What You Need to Know about Planning Outdoor Events

10 steps to the perfect outdoor event

Outdoor event season is a whole new realm of event planning, preparation and performing.  For many of us, it’s a more exciting realm.  But don’t underestimate the care and attention that mother nature requires.

As promised, we’ve put together an in-depth list of all the things you need to think about if you’re thinking about hosting a celebration outdoors.  If overlooked, outdoor festivities may not go off as perfectly as planned.

1. Have a plan B…and C, D, E & F

Photo from Estate Weddings and Events

Photo from Estate Weddings and Events

Especially in places like Spokane, the weather can change without notice.  Be prepared for anything! At the Glover Mansion, we’re able to pull many events inside in case of bad weather, but be aware of your options at other venues.  Always have an event tent on hold just in case (Event Rents in Spokane can help you out with that).

2. It’s not only rain to worry about


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The wind can play a huge factor in your guests comfort as well as the event itself.  Keep an eye on what weather predictions are saying about wind MPH, and be aware of how this will effect the event.  Pay special attention to the microphone if you’re using one or you’ll have a lot of unwanted static.

3. You got lucky and got the perfect sunny day…


The weather seems to be working in your favor, but don’t forget the simple things.  In warm, sunny weather, staying hydrated is vital!  In addition, provide guests with lots of shade, and bend your knees if you’re standing for a long time.

4. Electricity

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Some venues, like Glover Mansion, will have outlets that are easy to access.  However, others may require extension cords and power boxes for things like DJ’s, photobooths, lighting, etc.  Also, don’t overlook important lighting for pathways, restrooms, exits, and the dance floor.

5. Think about setup

hanging white paper lanterns, wedding

When you’re in nature, it’s not exactly easy to put a sign on the wall or hang lights from the ceiling.  Know what you’re working with (tables, chairs, trees, gazebos) and use them to your advantage.  Beyond that, get creative! You may have to lace lights between trees or put signs in picture frames, but these will be beautiful details that your guests will remember.

6. Do a real rehearsal

wedding, gazebo, sun, glover mansion

For weddings, try to schedule your rehearsal the same hours your actual event will be held.  That way you can see where the sun will be hitting and if there are any special circumstances to take into account.  The photographer will certainly want to be aware of how the sun hits as well.

7. Allow for “turns”

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If you want your entire event outside, you may have to give the venue staff moments of open time in which they can flip from one set-up to another.  A perfect example of this is outdoor weddings that turn into outdoor receptions.  In these cases, staff will need a few moments to bring out tables, rearrange chairs, and even turn the altar into a stage.

8. Dress for the occasion

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Heels that sink into the grass, dresses that blow up in the slightest wind gusts, and suits that are unbearably hot are all don’ts.  And remember a jacket for when the sun goes down.

9. Inform your guests


They don’t want to be surprised either, so they should know everything you know.  Share with them weather predictions, outfit suggestions, and tips for staying comfortable and having fun all night long.

10. Bonus idea: bring the indoors out

outdoor furniture for events

Renting fun outdoor furniture can add a whole new level of comfort and excitement to your event.  Creating a lounge area with sofa, loves seats and pillows will stun guests and create lasting memories.

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