Planning a wedding can be a stressful affair, even if you’re trying to keep it small. When you add an outdoor venue to the list, it brings up even more decisions and concerns. However, despite the extra work, outdoor weddings can be absolutely amazing. The setting, the natural light, the fresh air, and even the background noises of the wind and nearby wildlife make every outdoor ceremony unique. If you’re thinking about having an outdoor wedding or reception in the Windsor, CA, area, here are five tips that might help you with making decisions or with things you didn’t even have on your to-do list.
You may have dreamed of an outdoor wedding for years. Now you’ve found the perfect venue, have decorated to perfection, and have everything lined up. All that’s left is to walk down that aisle and get married. But then your beautiful, bright sunny day clouds over and, within minutes, it’s pouring down rain. What do you do?
If you haven’t planned for bad weather, you may find that there’s nothing you can do except postpone the ceremony or get married in a downpour. While that may sound romantic to some, you’ll probably have a hard time convincing your guests and officiant to get soaked. Anyone who is having an outdoor wedding needs to have a backup plan. This could be a venue you could rent last-minute, or it could be a set of large tents and other shelters.
If you’re renting a venue that has an outdoor space, they may have a space you can use if it starts raining. If they don’t, talk to them about backup plans in case the weather does turn. A venue that has been hosting outdoor weddings for more than a few months has likely dealt with heavy winds, rain, and other weather issues, so they should have suggestions.
If you’re getting married in a public park, backyard, or on someone’s land, you may not have a venue coordinator to work with. In that case, you’ll have to plan yourself. Again, look into tents or have a space nearby you can move the ceremony and reception to.
Does your outdoor venue have restrooms and, more importantly, are you certain your guests will have access to them? At a rented venue, you may not have to worry about this. However, if you’re using a public park or other space, you need to make certain any restrooms on-site will be accessible. Some public parks lock their restrooms at certain times or don’t maintain them as well as you’d like. They may simply not be up to your standards. You don’t want your guests to use nasty, smelly restrooms at your wedding.
You could rent a porta potty or two, but most people associate the basic blue box portable restrooms with bad smells and cramped quarters. While that’s not the case if the porta potty is cleaned properly, you may still want something a little more upscale. A luxury portable restroom can be the perfect solution for outdoor weddings. These portable restrooms are on trailers and have two or three stalls. They include air conditioning, running water, and plenty of space.
If you’re renting luxury portable restrooms, do look into what utility hookups are available at the venue. You may need to rent a generator as well. If no water connection is available, you might also need to look into additional water holding tanks.
In addition to thinking about portable restrooms, consider what else your guests will need to be comfortable. You’ll need comfortable chairs, of course, but outdoor weddings often need a little more to be truly comfortable. If you’re getting married in the late spring or summer, it may be very hot outside. You may want to provide some shade tents for people to mingle in before the ceremony starts. Offering your guests custom paper fans can also help combat the heat, plus they have something they can take home as a keepsake.
If it’s especially hot, be sure you have water available. The last thing you want is a guest collapsing from heat exhaustion. Providing sunscreen is another good idea if there’s no way you can put up shade tents and there are no trees around. During the winter, consider renting some outdoor heaters. These tall, cylindrical heaters put out warm air in a full circle. Some are powered by gas or other fuel, too, so you don’t need to worry about electricity. If you’re having an evening ceremony during a chilly month, consider placing a few large buckets or baskets of throw blankets around the venue so guests can snuggle up if they get cold.
Insects can be another issue, too. You may want to provide some insect repellant spray and light some citronella candles or torches to help keep mosquitoes and other pests away. You may also want tents with netting for your reception if you’re serving a meal. This will help keep insects away from the food and your guests.
When having a wedding at a church or other indoor venue, you often have everything in one place. The wedding party has a space to prepare, parking is available, there are plenty of places for people to sit or congregate before the wedding, there’s a sound system you can use, and most everything is accessible. Outdoor weddings aren’t the same. You may need to make certain there are speakers and a microphone on-site. Those who are unsteady on their feet or use a wheelchair may need help getting to their seats due to uneven ground. Your guests may have to walk a bit from where they have to park to the ceremony, too, so be sure to take that into account.
The wedding party will need to know where they’re getting ready and if there’s a spot on-site. If you’re using a public park or a rural location, there may be little or no such facilities available. The bride, groom, and others may need to get ready elsewhere before coming to the venue. If that’s the case, you’ll need to take into consideration how far the bride may have to walk in her gown. She’s not going to want to go through any tall grass or near bushes that might catch the fabric and rip it.
Even something as minor as the type of soil at the venue may be an issue. If it’s very soft ground, anyone wearing heels may find that their shoes sink into the soil. This can be problematic, especially if the bridal party has difficulty walking down the aisle.
When decorating for your outdoor ceremony or reception, make good use of what you have around the venue. In some cases, there may be bright flowers in bloom, so you may only need a florist for bouquets. Trees might provide natural shade and provide a great place to hang lights. Don’t purchase or rent anything that you don’t necessarily need. In some cases, nature may provide enough of a beautiful backdrop that you don’t really have to decorate for the ceremony much at all. In other cases, you may want to add some personal touches.
Whatever you do, be sure your décor can stand up to the elements. You’re likely going to want to have the area decorated the day before or, at the very least, several hours before the ceremony begins. If there are heavy winds, they could blow everything away. Rain could damage some of your décor. Keep all of this in mind when selecting your decorations.
While you will have to deal with the weather, insects, and other challenges outdoor weddings have that indoor ceremonies don’t, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. An outdoor wedding can be stunning, especially if everything comes together and the weather cooperates. You will want to take time to plan things out, and be sure you consider everything that an outdoor wedding entails. It’s not always easy, but in the end, your wedding will be beautiful.
If you need to rent a luxury portable restroom trailer in Windsor, CA, Pacific Sanitation is here to help. We offer two different trailer options for weddings: the VIP II and the VIP III. Both offer air conditioning, private stalls, and sinks with running water. The VIP II has two stalls and is ideal for outdoor events with 250 guests or fewer. The VIP III features three stalls and can accommodate up to 350 guests. It’s longer than the VIP II, so make certain there is adequate room for the trailer and for the truck that will deliver it.
When you’re ready to rent your portable restroom for your wedding, reach out to Pacific Sanitation. We can answer all of your questions and work within your budget to provide you with the best restroom option for your guests.