Simple Wedding Planning Blog

5 Outdoor Wedding Back Up Plans (& What You Need to Know)

No matter how perfectly you plan each detail of your wedding, unexpected situations will still arise. An outdoor wedding is a great idea, especially if you live in areas that are always warm and sunny. But, whether you are planning ahead or religiously checking on the weather forecast, nature and weather are some unpredictable factors that you can not control. 

The rain, strong winds, pollen and heat are only some of the elements that can quickly turn your outdoor wedding from tranquil and serene to a mini panic attack. Outdoor weddings can be risky but are still a very popular option! The best way to have the backup plans is to have half your wedding outside and the other half inside. Listed below are some of the “backup plans” that you might want to consider before booking an outdoor wedding venue. 

 

#1  Sun, Waves and Sand: Going for a Beach Wedding?

 

Beach weddings are absolutely stunning with the sexy coastlines and waves as your wedding day backdrop. Sounds like the perfect selfie wall to me! 

Getting married on the beach sounds like a perfect way to start your married life. Thank the wedding gods if it does not rain, even though you planned ahead and prepared umbrellas for the guests. But have you ever thought about the blinding sunlight and the scorching heat? Do you have a “Plan B”?

Forecasting The Weather

TheKnot.com suggests that foreplanning a beach wedding should include knowing the sunset time, looking up how the tides could affect the venue and considering the location’s rainy and hurricane seasons. You don’t want to keep worrying about the water rising up while going through the ceremony. Make time to ensure that one of the venue’s ballrooms is appropriate for a quick change if the weather turns south on you.  

Choosing the time of the wedding is also important. Your guests will really feel uncomfortable and hot if you hold the ceremony when the sun is at its peak. You can always go for a sunset wedding where the temperature will be a lot cooler, plus the colors of the sky will enhance the beach backdrop for a more romantic feel. 

Have A Chat With The Venue Coordinators

If you are getting married on the beach you are probably going to access the beach area through a beachfront hotel, Airbnb, oceanfront wedding venue, or facility that has direct access to the beach. I would recommend speaking with the venue when it comes to a contingency plan, to ensure everyone is ready in case they must adjust to mother nature! 

Some venues even go so far as to pre-set the backup plan to ensure that you will have a successful wedding day. They are prepared to get important equipment or probably waterproof them out of the rain to ensure that the event can continue as planned, but inside the building. Be aware, this can come at a cost depending on the venue, be sure to ask them what the additional costs are for a more solid backup plan.

Decor and Rentals

In choosing the theme and decorations for your beach wedding, you have to prioritize your guests’ comfort and convenience. Make sure to include shades, cooling/water stations and tents when planning. Go for lightweight tables and chairs for easier seating in the sand and use colorful sheer drapes so that the sun can still shine but toned down a bit. 

The ceremony and cocktail hour can be on the beachside which usually requires a minimal set-up and can be easily torn down when transferred inside. The reception, on the other hand, has more decorations and details that are a bit more challenging to move around at the last minute, but not impossible. You might consider having a hybrid set-up where half of the wedding is done outside for more flexibility when worst comes to worst. 

 

#2  No Place Like Home: Going For A Backyard Wedding?

 

Weddingwire.com will give you a lot of reasons why backyard weddings are awesome. Aside from saving tons of money for the wedding venue, you have all the freedom in the world to choose your wedding date, theme and time without the need for reservations and competition (you know, the other folks that want to get married on the same day?!?!?!). 

If you are on a budget and you want an outdoor wedding with privacy and sentimental feels, a backyard wedding is the one for you. According to theknot.com, backyard weddings became popular back in the year 2020 because of the COVID 19 pandemic. Due to the limited choices of venue and the risk of getting infected, outdoors events are mostly held in the comforts of our homes and broadcast online. 

Limit The Guestlist

Backyard events, especially a wedding, have their own set of challenges. The property is probably not built to handle at least 50+ people like a traditional wedding venue. If you opted for a backyard wedding you’re probably going for a more intimate ceremony and it is the perfect reason why you have to limit your guest list. Unless you’re planning to get married in a billionaire’s mansion with a 10-acre backyard. 

Must Haves

If the wedding setup is done in your backyard, you have to know the essential “must-haves” that you should consider before setting up. A dependable sound system, extra lighting and tents should be on top of the list. What is the essence of having your guests witness your wedding if they can’t hear a word you said because the sound system is not equipped to filter ambient noises, blowing wind and traffic sounds?

You also want to consider lighting your celebration. If the reception is done in the evening you might want to use string lights or powerful outdoor lights to illuminate the surrounding. It can enhance the mood of the event and quite frankly, you want your guests to be able to see what’s happening up front. 

(Luxury) Portable Bathrooms

No matter how big or small the property is, it was simply not built for a wedding on the inside or outside. If you are expecting more than 50 people to attend (or even under 50 people), consider renting toilet facilities. Aside from the traditional porta-potties, there are a lot of options that you can rent like portable toilet trailers that are more spacious. “Port-A-Johns” have come a long way from the yellow Johns on the side of a construction site! Ew! You can even personalize it, they come in luxury options, and include sinks and mirrors to give your guests a more convenient experience. 

Tents and Flooring

Outdoor weddings always come with the option of a tent. Try to consider having a tent on hold with your rental company where you are probably getting your tables, chairs, linens, and silverware from. Yes, they have tents that you can rent, and they can customize them to the appropriate size that you need for your day. You might have to pay a little for them holding it. But it will all be totally worth it rather than scrambling at the last minute trying to find a tent and they are all booked out for other weddings and events.

The flooring on the other hand is just as important as having the tent for backup. Heavy rains can cause the water to puddle under the tent and get all your guests’ feet and table linens soaked. Flooring for an outdoor wedding is also highly recommended for a more polished look. 

 

#3  Well-Groomed Lawns and Flowers: How About a Park Wedding?

 

If you want a more natural landscape packed with history and romance you can go for a park wedding. It is very similar to a backyard wedding but the good thing about most parks is that they have onsite shelters that can be rented. If you can rent an onsite shelter, this can be your backup plan instead of a tent. 

Decorating a venue or an event like this takes a lot of creative forethought. You really want to highlight the park’s beauty when setting up for a park wedding. You also might want to think about obtaining a permit and license to hold an event. 

License and Permits

State parks are open to the public and anyone can visit, but some will ask you to obtain a permit to hold a wedding ceremony. There are some who require a ceremony permit to allow photographers to take pictures inside the venue, there are some who require permits for the sound system and a lot more. While asking about the availability of the venue in the administrative office, you should also inquire about how to obtain these licenses and permits. 

Research on The Location

Before booking the venue, visit the site on several occasions during the same season. Take note of the sun’s position and the traffic in the surrounding areas. You don’t want your guests squinting their eyes because you place the altar directly to where the sun shines brightly and hear loud honking noise while you’re exchanging wedding vows.  

Decor and Flowers

Parks already have their natural beauty so you can already rely on the scenery as a major decorative element. The main idea for putting up decorations is to make the venue more personal rather than it being a public place. But before that, you always have to check with the park’s administrative office if they permit rentals to be brought inside the park. Some local authorities may forbid certain rental items. 

 

#4  Chic and Glamorous: Rooftop Wedding

 

Going for a rooftop wedding will give you that versatile and unique background for your special day. And you probably won’t need additional flooring because rooftops don’t have wet grasses that could ruin your guests’ footwear. 

The big downfall for rooftop weddings is the city’s noise ordinance. Some cities have local laws that require outdoor venues to cut the music off at 11pm. Be sure to check your local city’s ordinance to see if this will interfere with your wedding plans.  

City Noise

Though we can not deny that the blue skies and the cityline views are some of the elements that we are looking for in a rooftop set-up. They are great backdrops for wedding photos and videos. But you also have to consider the city noise below. No matter how high the venue is or how close the location is to the busy streets the traffic noise can still be audible during the wedding ceremony. Setting up a good speaker and microphone system that could drown out outside noise would really be helpful. 

What To Do With The Wind?

Rain is a common problem for an outdoor venue, but having a backup plan for the wind is crucial too. Aside from the panoramic view of the rooftop, the wind can also blow in from every direction. Make sure that your decorations and wedding essentials like chairs and tables are disaster-proofed and anchored securely. It would also be better to move delicate details like paper decorations and centerpieces away from the gusty areas in case the wind picks up.  

 

#5  Springtime and Garden Weddings

 

If you are eco-conscious and you want a stunningly magical atmosphere accompanied by the natural sound of nature, a garden wedding is the one for you. But since garden weddings are usually held in the daytime, so your guests can enjoy the beautiful surroundings, it also comes with a lot of risks as well. 

Power supplies

If you want a garden wedding, how will you plan for the power source? A lot of your wedding elements will require electrical outlets, from the lighting to the sound system to the music and even for the food. May it be an open-air gazebo you have to consider renting a power source, a generator perhaps. No matter what time of the year it is, you still need cooling systems or portable heaters for the event and it all requires electricity.

Bugs and Wind

Win the battle of the winds and the bugs at your wedding venue. Be prepared for them. Garden weddings are commonly surrounded by different varieties of plants and flowerbeds and they will always come with different species of bugs and insects. These little pests are notorious wedding crashers. You can always light citronella scented candles around the venue to keep insects and mosquitoes away. 

You can also get help from bug exterminators, but with a little precaution. Most garden venues have a spray date where exterminators come and spray for bugs. Know how long the last spray date was so you can follow up for the next one. But be sure that the spray day should be at least 4-5 days before the wedding date. 

 

Why Are Wedding Back-Up Plans Important?

 

Disaster-proofing your outdoor wedding venue can reduce your stress and anxiety during the big day. No matter where the venue is it is important to have a plan B ready in case mother nature doesn’t cooperate. Have an indoor hall or a covered area ready to shelter your guests in case of bad weather and provide cooling/heating systems for comfort and convenience. 

Consider weather-proofing everything from the bridal party’s dresses (keep a travel sew kit handy!) to the decorations and the flooring. This is one way to ensure that your wedding day will go off with minimal hitch. For outdoor weddings, you also have to see to it that your wedding diagram and seating arrangements are flexible in case of last-minute venue changes. Think ahead and create multiple versions of your wedding diagram for easier adjustments. 

 

Final Thoughts

An outdoor wedding is not only a unique and beautiful idea and an unforgettable way to tie the knot. Planning for an outdoor wedding can be fulfilling but comes with its own set of difficulties. Knowing the weather is key to making any plans, and if you know that rain or other bad weather is coming then you should think of where your backup plan will be. Try considering these backup plans shared in this blog so you can stop worrying about unexpected disasters on your big day. 

 

If you are looking for more tips on how to plan an ultimate outdoor wedding and venue planning visit our website at https://simpleweddingplanning.com/blog. Learn more pro-tips and simple tricks on how you can plan your own wedding today!

48 Wedding Pitfalls (& how to avoid them!)

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