Outdoor Wedding Reception Ideas

Tips and ideas for a perfect outdoor wedding

Many couples love the idea of getting married amidst the beauty of nature. Depending on the time of year you are getting married, there are many outdoor wedding reception ideas to to choose from. Before going any further, review the average weather conditions at that time of year and make your choice accordingly. You do not want to have your guests or yourselves felling too hot, too cold, or soaking wet. Decided that you are in the clear weather-wise? Start planning!

First, choose a location based on the style of wedding you want and what is available to you. Examples include:
  • Mansion or historic house
  • Park - Either local or national
  • Botanical gardens
  • Beach or lake
  • Country club
  • Farm
  • Winerie
  • Marina club
  • Backyard of someone's house
Decide on a backup plan for plan B for bad weather, such as:
  • Inside the house, club, or museum
  • Tents, already set up or ready to go
  • An alternate location that you know will be available
Prepare for different weather conditions that could arise:
  • Fans, water, shade, and sunscreen for unseasonably hot weather
  • Umbrellas for sudden rain showers during the ceremony, or to provide extra shade
  • Electric heaters for unseasonably cold weather (can be used in tents)
  • Pins, weights, clips and other items for securing anything that can blow away in the wind
  • Citronella candles or other mosquito repellants or electric bug zappers
Select food that complements the season:
  • Cold drinks and ices for the summer
  • Warm soups and hot beverages for cooler months
Other important items to consider when planning an outdoor reception are:
  • Adequate restroom facilities if you are not near a building that has them (a single port-a-potty will not suffice)
  • Parking and transportation to the site. Be prepared for helping any elderly people if there is a distance to cover.
  • Decorations that can withstand the conditions. For example, candles may blow out in the breeze. Ice sculptures will melt in the sun.
Finally, make sure you select wedding favors that can also hold up under the conditions. Stay away from edible items that could melt, such as chocolate. The same goes for treats that attract bugs. Most other favors will work well, so consider a wedding guest gift that goes with an outdoor theme for your time of year. Examples include:


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