Planning an Outdoor Wedding Checklist

Planning an Outdoor Wedding Checklist

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Are you getting married outdoors, or still trying to decide between indoors or outdoors? There are plenty of important things to consider when planning a wedding in general, but taking things outdoors adds even more items to your list. Read on for help planning an outdoor wedding checklist.

Bad Weather Plan

Having a backup plan is critical if you will be planning an outdoor wedding. What happens if it’s pouring rain? What happens if there’s severe weather? Many outdoor weddings can stay outside in the rain if there’s a backup plan in place, but more severe weather can take out even the sturdiest tents. If you are using a venue, be sure to ask what their inclement weather plan is. (And that’s just one of many questions you should ask your venue.)

Communication Plan

It’s not just a matter of deciding what to do if the wedding has to be moved indoors; you also have to figure out how to tell your guests if there is a last-minute venue change. Consider collecting phone numbers with your RSVPs so you can send a mass text if things need to change.

Getting Ready

Obviously, you can’t get ready for your wedding on the beach. Plan somewhere on or off-site for your bridal party (and everyone else) to get ready.

Music Needs

Musicians, DJs, or even playlists will all require different technical needs, but most will require electricity, shade, and a portable dance floor at a minimum.


If it will be hot outside, be sure to provide plenty of water for your guests, and designate someone in the bridal party to make sure you and the groom are well-hydrated throughout the day. Heat exhaustion is the last thing you want on your big day.


If you’re making your own outdoor venue from a natural space, like someone’s yard, be sure to treat for bugs ahead of time. Nothing is more annoying than a swarm of mosquitoes.

Food, Drinks & Flowers

Obviously, food will need to be kept hot/cold depending on the items, sometimes for long periods of time. Drinks, desserts, and cake also may require refrigeration. And don’t forget about your flowers — depending on the weather, be sure to choose flowers that will survive temperature changes and won’t wilt half way through the day.


Outdoor ceremonies are great, but you can’t expect everyone to stand. Provide chairs for those who need them, like elderly, pregnant, and disabled guests. Even a quick ceremony can be too long to stand for some people.

Tents & Shade

Quick outdoor ceremonies may not require tents and shading, but if you are planning an outdoor reception, you will definitely require some sort of tent. Make sure it’s sturdy and large enough to accommodate your guests comfortably.


When the sun goes down, it gets dark. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many brides forget to plan ample lighting for outdoor receptions. It doesn’t take much to keep things romantically well-lit, but it does require a little extra planning for extension cords and lighting purchases.


Outdoor decorations will be different than what you would use in an indoor space. Read these ideas to transform your outdoor wedding and 6 wedding decorations for a perfect outdoor wedding ceremony to get inspired.

Still looking for the perfect outdoor venue for your wedding? Learn more about our beautiful outdoor venues or contact us for a tour or to book today.

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