I’ve done a few outdoor weddings and it always makes me stressed till the very end because of the weather. This wedding forecast for yesterdays wedding was going to be hot and sunny let’s just say the temps reached 100 degrees. so I wasn’t too nervous about rain but trying to cool people off was tricky. This was the couples second wedding and they didn’t want to spend a fortune on it. I can’t say that I blame them but it did stress me out for a while knowing there was only going to be a small tent over the food. So let me share my tips with you on how to have an outdoor park wedding.
Where can you get married in a public park? You’d be surprised! All it takes is a bit of research online to see where you could potentially hold your wedding. You might be able to get married in your local hometown park, in a beautiful park in another city, state or in a different country. Be sure to research the park’s opening and closing hours, average seasonal weather and whether there are any large concerts, events, performances or celebrations scheduled in the park on your proposed wedding dates.
Rent all your chairs tables and tents from the same place. This is such a must. I know there are a few of you who want the best deals on everything, but if you spend a tinny bit more you can have one company set up and take down practically the whole wedding. If you can get a company that does it all Table clothes, decorations, then even better. The more one company can to do the less you have to stress with coordinating it all to be set up at the same time.
If you are going to dance you might want to think about renting a dance floor. Park grounds are often hilly and uneven and if you want to dance till dawn well 10;00 because there are often park noise ordinances you have to abide by then you might want to get a floor. My darling friend’s daughter chose not to get a floor and all the teenagers took off their shoes to dance. The grass at their particular park was pretty even and they had a tent overhead to guide people to where they wanted them to be.
Lighting is super tricky because the sun is your main light a park. You must know exactly when the sun goes down where the sun is in the sky during the ceremony and you have to have lighting for your guest when the sun is set or if its overcast. With the addition of strings of lights or floodlights, you will need power. Even when you book the park and they say they have power go and plug in a strand of lights at every outlet to make sure they work before the big day. Also, some parks lock the power so you will need to have the number of the person who can unlock the power the day of the event. If you have a DJ or If you plan to use a microphone, make sure the location of the power source is close by and that you won’t have to have extension cords strewn all over the park.
First off Let guests know where to find you by including detailed directions with your invitations or on your wedding website. Be specific about where they should assemble: “The gazebo at the duck pond, Liberty Park”—not “Liberty Park.” If allowed, post signs in the vicinity. The best way to get from Point A to Point B is usually the shortest,” says Hanlin. But not always, Parks are difficult if they are wide open and even more so if they are not, so make sure that there are lots of signs. There are other things to note when directing foot traffic from the ceremony to dinner tables and dance floor. For starters, designate a wide route that’s easy to walk on, which might mean putting down stepping stones or carpet on grass. Don’t lead partygoers past restrooms or trash bins. Instead, make the journey pretty and fun: Construct cute “right this way” signs, use luminarias to light up paths, or have bubbly-bearing waiters point the way.
Additionally, you’ll have to develop a game plan for where staff members and vendors will park their vehicles. Logistically speaking, vendors will want to park as close to the reception site as possible, so it is important to give specific instruction as to where you would strategically like their vehicles to be parked to avoid a sea of cars in clear view of your event!
Avoid lightweight vases or centerpieces that can tip over in the breeze, opt for wilt-prof beauties like potted plants or fruits and vegetables that will help weigh down the arrangments. And unless you want someone to spend the night striking matches, keep lit candles in tall, breeze-blocking vessels, or opt for battery powered candles. Do we even want to discuss bug control? Some simple ways to deter bugs is with fans. some strategically place fans by the food table might keep bees and flies at bay. Also replacing some candles with citronella candles will help with mosquitoes if they are a problem in your area.
Beware: Fluffy buttercream frosting can turn gooey and runny in the heat. “Go with smooth fondant for your cake, and ask your caterer to bring it out right before you slice it, Its hard to display your cake if temps are above 75 degrees, but if you simply must show it off, protect it from bugs and the scorching sun by enclosing it in a screened-in area, or in a much-shaded area. Also, Cheese and fruit displays for outdoor events, while beautiful are a magnet for bugs and flies, and cheese does not do well in the hot sun.
Outdoor weddings are so beautiful but don’t be under the assumption that they are cheaper and easier than a regular wedding venue. However I love nature and I love the idea of a lovely backyard, garden or park wedding, just make sure you do your homework and you will be just fine.