Planning an outdoor event
Outdoor events can take many different forms. You can have a formal wedding under a marque, a child’s birthday party or a relaxed barbeque with friends.
Whatever kind of event you are planning, getting the right elements together to ensure the day runs smoothly is key.
So how do you even start to plan for an event outdoors?
Holding a party or gathering outdoors immediately poses problems as you have no control over the weather. You also have to think about space. Where will you seat diners? Will there be a designated play area? What about shelter should it rain or prove to be too sunny?
It’s tricky right? However, with a little forward thinking, you can ensure that any pitfalls have been eliminated.
Here’s how we suggest you go about organising your outdoor event.
The Practical Stuff
First of all, think about the flow of the day. Go from start to finish in your mind and imagine how you want the day to look. Then fill in all the practical details around that image.
So, if you are planning a wedding outdoors and the bride is walking down a path, what do you want that path to look like? Will you have a marque outside or simply cordon off a special area? How will the tables look? Simple or elaborately decorated?
Kids parties do not need to be so structured but you might want to plan the day and include some form of entertainment or game-playing.
A barbeque with your friends is going to be the most casual affair out of all the events mentioned, but there are still factors you need to take into account.
Do any of your guests have dietary requirements and how you are going to set up the eating space? Is it a sit-down occasion or a stand-up with plates? A stand-up lends itself to paper plates and no cutlery, whilst a sit-down affair is likely to be more civilised.
As you mentally walk through the day, make notes of the things you need, at the different times, until you have a complete list of your requirements.
Now that you have done your list, you can concentrate on your budget and highlight the items that you cannot scrimp on. If you are having difficulties thinking what these may be then here’s a few examples:
- Your guests are not going to recall the wonderful gilt edging on the serving plates, but they will notice that nasty draught coming through a cheaply constructed marque.
- They may not appreciate the crystal glasses you’ve provided, but if the seats are uncomfortable that will wreck their experience.
- At a barbeque, you might well be cooking the finest meats but if you provide your guests with plastic cutlery they won’t be able to eat it.
So look at areas where you could possibly save a few pounds but crucially, where you need to spend it.
Focus on the important
Finally, decide what your event is all about. This may seem obvious, if you are having a wedding then that is the main priority, but do you want to focus on the food, the party atmosphere, or the entertainment?
A well-organised wedding might have great seating, a sturdy marque and you may want to consider beautiful embellishments.
For a barbeque the important factor will always be the food but perhaps it’s good to also look at the way you will be presenting it.
A children’s party will probably include lots of fun elements such as games, party hats and treats and prizes to give away.
And remember that the weather will not know you have an important event planned, so always have a contingency plan as back-up in case it rains.