Considerations When Looking At Outdoor Reception Venues

Holding a wedding reception outdoors is a wonderful way to incorporate nature into your special day, but you must be prepared for a little more planning. Receptions held indoors are automatically contained and protected from the outside world, but with an outdoor reception, obviously that no longer is the case. When you look at a wedding reception venue, keep the following in mind to reduce the chances of an unpleasant surprise during the actual reception.


Whether one of your guests will be in a wheelchair or another guest will temporarily be on crutches, you have to ensure your reception site is accessible for everyone. In the United States, you shouldn't have a problem with accessibility in general if the area is meant to host receptions. However, keep in mind that lawns can be tricky for anyone with mobility problems, so be sure to arrange for temporary pathways to be laid down. Check with a garden center for roll-out pathways and mats.


Weddings planned far in advance always risk inclement weather on the day of the reception. While you can pay attention to historical patterns, you always risk a surprise, and not one that can easily be predicted, such as this haboob that descended upon a wedding in Arizona, surprising the bride and groom. Regular old rain, too, is a possibility. Either way, ensure that you arrange for temporary shelter to be available should bad weather spring up.

Environmental Issues

If you're going to wave your hands around at the reception, it should be during a fun dance -- not as a defensive maneuver against bugs. Talk to the groundskeeping crew of the site where you wish to hold your reception and find out what measures they take to remove standing water and otherwise reduce the bug population in the area. You may want to hire a pest control service that offers temporary outdoor treatments that reduce bugs in an outdoor location for a day or two.


One more issue is security, particularly against people who haven't been invited from coming over and taking food or running up a huge tab at your open bar. You may want to consider hiring security guards and roping off the reception area. Advise your guests to all carry their invitations with them, or arrange for a wristband or other marker system to ensure only invited guests can access goodies.

Don't let any of this turn you off having the reception outside. Remember, many people have successful, fun receptions outdoors without any problems. These are only things to keep in mind to help you have the best day possible.