We got really lucky with our venue. My parents own property with an old abandoned farmhouse and we loved the idea of having a bonfire bbq wedding there. As it turns out that’s changing up a bit for two reasons: our guest list is longer than we originally wanted – approximately 150 as opposed to the 100 we were expecting (they add up quickly friends) – and the drought which has made the bonfire part of it sketchy and dangerous for now (though we have been getting rain lately – in July!).
I do a lot of flower gardening and we both loved the idea of being outside in October with the huge oak trees around us. However, if you plan an outdoor wedding you essentially have to plan for two weddings because you MUST have a rain plan. I’ll admit that our rain plan is pathetically simple. Basically just a tent. If it rains we aren’t going to do a lot of fancy, schmancy decorating up of the tent – that gets quite expensive. Our tent is just large enough to accommodate the tables and dance floor and there simply won’t be room for much else. It will basically be whatever is on the tables and the pickup truck load of pumpkins I plan to purchase from the local pumpkin farm. I know what you’re thinking, “but Jennifer, what if it comes a downpour?” I have of course considered this. A lot. And if it rains I will likely cry, not bridezilla cry mind you, but cry that all of our decorating will be for naught if it rains. We are both creatives and detail people so the decorating part has been quite fun and lengthy in planning. That would mean that all of the months of planning will be tossed out if it rains. But this is what you must understand if you’re going to have an outdoor wedding. You simply have to be okay with the fact that it *might* rain. We chose October not only because it is our favorite month but also because it happens to be the driest month in our part of the country; an obvious choice if you want to be married outside. You plan as much as you can and then you have to let it go.
I’ll go ahead and give you a heads up that tents are expensive. Stupidly expensive if you ask me. It’s a tent not the Taj Mahal. Remember that a tent rental is bare bones which means no lighting so think about that should you want or need lighting. Our rental place utilized a software program to map out the floor plan for us should we have to use the tent. Notice I said “have to”. Ah, that doesn’t mean we are married to the tent rental right? No. Most companies have a cut off for making changes and removing items from your rental agreement. Our vendor allows removal of anything from our rental agreement up to 5 days out which should be plenty of time if there is no rain in the weather forecast. Be sure to ask about the cut off for final changes if, like us, you prefer to have your overhead be decorated by tree tops and sky rather than tent and poles.