Outdoor weddings in Michigan can be exceptionally beautiful and fun for everyone. However, they take more planning and consideration than many realize. Below, we offer some helpful tips on how to plan an outdoor wedding in Michigan, from having a plan B to making sure your guests are as comfortable as possible.
Choosing a Date
Choosing the date is one of the first and most important decisions for planning an outdoor wedding. Deciding on a date and choosing a venue are often intertwined, but there are some critical factors to consider regarding the time of year when planning an outdoor wedding in Michigan.
The weather is a huge factor, and while spring and fall weddings can be beautiful, the weather is typically more volatile and erratic. Summer is typically a safer choice, and early August is usually the time of year when many couples set their summer wedding dates. Why? August is typically less humid, so there is less chance of rain, and the height of summer has passed, so it’s a bit cooler.
Considerations When Choosing a Venue
Along with the date, the venue is perhaps the most significant decision when planning your big day. You might have one venue in mind and hope you can book it in time, or you may have no idea and need to do some touring and make a short list of possible options.
If you know where you want to hold the wedding, book the venue as soon as possible so you can get the date you prefer and start planning the details. Consider the following when choosing a venue for an outdoor wedding:
We all know how fickle Michigan weather can be, regardless of the season or time of day. While you may fall in love with the look and atmosphere of an outdoor venue, consider how it could handle potential weather contingencies, like rain.
Is there an adjoined indoor area to provide shelter for your guests? Is there shade or potential for tents and parasols to provide shade if it’s a particularly hot day? Remember that there’s more to picking a venue than just the aesthetics.
Powering the Wedding
Another practical concern for hosting an outdoor wedding is the power situation. If you’re planning a wedding at a venue like someone’s backyard, a park, or a beach, you’ll need to consider whether you’ll have enough power for music, food preparation, lights, and more.
If you’re working with an established venue and management team, this shouldn’t be an issue, but if you’re choosing an outside-the-box venue, you must ensure the space and electrical system can handle it.
Guest Capacity & Comfort
Of course, you must also consider the venue’s capacity and your guest’s comfort. How many people can your ideal venue fit comfortably, and how does that affect your ideal guest list? Would you have to shrink the guest list to fit the venue of your dreams, or would the venue feel empty for your proposed small wedding?
One venue may be beautiful, but another may fit more guests and do so more comfortably, which means planners have a problem—would the couple rather have more friends and family at the wedding or their preferred venue? Also, if your guests include seniors or those with disabilities, ensure the venue is ADA-compliant.
Make the Invitations Clear
Clarify to all your guests which parts of the wedding will be indoors and which will be outdoors when sending out invitations. There’s a big difference in guest experience between indoor and outdoor weddings, so make it clear that the ceremony will be outside while the dinner is inside, or vice versa, or if everything will happen outside or inside.
Why? It eliminates any potential confusion for your guests and makes it easier for them to prepare for the big day. Also, if you’re having a summer wedding, it’s wise to include some information about recommended attire so guests know they can dress a little more comfortable to deal with the summer heat.
Integrate Venue Décor With the Natural Landscape
If you’re having an outdoor wedding, you should do everything you can to enhance the landscape’s natural beauty in your wedding theme and venue décor. With all the natural colors around, integrating the landscape into the decor is an easy way to create a beautiful wedding atmosphere.
The lighting is also a key consideration, and Michaels Entertainment can help make your wedding stand out with our wedding uplighting services! Our luxury uplighting can enhance your venue’s atmosphere and décor with colors and styles of your choosing, whether it’s an indoor space or an outdoor tent.
Consider the Time
The ceremony and event times are also important to remember when planning an outdoor wedding. In Michigan summers, rain and inclement weather are most common in the afternoon and evenings, as the atmosphere is more unstable and the weather more volatile.
The general rule of thumb is to start the wedding earlier, around noon, and no later than 1:00 PM. Also, consider the sun’s trajectory during the ceremony and the seating placement—you don’t want guests staring into the sun for the entire ceremony!
Prepare for Summer Heat
For those planning their outdoor Michigan wedding in June, July, August, and September, it’s best to prepare for a potentially hot summer day. Make sure there’s enough shade at the venue with parasols, umbrellas, and tents if you plan to spend most of the day outside.
You’ll want to watch the weather forecast leading up to the big day. If the forecast predicts the temperature on the big day will be in the 80s or higher, you should make arrangements to help your guests stay comfortable. Include things like fans and plenty of water stations to hydrate. Consider handing out wedding-themed summer accessories for guests, like sunscreen and sunglasses.
Get Creative With the Menu
One of the great things about an outdoor wedding is that it lets you get creative with the menu! Set up a fresh fruit and veggie or sushi bar for appetizers and have a barbecue cookout for the main course. And everyone loves seasonal desserts for summer weddings, like homemade popsicles and sundae bars!
We hope our guide has been informative and helpful in planning your Michigan wedding. Remember, if you need entertainment or videography services, contact the experts at Michaels Entertainment!