Country Outdoor Wedding Planning Guide
If you are planning a country outdoor wedding, this video is a must see! Our Sales Manager, Lauren Conklin, provides an outdoor wedding planning checklist in this podcast produced by Wedding411. There are many key points discussed so we have highlighted the main ones below. We hope this helps your wedding planning efforts!
Things To Consider When Planning Your Country Outdoor Wedding
- Where will your wedding guests park?
- Is there paved, accessible parking for your guests?
- How will you accommodate guests if parking is in a field.
- Will the outdoor wedding venue provide staff to direct cars arriving to the wedding ceremony?
- Will weather affect the parking area conditions?
- In case of rain, will the venue provide umbrellas to guests?
- What happens if the weather does not cooperate with your outdoor wedding plans? What about a plan B?
- Can the wedding venue accommodate an indoor ceremony at the last minute?
- Is there staff available to move the ceremony inside, including all the chairs and decorations?
- Will the inside ceremony site provide the same wonderful views as the outdoor wedding area?
- If the wedding must be moved indoors, will you still be happy with the chosen venue?
- Does the wedding venue provide the essential wedding ceremony and reception pieces?
- Who will provide the tables, chairs, linen, centerpieces, etc?
- Who will perform the set up for the ceremony, reception, and send off?
- Who will perform the cleanup for the ceremony, reception, and send off?
- What about catering?
- Will the outdoor wedding venue provide silverware, plates, etc?
- Is there staff available to serve and clean up after guests?
- Can wedding venue accommodate for special diets?
- Are there noise restrictions?
- Are open flame decorations allowed?
- Is the venue handicap accessible?
- Is there a clear understanding of how the wedding guests will flow from the ceremony to the reception areas?
- Is there a wedding coordinator onsite?
- Ask questions! If you are unsure or uneasy about any aspect of your outdoor country setting wedding, ask questions until you are comfortable with every aspect of your special day.
There are many considerations to planning your country setting wedding. The most important is to have a strong plan B, so no matter what nature brings, you can enjoy your wedding day.
Karen: Hello, I’m Karen Buck and welcome to Wedding411 On Demand podcast and today we are out here in beautiful Frederick, Maryland at the Morningside Inn with Lauren Schmitt who is the wedding sales manager. Welcome Lauren.
Lauren: Thank you.
Karen: Lauren, tell us a little bit about Morningside.
Lauren: We are actually the destination wedding without having to go anywhere. Morningside is located at the back end of three hundred acres. I know many people feel like they are stranded out here, but within fifteen minutes they’re back to civilization and we offer both ceremonies and receptions.
Karen: So, fifteen minutes back to civilization and places for out of town guests to stay?
Lauren: That’s correct. I would say we are the midpoint between Washington D.C. and Baltimore. So not only are we in the center of the airports, but again within only fifteen minutes, they are back to any hotel they can think of. Many hotels offer a bridal block if they book enough rooms and a shuttle service as well to keep all of those out of town guests that didn’t arrive with a car, here on time.
Karen: Speaking about cars, tell us a little about parking in a country setting.
Lauren: It’s always something to check into. Every venue is different, many venues only offer a field for parking, so it’s important to account for everything.
Karen: Oh, that’s not good.
Lauren: Yes. Fortunately, here our staff will direct the guests to let passengers out here at the front door then point them in the right direction to our main parking with three lots and ninety spaces. All within walking distance.
Karen: Do you have umbrellas if it rains?
Lauren: Of course, because you never know what to expect.
Karen: Raining is good luck, good luck. Tell us a little bit about indoors, outdoors, plan A, plan B, what should be considered when you’re planning this outdoor wedding?
Lauren: Everything you mentioned and more. It’s always great to find out if they have a great plan B. We have seen hurricane warnings here this year, tornado warnings; snow in parts of year that shouldn’t have snow. Fortunately, we have a plan B that captures the same view that plan A would have and in about ten minutes, we can turn things around on short notice. Just make sure there are tents to accommodate for things like that.
Karen: So you could have the ceremony and cocktail reception outdoors and then go inside for the reception and dance.
Lauren: That’s correct and the best part about it is that we can move things around so quickly that you don’t have to plan necessarily on all of it outdoors or all of it indoors.
Karen: Tell us a little bit about what you do offer.
Lauren: We are all inclusive, so when a bride comes here, she doesn’t have a care in the world. Morningside covers all of the linens, all of the place settings, all the tables and chairs on both levels, the wedding coordinator, all the set up and clean up. Nobody wants to take trash out on their wedding night, and all of the staffing.
Karen: That is wonderful. Tell us a little bit about the food, vegetarian, gluten free?
Lauren: Fabulous menu, our chef has actually been here for nearly all of our seventeen years. He prepares everything himself, it’s all made from scratch. I always tell my brides that there is no need to uninvited their vegetarians or their gluten allergy guests, he is happy to accommodate for anything as long as we can give him enough notice in advance.
Karen: So it’s not necessary that we have to use a preferred vender from the preferred vendor list?
Lauren: That’s correct. Morningside is required to provide the catering and bar, but beyond that we always encourage the bride use our preferred vendors for their florist, photography, DJ, and cake, but they may have their own connections that they used previously our they may have an aunt that bakes cakes for a living or something like that.
Karen: Tell us a little bit about noise restrictions when you are dealing with an outside venue.
Lauren: Great question, so here you would think that we wouldn’t have to worry about noise at all because we are in the back of three hundred acres. However, the only time we would ever run into a noise issue, would be when people do fireworks at their send off, so generally the only thing that we would really need to be concerned with is calling the neighboring farms to let them know to put their horses away so they won’t get spooked from the sound.
Karen: Open flame, indoors, outdoors, does it make a difference?
Lauren: Not necessarily, we just ask that the bride not have any floral arrangements or components of their centerpieces that might interfere with the flame and light on fire. In fact, we would be happy to light everything for the bride.
Karen: Handicap accessibility?
Lauren: Great question! So when considering any venue, but especially the country venue it’s always important to find out where the ceremony will be located. Many times this might be in the middle of a field. Fortunately here at Morningside, we have three ramps that lead to the locations for the dinner, ceremony and the reception.
Karen: Excellent. Do you have any other tips that you can give us when planning a country setting wedding.
Lauren: I would always, always recommend asking questions. Many country venues are not cut and dry, if you will, regarding the flow of events. Always ask questions to determine how everything will work and whether or not they will accommodate the plan B.
Karen: Thank you so much for all your wonderful tips and thank you for joining the Wedding 411 podcast.