Evening outdoors weddings are magical! Imagine saying your “I do’s” with a beautiful sunset as backdrop and dancing the night away with the love of your life under the shimmering starry night—how romantic!
There are definitely many perks to having your special day outdoors. However, as there are pros, there are also drawbacks that you would want to consider and prepare for.
To help you get ready for your big day, we’ve listed some of the dos (✔️) and don’ts (✖️) for outdoor weddings that would go on until the evening.
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✔️ : CONSIDER THE TIMING + WEATHER
This is the most vital thing to consider if you’re holding your ceremony outside. You don’t want you and your guests to freeze to death or be drenched in sweat at your wedding. We could say that the ideal seasons for outdoor (and probably tented!) weddings are spring, early fall or summer. Spring and early fall are still doable with outdoor heaters.
One tricky thing about outdoor weddings is that, even if on the day of the wedding it does not rain, BUT it DID rain 1-2 days before, there is a possibility that the soil is still wet. SO, having said that, the transitions, area selection, plan B planning, timing (date and time!) and staff to execute are very essential to breakdown and actually map out.
It’s actually perfect to begin the ceremony at late afternoon, when the sun isn’t too harsh and the the reception towards the evening. Plus, the time before sunset is what photographers call “the magic hour” that will give you the best lighting for beautiful photos. A great transition from later afternoon ceremony to start the reception is great lighting! Right when romantic lights turn on, it is reception/party time! Your evening outdoor wedding will be a blast!
✔️ : GET A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER (MUST!!!)
Speaking of photographers, you really must not skimp on this because *obviously* you will want to keep wonderfully captured moments of your once-in-a-lifetime event. Professional photographers and videographers are amazing at shooting in different lighting and conditions. So, consider to set aside a budget to hire a professional and experienced photographer, especially if you’re planning for an evening outdoor wedding.
✔️ : OPT FOR COMFORTABLE ATTIRE
Would it be too cold and windy or hot and humid at the time of your wedding? This is another thing to consider especially when choosing your wedding dress/attire and setting the dress code for your guests.
Also, do plan to provide guests with lap blankets or portable heaters especially if it would get chilly in the later hours of your evening outdoor wedding. Still advise your guests to bring their own coats as well and have a coat rack ready to get organized.
Having a “flooring” helps a lot if you and your guests will be wearing heels. You can also give out heel protectors if you’d like to opt out of “flooring” your wedding space.
✔️ : BE CONSIDERATE
This is important if you’re holding a backyard wedding that will go on til the evening. Remember to inform your neighbors beforehand about your plans of having a wedding in your property.
If you are planning an evening outdoor wedding at a rented space or an estate, ensure to have signs and accessible necessities like washrooms, sinks etc. Bigger estates might need a longer walk than usual, if that is the case, consider having a golf cart handy. A dedicated walkway – with slabs of cement can be very helpful if the soil is still wet from rain, so that your guests will not be mudded walking around.
Another thing always consider pest + insect + bugs control. At night, depending on the season, these things come about. Be ready with citronella candles, bug stickers (that you can also personalize!), or any other necessary measures to get these bugs our of your guests’ way.
Together with having your guests and yourself wear a mask and practice social distancing, you can also rent stanchions to ensure physical distancing is practiced. To take things further for extra safety, you can also rent clear dividers (you can also decorate it!) that you can put in between tables. Another option is to provide clear face shields that they can still wear, should they need to take the mask off to eat and/or drink. Adding extra preventative measures is always a good idea.
Check with your local government and public health officials about any guidelines, protocols, policies and/or regulations that you need to meet if you will be holding an event.
✖️ : FORGET TO HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN
As with any event, it is wise to have a Plan B (or even Plan C or D). This is most especially true for evening outdoor weddings because you won’t have any control on the weather conditions. One thing that you could prepare for is to have a back-up area/space where you can transfer your event to.
If you’re doing an outdoor wedding, the food stations/kitchen has to be considered
When you move to plan B, will the kitchen/serving staff still be able to prepare/serve/manage accordingly?
If the guests move to plan b, how much interval/moving time is needed? Is there enough staff/help to execute this move?
If it indeed rained, is there a drying station? Where there are towels (also great as favours!)? Are there umbrellas (you can rent these!)?
Will the decor be applicable as you move to plan B?
If you opt out of hiring a wedding planner or coordinator, but need extra server, set-up help and/or bartender, there are staffing companies like Staff Shop, where you can hire help directly and not worry about other things needed to be executed on the day of the event. Always remember to not underestimate the work and hours needed, as well as things that are still to be done on the day-of your wedding, even if you have everything planned already.
✖️ : STRESS YOURSELF TOO MUCH
No matter how much you plan for your evening outdoor wedding, there will always be things that are out of your control. How you plan the event will definitely help you to not overthink and stress too much. Creating actionable steps and plans will help you manage stress. If if uncontrollable things happen, remember to keep the main thing the main thing—and that is enjoying one of the most precious moments that you will share with the love of your life, family and your guests!
Still in the process of planning your wedding? We can help through virtual consultations (available worldwide and the initial consultation is free!), to assist you in building concepts and overall design, whether it be mood board building, or assisting with step by step guides for your set-up. You can also download our complimentary wedding planning binder here to help you get started!
We are a team of designers, planners and creatives; working together to create tips and guides using our expertise and experience, to help you plan, design and execute your wedding, event or celebration.