How to Plan an Outdoor Wedding in Chicago

couple at outdoor wedding in chicago

Ready to plan an outdoor wedding in the Windy City? The list for planning an outdoor wedding may be long, but it’s an effort worth undertaking. An outdoor wedding on a beautiful Chicago day is a wonderful experience for everyone, and a wonderful opportunity for couples who love the outdoors or a particular Chicago wedding.

Where to Start Planning an Outdoor Wedding in Chicago

The first step of planning an outdoor wedding in Chicago is to set key wedding planning details: the location, date, and budget.

Choosing an Outdoor Chicago Wedding Venue

There are so many Chicago wedding venues with beautiful sites for outdoor weddings. Of course, many couples choose a more personal venue, such as their backyard or a family member’s outdoor space.

If couples don’t have a special site, they can narrow their options by looking through this list of outdoor Chicago wedding venues. Couples can also ask friends and family for special sites they recommend. When searching for and touring venues, couples should ask about whether tents are allowed (if desired), if there is parking available, and venue costs (and what is included in the venue cost, such as equipment, staffing, and services).

How to Set a Wedding Date

Choosing the right wedding date is different for every couple. Some couples have a special date in mind, while others still need to set the date for their special day. For the latter, there are several ways to choose a wedding date. Couples can narrow down their availability based on their professional or personal schedule, or choose a date that is a special milestone in their relationship (i.e. first date, engagement date, etc.) For sentimental couples, the right date is a family member’s anniversary or birthday. Another way to choose the right wedding date is to choose a season or date that is special to a couple, such as a birthday or holiday.   

If there is a bit of leeway in the date, couples can also choose a wedding date by contacting a Chicago wedding venue or favorite vendor and asking for available dates during a season or month. For couples with a set wedding date, they can narrow down their wedding venue list by choosing a site with an opening on their set wedding date.

Tips for Setting a Wedding Budget

A wedding budget is an integral part of wedding planning because it ensures that funds are allocated for the most important details: venue, food, and entertainment. The process starts with a discussion between a couple, and with friends and family who have expressed previous interest in helping out with the wedding. There are several wedding planning apps and wedding budget checklists that can help couples set a budget and stick to it.

What to Rent for an Outdoor Wedding

The exact list of supplies and equipment varies for every outdoor Chicago wedding, but becomes clearer as couples start to confirm wedding day details and schedule. Typically, the schedule starts with a ceremony, and is followed by a cocktail hour, dinner, and dance.

At the very least, couples should rent a tent to keep guests comfortable and out of the sun and bad weather. There are many other items that should be rented (i.e. lighting, tables, chairs, etc.) depending on the venue and schedule. Couples can start planning by using an Outdoor Wedding Equipment Checklist.

How to Plan an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

An outdoor wedding ceremony can be beautiful and simple, or elegant and sophisticated. Every wedding ceremony is different, but the steps to get there are very similar.

Outdoor Wedding Tent Decoration Ideas

There are many different ways to decorate a wedding tent. From natural to neutral to festive, the sky is the limit for wedding tent décor ideas. Read on to brainstorm tent decoration ideas, and find inspiration that fits with the wedding day style.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas

If the wedding schedule concludes under the stars, or starts in the late afternoon or evening, lighting is an essential item on the Outdoor Wedding Equipment List. Fortunately, there are a variety of outdoor wedding lighting ideas that fit with almost any style.

How to Keep Guests Comfortable

Chicago weather can be unpredictable. It can be incredibly hot, cold, or rainy, no matter what the season. Fortunately, there are ways to keep guests cool or warm (depending on the season) and out of the rain and sun. 

Cool at an Outdoor Wedding

Guests Cozy at an Outdoor Wedding

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