Ask any event manager what makes for a successful operation, and they will tell you that planning is at the top of the list. If the event in question happens to be outdoors, then there are other factors to accommodate, such as the weather and access, and an outdoor wedding reception is perhaps one of the toughest assignments for a novice event manager, and if you fit into that category, here is a guide to help you get it right on the day.
- Optimise your Outsourcing – Of course, every event planner is co-ordinating services that are outsourced, and the trick of it is to find a third party who can handle a large part of what you require. If, for example, you are looking for marquee hire in Melbourne eastern suburbs, there is one company that can not only furnish you with the ideal marquee, they can handle the lighting and audio-visual needs as well. If you source an established outdoor event service provider, they will pretty much have you covered, with a full catering service and any stage requirements you might have. That leaves only the wedding videography, the entertainment and parking facilities, which can easily be organised once the bulk of the work is covered.
- Pick your Dates Carefully – Summer is the prime time for an outdoor wedding, although one can have perfect weather at any time of year in Australia, and a popular slot would be either just before, or just after Christmas, when the weather is more predictable. Even with marquee tents, an outdoor event has an element of risk attached, so make sure you have a few umbrellas in place. Windbreaks are a great idea, and are available from outdoor event service companies, and a few of these in the right places will provide some welcome shelter if the wind picks up.
- The Right Entertainment – With everyone in high spirits and the beer and wine flowing, it’s really all about the entertainment, and a few well thought out playlists would definitely nail it. Look at your guest list, and while you obviously want to cater for the happy couple’s musical tastes, there should be something for everyone, especially the older guests. If you are lucky, the marquee hire company would have an extensive range of audio-visual equipment, then all you need is someone to take on the DJ role.
- Ample Parking – This is critical, and by looking at your guest list, you should be able to calculate the parking requirements, and add around 10% to that number, just to be on the safe side. Of course, all guests should have a directions map, which can be enclosed with the wedding invitation, and with the right signage, there will be no transport issues.
If you allow yourself adequate time to prepare and follow the above advice, there’s no reason why the event won’t be a hit, and a wedding that all the guests remember for the right reasons.