Planning an outdoor event in the summer can offer the extended hours of fun in the sun you are looking for. An abundance of floral options and limitless design and décor options, makes summer a great season to celebrate outdoors.
That being said, it is important to be prepared for the challenges that comes with planning an event outside during the summer.
Is your venue home to love bugs, mosquitos, gnats & any other bugs that might inconvenience your attendees? Are there aggressive birds or wildlife that frequent an area near your event space?
Purchase plenty of bug repellant, citronella candles, tiki torches, (and sunscreen) etc.
What does the floor in your outdoor space consist mainly of?
You may want to consider renting outdoor rugs, outdoor flooring or grass, etc.
As with any event planned outside, a backup plan must be in place in case of inclement weather.
What precautions were taken in the event of heavy rain?
The backup plan should include tent and/or umbrella rentals to provide attendees with plenty of covered space to mingle, it should also include enough umbrellas for the staff so they can provide service to your guests during rain
Is there a backup plan involving an indoor venue?
You may choose to have indoor space as a backup option for your event, if renting tents is not an option. Keep in mind the layout and style of the indoor venue, as you may choose to use different linen, furniture, & other décor elements if the outdoor event décor doesn’t make sense inside. It is super important to LOVE your back up option (so choose your venue carefully), as you don’t want to be disappointed if a weather call is made the day of your event
Will your guests be comfortable during a scorching hot summer day?
It is wise to invest in rental tents and grass walls for shade, & several water dispensers for guests to access water when needed. Consider renting electric fans/misting fans to keep guests cool. Fans can also keep bugs at bay. It isn’t a bad idea to consult the venue for special touches like oshibori towels or a refreshing drink that is passed upon arrival.
Another great option is to provide guests with their own personal fans or parasols. These make great wedding/party favors and custom fans could double as ceremony programs, escort cards or even dinner menus.
Make sure your florist is using warm weather/tropical flowers that will hold up to high temperatures and direct sun exposure and continue to look great throughout your event.
Have you selected food that complements your venue and forecasted weather?
Plan smart. Selecting hors d’ oeuvres that complement the weather is easy, and a detail that is commonly overlooked. For example, selecting refreshing hors d’ oeuvres like watermelon/feta skewers on a hot summer day makes sense, vs serving hot soup. It is also important to select food that sits well in extreme heat if you have stations during your cocktail hour or a buffet dinner.
Have you selected beverages that complement your venue and/or forecasted weather?
Customize your drink menu to complement the weather, and select options your attendees will love. Don’t pass red wine on a hot summer day, pass something refreshing like Prosecco/Champagne, White Wine, Sangria, Sparkling Water, or your favorite ice cold Craft Beer
Recommended Attire/Dress Code
Have you chosen a dress code that complements your venue, time of day, and/or forecasted weather?
Make sure the attire of your event make sense to the venue and weather conditions. Choose a dress code that will ensure your guests are comfortable. Your invitation will state the event’s dress code, so try to be a specific as possible so guests know what to expect (ex: beach formal or beach casual). If your event is taking place in the sand or grass, suggest ladies to not wear heels as thin heels will be difficult to walk in on that type of terrain. It always is a good idea to be more specific of the dress code and the conditions guests can expect on your event’s website (if applicable).
Audio Visual Plan & Rental Equipment
Is the lighting and audio equipment you rented weather resistant?
Make sure the equipment you rent is weather resistant. Make sure your equipment can handle intense levels of heat, it is resistant to liquid, and have all necessary covers and rain equipment readily accessible just in case.
Is the venue equipped with sufficient electricity for your event?
It is important to be confident your venue can handle the electricity you plan on plugging into the venue. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the location of electrical outlets and power sources, test them prior, and bring the necessary extension cords, power strips, and power sources to execute your event without issues. It might be wise to rent a generator if the venue does not have one on site.
Is there a sufficient number of restrooms in an convenient location for the amount of attendees expected?
While it isn’t the most exciting addition to your event, renting a luxury portable restroom might be your smartest investment. The last thing you want is 100 guests having to wait in line to use the 1 unisex restroom. It also provides you with an opportunity to add a special touch. Have your planner or venue place refreshing toiletries inside so your guests have the opportunity to freshen up. The fresher they feel, the longer they will stay.
Venue Rules & Local Laws
Are you aware of venue rules, local laws, and local ordinances that may affect your event?
What time does the music need to be lowered and/or cut off?
What time does alcohol service need to cease?
Are there any other laws or ordinances that affect your event in particular?
There are many cities that don’t allow the sale of alcohol at certain hours on Sunday due to religious venues in close proximity, this can greatly impact a Sunday Brunch
Parking & Transportation
Are you familiar with the arrival and departure experience your venue provides?
Can guests arrive and depart during heavy rain without getting wet? Is there a covered area to arrive, depart, & wait?
Does your venue offer paved pathways for guests to arrive and depart without getting their shoes dirty?
Does your venue have proper drainage so it doesn’t flood during heavy rain?
Skye & Ankur