Outdoor Events – Barn Weddings, Tent Weddings, Backyard Bar Mitzvah’s and the things you want to consider.
Having your event outdoors can be a very special experience. It can add a whimsical fairytale atmosphere. You can tie in your love of the outdoors, the romance of dancing under the stars or just being out with nature for the perfect day. It can also be hot, rainy, bitter cold and utterly annoying with buzzing and biting little insects. BUT there are things you can do to keep the magic alive and avoid the pitfalls of being outdoors.
At Todd Moffre Entertainment we do most, if not all, of our events in the Northeastern part of the country. Mainly, Upstate New York. We also travel around New England and have been the DJ at weddings and Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs south near New York City, in Massachusetts as well as Vermont. I have also had the privilege to travel and attend or be part of events scattered around the country. I have noticed there is one thing that they all have in common, weather is unpredictable and answers to no one. Oh, and don’t forget about the bugs!
If you are planning an outdoor event, no matter what it is, here are some things to consider.
In the northeast, we have all 4 seasons. Some last longer than others. There are better times of the year to plan your barn wedding or back yard tent bar mitzvah. In the northeast, winter is usually off the table for an outdoor event but not so much in Southern California. Likewise having a tent wedding during the summer in Arizona might be a bad idea but it could be a beautiful party in Vermont. So how do you pick the right venue and the right time for your outdoor or barn event?
The time of year. This is probably your most important factor. In the northeast November-March are risky for outdoor events and chances are will be cold and windy with precipitation. April, well, ever heard of April showers? In your area you have those few months where the weather “usually” cooperates. For my area it is mid-May into mid-June and mid-September into mid-October. For the most part, the days can be bright and sunny but not sweltering hot. The evenings, cool but not cold. These times just happen to be the most popular for outdoor events. So when looking for a wedding DJ during this time, it is safe to say, start looking a year or more in advance. The more popular party DJs can book events up to TWO years in advance. Late June through mid-September are our warmer to hot months. There are chances of a rain shower or even a thunder storm. It is a roll of the dice to plan outdoor events during this time. Oh, did I mention the bugs?
There are some things you can do, if you have your heart set on an outdoor event, tent or barn party. I strongly recommend you consider these suggestions and see if they can fit into your plans.
The number one thing that will affect the mood and outcome for the success of your event is the COMFORT of your guests. This is a DJ Todd Moffre true experience for both barn and tent experiences. Picture this, it is a 90-degree day, the sun is pounding down and there is no breeze. Your guests are sitting outside during the wedding ceremony for 30-60 minutes (or longer). The ladies have nice dresses on but the guys are in suit and ties. After the ceremony, already drained from the sun, the bar opens and people start drinking under the tent or in the barn. The heat is still a factor but at least they are shaded from the direct sun. Your older guests, at this point have already reserved themselves to just sit and hope for some relief. The younger guests are happy just hanging out getting their “drink” on. The reception goes on as it should, introductions, beautiful first dance, great toasts. People eat and drink, talk and laugh. It is still 90 degrees out. Maybe 85 under cover with no breeze to relieve the heat. Now dancing starts. However, very few people get up to dance. Can you blame them? It is a 90-degree day and this will just make things hotter.
That same story can also be told on the other side of the calendar if the temperatures fall below the mercury. Lastly, I might have mentioned, bugs. When the temps do begin to fall, it does not matter where you are. You are still hot with your energy drained from the heat. When the temperature does cool down, you have a new thing to consider. Those little buzzing and biting pests.
So what can you do? Well, plan and budget for a heater or air-conditioned that can handle the size of your barn or tent. One of the best tent weddings I experienced was where the couple had a heater for the tent. It was mid-October and turned out to be cold with a drizzle of rain. The outside temp was in the 40’s but under the tent it was comfortable 75 degrees. That wedding was a smashing success because the couple knew there would be a chance for cooler temperatures and made the proper arrangements to keep their guests comfortable. If you need to consider bugs, supply some spray, place bug repellant torches or candles around. Repellant wipes are great. If you are having real flower arrangements, there are even bug repellant plants you might have added to your center pieces.
Think about all of the planning you do for this day. All the time and effort you put into this event. Think about the money you are spending. Then think about how the weather will affect your day and if you want all your time, efforts and happy thoughts to be affected by something that is out of your control BUT something you could have planned for to make the day perfect!
Some other things you can do for your guest’s comfort.
* Provide Warm or cold drinks prior to outdoor ceremonies.
* Try to shade the ceremony area under a tent with open sides.
* Umbrellas or Parasols to keep guests shaded.
* Hand fans.
* Pocket warmers on those chilly days.
* Insect repellant wipes or sprays.
* NEVER run out of ice.
* Have a SAFE area outside of the tent or barn for a small “warming fire”.
* Tent sized heaters or AC units (Just make sure you have enough power).
* Have a REALISTIC backup plan!!!
Everyone wants their day to be perfect and I agree it should but there are some things that out of our control. However, if you plan and budget for a few possibilities, it will save you a lot of disappointment and allow you, your guests and everyone involved to have the best time EVER!