Rules and Regulations
Depending on the location and exactly what you want to do, you might need certain permits for your wedding. Talk to the vendor about alcohol laws, permits for open flames such as a bonfire, and local noise ordinances. These items are typically covered by vendors who hold frequent weddings, but you might need to track down permits yourself if you plan to marry in a spot that is not a common wedding venue.
6. Insects and Animals
Take a good look around at the time of day that you plan to hold your wedding. Do you see mosquitos, black flies, snakes, or other intruders? Some amount of wildlife is inevitable, especially if the venue is remote, but you do not want insects descending on your wedding cake or interrupting your first kiss. Ask the vendor what sort of pest control program is in place, and consider using citronella or other products to further discourage pesky invaders.
7. Design Features
Take a good look around to make sure the venue fits with your design ideas. Is there enough space for a dance floor? An open area for a bonfire? Enough level ground to put up a marquee or two? Measure the available space as a whole, and then break it down into the different areas you desire. Resist the temptation to book a venue that is just a little too small, which will end up making everyone feel crowded or uncomfortable. Look for a spot that has plenty of reasonably level space and lends itself naturally to the divisions you desire.
At Betta Party Hire, we are here to help. If you desire personalised assistance, please phone us on 1300 472 793. Our dedicated wedding team (Jan and Damian) will be delighted to share our knowledge and recommendations for trusted professionals who can help you ensure that each aspect of your special day is perfect.