When the weather turns warmer thus begins the season of “outdoor” weddings. Outdoor locations can range from a beach to a private veranda to a public park and can be as informal or as dressy as indoor events. Sometimes Mother Nature will allow for the most enchanted of evenings under the stars. But more oft than not the romanticized idea of the perfect outdoor event is impeded with rain, mud, soaring (or plummeting) temperatures and flying, biting pests. But don't fear, there are precautions you can take to still insure (perhaps with a little humor) an enjoyable time for all. So in other words...
Don't fail to plan for inclement weather when having an outside event.
Do go ahead with an outside event if your heart is set on it, you just might get lucky!
Firstly, have a reputable tent company on hold to tent outside areas where possible in case of inclement weather. If you do have to tent hopefully the weather will permit that the sides of the tent can be open to view the surrounding grounds, which is wonderful decoration! And tents CAN be enhanced to look very pretty. I had a bride ask me about this recently.
“I am completely lost when it comes to decorating the tent. The look we are going for is classic and clean, but with a fun party twist...Do you have any advice as to how to decorate the tent so it doesn't look under or overdone in a cost effective way?”
Tents do need a little embellishment to hide tent mechanics. If you're keeping an eye on expenses, focus on the key areas of the tent - the center poles (you could decorate every pole along the perimeter too, but that gets costly) and perhaps the entrances and around any food stations, the bar and Band or DJ.
For the poles, they can be wrapped in fabric or Tulle. We also often add greens or garland, but that can be a budget breaker. Sometimes (if logistics and arrangement size and shape permit) the aisle flowers from the ceremony can be tied on either side of the upper part of the poles (where the supports connect). That adds a nice touch with or without the fabric wrapping. I also like to put a couple ferns around the bases of the poles too, to visually soften the area and to lessen the chances of someone tripping over them as well. If you want to get a little fancier trees (perhaps with string lights) and additional plants grouped around the poles make a nice visual link to the outdoor surroundings too.
Another idea to consider if your event goes into the evening, is incorporating paper lanterns with electric lights (because it's not festive to have a tent fire on your big day!) They come in lots of shapes, sizes and colors and afterwards you will have a nice collection for future parties. Also, we've put multiples of luminaries outside of tents either along borders of pathways or just sprinkled across a lawn.
But as lovely as your event may look keep in mind the comfort of your guests as well. Along with the tent you should have a portable A/C or heater on stand by too. A few years ago there was a wedding held in early September (usually a nice time of year weather-wise in this region) at a family home. There was a lovely old stone house with beautiful grounds that had been extensively redone for the wedding. They had a tent set up, but against my suggestion, they did not have a heater on stand by. Unfortunately, all the efforts for a spectacular setting were ruined by drizzly, damp weather. With no heater the guests were uncomfortable and it did put a pall over the event. Supposedly bad weather on the wedding day means there will be a good marriage. But I'd still like to have a good party too!
Decorating weddings and special events over the years, I've often helped clients with other aspects of their events besides the decorating. I want to share that information and advice with you. I also want to highlight other event vendors whose work I like and different local venues. I invite you to ask questions as well.