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20 Tips to Planning an Outdoor Wedding and a BIG Announcement

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post. I am a proud member of the Nutrisystem #NSNation Blogger Program.  
20 years ago I said "I do" to an amazing man.  

Hubby and I held our wedding outside at Refugio Valley Park in Hercules, California.  

Holding our wedding outdoors is full of challenges but in the end it is a wedding and everything will be just fine.

If you're thinking of holding your wedding outside there are many things to consider but here are 20 tips to help you plan the most amazing outdoor wedding and keep reading as I have a huge announcement regarding my Nutrisystem journey.

1.  Reserve Your Spot Early...if you can.  The park we held our wedding had a first come, first serve spot when it came to the gazebo.  So we weren't able to reserve the outdoor gazebo area.  I remember Hubby and my uncle leaving before the break of dawn on the day of our wedding to snag our spot.  My uncle stayed at the park to make sure no one got the spot.  

2.  Keep Guests Cool.  Be sure to arrange seats out of the sun.  If trees are available, consider arranging seats under trees to help keep guests shaded, cool and comfortable.

3.  Keep Guests Hydrated.  Be sure to have lots of fresh water on hand for your guests.   Get creative and design labels for the water bottles. Tip: Use fresh fruit to flavor the water and add a pop of color.

4.  Adhere to Policies.  We had our wedding at a public park and there was a strict no alcohol policy.  Which brings me back to tip #3.  Upside is you save money.  Water is cheaper than alcohol.   

5.  Dress for the Season.  Remember the season when you are buying your wedding dress or renting tuxedos.  If you're having a Summer wedding, consider lighter fabrics and shorter dresses and you may want to skip the long train. 

6.  Shoes, shoes, shoes. The first time I saw a bride wearing flip flops at her beach wedding, I thought it was the neatest thing ever.  Just like the dress, be sure to consider appropriate footwear for the location.
7.  Sunscreen.  Have some sunscreen on hand to protect your guests from harmful UV rays.

8.  Repel the Bugs.  Consider using citronella candles to keep mosquitoes and gnats away.  
9.  Keep Guests Comfortable.  Avoid metal chairs as they can get too hot during the Summer or too cold during Autumn.  Slatted wood chairs are ideal.  However, if you must have metal chairs, consider covering the chairs.  You may need to have fans or outdoor heating units to keep your guests comfortable.

10.  When Guests Gotta Go.  Choose a location with accessible restroom areas.  

11.  Visit the site.  Be sure to visit the site a couple of times to make sure the space is adequate for your wedding.  Meet with staff to discuss reservation policies, permit policies and clean up policies.
12.  Photography and Video Considerations.  Make sure your photographer scopes out the site as well for primo photo locations.  Your videographer should also test the site.  Our video is beautiful but it's difficult to hear hubby and I exchange vows over the gaggle of geese in the pond.

13. Weatherproof the Decor.  Outdoor weddings are subject to Mother Nature.  Whether it's wind, rain, or snow be prepared.  Anchor table decor.  Have umbrellas on hand just in case.   
14.  Weatherproof Your Makeup.  Avoid oily foundation and opt for a lighter, powder based makeup.  Consider matte lipsticks with a light gloss.

15.  Blot, Blot, Blot.  Speaking of makeup don't forget to have some face blotters on hand for yourself and your bridal party.  
16.  Parking and Directions.  When planning your outdoor wedding, consider where your guests are going to park.  Be sure to have adequate signage to direct guests to your location.

17.  Protect the food.  Keep it covered.  We had a backyard BBQ reception full of sweet bbq sauces and fresh fruit.  Keeping the food covered helped keep the bugs away.  

18.  Keep the cake cool.  This is especially important if you are having a Summer wedding.  Keep the cake in a refrigerated area until ready to serve so your icing won't melt.

19.  Cover It Up.  Make the scene your own by incorporating the natural beauty of the area into your wedding decor.  Drape grungy picnic tables with linens.  Add natural green florals and stems to the tables to create a beautiful landscape.

20.  Have a BACKUP!  Things happen. I remember seeing a clip of a hurricane brewing just days before a couple's outdoor coastal wedding.  The couple had several friends and family scheduled to arrive and they were forced to come up with a back up plan. When planning your outdoor wedding, have a backup location just in case Mother Nature has a change of plans.  
Oh, I promised a BIG announcement and here it is.
I have lost 36 lbs. and after 20 years of wedded bliss and Hubby and I are starting the journey to a healthier US TOGETHER and will be on Nutrisystem together.  *tosses confetti*

He's noticed the changes I've made to becoming a healthier me and we are so excited to begin a healthier life together.  I am looking forward to having him join me and can't wait to share our weight loss journey.  


Masshole Mommy said…
These are wonderful tips. My brother is getting married outdoors next month, so I am going to forward this to my future sister in law.
Alli Smith said…
All three of my daughters are married and one of them had an outdoor wedding in June! We had big stainless steel tubs filled with bottled water for our guests. We also had beautiful program fans so the guests could keep cool during the ceremony. These are all great tips.
Anosa Malanga said…
Huge congrats on your weight loss and good luck on your fitness journey. I just got back from an outdoor wedding in France and it was epic. Made me think about having something similar one day
Jeannette said…
A friend of mine is having an outdoor wedding in October. So these pointers would definitely help her with her wedding. You don't really think about the guests when it comes to the wedding and being outdoors. I think hydrating and keeping him hydrated is very important and I would've never thought of that.
Sarah Honey said…
My wedding ceremony was outside. It wasn't super hot but the weather was a huge worry of mine leading up to my wedding day. Thankful it was beautiful weather!
Cheryl Lang said…
My friends got married in a public park in Boston a few years ago. It was lovely, but there were so many details to remember. And it was in the summer, so little details like water and sunscreen are very important!
These are some great tips for hosting an outdoor wedding, as someone who can't be out in the sun for long, making sure everyone is comfortable and kept cool is a big thing.
Joanna Brittain said…
Congrats on the weightloss! 36 pounds is awesome!! These are all great tips to think about when planning an outdoors wedding.
Outdoor weddings are wonderful. Weather can be tricky. If really hot it can be miserable so all of your tips are perfect.
Lynn White said…
These are great tips. I just got married a few months ago outside on the beach in Jamaica!
Marysa said…
My husband and I got married on the Mayan Riviera. At our scheduled wedding time, it was pouring, so they suggested we wait about 15 minutes. Sure enough, the rain cleared, and it was blazing hot and sunny! It was an amazing day (even if we sweated a bit too!).
Amanda Simkin said…
I had an outdoor wedding and it was gorgeous. It rained all the way up until our guests were seated and the sun came out for our vows. It was so lovely.
These are great tips on planning an outdoor wedding. It's so important to keep guests cool. I went to an outdoor wedding once and it was toooo hot!
These are great tips. I think the best is to have a back up plan. Weather can change at the snap of a finger. A wedding is a very special day in a couple's life and careful planning is a must to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Parent Palace said…
These are really great tips - outdoor weddings can be challenging. And CONGRATS! 36 pounds is a huge accomplishment!
Kita Bryant said…
I had a friend get married outside. She actually went barefoot and it was a super cute wedding!
Cherri Megasko said…
I've heard of so many beach weddings lately and I just can't imagine being out in that hot sun and wind wearing a wedding dress or tuxedo. These are great tips though!
Chris said…
So many good ideas for an outdoor wedding. I love the "gotta go" part! Some people don't even think of that.
Adrienne said…
I love these tips. AS someone who just finished planning my own wedding, these tips are spot on. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your weight loss.

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