Last-Minute Tips On Hosting Your Outdoor Wedding Reception

Last-Minute Tips on Hosting Your Outdoor Summer 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. 

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."

Citronella Candles

"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."

Electricity Access

Don't forget about the needs of your wedding day entertainers! Emily Sullivan of Get Polished Events advises, "Be sure the area you are using has access to adequate electricity, especially if you're having live entertainment." 

LED Lights

Consider a summer-friendly candle option for your outdoor decor. "LED lights continue to be quite popular with our summer couples," says Audrey Isaac of "They are highly energy efficient, available in practically every color, and can replicate the ambiance you'd normally expect from wax candles, without the risk of fire."

Pre-ceremony Beverages

"Have pre-ceremony beverages available for your guests," recommends Resha Zazueta, Houston principal and event coordinator for Something to Celebrate.  "You can create a cute display of flavored waters, teas, and perhaps lemonade."

Reception Tent

"If you are in an area with no shade, consider getting a tent, which will help your guests stay cool and prevent heat emergencies," says Jennifer Taylor.

Refreshing Menu

"Choose foods that are refreshing — like ceviche shooters," adds Resha Zazueta.  "Snow cones and ice cream sandwiches also make for a refreshing and fun after-dinner treats."

Spread Out your Spread

"One of the best parts of having an outdoor wedding is that you are not confined within the walls of a particular space," says Morgan Montgomery. "If you have chosen to have stationary food items, spread them out.  No need to have your guests all crowded in one area when you have all of the great outdoors!"

Wedding Cake Wisdom

Kara Buntin notes: "If you have perishable fillings in your cake, don't put it outside for several hours. Instead, bring it out closer to the event time."