Are you dreaming of a back-to-basics, outdoor oasis wedding? Do you want to keep your focus on the true meaning behind the day by hosting it somewhere historic, charming, and naturally beautiful?
It’s hard to match the beauty of a properly produced outdoor wedding. Starlit skies and rolling countrysides make some of the most beautiful venue backdrops. Farm and park weddings can provide the perfect setting and romantic ambiance, but it takes a true industry expert to perfectly execute an outdoor wedding.
Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when looking for your ideal outdoor venue and for vendors who know how to make unforgettable rustic magic.
Evaluate Inclement Weather Options
We get it: bad weather is the last thing you want to think about when planning your wedding day. It’s a good rule of thumb, however, to plan for the worst while expecting the best. Make sure your bases are covered by asking outdoor venue personnel what their inclement weather plans are. Will you have to plan on setting up a tent or do they have available barn space? Ask vendors weather-focused questions too. For example, quality and experienced caterers should be ready with plans and tools for all types of weather.
Look for Real-Life Experience
Don’t just ask “what if” when looking into inclement weather options, ask “what did you do when…?” Look for vendors and venues with real-life experience. Josh Carin of Geppetto Catering explains, “To become a true expert on executing outdoor weddings, you really have to live it. I live in the country and have spent much of my life working outside in various weather conditions. This has helped me to be a better caterer. I can give my clients valuable tools and real-world advice that comes from experience, and let them know exactly how to be properly prepared for unplanned weather scenarios.”
Demand Undivided Attention
Look for a DJ, band, florist, caterer, and venue that can give you the undivided attention your wedding day deserves. Many small industry vendors adhere to a one-wedding-per-day policy for this reason. This helps to ensure that they will be able to provide better service, cover your needs, and handle the details you won’t have time to manage.
Cut the Gimmicks
The wedding industry is huge, and because it has gotten so big, you will inevitably run into gimmicky sales tactics when exploring venues and vendors. Some caterers, for example, may offer to throw in “free chairs” if you sign with them by a certain date. If you start to feel pressured, make sure to listen to your gut and find an alternative vendor who doesn’t play games. Quality vendors will respect your time, respect the process, and provide no-nonsense, no-pressure service throughout your planning–something that everyone deserves.
Make the Day Yours
Look for vendors and venues who understand your needs. Your wedding vision should become theirs, and their focus should be on executing your desires. The right vendors will have prior experience working together, so that this can be done seamlessly when your big day arrives. Those in the industry who focus on quality and the bigger picture will often have recommendations for you regarding other vendors. A caterer, for example, may recommend a florist or DJ after hearing you discuss the type of environment and ambiance you’ve been envisioning. Spend time with experts who can link you to other experts and ensure that your day with be perfect from start to finish.
The beginning of the wedding planning process is filled with meetings. You’ll visit a variety of vendors and venues and will discuss contracts, costs, and requirements. Pay attention to who seems genuine and who seems to be putting on pressure, offering special deals, or getting gimmicky. Securing experts who focus on what is truly important and provide knowledgeable, straight-forward information will always pay off. Keep a focus on the 5 factors discussed above to give yourself a great start to planning the best day of your life.