The demand for outdoor weddings has never been as great as it is now. For couples who won’t let Covid restrictions get in the way of their special day, outdoor venues are a hot commodity.
Having an outdoor venue sounds easy and simple, right? Think again! At first glance it may seem like outdoor venues cost less than indoor venues, but the costs can add up quickly. Keep in mind if you are having your wedding in high season, it’s important to book your plan B rentals in advance to make sure you have them secured. Last thing you want is to be up the creek without a paddle, or in this case in the rain without a tent.
So, where do you start? Here are three areas that you need to consider for an outdoor wedding:
First, you need to book a tent that will fit all your guests. If you are having the ceremony and reception in two different places, you may need two tents or an alternative shelter. For outdoor ceremonies we like to go with a shelter that ties in with the natural surroundings and doesn’t stand out. A chino stretch tent like the ones that Event Rental Works in Pemberton carries or maybe some wood patio umbrellas carried by The Rental Network in Squamish.
Things to consider when renting a tent:
- Do you need walls? How many? You may not need all the walls up in the summer. Or if you are having your wedding during a heat wave, you may not need any at all!
- Do you need heaters? If you are having heaters in the tent, you may only be allowed to have 2 sides, or 50% of the walls up. Anything more than that would pose a fire hazard.
- Alternatively, do you need a cooling system? Maybe a mist machine or a pool to jump in if the temps get over 40 degrees celsius like they did last summer in BC.
- Flooring. This is a big one! If you are staking a tent on earth (grass or dirt) and the weather calls for rain, it is important to consider a flooring option. Worst case scenario…it hasn’t rained for a few weeks, everything is dry and it rains on your wedding. You think the earth is going to soak up the water. Wrong! It’s going to sit on the surface and may flood the reception area. Don’t let this happen to you.
Consider the layout under the tent and which event are you having under the tent? Ceremony, cocktail or reception? For the ceremony you may want theatre style seating, in which case a smaller tent will do. If you are having a sit down reception, you’ll need enough space for the tables, dance floor, bar, welcome table and any other tables you want. In Aisle Planner, the wedding planning software our couples use, you can create floor plans to-scale. Takes the guesswork out of how things will fit.
Sometimes your outdoor venue won’t include anything but the grounds. Sometimes they include limited items like washrooms, bridal suites, storage areas and fire pits. You’ll probably have to bring some items in. But where do you start? How do you ensure you haven’t overlooked anything?
Table, chairs, linen, dishware, glassware, that’s obvious. But what are the little things that you need to rent? And how much do you need to rent? Check out our Outdoor Wedding’s spreadsheet at our Etsy store. This will tell you absolutely everything you need to rent for your outdoor wedding.
Don’t forget about the ice!
Choose a venue that has a great plan B option, without the additional cost, or at a low cost. Here are a few example of great Plan B venues:
- Sea to Sky Gondola
- Sitka Farms
- Audain Art Museum
- Nita Lake Lodge
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