How To Plan an Outdoor Wedding Reception

Vast expanse of blue skies and puffy white clouds, gentle wind keeping you and everyone around you cool, and the smell of fresh flowers in the air…Nothing could be more perfect, even in your dreams, but when it comes to planning an outdoor wedding reception, it will take more than sweet dreams to conjure the perfect atmosphere.

Don’t fret, here’s how to plan an outdoor wedding reception even when reality sets in.

  1. Make sure the venue can accommodate all your guests. The words “intimate wedding” is highly subjective. It could be anywhere from 50 to 100 and it still would qualify as an intimate wedding if you ask any bride-to-be. So after polishing the final guest list, drive to the venue and take a look if it can indeed accommodate the wedding party.
  2. Look at renting someone’s private property instead of commercial wedding locations. One of the things that make an outdoor reception better than indoor locations is the cost of such. In fact, if you know someone in your family who owns a bigger than usual parcel of real estate, you might want to ask him if he could possibly consider opening it as your wedding reception venue. Other than that, you can also tap the assistance of neighbors who own private property for the same purpose. You might have to invite these good people to your wedding but it’s a good thing because they made it possible for you to save a princely sum that would have otherwise been paid to cover renting a swanky hotel ballroom. Be thankful they agreed and get them their invitation to your wedding.
  3. Hold that thought about renting a public park. Only cheapskates do this. Besides, a public park is PUBLIC and will eventually lead strangers to the buffet table, strangers who will stay there until all the cheese sticks and shrimp cocktails are gone. You might be laughing now but you won’t when you actually realize that it’s happening before your very eyes. Just don’t.
  4. Incorporate dancing and games into the reception. Take advantage of the fact that you have a lot of space for everyone to let her hair down and have some fun so feel free to hire a DJ to play great dancing tunes and a party host to get the games going.
  5. Let the food and drink flow. Since a lot of action will take place what with all the dancing and physically-demanding games, you and your guests will be thirsty and famished more than once so make sure everyone gets at least second helpings at the buffet and beverage station.
  6. Put up tents. One thing that you will not be able to control or predict would be the weather. Putting up tents for the food and beverage stations and for your guests will ensure a continuing good time even when rains pay homage to your wedding day.
  7. Have a stash of insect repellents and sunblock lotions for everyone. You can be creative about this and have this packed as your wedding favors. Throw in a couple of candles, too. The point is to make sure your moment is not marred by sunburn, pesky mosquitoes, and similar bugs that sting.

Before making a final decision to do your reception at a specific outdoor address, visit it, walk around and smell the air. Really smell the air. If you catch a whiff of trashcans and animal farms coming off a nearby land, it might be good idea to look elsewhere.


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