The great outdoors can provide a backdrop that no venue or rental collection can compete with; however, the venue and rentals you choose matter beyond measure. Your venue and rentals can complete (or ruin) the effect of that lovely landscape. Outdoor events do not have to be low quality or cheesy, but it does take a clear and direct design approach to make an outdoor event feel polished and stylized.
Here are 5 simple ways to create a refined outdoor event:
1. Lighting! Hire a professional to hang chandeliers and cafe style string lights. If possible, choose these types of lighting over generic Christmas lights. This detail really matters in the overall feel. Also, when it’s dark, the guests are gone and it’s time to tear down, you will be so glad you’re not tripping on tree roots and beer bottles.
2. Use real dishes and glassware. I know, paper plates make a ton of sense when you’re outside. And they are less expensive! But they look less expensive, and do nothing to help you create a refined, elegant wedding. Counteract the outdoors with formal tableware. I promise the effect will be worth it!
3. Let your venue work for you! Find the best walls or areas of impact at your venue and make those be your backdrops for the important spots, like your cake display, sweetheart table and Just Married photos. Too many times, I’ve seen cakes set up with the DJ in the background, or a sweetheart table with a big red fire extinguisher directly behind the couple. Y’all, the background is what creates a frame for each space… it is so important that what’s behind looks great!
4. Layer. Tone-on-tone neutrals and metallics currently have my heart, so obviously I’m going to advise you to use neutrals and metallics when choosing your linens, chargers, floral containers, flatware, dishes and all of those fun details. And when I say neutrals, a washed-out sandy peach or faded gray-blue counts. But mix it up! If you’re using an organic natural linen, add a metal floral container. Now, please don’t be afraid to use bright, rich colors as accents. But know if all you have is an overabundance of strong accent colors, they lose their effectiveness and your eyes won’t know where to rest.
5. Let’s talk flowers. Simply put, you get what you pay for. But good news, even the most experienced professionals aren’t as expensive as what you may assume. Call them up and book them! Outdoor events = heat and humidity = wilting flowers by amatures = ugly bouquet and centerpieces = crying bride = this is not you, because you hired a florist to create and install your lovely blooms.
Ok, surprise No 6. Hire me as your stylist.
Styling this shoot was a wonderful experience! Wondering who else to hire? Check out these amazing vendors.
Photography: Brandi Smyth
Rentals: Pursuing Eden Specialty Rentals
Venue: CedarCroft Plantation
Cake: Cakes by Carrie
MUAH: Kendall Morehart
Florals: Brianna Belton Design LLC
Dress: Fabulous Frocks of Charleston
Also seen on Style Me Pretty!!