10 Things to Tell Your Guests about Your Outdoor Wedding
Outdoor weddings have become increasingly popular for couples seeking a unique and picturesque backdrop for their special day. However, attending an outdoor wedding requires some extra considerations for guests. There are numerous ways to communicate important information with your guests……Save-the-Date cards, invitations, emails, wedding websites, social media private groups, text messaging and the good old-fashion talking on the phone. To ensure everyone has a delightful experience, here are 10 important things to share with your guests about your outdoor wedding celebration.
1. Weather Considerations
Outdoor weather can be unpredictable, so encourage your guests to check the forecast and dress accordingly. Suggest that guests to layer their clothing for varying temperatures to stay comfortable throughout the entire celebration. That way they can subtract clothing as the weather warms up or as the party heats up.
Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom……can change how happy you are to be marrying the love of your life. Photo Credit: Tessa June Photography
Don’t forget to factor in your wedding party’s comfort when preparing for weather changes on your wedding day. Photo Credit: Rachel Graff Photography
2. Footwear Recommendations
Inform guests about the terrain of your outdoor venue. Advise your guests of appropriate footwear choices by considering potential challenges, like uneven ground, gravel or grassy areas. Guests will appreciate you telling them to nix the high heels and choose more comfortable and accommodating footwear.
Encourage your guests to choose footwear that will enable them to be both comfortable and able to walk safety on both hard and soft surfaces. Life tip: Stilettos on soft grass are a no go…..literally the heels will get stuck. Photo Credit: The Gardens of Castle Rock
Good footwear is even more important when all eyes are on you or your wedding party during the BIG moments like walking into the Lath House. Photo Credit: The Gardens of Castle Rock
3. Sun Protection
For daytime outdoor weddings, emphasize the importance of sun protection. Recommend sunscreen application and encourage guests to bring hats and/or sunglasses. If your ceremony site is not shaded, consider providing sun umbrellas for your guests. They not only provides the needed sun protection, but can add to the aesthetics of your event. After the ceremony, ensure the cocktail area and reception space have shaded areas for those who want to escape the sun.
A beautiful sunny wedding day also means a sunny ceremony on The Lawn. If there are no shaded areas at your ceremony spot, consider providing sun umbrellas for your guests. Photo Credit: Fox & Loon Photography
4. Insect Awareness
Acknowledge the possibility of insects in outdoor settings and recommend insect repellent or alternatives like citronella candles. Consider offering guests a “Comfort Station”, much like the bathroom baskets you’ll find in the restrooms of many wedding receptions. The “Comfort Station” can have insect repellent and sunscreen (See tip #3). Also, ask your venue if they spray for bugs, especially those pesky mosquitoes. Taking measures to minimize pest disruptions will contribute to a more enjoyable experience.
The dusky time of the wedding day is full of expectation as guests anticipate the dance party to begin in the Wedding Reception Tent. This is also peak time for those pesky mosquitos to come out. Be sure to ask your venue if they spray for mosquitos. Photo Credit: Rachel Graff Photography
5. Ceremony Seating Arrangements
We know you and your partner will be the central focus during your ceremony, but what’s the plan for guest seating? Two important factors to consider. First, what’s the vibe you are going for your ceremony? Is this an elegant affair? A laid back “come as you are” event? The vibe helps determine what your guests will sit on. The options for seating are endless…..black chairs, white fan back chairs, benches, Chiavari chairs, haybales, blankets, etc…. Second, think about the accessibility. If you have grandparents, elderly guests or guests with mobility issues, consider providing seating that allows them to sit comfortably while observing the ceremony and once it is over have the ability to stand safely and easily. It’s totally fine to have more than one seating option for your ceremony. Ask your venue what they have seen work best for your ceremony site. They’ve seen a lot of weddings so pick their brain for some tips. If you are having an early spring or fall wedding, consider providing small blankets to keep your guests comfy during the ceremony.
Benches are the perfect seating choice for this Wedding In The Woods; however, if you need a more stable seating option for your guests, chat with your venue about options. Photo Credit: The Gardens of Castle Rock
Guests are comfortably seated in white fan back chairs for this Lath House wedding. Photo Credit: The Gardens of Castle Rock
6. Communication of Venue Features
Outdoor weddings can be a selfie taking paradise! Be sure to let your guests know a bit about your outdoor wedding spot and the unique features it offers. If you have a wedding website (which is a terrific idea!) provide a link to your venue’s website so guests can get a feel for the place and join in your excitement for your special day. Highlight breathtaking views or special elements they may want to explore before or after the ceremony. This helps guests feel more connected to the surroundings.
Secluded spots with unique features like these concrete chairs create great selfie opportunities for your guests. Photo Credit: Luke Payne Photography
7. Parking and Transportation
What’s the deal with parking at the venue? This one’s a big deal, especially if alcohol will be served at your wedding. You want your guests to be safe as they move from Point A to Point B. If you venue does not allow overnight parking, let your guests know so they can plan to carpool and/or assign a sober driver. Better yet, consider renting a shuttle for even easier transportation. Do guests have to pay for parking? Is it street parking? Is there ample parking spaces? Provide your guests with this information. Be sure to add directions to the venue that guests can plug into GPS or go a bit old school and include a small map and/or driving instructions with your wedding invitations. One last thing to consider, road construction. Road construction can be a hassle, especially when guests are trying to get to your wedding ceremony by a set time. Do a bit of research on the state’s department of transportation website to find out if there will be any construction projects happening in the area of your wedding venue.
Providing a shuttle service for your guests ensures they get home safety at the end of the night and ensures they are on time for your ceremony. Photo Credit: Bradley Hanson Photography
8. Dress Code Guidance
Help your guests out by letting them know the dress code for the wedding. White-Tie? Black-Tie? Formal? Cocktail? Casual? With so many options, guests will thank you for saving them time rummaging through their closet. When sharing the dress code, also share the footwear recommendations (See Tip #2). Does your venue have gravel in the parking lot? Let guests know that the 4 inch stilettoes are not the best choice. Instead offer examples of suitable clothing and footwear, emphasizing the importance of comfort and practicality in their outfit choices.
While you deserve the Best Day Ever on your wedding day, be sure to give guests all the information they need to have a relaxed and enjoyable time on the reception patio under the Garden Pavilion. Photo Credit: Shane Long Photography
A sharp dressed crowd is what you’ll have on your wedding day when you let guests know the dress code ahead of time. This group is all smiles in from of the Gardens Suite. Photo Credit: Chelsea Reeck Photography
9. Contingency Plans
Flexibility is key when having an outdoor wedding. Your day may be blue skies and sunshine, cloudy and rainy or anything in between. Assure your guests that there are contingency plans in place to accommodate all kinds of inclement weather. To learn more about The Gardens inclement weather plan, visit the blog, What If It Rains On My Wedding Day.
A little rain never hurt anyone. In fact, it adds to the romantic vibe of your wedding day celebration as you and your guests sit comfortably in the Wedding Reception Tent. Photo Credit: Render Photography
10. Keep Accessibility in Mind
Consider that older guests or guests with mobility issues may have a difficult time navigating around your venue. Ask your venue if it is ADA accessible allowing a person with a disability is able to move easily throughout the venue. Also, research if there are handicap parking options available. Quell anxiety by communicating this information to your guests, especially guests will mobility issues and their families or caregivers.
Guests will mobility issues can easily navigate around the Garden Pavilion and Natural Stone Fireplace at The Gardens of Castle Rock with its ample open spaces. Photo Credit: The Gardens of Castle Rock
By sharing these essential details with your guests, you’re not only ensuring their comfort, but also helping them fully enjoy the unique experience of an outdoor celebration. Express gratitude for their understanding and cooperation, and encourage them to embrace the beauty and charm of the outdoor setting. With thoughtful communication, your outdoor wedding is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable occasion for everyone involved.