Outdoor Wedding Tips & Mistakes to Avoid

If you've googled all the common problems that might occur with a backyard wedding, you may have forgotten a few things.

As an event manager for Estate Weddings and Events, I've seen my fair share of some common and not so common occurrences that can be avoided when hosting an outdoor event.

Here are my top 5 often forgotten and overlooked outdoor wedding mistakes...

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1. Linens

Nakiya and Will at Bali Gardens Estate

I highly encourage that couples consider a non-white/ivory/cream colored linen for their dining tables.  White linens can be unforgiving at best. Bugs happen, and can leave some not so pleasant yellowish stains on the linens.

Another reason to choose a darker color fabric?  I’ve seen florists place arrangements on the white table cloths, and then push them into the center of the table.  Upon doing so, they’ve left an ugly dirt and water trail that can’t be undone, which is quite obvious to the guests dining at that table.  If your guests spill their red wine or drop a plate of food on the light colored linens, you're sure to notice.

Another recommendation is to skip the linens altogether and rent specialty wood tables which look great alone or with a burlap runner.

2. Sprinklers, mist, and rain…oh my!

Unwanted water can really put a damper on your celebration.  It is important that the sprinklers are turned off a good 48 hours before the wedding, so you can be sure that the lawn won’t be wet on your big day.  Nobody wants to trudge through a soggy lawn!

Are you getting married in an area which gets misty in the evenings?  Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to prevent this from happening, but if you rent a tent, you can keep guests comfortable and dry.  If you aren’t renting a tent, my advice is to invest in a few outdoor doormats for guests to wipe their feet off before entering the house.

Rain can be a big bummer if it occurs right before or on the day of your wedding.  You may have thought about what happens when it rains on your wedding day, but what will you do if it rains the day before?  If you are planning to rent a tent, have it assembled before the predicted rain is going to occur.  That way you will prevent the ground below from getting rained.  Even if it doesn’t rain the day of your wedding, you’ll at least have a dry lawn inside the tent.

3. Desserts


Photo from Etsy

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If you're having an evening wedding in a warm climate, do not put out your wedding cake or desserts until after the sun has gone down.  Your wedding cake will melt.  Even if they are inside the house, there is no guarantee they are able to withstand the heat.  You might want to make sure you've cleaned out the fridge enough for some of the most important desserts.

4. Flowers

The heat and wind can do quite a number on your flowers, so put them out at the last minute, or assign someone to mist them with water often during the day.  Otherwise you may end up with a bunch of wilted arrangements.  You've spent the money purchasing perfect flowers, so you should get to enjoy them that way!

5. Signs


TrueConnection on Etsy

If you're getting married somewhere hard to find you'll want to invest in a few signs (maybe with some balloons) pointing your guests in the right direction.  Before your wedding, map out the location with Google Maps or your GPS to make sure that the location is recognized.

I've heard complaints that some estate locations are very tricky to find which has resulted in guests being late to the ceremony. When in doubt, provide a small printed map in the invitation.

For other similar topics, be sure to visit these helpful links:

-- How to turn a house into a Wedding Venue

-- What makes a great Estate wedding venue

-- How much does an estate wedding cost?

-- How to have a stress free backyard wedding

Your Turn...

Do you have any outdoor wedding/event tips or mistakes to avoid? Please share your stories in the comments below...