Outdoor wedding receptions are a wonderful way to bring nature into your special day, but seating can be a stressful task. Outdoor receptions can be designed to fit any style of wedding and level of formality, from an easy going backyard barbecue to a black tie ball under a starry night sky. The happy couple must take special care to ensure that their guests are comfortable during an outdoor reception, however, as heat, wind and bugs can all pose a challenge. Before you tackle any of these issues, you must first decide on a comfortable seating plan for your guests that also fits the style of the occasion. Consider these seating ideas for an outdoor wedding reception to get the ball rolling.
Who says wedding receptions have to be fancy, black tie affairs? If you're hosting a very casual backyard wedding reception, then picnic tables could be a nice seating solution for your guests. While the picnic tables will create a nice family atmosphere at your reception, they may be tough for older guests to navigate, so it's important to keep some traditional chairs on hand for less agile guests. Picnic tables could also enhance the ambiance of both rustic and country themed wedding receptions as well.
Traditional Tables and Chairs
If your wedding reception is going to be a more formal affair, then you may want to consider the traditional tables found at most indoor wedding receptions. These tables -- typically round or rectangular -- come in various sizes and can accommodate various numbers of guests. Just because your reception is outdoors doesn't mean that it can't have the formality you've always dreamed of. Cover the tables in crisp white tablecloths and drape the chairs in rich fabrics that coordinate with your wedding reception color palette. Another option is to drape the chairs in flowers -- not only will it create a sweet fragrance but it will also tie your reception into the surrounding natural beauty.
For something a little outside the box, consider foregoing traditional wedding seating in favor of an outdoor lounge. This modern wedding reception idea features couches, chairs and ottomans in lieu of traditional tables and can be adapted to fit a variety of wedding reception styles. For example, natural wood furniture can be positioned around various fire pits to create a homey and rustic feeling. On the other hand, crisp white couches with clean lines and bright throw pillows can create the feeling of a hip, downtown lounge. If you choose to go with this reception idea, you'll have to adapt your dinner plans to fit the decor. After all, you can't eat a seven course meal while perched on an ottoman. If you have your heart set on a traditional sit down dinner, however, one option is to use lounge seating during a short cocktail hour and then move on to more traditional seating for the main reception. Keep in mind that the additional food, drinks and furniture rentals will add a great deal to your final budget.
However you choose to lay out your seating plan, keep these tips in mind as you settle on the details of your big day.