In Charleston and the surrounding lowcountry areas it is hard not to want an outdoor wedding or event. The scenery is so beautiful, who could resist? However, having an outdoor soiree doesn’t come without its hurdles. Here are the best 10 tips we found for a flawless outdoor affair.
1- Have a back-up plan. This may seem like a no brainer, but when it comes to budgets and the craziness of planning sometimes this simple tip is overlooked. Discuss in detail with your coordinator or event venue what will happen if the weather doesn’t cooperate- how much additional costs, size of the indoor space, who will be in charge of moving rentals or food, and so forth. Being prepared is always the best idea.
2- Invest in a sound system. One of the biggest issues with outdoor ceremonies is that guests cannot hear. Whether it’s wind, waves or birds chirping you want to make sure nature doesn’t interfere with your plans.
3- Choose a caterer with outdoor experience. Some food does not work well outside- whether a warmer or colder season. Make sure your caterer is prepared and knowledgeable in outdoor events to better direct you when choosing your menu.
4- Be familiar with the Sunset. While many clients like outdoor spaces because of the warm glow and beautiful vision of the sun setting, positioning your guests faces a glowing, hot sun is not ideal. Look at the layout of your venue, pin point the direction of the sunset and be familiar with the general time it will be lowest.
5- Prepare for bugs! Events near water or on marshlands are gorgeous but they come with gnats and mosquitos. Any warmer climate outdoors event needs to be equipped with citronella candles or torches, bug spray for guests who want it and it’s not a bad idea to have it mosquito sprayed by the city before your event.
6- Keep your guests comfortable. Using suitable fans or heaters is always ideal. Whether a corporate event, wedding or charity function keeping your guests happy is key to a successful event. Investing in proper equipment will go a long way.
7- Choose lighting with your photographer. Having your pictures done an hour earlier may make all the difference in the final product. Walk the property with your photographer, explain to her when you want pictures done and let him/her guide you to create the best images of your event.
8- Choose dresses and clothing wisely. While you may have fallen in love with a navy floor length dress for your bridesmaids is it the ideal fabric and fit for hot weather? Consider the climate when choosing styles and fabric of your wedding attire. Don’t choose a fabric that will easily show sweat stains, accessories with wraps for colder months and consider the ground when choosing shoes.
9- Provide Bottled Water. Yes we know at most events, and weddings, people prefer the bar to the bottled water, but the last thing you want is people passing out from dehydration. Provide coolers/bins with iced bottle water throughout your event area so guests can easily access water. This is also a good idea even if it’s not a super hot season.
10- Choose your sweets with care. While more and more couples are preferring traditional icing over the not so tasty fondant if you’re wedding cake, or event’s dessert, will be outside fondant is the best answer. We often suggest having the cake cutting indoors if possible due to melting issues and bugs being attracted to the sweets.