Thinking of hosting your party outdoors? Read this first.
Outdoor parties can be a thing of beauty: birds chirping, soft breezes and dancing under the stars. We absolutely love designing outdoor parties because the possibilities are truly endless and there is something about communing with Mother Nature that adds a special unforgettable touch to almost any event. That is, when Mother Nature cooperates. Unfortunately, Mother Nature sometimes has other plans and you must be prepared to outsmart her in order to ensure that you have a fabulous party, no matter what she throws at you.
Here are a few things to consider as you plan to ensure that you have the perfect event, no matter the weather.
TIP#1 Remember Mother Nature
Rain is not the only issue you must be concerned with. Extreme sun, lightning, high winds, flying insects, smells from neighboring parties etc, are a problem as well. Plan for these as well in your Plan B (see below for more on Plan B).
TIP#2 Choose the right spot
Whether you are using your back yard or the grounds of a reception site, the placement of the party is essential to the flow and comfort of your guests. If using a tent (which we recommend), always have an experienced tent company survey the terrain of the site. Take their advice on placement since they consider such tings as uneven or sloping ground, water run-off, trees, etc.
TIP#3 Always, always, ALWAYS have a Plan B
This might seem obvious but too few people have a Plan B. Or, they have a very rough, poorly organized Plan B. Ask your coordinator or event planner to put together a feasible Plan B and distribute to all the key vendors well before the big day. On the day of, make the decision to switch to Plan B as early as possible in order to give your vendors enough time to switch gears and execute Plan B seamlessly. Remember: even if it’s sunny in the morning, the threat of otherwise later in the day may well be cause for moving to Plan B. Sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry. (We’re very big fans of Plan Bs. See our other Plan B posts.)
TIP#4 More on Plan B
Speaking of Plan B, consider delegating the decision to go to Plan B to another person, such as your coordinator or your least emotional friend. You’ve spent months planning Plan A and, inevitably, unless the rain starts early, you may be too optimistic that the weather will hold up. If it doesn’t, months of planning will be washed away.
TIP#5 Consider your Caterer
The best place for the party might be at the top of the highest hill at the site. Great view but long walk from the main building for the service staff. When planning the event, consider the location of the kitchen. If the main party will be a great distance from the kitchen, consider creating a caterers’ tent near the party. Any reputable caterer will have experience doing this. The extra expense will be worth your guests’ happiness when the food and drink keep flowing without having to wait ten minutes for the servers to walk back from the main building.
TIP#6 Avoid uninvited Guests
The day before your event, spray the grass with high quality insect repellent a natural product is best. Ask the site or call a landscape company to provide this service.
TIP#7 Cover the Event
Tents have come a long way from the basic pop-up camping tents that many of us remember as children. A reputable tent company can provide tents that feel like rooms, feel like you are still outside, are heated, are air conditioned, have a dance floor and just about anything else that you can imagine. Even if just for the meal portion of the event, we just about always recommend tenting when we design an event that will be outdoors. Also, flooring is a must, regardless of whether it rained the night before. After all, no one wants to step in grass or dirt when they are wearing their best shoes.
Photo Credit: Sister 72