Summer Outdoor Weddings: Top 6 “Must Do’s” when Saying “I Do”

Everyone loves the idea of a beautiful outdoor wedding, but until you are 5 months deep in the planning process, you might not realize just how much work an outdoor wedding really is. Because we specialize in outdoor weddings, we know how many details really go into planning the outdoor wedding of your dreams.  Today we’ve got a special treat ~ We’re sharing our Top 6 Tips for Outdoor Weddings. They should give you a little bit of insight to planning an outdoor wedding and a few ideas that can help ensure everything runs smoothly and goes according to plan.

Top 6 Tips for a Hawaii Outdoor Wedding:


Tip#1: Choose a Back-Up: It doesn’t matter what month or season of the year it is, even in Hawaii, there is always a chance of torrential downpours, so – always always have a back-up plan! I’ve seen too many wedding ceremonies get rained on and everything go to waste to not make sure you have planned for the worst case scenerio. It is always a good idea to research some places that could be used as a last minute rental (if you have a smaller wedding), or to have an oversized tent on-site that you can scoot your guests and tables under in the event of light rain. Keep in mind this may mean that you have to pay for the tent ~ even if you don’t use it.  But let me tell you.. if it happens to rain, you will be so happy you had that tent on hand.  It also helps to have a wedding planner as it will be his or her job to be sure to let everyone who is going to be a part of your special day, including guests, your bridal party, caterers, florist, band, etc, know where your back up location is PRIOR to the day of your wedding. It will also be your wedding planners job to access and handle the situation as it occurs, creating a seamless transition from under the stars to moving under a tent incase the rain starts. If you have a smaller party and a back up location you can always include a space on the bottom of your invitation that reads something like: In case of rain, our wedding will be held at xyz.

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Tip#2: Hire a GREAT Caterer. Unlike hotel venues, outdoor weddings require hiring a caterer. You want to choose someone that is reliable, a great chef, and whom has a awesome crew.  The catering crew can assist with set up of tableware and linens, and even washing the dishes you rented! Many times the catering tema also helps w/clean up.  Check with your caterer to make sure a staff is included. They will be a huge help in the coordination and execution of your event.

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Tip#3: Be Heard. If you’re outside in the mountains or down in the valley, there will always be background noise. Whether it’s the rustling of trees or the ocean waves behind you, your guest should always be able to hear your vows, program and music clearly. Make sure the DJ, all microphones and the speakers are in appropriate places to enable everyone to hear perfectly and comfortably. Quick Tip: Be sure your wedding planner does a sound check before the wedding. This way, any changes and adjustments will be taken care of prior to you saying your vows.

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Tip#4: Choose the Proper Florals and Centerpieces: The last way you want your wedding night to be remembered is that all the vases flew all over your guests food.  You will be surprised at how common this actually is.  Be sure to choose the right vases and centerpieces for the location.  We tell all of our brides who are having an outdoor wedding to make sure the base of the vase is larger than the mouth.  Simple square vases or short floral fillers work best.  It just takes one gust of wind to take down a centerpiece and the last thing you want is for spilt water all over your guests food or clothes.

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Tip #5: Be wary of Mosquitos.  In Hawaii, there are (unfortunately) many places that have mosquitos.  Make sure you are prepared for that unexpected muggy day where the mosquitos or other bugs might come out. It’s best to access the space ahead of time durring the hours of your wedding to see how many critters actually come out.  Citronella candles and mosquito spray are great to always have on hand just incase.  Mosquito bites can really ruin the ambiance of of any event, be sure to always be prepared for the worst possible situation. Tiki Lamps and Citronella candles will enhance the feel of your summer wedding and keep bugs away!

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Tip #6: Get a Wedding Planner. When having an outdoor wedding, you will need someone to oversee the 4-12 different vendors you have arriving and someone to manage all of the details including tent set up, table set up, ceremony area set up, music, lighting, guests, decor, making sure you stay on time, a just incase rain plan, and so many other things. This is why so many outdoor wedding venues are now requiring wedding planners… because they have seen first hand how horribly wrong outdoor weddings can go when there is not one person or a team of people overseeing the execution of the wedding day.  Because everything must be brought in, it is key to make sure someone is there telling everyone where to go, what to do and how quickly they need to do it.  Wedding planners have plenty of experience with trouble shooting and can ensure any and every problem is confidently addressed before you even have a chance to hear about it.  You cannot expect aunty or a best friend to handle these things (well not if they plan on being a part of and enjoying the festivities). Do yourself a favor and hire a wedding planner, it is worth the piece of mind! Hint: Make sure you hire a wedding planner who specializes in outdoor weddings and has a lot of first hand experience with handling weddings outdoors.


We hope these tips helped a little in your wedding preparation.  Outdoor weddings, though beautiful, do require quite a bit more preparation and a lot more day of details. Make sure you have every detail covered ahead of time to ensure you have your “Best Day Ever!” on your wedding day!

xoxo, Best Day Ever ~ Hawaiis Favorite Wedding Planner.

Photos courtesy of Holladay Photo and Always Flowers.

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