5 Things To Consider When Planning an Outdoor Banquet

An outdoor wedding or banquet is a great way to combine elegance with the natural beauty and openness of the outdoors. Picturesque gardens, flowers, trees and green grass also provide the perfect setting for your photos. Depending upon the location and venue, you will typically have more space to accommodate larger receptions. However, there are clearly more risks involved in planning an outdoor wedding reception, where weather and the elements can have a major impact on your event. Here are 5 things to consider when planning an outdoor banquet:

  1. Price: Depending on your geographic location and regional climate, your outdoor banquet will be limited to the peak season, which typically runs from May - October in cooler climates and non-summer months in warmer weather regions. This will likely increase the cost of your reception and your ability to obtain desired dates. Be sure to start your planning early.
  2. Weather: Rain or b wind on the day of your outdoor reception will make your event very uncomfortable and impractical. Even a modest, but steady breeze, can create difficulties for your photographer and videographer. Be sure to work out a weather contingency plan with your reception venue to ensure a suitable in-door space is available on the day of your reception in case of inclement weather.
  3. Insects: If your outdoor banquet will be near fresh water, insects such as mosquitoes and gnats could be an issue. Depending on the season and the time of your event (evening or afternoon) insects may cause discomfort for you and your guests. Inquire about common insects and plan accordingly. If necessary, budget for outdoor tents. I experienced this issue at my own wedding ceremony in front of a lake--Imagine trying to stay still during your vows with an onslaught of mosquitoes...yikes!
  4. Birds and animals: Depending on your location and the time of year, birds and animals may be an issue. Although few chirping birds may add charm to your events, flocks of pigeons or hungry squirrels looking for food could create discomfort for your guests. Be sure to inquire about common animals and birds typically around your planned dates.
  5. Noise: Depending on the location, your outdoor wedding reception could be susceptible to outside noise from airplanes, animals, birds, boats, car traffic, etc. Be sure to inquire about this and if possible, speak with other couples that have already had an outdoor reception at location.

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