Indoor or Outdoor Wedding – Which Is Best?

The location of your wedding and reception is of huge importance.

Tip #1: Book the location far in advance...in some areas, a year or two.

Tip #2: If you are having a church wedding ceremony, schedule that first. The reception will have to revolve around the availability of the church. Don’t wait!

Which is better, an indoor wedding or an outdoor wedding? Interesting stories ahead...

This is a good question without a really good answer. They are both good! With an indoor wedding, the weather is not a factor. Temperature and the lighting of the room are controlled. With an outdoor wedding the weather can be a factor.

I’ve worked many outdoor ceremonies and receptions. When I would meet with a couple who were having an outdoor wedding, the first thing I would say to them was that no matter what the weather is (which you have no control over) decide right now that you will have a great time no matter what.

On this blog I will focus more on outdoor weddings. I’ve had a lot of fantastic parties outdoors. Some were sunny and 75 degrees while others were in monsoon rain. Being the caring person I am, I would start checking the weather forecast 2 weeks in advance. Of course, we were all praying for that picture perfect day.

These are my requirements for an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception.

First and most important, I have to be in an area that is totally dry. My beautiful electronic equipment must be totally dry. First splash of water on my gear and the party is over! Electricity and water don’t mix...very dangerous. With precautions taken, that would never happen. Most of the time, I was provided with some sort of a stage where the equipment would be up off the ground. The large rental tents have an option of side flaps. Whether used or not they need to be there just in case. The other main requirement was proper power for my equipment. I needed one 20 amp circuit just for me...no air conditioners, coffee pots, dish washers or anything else. No dimmer switches can be on that circuit. (I’ll talk about technical requirements in another blog.) A live band or a DJ set-up with large bass producing subwoofers might require several 20 amp circuits.

I could talk about the many beautiful weather outdoor weddings I’ve performed at, but it will be more fun for you to read about two of the worst weather wedding events... both great parties.

Wedding #1 – 40 miles north of Albany, New York, under a large test on a hillside

Forecast: Possibility of Severe Thunderstorms

The mid-afternoon party started under grey skies. Looking south towards Albany you could see the big storms moving through. It turns out that there were several tornados from these storms. Sure enough the rain arrived as promised. During thunderstorms, to protect everyone, I needed to unplug until the lightning stopped. Fortunately, I had a battery powered system where I could provide music during dinner. Good timing! The 175 guests came to party! After the lightning stopped, I plugged in my main system. It was like a monsoon out...very heavy rain with wind. I was the only person there that was dry! I was on a stage and the water was flowing down from the hillside all around my area. I was able to dangle all the electric wires so they remained dry and safe. It was raining so hard, the guests couldn’t leave if they wanted to. They danced on the tables and they danced in the puddles. The Bride and Groom had a fantastic time, booked me for a couple of extra hours and will have a one of a kind story to tell.

Wedding # 2 – two huge tents in the backyard of a big farmhouse with 300 guests.

Forecast: Heavy Rain

The cocktail hour and dinner were exceptional. Party time brought the rain which was a downpour for the next six hours. I had my own tent with sides and a platform so I was good. The guests were the usual mixture of ages of family and friends. The bride and groom also invited a lot of friends from their college fraternity and sorority. This was my longest wedding ever...9 hours. Eventually, it was like a fraternity party. Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” had just come out and the place went nuts! The owners of the farm just had new sod put in their backyard so the roots didn’t have much time to dig in. My mini-van got stuck after I loaded my equipment. I thought I would have to spend the night and then call a tow truck. The bridal party and college buddies, who might have had one or two drinks in them, insisted on helping me. While I was packing up they were all swimming in their lake so they were out of their fancy outfits. They pushed me out and in the process were covered with mud. Back in the lake everyone, no problem.

Once again, people will remember this wedding for years to come!

I performed for weddings for 30 years and I have a lot of great stories and valuable information. Of course, I would like everyone to at least consider my original music for their wedding.

I hope this helps. Good luck and have fun!

R.J.

Purchase wedding ceremony music HERE!