In this episode, co-hosts Kristina, Mike & Sharon talk about the beauty & the unpredictability of outdoor weddings… and give tips on what should be considered when planning your BIG day in the great outdoors.
On the fence about having your event outdoors? Then tune into this episode! Co-hosts Kristina, Mike & Sharon discuss all the things that need to be considered when planning an outdoor wedding or reception.
Don’t let the weather take the happiness of the day away! Listen to this episode to hear about arranging for plan A, plan B and transition teams when having an outdoor wedding.
Planning accordingly and putting the thought in ahead of time will help save the day should Mother Nature change your outdoor wedding plans. This episode is packed full of great tips that will help you pivot on a dime should rain unexpectedly be in the forecast.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL LEARN that while beautiful, outdoor weddings can be a challenge because you are at the mercy of Mother Nature… and having a plan A and plan B will ensure your day is smooth no matter the weather!
Share with us your outdoor wedding stories… and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @theringtheblingandallthethings
Kristina Stubblefield 0:00
Outdoor weddings are absolutely beautiful. Everyone loves them. And the pictures are always amazing. However,
Michael Gaddie 0:07
there are many things to think about when deciding to host an outdoor event. And you want to consider them all.
Sharon Rumsey 0:14
Plan a plan B, Plan C, the key word hear his plan. Join us as we discuss all things outdoor events, the good, the bad and the storming.
Kristina Stubblefield 0:25
You got engaged. Congratulations. Happy. Yes, joyful time. Of course. Now what timelines to do lists and checklists. 100% Don't worry, you're in the right place. Welcome to the ring, the bling, and all the things. Hi, I'm Kristina Stubblefield, one of your hosts, along with my two good friends, Michael Gaddie and Sharon Rumsey. We have over 50 years of wedding industry experience between us. We have seen it, heard it, done it and found a way around it. We are here to get you from down on one knee to down the aisle. Our podcast will cover everything from you saying yes to the I do's and all that happens in between. So buckle up and enjoy the journey. Now let's get started with this episode.
Sharon Rumsey 1:36
One of the things that I get asked, so so often is how to decide whether you're planning an indoor event are an outdoor event, or maybe a combination of both. So this is the episode for you. If you're on the fence about whether or not to have any part of your event outside. We are going to talk about all the tips and tricks and things you need to consider when planning an outdoor event.
Kristina Stubblefield 2:01
You mean we're going to talk about the W word. We make all these new words. Whether I'm not a new word, no but new for our podcast, Mother Nature? Well, you
Sharon Rumsey 2:12
don't mess with her.
Kristina Stubblefield 2:14
Man, we shorten it. Amen. All right, where do we start? Sharon?
Sharon Rumsey 2:19
Um, I think one of the first things you need to consider when you're trying to make the decision. I have a lot of clients that love the outdoors, and they want to be outside. But some things you really need to think through. You know, simple things like will the ground support chairs? Where will your guests go to the restroom? You know, a lot of it's really cool right now and really popular to get married, you know, on a farm or maybe a family member's property. But you have to consider if you're having 200 people at your house? Do you want 200 people going and using the restroom? If not, what's the plan? Or how about before the event ever
Kristina Stubblefield 3:03
Sharon Rumsey 3:05
parking is huge. And you know,
Kristina Stubblefield 3:08
you have to make sure that they can park where they're not going to get stuck? Well, you said the ground supporting the chairs. I've heard people that have planned outdoor events at families members properties. And it's a great property to have your event. There's no parking.
Michael Gaddie 3:26
That's a big consideration to think of because for one thing, you're going to tear up your yard. But when it comes to having your wedding too, and you always have to have a plan B for the weather. And I always say make a plan B just as important as Plan A, because what's going to happen is, say the bride and the groom, mom, dad, whatever. They're busy getting their everything done taking care of each other. And then it comes down to Sharon, for example, a wedding planner to make a planner to make the decision. That wedding planner does not want to run to the bride and her mom and say, Okay, what do y'all want to do here?
Kristina Stubblefield 4:09
Or it needs to be discussed ahead of time. Do you want to have a conversation who's involved in that conversation? because it affects it affects so many other topics? Well, and
Michael Gaddie 4:21
if you talk about that up front, then that bride or that mom does not get upset that the wedding planner has made that decision to go with Plan B. Because sometimes when you pick the plan B or if you go to the bride and say hey, we've got weather problems, what do you want to do? Well, then that upsets her. But if you have the conversation at front, hey, if it rains, this is Plan B we're going to go forward and we're not going to ask you we're just going to do it.
Kristina Stubblefield 4:51
You mean to tell me that the wedding planner cannot control Mother Nature. I mean the wedding, the wedding. She could The wedding planner is supposed to take care of everything. Mike, you mean they can't have a discussion Mother Nature? In all honesty, I
Michael Gaddie 5:05
tell you what I know Patrick Sharon tries her best to have a conversation with Mother Nature. But
Kristina Stubblefield 5:10
in our area here, you know, we're Louisville, Kentucky, Southern Indiana. I don't know about other places, but you can look at the weather map and you can look at the percentages on your phone. That doesn't mean it's not going to rain.
Michael Gaddie 5:25
I think that we know that for an exam. For sure.
Sharon Rumsey 5:28
I think the smartest fairest way that I have found to deal with it is in your planning. In your planning meetings prior to the event, ask the question, Who do you want? Like Mike just said, Who do you want to be responsible for the final weather call,
I usually do not want to be the only person making that call. And the reason is, it's not my money being spent. So when clients have spent a lot of money, and they have a vision in their head for what they want their event to look like, I don't want to be the only person making that call. I also don't want that person to be the bride or the groom. So
Kristina Stubblefield 6:07
unless they're adamant about being part of that conversation, right, so
Sharon Rumsey 6:11
like this past weekend, we did an event Mike and I did an event together. And both parents were involved in the call. And you know, here's to Mother Nature with myself and both parents making the call together, looking at radars saying absolutely no rain and you mean you were you weren't actual meteorologist as well as your wedding plan. Yes,
Kristina Stubblefield 6:34
Michael Gaddie 6:35
Absolutely was a damn good winter.
Kristina Stubblefield 6:36
Gosh, I didn't wear a lot of
Sharon Rumsey 6:39
meteorologists absolutely no rain on the radar in the state of Kentucky, we made the wrong call. So that being said, That's why that plan B is so important. Like if a ceremonies outside, when I run rehearsal, we're going to rehearse it outside, we're going to rehearse in our normal spot, then we're going to truck it over to wherever Plan B is, and we're going to rehearse in that ceremony site for Plan B. So that way, if I do have to move in event, the bridal party has is familiar with that space, they know where they're supposed to go in both spaces. Because you don't want to throw it on a bridal party with adrenaline pumping an hour before a wedding and say, oops, now we're gonna do it over here, and they don't know their marks and they don't know where to go. So it's really important that plan B be just as important as Plan A, and that you practice both
Kristina Stubblefield 7:33
well, and some of the other things too, to think about is the decisions affect catering, possibly the cake. Your dance may
Sharon Rumsey 7:42
affect everything around you everything.
Kristina Stubblefield 7:44
And I'm sure you have them breathing down your neck, you have to have some kind of plan in place. And I've even heard people with a plan C, honestly,
Sharon Rumsey 7:55
I mean, if you think about it, you've got DJs with 1000s of dollars worth of equipment outside. You've got your caterer maybe she's got you know, a prep oven. Our he has, you know, a portable kitchen outside. Yeah, if you're doing plated, your florist has, you know, 1000s of dollars worth of decor out there. So yeah, it's, it affects the whole team. And sometimes it's a daunting thing to have to make that well. Let
Michael Gaddie 8:21
me say an example that happened about four years ago, and this bride was lovely. Her name was Porsche on her forget her. Don't ever forget that name anyway. But we had a plan a plan B. And at the last minute, we decided to go to plan B. This is a learning thing for me. She was getting married at Whitehall. And as you know, Whitehall is old historical home has this beautiful staircase in it. And they also have these beautiful gardens. We actually had flowers going around the arches and everything in the gardens. And here comes a storm. So we moved everything in on the staircase. Now that took me a couple hours to do. pouring down rain the whole time I did it. The sun came out. She said, Mike, do you mind let's go ahead and get back out to the garden. wasn't my favorite thing. But you know what he always says his team broad, right. So we moved it all back outside. There wasn't even 10 minutes after I got it done. storm came Scott opened up pour down rain the rest of the night. They never ever sell those flowers. And she spent a good couple $1,000 on these flowers just for the wedding for her to walk through or walk down if Derrick flight of stairs. And they were never in any pictures or anything because I moved them back out to the garden. And they were never you know, they definitely didn't take place there. So what's so important when you make your decision is Plan A or plan B. Don't ever go back just because because I mean if it's something Unless you just want to pick up and go out and get married, that's one thing,
Kristina Stubblefield 10:03
not your whole setup. But
Michael Gaddie 10:04
if you have to change your whole setup, and you've spent 1000s of dollars on flowers, and then you lose them like that, it's, it's crazy.
Sharon Rumsey 10:12
So as the planner, like once I make the call, whether I'm right or I'm wrong, that's the call. But we can't, we can't yo yo, the whole vendor team around. Yeah,
Kristina Stubblefield 10:23
well, the other thing I was thinking of is, depending on your setup, you're probably going to have to have some kind of transition team. You know, if you're talking to elaborate setups, and you get all of it set up one time, and then you go to plan B, having a plan, who's helping transition that because if you don't have your florist there, the entire event or your rental company, you could be talking tables, chairs, florals decor, the list goes on and on, oh, somebody is going to help you move that stuff. Something that I've learned the hard way is when I do an outdoor event, I always have an extra assistant.
Sharon Rumsey 11:07
And that's because you don't know what's going to happen. I've also noticed experience florist experienced, you know, DJs well, you'll see more people on wedding day events outside. But I also I mean, I'll be honest, I've even asked guests, you know, if it should start to rain? Could you do this? And could you do that? And could you do this, so that when I feel that first raindrop, I just say go, and we all know what we're doing. And that's what happened this past weekend, it actually went really seamlessly when it did start to rain.
Kristina Stubblefield 11:42
Well, and I know there are some people that just really want to have their ceremony outside. And probably ceremony depending on your decor and everything. Now you may have to move chairs and stuff. But that could be maybe a little bit easier transitioning to plan B, depending again on your setup, but your whole reception tables, the table decor, if you're doing plated, you could be talking about a lot of pieces, just with one table
Michael Gaddie 12:14
is a lot of pieces. But that's why you plan accordingly. And you put that in the lineup and let the wedding planner if you don't have a wedding planner, that's one reason why you should have a good wedding planner. So you're not the one that's making the decision, such as been the bride of the bride's parents or whatever. Put some power somebody to make that decision for you.
Kristina Stubblefield 12:37
So Sharon, when you first started this off, you were talking about things to consider. And obviously restrooms. You know, a lot of times out there now you're seeing restroom trailers, and not just porta potties. They're actual trailers with lighting, and you have a whole experience that we won't necessarily have talked about on this with trailers. But
Sharon Rumsey 12:58
nowadays, you can rent restroom trailers that are honestly nicer than most home restrooms. They're air conditioned, they're clean, they're not of the time they work to not be gross, they're not they're not smelly, if they're working correctly, you just want to make sure you use a reputable company.
Kristina Stubblefield 13:20
Want to keep going with this? Because if you have an event where it's over a couple of days where you're doing rehearsal, you know, you ceremony, reception and things. You've touched on this before about making sure what their contract do they come and clean them.
Sharon Rumsey 13:36
So this is this is probably TMI. But what you want to do is you want to tell that company, how many guests you have, and how many days that trailer is going to be in use. Because they know how big it's called the Blackwater tank. I've learned a lot is on those trailers. And they know how the average of how much that that tank is going to fill up. Free, you know, for that amount of people, if for each person, they know how much to allow. So I always ask that a representative from that company be on call for me. And that numbers in my cell phone?
Kristina Stubblefield 14:17
So in at the office number No, no, no. And after hours number No.
Sharon Rumsey 14:21
Like this past weekend. Not only is it a weekend, it's it was a holiday weekend. So I want the cell phone number of the person on call. And I want to know their response time. So if I do start to see that I have a problem. I can call and get them out there before any guest knows that there's a problem. But honestly, if you're very upfront about your guest count and the amount of days they're going to need to be there. Then you rent the proper size trailer to accommodate your guest count in your crowd. You also need to make sure that you have a water hookup for that trailer. You can't just park it in the field. It has to have a water hookup It has to have electricity. So those are some things that you have to consider when you're running a restroom trailer. And honestly, it's, it's such a nice thing to have, unless it goes bad, then it's horrible. So you want to make sure that you know what you're doing, or that you hire a company that will guide you through it.
Kristina Stubblefield 15:21
Well, and I know in our area now, with the porta potti companies, a lot of times they have the hand washing stations that are really nice that you can have. One of the things too, that I've heard about this before with someone is making sure that they're handicap accessible. Because sometimes your restroom trailers aren't necessarily handicap accessible. But there are porta potties that you can do that are handicap accessible. So thinking about all your guests. And that brings me into another thing. I know, we talked, we mentioned parking. And one of the best things. When Josh and I got married on my parents property, one of the things that we want to make sure was we had people help with parking, because we had a certain size field that could be used, but we needed to make sure that it was done in rows. Because if not, people tend to park in all different ways. So I don't know if you've seen that a lot with I have and
Sharon Rumsey 16:19
you also want to make sure just to go back on it because it's so important. You know, say it rained three days prior before your wedding, what's the backup parking plan, because people are going to get stuck in that field. And I think another thing to really, you know, being considered or your guests that you want to think through in an outdoor event is, especially for older people, how far are they going to have to go from where they park to where the ceremony is? And don't let that don't let that keep you from having your event? There are ways around it. But it needs to be considered. If you feel like it's too big a distance or maybe the grounds not even or it's bumpy, then the answer to I think is a golf cart. actually very inexpensive to rent, you can run a golf cart, and you can actually have someone drive the guest to where they need to be. So that you don't have to worry about someone falling or maybe a grandparent not being able to see the ceremony because they can't get to the space.
Michael Gaddie 17:21
Or if you have scheduled a valet service. Yes, I see when you're in that time of grant or that grounds that that big of a ground that you park your car Have you ever you're in the grass or whatever, you got some my valet it then they can be dropped off at the front of the reception barn house, whatever it may be. Yeah.
Kristina Stubblefield 17:41
And that's what we did. We aren't my grandparents were older at that time. And we made sure that we had six or eight very close places that they could park because they weren't going to stay the whole time either. So then being able to be closer and then be able to have easier access to leave. And it's so interesting because that was one of the things that one of my grandpa's had mentioned was the chairs. You know, most of the time when you rent chairs from companies, they're not necessarily the sturdiness of chairs for older people. And if you've got a table that they're going to lean on and your ground is not completely smooth. It's not the easiest for them to get up and down. Looking back on that time when I danced with my grandpa. He made sure to remind me those chairs and getting up off that table. It's a little tougher out here in the grass. Okay Pat ball, but thank you for being here. You know what it is something to consider
Sharon Rumsey 18:46
as you can also rent a floor.
Kristina Stubblefield 18:48
Absolutely you can. And there's other things going back on it. Somebody had mentioned we could have done like a mat. You know, just to have were the older people. Those are important people that you want part of your day
Sharon Rumsey 19:01
and you want them comfortable.
Kristina Stubblefield 19:03
Yes, you can't control necessarily the heat but obviously 10 things like that and setting them close to a fan. You know or something. So it's really important about the ground in parking and all that is so important with outdoor weddings. We haven't even gotten to the ceremony.
Michael Gaddie 19:18
Well I want to say too, I mean, we're pointing out all the negatives that could come up during a wedding with weather. But you have your you know your percentage that most a lot of the weddings at outdoors are perfect,
Kristina Stubblefield 19:32
or it rains earlier in the day and then they end up with a beautiful
Michael Gaddie 19:35
or it's beautiful all week or maybe rain the week before but I mean, these are things that you need to take into consideration. Just in case
Kristina Stubblefield 19:44
well we're seeing so many more outdoor weddings. I don't know if what we've been through has kind of brought that more to light well over the last
Michael Gaddie 19:55
time over the last three months. All of our our Our weddings almost every time I hate to say it, but it's almost it's always rained, sprinkled, or something and we've always had a plan B.
Kristina Stubblefield 20:09
But in Don't let weather take down the happiness and the importance of that day in your life. Because determine what you want
Michael Gaddie 20:20
out of that day, don't let the weather do that do that to you,
Kristina Stubblefield 20:22
you know, can it cause some problems here or there? The whole reason we want to talk about this topic was so many people are embracing outdoor events, there's just some things to consider just a little bit further or much more further than if it's an indoor outdoor
Sharon Rumsey 20:37
events are absolutely gorgeous. They're so so pretty. And I think, you know, with what we've been through with the pandemic, I think people felt safer outside. So a lot of weddings got moved outside that maybe weren't originally planned to be outside. And I'm here for it. Like I love it. I think they're so pretty. And I think you just have to have a solid plan B. I've talked a lot about the logistics. But from my standpoint, I know, decor and floral arrangements. There's some special things to consider. I've watched him do enough outdoor setups. What What do we need to consider when we're outside that maybe isn't a worry inside?
Kristina Stubblefield 21:16
Where do you start mine?
Michael Gaddie 21:18
Well, I mean, just for an example this weekend. I mean, you know the setup we did. I mean, it did rain, but it wasn't a downpour where it canceled where we had to move it to the barn or inside. But it depends on how many what products you have and what product you don't have. But that's why you always got to keep in the back of your mind what you're going to do, even though we had already set up now this weekend. It was it was it was I want to say it was beautiful, because it was beautiful. Did it rain, it did rain. But, you know, be Memorial Day weekend. I'm gonna say it's Memorial Day weekend. Normally, that's when summer starts. And usually it's hotter than you know what? And it was 40 degrees. It was 40
Sharon Rumsey 22:02
I packed everything so that this sweet bride would not sweat in her wedding dress because I was expecting at 90 degree weather and in a wedding dress, they will they will soak themselves. Well, the day before it was. Yeah. And literally I was trying to keep her warm instead of
Michael Gaddie 22:17
everybody had coats on but you know what it went on? Like it never there was never was
Sharon Rumsey 22:23
actually gorgeous, because it was just overcast enough that the candles were able to be seen. And you know, it was stunning. But I noticed like on the arch that you had it had to be weighted down.
Michael Gaddie 22:38
You know, I mean, there's lots of things I mean, you've got you never know what's going to happen with not if it just come a rain, but wind. Wind is a big thing. We did another wedding this past weekend. And we had a big pergola that we decorated, the wind was so strong, it was flippin a flap in the fabric. But I mean, again, that's something that you have to take into consideration. And also when we're hanging product like that, you've got to have sandbags, you've got to have zip strips, you've got to zip strip everything down. So it still looks professional and not messy. Because after the wind blows on it for three or four hours, you don't know what it's going to look like. Right? But I'll be honest with you, when we went back that night at 10 o'clock and picked it up. Yeah, the wind wasn't blowing, but it still looked just as good as it did when we put it there. But you move all the fabric and you see all the sandbags we had and all the zip strips, we had zip stripped on there, but nobody knew that right? But that's something that we have to take into consideration when setting things up outside.
Sharon Rumsey 23:36
And I know even when we do market lighting, you use zip ties, yeah, strips, whatever you call them. Yeah.
Kristina Stubblefield 23:41
So the other thing too is sometimes you have more decor and rental items in outdoor events, that you have to be able to allow additional days for setup. So if that's not your own property, you I'm assuming you'd have to make arrangements to rent those places for additional days do
Sharon Rumsey 24:02
so when you rent, you know your typical wedding venue. Think of the things that's going to come with it's gonna come with lighting, it's going to come with electricity, it's going to come with a bathroom, it's going to come with tables, it's going to come with chairs, main errands, heat and air. All those things are still needed. So I'm not to two wedding planners horns are to try to sell wedding planning.
Kristina Stubblefield 24:28
That's part of your logistics you're to help bring all that together
Sharon Rumsey 24:32
double for a bride to try to take on to pull off an event like that.
Kristina Stubblefield 24:38
Because they haven't been through it before so they don't know what all to think of
Sharon Rumsey 24:41
it to be honest every time that I do well. Honestly anytime I do any wedding. You know when Monday comes in, you're kind of in wedding hangover mode as I call it you you think that what could I have done better or what could I have done different and I learned something every single wedding but these outdoor weddings at you learn a lot, you know, and each time you take that with you, so well, you
Michael Gaddie 25:05
know, and sometimes brides think and families think that it's not to the consideration of this past weekend. But sometimes they think it's a little bit less expensive to have it outside and sketch a tent. It's dub, I
Kristina Stubblefield 25:20
was gonna say I was thinking the other way.
Michael Gaddie 25:23
Normally, yeah, because you're not just renting a building, a building that may have, for example, the refinery we were talking about with Alex a few weeks ago, that they've got tables, they've got chairs, they've got all that. But if you have your reception outside, you have to rent a tent, you have to rent the tables, you have to rent the chairs, you have to rent the linens, you have to rent everything. So you're actually building a structure to have your wedding in.
Kristina Stubblefield 25:48
I think that's why we're seeing venues, especially that offer an outdoor space to have the ceremony, but then an indoor space to have the reception, I really feel like people are really wanting to have these outdoor ceremonies, that they tend to look at that as an opportunity, right, there's my plan B, If I can't have it outside, I can move it in. So if that's something that's really close to your heart, you know, you may want to review all options before you decide to have it on your own property or a family or friends property,
Sharon Rumsey 26:25
all your option to sit down and make a list of everything you have to rent.
Kristina Stubblefield 26:29
Maybe you even need to start to think about your guest count, because if it's a huge guest count, there is a whole lot we are you mentioned parking, bathrooms, tables, tents, you could be talking about a whole lot of rental stuff.
Sharon Rumsey 26:43
Well, and a lot of times when people decide to do their wedding, on a private property, it's because that property is extremely pretty. When we think of those type properties, they're not usually downtown. Correct, they're usually more rural. So or they're out, logistically, you're looking at higher delivery fees. Because you're asking companies to come much farther than normal. You're also looking at if you forget something, and I'll you know, I'll throw myself under the bus. I shorted myself two tablecloths, the wedding that we did last weekend, and I was on site from, you know, starting Wednesday, so I realized what I had done, but it's not like I could just hop in the car and run to the rental company and grab these tablecloths because I was two hours away. So you know, then you're making those phone calls and facilitating getting what you need. So there's just a lot more thought process to it, than what I think some people understand when they think, Oh, this would be gorgeous. And you know what, they are gorgeous. You just have to know you have to make an informed decision of what you're getting into.
Kristina Stubblefield 27:56
I think this has been really enlightening. For those people who are considering or tossing the idea around. As you said, They're beautiful. Don't let weather necessarily dictate Oh, well, gosh, we've got to go up against Mother Nature. It's just something that you have to keep in the back of your mind. And like you all said, Plan B, maybe even a Plan C just really put the thought ahead of time, not the week of the wedding.
Michael Gaddie 28:25
Right, right. Because we don't want this to be a negative at all we want. We love doing outdoor weddings, but just playing snowboarding later. So so to what you have to do and what you have to look forward to.
Sharon Rumsey 28:37
Me as important as Plan A.
Michael Gaddie 28:40
That's the main thing right there.
Sharon Rumsey 28:41
Some people be like, Oh, well, this is my thought if it rains, but when that rain comes, they haven't really executed Plan B so they don't really know what's going to happen. And and people don't know what to do.
Kristina Stubblefield 28:54
Well, you need to definitely think about that ahead of time because you have any amount of guests that is so many tables and chairs and centerpieces and the list can go on and on. So I think this has been great. And I can't wait to see people that want to share your outdoor weddings. Or if you've got planning with your upcoming event that's going to be outside. We'd love to hear from you. Anything else you want to add? Nope. Okay. Well, thanks for tuning in. We can't wait to hear from you visit our website or catch us on social media. Until next time, see ya.
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