The Dos and Don'ts of Planning an Outdoor Wedding

Beautiful blossoms, fresh air, tons of gorgeous natural light—there are a lot of things that make outdoor weddings so magical. But putting your ceremony or reception outside—and at the mercy of the elements—also introduces a few factors you shouldn’t forget about. When planning your outdoor wedding, keep these tips in mind to ensure a great experience for you and your guests.

DO: Keep Mother Nature in Mind

A venue like Loggia that supplies a tent can help you fool proof your wedding.

No matter the season, outdoor weddings or receptions require careful planning—and a Plan B in case the weather decides not to cooperate. Spring and fall weddings often come with the chance of rain, so be sure whatever venue you choose has coverings or backup spaces available. And while summer weddings are somewhat less likely to experience a sudden, unexpected downpour, the heat can become an issue for you and your guests, so choose a venue with elements that can help take the edge off the summer sun—like shade from trees or coverings, or water features like fountains or waterfalls.

DON'T: Forget About Logistics

Venues like the Hidden Falls allow for the ambiance of chandelier lighting in the outdoors with no extra effort from you.

While most brides-to-be spend a lot of time thinking about bridesmaids’ dresses, color palettes, and floral arrangements, there are a lot more details to think about when planning a wedding—many of them much less exciting than the aforementioned. And while a city park, friend’s backyard, or other in-nature venue might seem like a great way to save money, you might run into issues with not having easy access to electricity—or enough of it—to power your lights, music, and microphones. Choosing a more-established venue with lots of experience coordinating outdoor weddings means you won’t have to worry about the logistical hassles of sourcing generators or hoping you’ve got enough extension cords.

DO: Take Full Advantage of Your Venue

The cascading fountains of the Italian Gardens is just of the many venues available in the Ashton Gardens.

Since you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty, a particularly picturesque outdoor wedding venue can help you save on floral and other décor costs. And if you choose someplace like Thanksgiving Point’s Ashton Gardens, you’ll not only have a built-in setting for a beautiful ceremony and incredible photos, you’ll be giving your guests somewhere to explore before (or during) the reception.

DON'T: Forget to Prepare Your Guests

Thanksgiving Point’s expert planners can help you think up something special to say thank you to your guests.

While finalizing your guest list and sending out invites, be sure to specify that the wedding or reception will be happening outdoors, so your guests can dress appropriately for the season’s weather. (Nobody wants to wear five-inch stilettos, only to find out once they arrive at the venue they’ll be sinking into the grass for most of the day.) To keep your guests comfortable while they’re waiting for the ceremony or reception to start, consider offering refreshments like lemonade, cider, or hot chocolate, depending on the season.

DO: Keep Your Vendors in the Loop

If interfacing with vendors sounds complicated. Explore an all-inclusive wedding venue or package.

Keeping in close contact with your vendors about your wedding venue can make all the difference between a stress-free big day and one filled with avoidable mishaps. For example, your photographer might have input on the ideal time of day to take photos for the best possible light conditions, while your catering company might need to take extra precautions to prepare for weather conditions. After all, a chocolate-covered dessert will quickly turn into a melty mess if left in direct sunlight for hours on end. If all this seems like a lot to handle, consider booking an all-inclusive wedding package that will let you spend less time worrying about the details and more time mingling with your guests.


Ready to start planning the outdoor wedding you’ve always wanted? Contact Thanksgiving Point’s wedding experts today to learn more about some of Utah’s most awe-inspiring outdoor venues. Please take a few moments to tell us a few things about your wedding and/or reception and an event coordinator will be in touch with you.

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