Bride and groom at their outdoor wedding at Rough & Ready VineyardsChoosing the great outdoors for your wedding can make for an amazing backdrop for your very special day. It can also bring with it some unexpected issues that you should prepare for. Depending on the season, there will be different concerns to address.
We’ve put together some ideas so that you can be well-prepared for any possibilities involved in having your wedding outside. By being prepared, you’re taking away the stress out of having an outdoor wedding ahead of time. Following these tips will allow you to really enjoy and relish in your special wedding day!

No matter the season, there are six universal topics that you will want to consider if you’d like to have an outdoor wedding…

1. Caterer
First, let’s consider your caterer. Each caterer will have their own particular needs. Some may need a full kitchen, some a food prep area, or some may be able to have a staging area. Speak to your caterer and make sure there will not be any health department issues with the food preparation. Get a copy of their license to share with the venue.
2. Weather
Hot weather and cold weather can both become a problem if not prepared for. Tents or canopies can alleviate these concerns. They can be rented, and the options for decorating them are endless. You can make your wedding look very unique and very you. From shabby chic to modern minimalist, the right accessories can make a tent or canopy shine. In the winter, they can protect from any drizzle in the air, and outdoor heaters can keep everyone snug while adding some warm ambiance to your venue. In the summer, protection from the sun will help everyone stay cool. Add some misters if it’s sweltering, and your guests will be very comfortable. When choosing a tent or canopy, consider how many people need to fit under it. The weight of the canopy must be considered as well, especially if it is windy.
Some additional tips for dealing with the weather: when it’s hot, supply fans or parasols for your guests along with a lot of water so everyone stays hydrated. Travel-size sunscreen can also be beneficial for your guests. If it’s cold, have some wraps or blankets available for guests who are feeling chilly.
Bridal party lined up at the Rough & Ready Vineyards3. Electricity
Now an issue that often gets forgotten – electricity. Electricity is important for so many reasons. Lighting is essential not just to see but to create the ambiance for your wedding. In addition, does your caterer or band need electricity? Find out from your venue what is available. Is it hard-wired, or do you need a gas generator? Is the generator loud? You need to consider how long the generator will run – what if it runs out of gas? If you are using oil lamps or candles – what happens if they blow out? You can also consider solar-powered lights but check on their lifespan once it gets dark. Extension cords must be secured to avoid accidents.
4. Insects
Another consideration is insects. If you are in an area where mosquitos come out at dusk or any other annoying insects are present, you will want to deal with them ahead of time, if possible. If approved by your venue, have an exterminator spray the area a day or two before your wedding. Add some small bug block canisters or spray bottles of insect repellent to your sunblock cache. Your guests will thank you!
5. Furniture
Your venue should supply the appropriate furniture for your outdoor wedding. But if you need to rent furniture, you should consider your options. If it is windy, you will want furniture that is heavy enough not to blow away, and if it is hot, your guests may be quite uncomfortable sitting on hot metal chairs. If your event is in a field or meadow, you will not want your chair legs sinking into the ground, so you may need to either consider the legs of the chairs or rent an outdoor floor. You may want to warn your guests as well – heels can be uncomfortable when sinking into the soft grass. Sometimes outdoor carpets can be brought in.
6. Restrooms
Finally, a not-so-glamorous topic: bathrooms. You will want to make sure your venue has plenty of bathrooms for your guests. If not, rent some portable restrooms. You want your guests to have a good time dancing and dining, not waiting in line for the bathroom.
Most importantly, enjoy every minute of your wedding day! Whatever happens, it can be dealt with as long as you have a sense of humor and know that the most important thing is that you’re marrying the love of your life. Enjoy, have fun, laugh, and find the joy in every minute of your special day.

Rough & Ready Vineyards – Northern California’s Hidden Gem!

Bride at the Rough & Ready VineyardsSome brides choose an outdoor wedding with an indoor reception at the Foothills Event Center. At our sister venue, Rough & Ready Vineyards, you can enjoy 16 private acres of historic ranch property including park-like gardens, a seasonal creek, and a vineyard. It’s a beautifully-maintained venue with picturesque, romantic views for your outdoor wedding ceremony and reception.
Though nestled into the rolling hills of historic Nevada County, Rough & Ready Vineyards is easy to find off of Highway 20. It’s near the small gold-rush town of Rough and Ready, located between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. From explosive spring blooms and Gold Country summers to bright-colored fall seasons and snowy winter days this estate is beautiful all year round! Visit or call 530-432-7375 to learn more.

Foothills Events Center

Written by Foothills Events Center