The Ultimate Checklist for an Elegant Outdoor Wedding

Windy Hill Photography | Elegant Outdoor Wedding

Nothing is more romantic than an elegant outdoor wedding; whether your location of choice is by the ocean, in a historic barn, or among wildflowers in a botanical garden, an outdoor setting makes your night truly magical. With an outdoor wedding comes a bit more planning than a more traditional one-size-fits-all venue, but it’s well worth the extra effort! Below, we’ve put together some items you don’t want to miss when planning your al fresco wedding celebration!

Confirm Your Outdoor Coverage

While the whole point of an outdoor event is – of course – being outside, you’ll still want to make sure you have some overhead cover. This is essential as it will protect you and your guests from the elements, offering shade on a hot day or protection from rain if the weather is less than ideal. There are all types of tents to choose from, as large as you need them to be, and are flexible to put just about anywhere there is space.

Pro Tip

Depending on where you live, it also helps to have an indoor backup plan at your venue, just in case the weather gets really bad.

Book Your Rentals

Once you have your overhead figured out, you’ll have a good idea of what’s needed for rentals. This can vary depending on what your venue offers – some outdoor venues will provide bigger items such as an arbor, tables, chairs, and benches, while others will require you to rent your own. There are so many rental design companies out there to choose from who can help you make sure you have everything you need! The best way to choose your rentals is by determining which elements are most important to you and prioritize what you order based on that.

Pro Tip

Try to reserve your outdoor venue for not only the day of your wedding, but the morning after. This will give your crew extra time to take down and pack up your rentals.

Customize Your Venue

Give your outdoor wedding the aesthetic of your dreams! The flexibility of an outdoor space allows you to have fun with your decor, making it as unique as you are. Try layers of varying candle heights along tables, draping fabric from the tent ceiling for extra drama, or even bringing in lounge furniture to create a more intimate feel. These finishing touches will make for a one-of-a-kind experience!

Pro Tip

Make sure there is a natural “flow” from space to space if you are having all your events outside in the same area. For example, create signs or pathways that lead guests from your ceremony site to cocktail hour and reception areas. It always helps to point out restrooms, too!

Set the Mood with Lighting

Though lighting may technically be considered decor, we feel it should have its own section – and for good reason! Lighting truly sets the mood for an elegant wedding, and is essential for an amazing event, particularly one that is outdoors. Adding string lights, paper lanterns or glassware with candles will take your wedding from special to spectacular.

Pro Tip

Confirm with your venue that lighting is possible and whether there is any need for a generator or other add-ons to make sure your outdoor space stays lit up all night long.

Take Advantage of Fun Outdoor Catering Options

One of the best parts about having an elegant outdoor wedding is that you have so much flexibility for fun catering options! For an indoor event, catering can be somewhat basic – even limiting. But when you have an outdoor wedding, you can get as creative as you want! Whether you’ve always dreamed of a classic New England lobster bake, would love an authentic southern BBQ or even a roast, the catering options are nearly endless.

Pro Tip

Just be sure to confirm that the catering company you work with has the experience and capability to handle an outdoor event. They may need a separate tent to cook under, so keep that in mind for budgeting purposes, too!

Coordinate Parking

Luckily, it’s very common for outdoor wedding venues to have plenty of parking available. Make sure to confirm this when doing research and communicating with potential venues to ensure they have the space needed for your guests. This may seem like a minute detail but is very important to prioritize, since having a parking plan will make the day-of so much less stressful.

Pro Tip

If your venue has limited or no parking available, you can often make arrangements to park at properties such as community centers, churches or other public lots.

Contact The 1812 Farm

If you’re beginning to plan your elegant outdoor wedding, contact our team at The 1812 Farm to learn more about our stunning historic barn venue. We’re happy to help answer any questions you may have!