Last-Minute Tips on Hosting Your Outdoor Wedding Reception
Summer weddings invoke visions of bright colors, beachside ceremonies, and warm evenings shared with family and friends. Couples marrying this month or next, however, need to consider a number of additional factors as they finalize their plans for the big day.
To start, Emily Sullivan, owner of New Orleans-based company Get Polished Events, encourages couples not to discount the weather, no matter what part of the country they live in. For Sullivan, who plans many of her events in the South, there are a number of factors affecting the reception, including weather, temperatures, and bugs.
It’s with that in mind that she firmly advises having a rain plan in place. As you put the finishing touches on this summer’s celebration, connect with your venue to outline a back-up plan in case of inclement weather.
Chelsea LaVere, editor of Tidewater & Tulle, is no stranger to summer receptions. She encourages couples to start the big day off with a cooling station featuring electrical fans and frozen washcloths. As LaVere puts it, “This would be an amazing and refreshing treat for your guests that would no doubt be appreciated.” The good news? Although you may be able to coordinate a cooling station with your planner or catering contact, it’s also relatively easy to knock out this “to do” on your own relatively quickly.
The wedding day menu must also be considered. Jennifer Taylor, owner of Taylor’d Events, is quick to note that food safety is of the utmost importance. She advises, “A buffet should be out no longer than two hours, and you should make sure that the food that needs to be cool is in an ice bath type of vessel.”
When it comes to the wedding cake, “couples have to remember that buttercream icing and heat simply don’t like each other,” according to Kara Buntin, owner of Virginia-based A Cake to Remember. She goes on to encourage brides and grooms to keep the temperature in the forefront of their minds when making their final cake selection. Already have your buttercream cake selected? Check with the appropriate staff to see if it can be brought out closer to the event.
Looking for more last-minute advice for your summer outdoor wedding? We’ve gathered tips from top wedding experts to ensure your reception goes off without a hitch.
Bring the Indoors Out
“If you want to bring some of the ‘indoor look’ to your outside reception, look into unique display pieces,” says Morgan Montgomery, co-owner of eclectic and vintage rental service Paisley & Jade. “Think an heirloom cheese display on an antique sideboard, or a bookshelf unit to display colorful macaroons.”
“Provide parasols, bug spray, or paper fans,” suggests Preeti Moberg, editor of wedding magazine The Big Fat Indian Wedding. “Set up bug-repellent lamps or citronella candles to keep the insects at bay during the evening.”