There is something beautifully timeless about an outdoor wedding, about getting married in the natural elements with the sky as your canopy. However, the romantic nature of having your ceremony outside comes with some challenges. Here are some tips for planning your outdoor wedding, specifically in Texas.


When choosing an outdoor setting, it’s important to keep the following variables in mind:

  • Embrace the outdoors. That means you can’t expect it to behave like the indoors. Wind will blow, bugs will fly, and things will get dirty.
  • Consider the angle of the sun and the time of day the ceremony will take place. A sunset wedding can be a romantic dream until all of your guests get headaches from squinting into the sun.
  • Consider the season when the ceremony will take place, not just the season you’re visiting the location. Leaves and grasses change with the seasons. What’s green when you visit in the Spring may be brown by October.
  • Take allergies into account, both yours and your guests. In Texas, there are two times of the year when allergies are more widespread than others: early Fall for ragweed sufferers and late January/early February for those sensitive to mountain cedar. The only sniffles you want on your wedding day are those accompanying emotion.
  • Walk the grounds and remove any trip hazards like holes, rocks, tree roots, etc.
  • Designate a clear path for your guests to follow upon arrival and departure. If it’s an evening wedding, provide lighting on this path.
  • Account for bugs. While there’s an element of insects being part of an outdoor wedding, there are also critters like mosquitoes and wasps that can become health hazards for some people. In Texas, in the Summer, you’ll want to ask about spraying the grounds for bugs before the ceremony.

tip2Texas can be hotter than heck in the Summer and cold as the dickens at certain points in the Winter. In certain months, you can’t predict which direction the mercury will go. Chances are you can assume warm to hot temperatures nine months out of the year. With that in mind, you need to have a plan to keep guests cool.

  • Provide personalized hand fans for guests to use during the ceremony
  • Use shade as efficiently as possible
  • Have the ceremony under a tent or provide guests with umbrellas for shade (and photo ops)
  • Make sure the seats don’t burn guests’ backsides when they sit down. Consider color and materials when choosing them.

The wind blows where and when it will. There’s nothing you can do to stop it, but you can account for it. Use weighted decorations, utensils, and (if necessary) hemlines. Those weights work under strong ceiling fans, too.

No matter how much you watch the forecast or research historical weather patterns for the date of your wedding, you need to have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. That plan could include:

  • Setting up a tent or canopy
  • Moving the ceremony indoors to where the reception will be (if the venue is equipped)
  • Having a stash of umbrellas and towels
  • Acoustic music options should things get too wet for electricity

tip3For the same reason that you wear sweaters in the winter and tank tops in the summer, you want to consider your wardrobe and the wardrobe of your bridal party when you plan an outdoor wedding.


It all starts with the fabric you choose. Linen, cotton, and silk are fabrics that breathe and allow you to stay relatively cool in the Summer. Taffeta and polyester do not. Keep that in mind for your dress, your groom’s attire, and when choosing what your attendants will wear, too.

Other notes about your dress:

  • It will get dirty outside. Prepare your mind for this inevitability and embrace it.
  • Skip the train. It’s hot and collects bugs, twigs and leaves.


Next, you need to think about shoes. Think not only about the comfort of the shoes on your feet, but also think about how your shoes will fare on the terrain you’ll be walking on. Fact: heels sink in sand, mud, grass, and generally soft ground. You may choose to wear heel protectors to keep you from aerating the lawn, or you can choose shoes that won’t be as likely to roll your ankle, like boots!


Okay. Let’s talk about hair. There are some hairstyles (and textures) that simply cannot tolerate heat and humidity. There’s not enough hairspray in the world to tame those curls in 80% humidity. Talk to your stylist about how to avoid a hairdo meltdown.


Along those same lines, you may want to keep some blotting papers and/or powder on hand to combat the effects of humidity on your makeup. It’s not a deal breaker, but the shine is something to keep in mind.


You may be tempted to wear a sweet fragrance as a countermeasure to the sweat. Keep in mind that the perfumes also attract bugs and bees. Certain oils could serve as both fragrance and repellent if you just can’t do without.

tip4The last thing you want the guests at your wedding to remember is how sick they got from the food. It’s vital to keep food at proper temperatures, both cold and hot, to keep food poisoning at bay. Keep cool things on ice (or in refrigeration) and keep hot foods warm.

Outside weddings often have uninvited guests in the form of flies, mosquitoes, ants, bees, and other pests. Stave them off by keeping food covered.

Your cake may be flawless until it sits in the heat and humidity for an hour or two. To keep it from drooping, melting, or falling apart at the layers, keep it in a cool location until it’s time to cut and serve it.

tip5Wedding guests are there to support you. Return the favor by considering the specific needs they may have during an outdoor wedding in Texas. It’s a good idea to provide:

  • Water, lemonade, or iced tea. Keep in mind that alcohol dehydrates people and make sure there are plenty of hydrating options on hand to counteract the heat and the alcohol consumption.
  • Seating. No matter how short the ceremony is, there are people who need to sit down. (Think about grandma, for example.) Additionally, when people stand in the heat with their knees locked for an extended amount of time, they are prone to faint. Those aren’t the memorable moments you’re aiming for.
  • Accessibility. Think through any guests who will attend that may not be able to walk very far or who need solid ground for sure footing and make allowances. Think about the elderly and any folks with disabilities. For some, a golf cart transport may be the answer.
  • Lighting. Make sure guests can see where they’re going when they walk back to their car after the reception. This may mean that you have to provide lighting for more than just the reception area.
  • Items it might be helpful to have on hand:
    • Sunscreen
    • Sunglasses
    • Flashlight
    • Bug spray
    • Band-aids

tip6It’s not just you and your guests you have to think about when planning your outdoor wedding. It’s important to think about the vendors who will serve you on the special day and the challenges they may face, too.


Communicate clearly with caterer what facilities and appliances will be available and when. The more they are prepared for everything and know what to bring with them as far as ice or warmers, the better they will be able to serve you.


The same holds true for the florist. They do more than make arrangements. It’s important for them to keep the flowers looking fresh for as much of the event as possible. This could mean keeping arrangements in cool storage until 30 minutes to an hour before the ceremony begins, providing adequate water sources for certain flora, and being aware of which flowers will be most likely to draw pests like bees or gnats.


Wedding DJs and bands often bring their own sound system, but even in those circumstances, they need to know whether or not they will have access to electricity or if they need to bring a generator. It’s also crucial for them to know the backup plan. Electrical equipment becomes dangerous when it gets wet, not just messy.

In addition to electrical concerns, there is the issue of volume. Depending on the location of your outdoor wedding, loudness could impact outsiders who don’t look favorably on people having fun without them. If you’re in a backyard or a neighborhood venue, talk to your entertainers about acceptable volume levels or a curfew on using the amps.


Then there’s the venue itself. Communicate and have something in writing about parking, accessibility, who is responsible for pest control, whether chairs and tables are provided, and any inclement weather options that may exist.


Depending on what the venue has available, you may find it necessary to rent some items like tents/canopies or portable bathrooms. In Texas, most wedding planners would recommend against a clear top tent because it takes on the climate of a greenhouse in the sun, making it harder to cool even after sunset.

tip7As you plan an outdoor wedding, consider Blaine Stone Lodge as the venue of choice. We have outdoor AND climate-controlled indoor locations for ceremonies and receptions, have an industrial-sized kitchen, provide tables and chairs, and have ample parking and power supply (as well as a sound system on location). Give us a call to schedule a personal tour.