Your Outdoor Wedding Checklist

Marta BlockContributor

Outdoor weddings are definitely having their moment in the sun! Getting married outside can add a romantic, relaxed feeling to your wedding, but that doesn't mean outdoor weddings are without their challenges. As relaxed as an outdoor wedding may feel, it actually requires careful planning. This checklist is designed to make sure you don't miss any of the details. We loved this Custer State Park wedding from Cadey Reisner Weddings so much, we used it to illustrate what you should do for an outdoor wedding!

dinner at outdoor wedding

• Alternate Location Plan
No one likes rain on their wedding day, but having a backup plan is essential for an outdoor wedding. Make sure to include a time by which you'll make the call to switch locations in your plan.

• Communication Plan
It's raining, your moving your wedding indoors ... how do you let everyone know about the new plans? Unless your indoor site is in the same place as the outdoor site you'll need a communication plan for vendors and guests a like. If you have a wedding planner or day of coordinator this is something you should discuss with him or her ahead of time.

bride getting ready for wedding with help of bridesmaids

• Staging Area
If your wedding and reception are outside is there a nearby indoor location for you to use to get dressed?

• Musician/DJ Needs
Do you know what your musicians or DJ need in terms of appropriate shade and temperature control?

outdoor wedding seating for dinner

• Food and Flowers
Is your reception outside? Make sure to check with the caterer, baker, and florist about refrigeration needs. If you have not mentioned to your baker or florist that the wedding is being held outside, do so at once! It's possible that you've chosen flowers or icing that just won't work with an outdoors wedding.

outdoor wedding site under trees

• Seating for Elderly Guests
You may be having a super quick outdoor wedding ceremony, but some of your guests still need a place to sit. Your cousin on crutches may be fine if the wedding really is only 15 minutes, but what if things get a little bit of a late start, can he sand for half an hour? If you're only going to have seating for those who really need it, it's fine to mark it as reserved.

• Tents and Shade
If only your ceremony is outside you probably don't need a tent, but you may want one if you're worried about sun or rain. Make sure to discuss shade needs with any vendors who will be working outside.

• Lighting
Is your outdoor wedding reception lasting in to the wee hours? Do you have the appropriate lighthing?

• Dance Floor
If your reception is outside, you'll want a portable dance floor.

• Hydration
You may think you don't need water available for a short outdoor wedding, but again, what happens if things get delayed? If your reception is outside you'll want to make sure that you provide extra non-alcoholic drinks to keep your guests hydrated.

• Bugs
One of the less romantic aspects of an outdoor wedding is the bugs! Early nighttime are prime mosquito hours, talk to your tent provider or wedding planner about a plan for combatting critters.

bride washes the feet of her groom

groom washing the feet of the bride for Christian wedding

wedding hashtag on chalkboard

bride groom and officiant at wooded outdoor wedding

Wedding Info:
Wedding submitted via Two Bright Lights
Photographer: Cadey Reisner Weddings
Venue: Custer State Park
Event Designer: Janet Stark, Anna Lynne Claire Reception & Event Design