Should you have a Outdoor or Indoor Wedding

Are you wondering if it’s better to have a wedding indoors versus having your wedding outdoors? Here in Portland, Oregon, weddings can be done in many different locations. I’m going to list the pros and cons when planning an indoor or outdoor wedding and what you should consider when deciding between the two.

bride and groom first dance

1. Covid-19 Wedding Space

Right now, we are going through a pandemic, and it can be a very challenging time to try planning a wedding with covid-19 to worry about. There are many different factors that come into play when choosing the right space that will allow for social distancing. With so many uncertainties, you need to be prepared for anything that can come up on your wedding day.

This is why it’s good to choose a location that can fit your wants and needs as well as any laws and guidelines that might be in place. We’re definitely in a time of uncertainty and many factors will change in the coming year. So it’s a good idea to consider some of the things that can dramatically affect the outcome of your wedding day.

Even before covid-19, larger weddings could benefit from an event space that does not have space constraints and allows the setup to move properly from one location to the next. This means that for weddings in 2020 and 2021, an outdoor space might be the way to go.

2. Guest list

One of the biggest factors when choosing an indoor versus outdoor location might be the number of guests that you have attending. You’ll want to check with the venue and see what their capacity is and look at examples of set ups in the space for your number of desired guests. You might find the capacity is too cramped for what you envision for your special day.

This is why many people choose to have their wedding outdoors or at a different location because it will accommodate a larger guest list. The average guest list in the Portland area is between 75 and 250 people. The total number will dramatically affect the overall cost of your wedding.

As the master of ceremony, it is the DJ’s job to communicate information between the day-of coordinator and planner to the rest of your guests. Here in Portland I find most of our couples would like a person who has a strong MC style and interjects as needed, but not an entertainer who is trying to be the star of the show.

We like all the guests to be informed of everything that is happening so they can be ready for upcoming events and they know when things are about to happen before they actually happen. I feel having a confident MC is a lot more important to the flow of the wedding than actually playing the music. I think this is one part of our job that is overlooked but is very important to a successful event.

3. Weather versus small space

When it comes to deciding if you would like to have your wedding at a venue that offers an outdoor location or an indoor location, one of the major concerns is weather. Usually when you’re having a summer wedding, the last thing you think about is rain on your wedding day. However, it’s a good idea to choose a venue or a location that has a secondary option when it comes to planning for rain and all kinds of weather.

One of the most expensive things that you might need for your wedding is a tent. And the cost will largely depend on the size of the wedding party that you have. Of course, a tent isn’t just for rain. Even on a bright sunny day, you’ll need to worry about combating the heat and direct sunlight with a good amount of shade. One of the only ways to guarantee adequate shade is with a tent.

On the flip side, the benefit to having the wedding outdoors is the abundance of space. Here in the Portland and Salem areas, many venues have an unlimited amount of space. Some of the best places to get married are down in wine country at the luxurious wineries.

Usually the ceremony will be situated in one location, with the cocktail hour in a different area, along with the dance party. Having a large space to work with dramatically helps with social distancing and making sure that all your guests do not feel overwhelmed and cramped.

Another factor at outdoor weddings that many people forget to think about is the wind. This is especially the case at locations along the coast or in the Columbia River Gorge. This can dramatically affect how well the speeches will be heard. It even impacts the centerpieces that you order for decorations. You don’t want decorations that can be dramatically affected by the speed of the wind. I don’t know how many times I’ve been to a wedding and by the time the guests get to the ceremony the event team is running around trying to reset stuff that the wind knocked over.

Another thing to look out for is DJ mix songs. Typically, at a wedding or similar event, guests want to hear the original versions of classic songs they are familiar with, not some new version of the song.

Also, most DJs will have a play if possible, an I must play, and a do not play list. Make sure you communicate what type of music you would like your DJ to play and what type of music you would like him to stay away from. When it comes to different genres and styles of music the more communication that you have with your DJ the better off your overall experience will be.

You probably don’t want to pick out all the music that the DJ is going to play. You want to give them some flexibility and freedom. They are the professionals after all. But make sure to give enough input so they know what kind of direction you want during different parts of the evening. You’ll be picking out most of songs for the reception and the ceremony and a portion of the dance party. But trust your DJ to fill in the rest of the songs and take requests from guests to make sure that your event is successful.

4.  Event Lighting

When it comes to planning your wedding and your event space, one of the first things you should consider is lighting. At DJ Cutt Entertainment, we offer uplighting, spot lighting, and monogram lights. Elegant lighting packages can have a dramatic effect on the overall look and design of your room. Uplights are a simple way to add a great deal of atmosphere to any venue. This is why they are often called wedding lights.

Here are some examples of how lighting can dramatically change the look of your room.

5. Wedding design opportunities

When it comes to planning a wedding indoors, these events are usually considered more luxurious. This means you’ll need to spend more on the interior decoration and design of your event space. This can be done with flowers and candles among other options.

When it comes to the Portland area, Poppies and Paisley Floral is the company I recommend for indoor decor. Think of the inside of a building or hotel like a blank slate. You can do anything you want with it, but it might take a larger budget to achieve what you have in mind.

When your wedding is at an outdoor location, you’re mostly relying on the scenery in the background to do most of the heavy lifting for the decor and overall atmosphere. But you might need to spend more money on proper lighting along with a tent rental.

One of the best places to find DJs is through your venue. Your venue should have a preferred or recommended list that they like to use. Other places to find good DJs are through The Knot and Wedding Wire. These are great resources for finding vetted vendors who are known to be reliable.

Once you’ve narrowed your DJ search down to a couple of companies, it is then time to set up a consultation meeting to get a feel for their personality. Before making that first phone call you will want to go online and read some of their past reviews so you can get a better idea of the company that you’re about to hire. You can also ask for testimonials from past weddings so you can get a good idea of their reputation in the wedding industry.

6. Outdoor wedding elements

Depending on the time of year and where you’re located you need to think about insects. While this may seem like a very minor detail, a bee sting in the middle of a wedding can lead to a serious problem that interrupts the flow of your wedding. Outdoor catering is a big attraction for bees and all kinds of critters. It’s not a make-or-break consideration, but it’s something that you really need to plan for when doing your research.

Especially in Oregon, when the sun goes down it can get cold pretty quickly, especially in spring and autumn. Depending on the time of year, you might consider getting some outdoor space heaters. Around Portland, the second weekend of September is when it really starts to get cold once the sun sets.

One of the best parts of having your wedding outdoors is the ability to play lawn games such as croquet and corn hole. This is a great form of entertainment while cocktail hour is going on. Once dinner and the special dances are done, most people will take part in a dance party or continue socializing and drinking while playing lawn games. This will tend to keep guests at your wedding for a longer amount of time

outdoor wedding empty seats

7. Power

Many times when you have an outdoor wedding, you’re creating an event space in a place that isn’t built to host such a venture. When we do our site walk through, we like to make sure that power is in a relevant location where we can plug in. But many times the DJs, photographers, videographer, catering company, and photobooth operator all might need to plug into power.

This is one thing that you’ll need to make sure the venue takes care of, or find out if you need to rent generators or power supply.

8. In conclusion

We all know that it is impossible to guess the weather a year in advance. When choosing your wedding venue, consider picking a place that has both options available, so that way when you’re getting closer to making your final wedding decisions you can decide if you’re going to use the indoor part of the venue or bring in a tent and use the outdoor location for your wedding.

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Alex Ramey Owner

All About DJ Cutt Entertainment

We are a full-service entertainment company in Portland that provides its clients with top-quality service and leaves them feeling like they made the right decision in choosing us. With our wide range of services, we strive to meet your needs and exceed your expectations. We have extensive experience in DJing, videography, and live streaming, as well as other aspects of live events such as lighting design, sound engineering, and more!

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