7 Important Things to Consider When Planning an Outdoor Wedding

Rain or shine, with an alfresco affair there's more to think about than just the weather
Photos courtesy of Temecula Creek

Sponsored by Temecula Creek Inn

Outdoor weddings carry with them a certain charm that can only be attributed to the natural settings, but there are a few things beyond linens and cake flavors that need to be considered when planning a en plein air affair. Choosing the right venue and team of vendors who share your vision for your big day can make all the difference. Below is a list of things to address to ensure your outdoor wedding is a success:

1. Dress/Footwear

As with any outdoor occasion, you'll want to make sure you and your guests are properly dressed for the elements. For a summer affair, consider fabric. Light, flowy, breathable fabrics are your best option here. Have your heart set on dapper tuxedos? Consider the time of year and/or time of day. Your groomsmen should both look and feel comfortable. Marrying during the cooler months? Look for coordinating cardigans for you and your maids. Pashminas can serve as cozy favors for the ladies during the reception. Insider tip: Bustle your dress! Outdoor locations almost always lead to dirt and grass stains. But don’t overthink it! Enjoy your day in your dress. You only get to wear it once, so don't let a small stain get to you. Have a bridesmaid carry wipes, just in case.

A rustic setting with lush grass and stone pathways calls for comfortable shoes. For the ladies, look for a pair with a wedge or a thick heel for a smooth walk down the aisle. Inform your guests of the dress code by including a note in the invitation such as, "Outdoor Cocktail Attire & Lawn-Friendly Shoes Recommended."

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2. Transportation of Guests

If your idea of an aisle includes a grassy knoll on the edge of an expansive property, make sure it's accessible for all of your guests. Check with your venue to see if they provide golf cart or shuttle transportation from the parking lot to the ceremony and then on to the reception site. Depending on its proximity and ease of access, you may also want to look into reception to restroom transportation.

3. Bathrooms

Bathrooms should be easily accessible and/or conveniently located so guests don’t have to worry about missing any special moments. A few things to consider: Are the restrooms a distance from the reception, and how's the walk? Ask your venue if golf cart shuttles are an option. Also, what's the ratio of guests to restrooms? If you're looking at a 300 to 1, or the restrooms are a significant distance from the reception, you'll want to think about renting luxury mobile restrooms. Finally who is responsible for stocking the restrooms and does the venue provide amenity baskets? In most cases the venue is responsible for stocking the restrooms with basic necessities (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.), but it doesn't hurt to double check.

4. Additional Costs

Love those ambient market lights you've seen all over Pinterest? Some venues provide them at no extra cost, but this is something you'll want to find out ahead of time. And what if the weather calls for a last minute tent rental? Choose a venue that is equip to handle the set-up (given a two day notice) either themselves or through a preferred vendor, at a price that won't break the bank.

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5. Sound

It's easy to get caught up in the pretty details of the day, but don't forget some other key aspects, like sound. Check with your venue to see if they have a sound team, or if they can recommend a preferred vendor, to work with you and your vendors to ensure that your vows are heard and guests can dance the night away. You'll also want to look into any noise restrictions or curfews, which may differ depending on the proximity to guest accommodations.

6. Photo Lighting

Your venue's team are experts on the best photo-ops at their location. See if they'll work with you and your photographer on schedules and recommendations for that must-have photo. Looking to capture that beautiful sunset overlooking the mountains? They'll be able to tell you the optimum time to do so. Prior to your big day, and if it's okay with your venue, see if your photographer is willing to scope out photo locations on a day/time when there aren’t any events going on. Some photographers will do this on their own the day of, or even a few days before, and some might be interested in accompanying you on your final visit to the venue.

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7. And of course, The Weather

Take a look at the Farmer's Almanac, specific to your reception location. It will give you a good idea of the average weather patterns for that time of year. That being said, it's not always one-hundred percent accurate, so back-up plans should still be considered. Begin checking the weather report no more than two weeks out. Anytime earlier than that is too unpredictable and can cause unnecessary anxiety.

Remember that rain isn't the only type of weather for which you should have a Plan B. Be sure the property has ample shade for you and your guests to escape that hot summer sun. Consider lounge seating under the shade of some large trees, and if you have your heart set on alfresco dining, be mindful of where your reception tables are located. No one enjoys eating outdoors if the heat is unbearable.

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temecula_creek  Handcrafted Temecula Weddings. Weddings! Yes, we say "we do" to your big day. Our location in the beautiful Temecula Valley makes us the ideal spot for your nuptials. Say “I Do” among our sun-splashed lawns and dance the night away under the stars. Our wedding planners will work with you to make sure your wedding day is just as you dreamed it would be at Temecula Creek Inn.