We could talk about weddings all day long. In fact, we do! As event planners, we specialize in preparing for all types of special occasions, and especially during the peak of wedding season, we are rock-stars at making sure your outdoor wedding shines (or stays dry, in the event of rain). Wait, it rains in Oregon – who knew?

From must-have decor and favors to absolutely essential event rentals, here are 7 things you definitely want to have for your special day.

Outdoor Wedding Ideas

1. Plenty of Shade

outdoor wedding tent

Photo Credit: Jen Huang Photography

Allowing guests to enjoy the sunshine is one of the main reasons couples choose to have an outdoor wedding. Oregon is beautiful and your guests will love it; however, your guests might not enjoy baking in the summer heat while they are eating their dinner.

While your ceremony may be short, it’s likely that your reception will last much longer. Renting a tent for your reception space is highly recommended. Plus, if that lovely Oregon rain decides to make an appearance mid-way through your first dance, it won’t interrupt your special moment.

2. Favors Your Guests will Love You For

outdoor wedding program fans

Photo Credit: Joey Kennedy Photography

Shade will help, but your guests will still get toasty at your summer wedding. You can certainly give your guests traditional wedding favors (who doesn’t love a drink koozie?), but we suggest also providing them with favors they can use during the ceremony or reception. Some of our favorite ideas include:

  • Wedding Program Fans (like these ones) – Keep your guests cool while simultaneously gushing over your awesome bridal party.
  • Sunglasses – Someone’s bound to forget their shades. Save the day by setting out a basket of sunglasses. You could even customize them!
  • Mini Care Packs – These are common for bridal parties, but providing a few emergency items for your wedding guests is a thoughtful gesture. Products like sunscreen, lip balm, deodorant, insect repellent, etc., show that you care about your guests and you want them to be comfortable.

3. Lighting for When It Gets Dark

outdoor wedding lighting

Photo Credit: Nataschia Wielink Photography

A common mistake that couples make when planning their outdoor wedding is underestimating how much light they will need as it gets dark. Yes, you will get to bask in the glorious, natural sunlight during the day, but if you plan on dancing the night away at your reception (as you should), you’ll definitely want to have adequate lighting for your reception space.

The best part? Your lighting truly sets the tone for your reception, so have fun with it. Chandeliers and bistro lights will create a romantic setting that is perfect for speeches and cake-cutting, while disco balls and rotating colored lights will get your guests on their feet and on the dance-floor.

4. Flowers, Flowers, and More Flowers

outdoor wedding flowers

Photo Credit: Allan Zepeda Photography

Outdoor weddings provide an abundance of space, allowing for elaborate floral arrangements and decor. Our absolute favorite way of doing this is instead of using a cloth or paper runner, dropping flower petals to create your path down the aisle. Because it’s outside, clean-up will be much easier. Flowers can also be used to decorate your altar and of course, your table centerpieces.

5. Opportunities to Hydrate

outdoor wedding water station

Photo Credit: Jon Duenas Photography

Keeping your guests hydrated is crucial, especially if you plan on serving alcohol at your event. Set-up a “hydration station” in a highly visible spot so it can’t be missed. Provide water bottles, Gatorade, and/or fruit-infused water beverages for your guests to sip on as they listen to your vows and enjoy your post-ceremony festivities. And oh yes, you can customize those water bottles, too.

6. Outdoor Games & Entertainment

outdoor wedding games

Photo Credit: Jesse Hisco Fine Art Photography

There will likely be some downtime during your big event, whether it be after the ceremony when the bridal party is taking pictures or after dinner before it’s time for the bouquet toss. Providing outdoor games for guests to play while they wait is a great way to fill up this time. Corn-hole and a horseshoe toss are two easy options that require little set-up. Your guests with a competitive nature will love it the most.

7. A Sparkly Farewell

outdoor wedding sparklers

Photo Credit: Claire Penn Photography

Take advantage of being outside and provide sparklers for your guests. Surely you’ve seen how gorgeous the pictures are: a couple surrounded by their closest friends and family, walking down a row of gorgeous sparks flying all around them. It’s a beautiful way to end the night. And, because outdoor weddings are often in the summer, sparklers are fairly easy to find, thanks to the 4th of July holiday.

As always, we are here to help you create the outdoor wedding of your dreams! Stop by anytime and speak with one of our experienced event consultants about your wants and wishes. We’ll help you make them reality.