24 Essential Things for Outdoor Wedding Receptions (Easy A to Z List)

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Outdoor Wedding Receptions

When couples prepare their outdoor wedding receptions, they could implement many things to add an exceptional taste to their special day. Of course, it all depends on the wedding style and design. We’ve prepared some of the most popular ideas for an outdoor wedding reception you could implement to make your wedding day even more special.

A – atmosphere:

This is all-important at a wedding but can be more tricky at the outdoor wedding receptions. Try to keep your guests together in one place & stop them drifting off as the atmosphere just won’t be the same if your guests are spread out all over the place.

A good tip is to decorate only one area & keep all the food & drinks in this one place. In my experience, guests never stray too far from the bar & having the entertainment in this one space as well will quickly give your guests the message that this is the place to be!

B – BBQ:

A BBQ is an excellent idea for the outdoor wedding receptions & can be used for both the main meal & the evening buffet. Make sure you include a selection of foods that are suitable for everyone, including vegetarians & vegans. Serve up some refreshing salads & freshly baked specialty pieces of bread.

C – croquet:

What better way to get the party started than with some games? Croquet is perfect for an elegant country house venue where you can play on the lawns. Don’t forget the spectators too, set up some deck chairs so they can relax in comfort & watch the games!

Outdoor Wedding Receptions

D – dancing:

You can set up a dance floor on the lawn for your outdoor wedding reception, if available on a patio or terrace area. Think of how romantic it would be to strut your stuff with your new hubby in the moonlight.

E – evening:

When the darkness sets in light up your outdoor wedding reception with some roman candles & other fireworks to wow your guests. You can also get silent fireworks, so you don’t wake up the neighbourhood!

F – fairground:

How about some fairground fun at your wedding? Hire in a carousel, helter-skelter & big wheel. You could also include some side stalls & let your guests win prizes! Handy out wedding favours of toffee apples & candy floss!

G – green weddings:

Stay environmentally friendly with biodegradable confetti or real flower petals. Arrive at the ceremony & reception in a horse-drawn carriage or even walk to the venue if it is local.

H – hampers:

Forgo the sit down formal meal & instead give out picnic hampers to your guests complete with rugs for them to sit on. You can fill them with an assortment of tasty treats & mini bottles of drink. Picnic hampers are a great inexpensive way of catering for your guests & if the weather is hot, your guests just won’t want a large meal.

Outdoor Wedding Receptions

J – jam:

Another tip for outdoor wedding receptions is to give your guests wedding favours of jars of homemade jams & preserves.

K – keg:

If you want to serve beer to your guests, then fill it in from kegs. You will find barrels available in a wide range of specialist beers from breweries & the guys amongst your guests will love yours forever!

L – light:

As the evening draws in, you will need to light your outdoor wedding reception. Place hurricane lamps around the area along with fairy lights & lanterns. If there are ponds at the reception venue, fill them with floating candles & place tiny tea lights around the edges. Just remember to make sure the platform is ok with light candles!

M – music at outdoor wedding receptions:

If you have musicians playing throughout the reception, try to place them somewhere shady or provide shade for them. Make sure they have plenty of cool drinks available too. Volume may also be an issue at an open-air venue. You may need it to be louder than at an inside venue & you may need to think about how close your guests will need to be to hear it.

N – non-alcoholic:

An adequate supply of non-alcoholic drinks is essential at outdoor wedding receptions. You will need them for children & for those who will have to drive after the party has finished. There are always some guests who will not want to drink alcohol, so make sure you have a plentiful supply & choice of soft drinks available.

Outdoor Wedding Receptions

O – olfaction:

Or a sense of smell! To help create the mood & atmosphere for the day, decorate the site with scented candles & flowers. You could also scatter flower petals on the tables & around the area.

P – punch & Pimm’s:

Light, refreshing drinks such as fruity punch are perfect for outdoor wedding receptions. Served up in jugs they are often cheaper to serve than bottles of wine or champagne.

Q – quirky:

Those little details can often work really well at outdoor wedding receptions as they are not in competition with the existing decorations of an inside interior. Be bold & let your imagination run riot! Think about bunting, trampolines for the children & a quirky cake!

R – repellent:

One of the downsides of an outdoor reception is the unwanted guests! Insects can be a real problem, as they are often attracted by the smell of food. Help combat them with citronella candles & bottles of spray repellent.

S – seating & shade:

Provide your guests with plenty of seating, including deck chairs, garden chairs, bean bags, rugs or even sofas. Try to provide plenty of shade, either from natural features such as trees or via pagodas, parasols & open-sided marquees. You could also give out fans as wedding favours.

T – treasure hunt:

A treasure hunt would be a great way to entertain the children & adults too! Make up your own clues & send them on little adventures around the venue. In the end, make sure goodie bags are waiting for everyone.

U – umbrella:

Even the best climates can be unpredictable when we’re talking about outdoor wedding receptions. So it is a good idea to keep a supply of umbrellas handy just in case! Umbrellas would also make the right sun shades for your guests.

V – voile panels:

Decorate your venue with colourful voiles draped over tree branches & tables. This is a great way to add colour for little expense & adds a great backdrop to your wedding photographs.

Outdoor Wedding Receptions

W – weights:

Even the best days can still be breezy so make sure you clip down table cloths & weigh down anything very lightweight to stop them flying away. If you are wearing a veil, stop it wrapping itself around your face by pegging it to your dress back.

X – x-treme:

Intense heat can be just as bad as cold or chilly weather. If the temperature & climate is scorching & humid, look into hiring air conditioning units to make it a bit more bearable. Provide lots of ice & water for your guests to help them stay calm.

Y – you:

Try to get some time alone together during the day so you can just enjoy each others company away from the madding crowds! Sneak off after dinner with a bottle of champagne.

Z – zzzzz:

Fresh air at the outdoor wedding receptions can be so tiresome! Provide somewhere for people to crash out, especially the little ones. Some large floor cushions & bean bags will provide an excellent spot for people to grab a quick power nap when they need to.

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