Wedding Venues

Open Air Wedding Venues

By Liz Barbato

Wedding Services You Must Have

You are getting married and dreaming of an open-air venue that offers beautiful views, lots of space, and flexibility! These types of venues range from historic farm-style properties to beach, mountain, and vineyard settings. The possibilities are endless!

Some open-air venues may provide your tables, chairs and offer guest accommodations. While others offer just your event space and you will be required to bring all the necessary equipment on-site.

Wedding planning at this type of venue is fun but there are additional services you will need to secure to successfully host a stress-free wedding.

Setup and Breakdown

If your venue doesn’t provide setup and breakdown service, you will need a set-up crew to place your tables and chairs according to your desired floor plan. Once complete, you must style those tables and place your décor items. Most couples choose to have friends and family members handle these tasks, but it’s important to remember that they are needed after the celebration to break all this down at the end of the evening. This is when you find yourself searching for help because many have left. It is important to look beyond your reception and return your venue to its original condition. Outsourcing this service is a time saver, and your family will thank you!

Tori Krekman Photography / Venue – San Pedro Chapel

Wedding Décor

Discovering your wedding style is undeniably one of the best phases of wedding planning. Pinning beautiful photos to your Pinterest boards and creating DIY projects can lead to fun and beautiful design elements. However, this may result in an abundance of wedding décor that takes over your home. What most couples do not consider is that every décor item = time. The more décor items you have to place the longer your setup will be. This will have an impact on the amount of time you leave yourself to return home and get ready. You may choose to edit some of your items and focus on those few that will have the biggest impact.

C. Payne Photography Venue – Historic Bates Mansion Rentals – Frenchy’s Rentals

Timing & Coordination

Wedding days are all about timing and coordination. It’s important to familiarize yourself with your venue’s guidelines. What is the earliest you can arrive for set up and how much time do you have for breakdown.

When setting up your event space, be sure to establish a firm “stop time”. That will allow enough time for you to return home and get ready for your event. The same rule applies to breakdown. Many venues allow 1-hour to collect your items, so you may need to break down earlier than expected.


You want to ask your catering team a few questions to ensure your night runs smoothly. The focus here is on service and clean-up. Does your caterer provide serving staff? This is important because they will portion your entrees to ensure everyone is served. If you’re providing a self-serve buffet, there is a risk that all entrees will not be available for those last few tables.

After dinner, will they clean and clear your tables? This is often overlooked and doesn’t provide the best guest experience. Many caterers will provide light clean up but this will still leave you with a fair amount at the end of your evening. Here again, outsourcing this service is key.

Atlas Catering


Many mobile bar services do not include alcohol. They will provide licensed bartenders, with paper goods, cups, and ice except for alcohol. You may be required to purchase that separately. Keep your bar simple by offering beer, wine, and one signature cocktail. Champagne walls are fun and trendy, but you will have to provide the champagne flutes yourself.

Draft Horse Mobile Events


Music is the life of your party! So keeping your entertainment crew happy and comfortable is important. Common requirements for both DJs and bands will include access to an electrical outlet and good lighting. You should confirm if you are providing any additional equipment such as tables, chairs, or linen.

Outdoor weddings will require you to provide tents and heaters for protection from the weather. Both need a free line of sight to see you and the dance floor to keep your evening moving!

Contract and Fees

It is important that you read and understand all contracts and fees associated with your vendors. Some additional fees can include overtime if your event runs long, and maintenance fees if your venue is left messy. Security deposits can be lost if vendors and venues incur damage to equipment and rentals. If your venue suffers property damage, this is where you may want to consider wedding insurance – just in case!

Final Walk Thru

A final walk-through is a good idea before you leave your venue for the evening. Take one last look around to ensure you have not forgotten something and the venue is left clean. This will ensure a happy conclusion to your evening. You will need to assign this task to a family member or friend if the couple has left early.

Something Blue Photography / Venue – Stillwell House

Tips from a Planner

Selecting your venue is the cornerstone of your wedding style and will set the direction of your planning. Before making your final selection, think about how much time you want to invest on your wedding day.

If you’re planning on a budget, and want minimal involvement on your day, you should hire a wedding planner. Planners will help you outsource and contract with appropriate vendors. Lastly, adjusting your guest count to accommodate these costs will provide room for these services.

If you are interested in learning more about venues and what they provide – download my free Wedding Venue Guide here.

Liz Barbato


Hey there! I’m Liz Barbato, the proud owner of Confetti Event Planning, and I’ll be your lead event coordinator. At Confetti Event Planning, we’re more than just event organizers - we’re expert communicators, creative planners, and passionate memory-makers.