We know you don’t need us to tell you that planning a wedding is a quite a time consuming mission – your “to do list” may start to look more like a “to-do million-page paper.” With that in mind, we want to try to provide all our couples with as many tips & tricks for planning as possible. Today’s task: outdoor wedding reception ideas and outdoor wedding planning.
There are lots of different outdoor wedding reception ideas. Whether it’s a party on the beach, cocktail hour on a rooftop in Brooklyn, or a reception dinner under the stars (or all of the above, yes please), allow us to aid you in making decisions that will not only have all your guests totally wowed, but also have you stress-free throughout the day. For all of our do’s & don’t’s, keep on reading.
You’ve heard the saying: “hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” That is the mindset you should have when planning an outdoor wedding reception. Are all of your décor elements wind-proof? Did you account for what would happen should it start torrential down pouring? For my curly haired brothers & sisters out there – did you prepare for the inevitable frizz/craziness? These are all things to keep in mind when making wedding plans. Keep plenty of tent stakes, ponchos (so stylish!), & hair products readily available, but ask your wedding vendor pros about how to devise any backup plans.
For a recent outdoor/rooftop wedding in Brooklyn, there was a just-in-case tent on standby. It also worked wonders at keeping us all warm when it got windy and chilly at night.
Most people may hate the sound of their voice, yes, but your guests want to hear you! Project your voice, or – if you didn’t grow up as a theater kid – mic yourselves up. Chances are your videographers will mic you so your wedding video audio will be crystal clear, but being in a big open space means your guests will have a harder time hearing you should you choose to make a speech, and no one wants that. How else is everyone supposed to happy-cry at your thank yous?
One of the best parts about having an outdoor wedding reception is: nature is your decor. You have the entire outside world at your disposal — you don’t need to go crazy with florals, spotlights/up-lighting, etc. After all, you can’t take it with you.
Do yourselves a favor and get spectacular string lights and maybe some candles.
If you’ve seen John Mulaney’s “New In Town”, you know this quote: “I always thought quicksand was gonna be a much bigger problem than it turned out to be.” Well, I’m here to tell you about the modern equivalent of quicksand you’re going to have to prepare for: heels on grass. To avoid sinking completely into the earth’s core, bring your best pair of flats with you. Not only will you stay above ground, your feet will be thanking you by the end of the night.
I survived off of food trucks parked on my college campus while I was dorming. I encourage you to explore the world of food trucks for your reception catering.
When you’re throwing a party outside, what’s a more convenient way to get your catering delivered than to have it simply pull up in a truck? AND there’s no worry about setting up/breaking down time? You’re welcome.
It has become increasingly difficult to secure wedding dates with reception venues. Rules & guidelines are always changing, people are rescheduling every other day — it’s hectic.
You can have a safe wedding on your ideal date if you use your home or an Airbnb as your venue.
Want to know more about planning an at-home wedding? Use this post.
Keeping all of this + more in mind, this should be your takeaway: plan for whatever will make you happiest for your outdoor wedding. Be practical, but don’t shy away from what you want. This is your day! Mother Nature answers to YOU! Okay maybe not, but maybe she’ll take it easy on you if you ask really nicely or recycle or something.
Good luck & happy planning!
We're Sava, a small studio of photographers who bonded over our similar educational background, love of art, & general affinity for timeless wedding photos. Based in NYC, will travel, will pick up your coffee order on the way.