Creating Your Perfect Outdoor Event

Don’t let the fear of weather hold you hostage.

In Missouri, the weather is notoriously unpredictable. Even the best event coordinator has been foiled by a freak wind or rainstorm, yet a well-done outdoor event will leave your guests with a serious wow factor. The key to a great outdoor event is to have a plan of attack for every detail. We’ve created the how-to of all how-tos to help with that.

Build Bottom Up

An outdoor event is an exciting opportunity to create your experience from scratch. Adding statement areas that are interactive provides natural entertainment and adds to the decor.

Create luxe lounges using small sofas and chairs that fit your theme. Elaborate photo booths have become an event staple. Get creative with mirrors, chalkboards, and custom frames that act as signage and guide guests through the experience.

Just Pitch It

To tent or not to tent, that is the question. For some, a tent may detract from the theme’s decor. For others, it may add to the entire experience. When in doubt, it’s smart to have the option for guests to take cover under a tent, especially if your event takes place during the day. If it’s a question of aesthetics, hanging florals and drapery or even chandeliers can transform any tent. Check out our Pinterest board for tent decor ideas!

Good Things Come in Small Packages

To ensure the quality of each of your food and beverage choices, understanding the weather conditions for the day of your event is critical. Missouri’s heat and humidity can easily result in melted displays or cause your delicious eats to spoil. A surplus of ice is key. Keeping beverages and displays cool will ensure each palate tastes the sensory experience it deserves.

Generally, outdoor events will have scattered seating areas or cocktail tables peppered throughout, so finger foods and passed apps are a must unless there is extensive seating available.

It’s Lit

Depending on the time of day, you may or may not need lighting. If your event is in the evening and lighting is necessary, consider the vibe you are trying to accomplish. Are you going for a woodland or boho look with hanging lanterns and twinkle light lit trees? Do you prefer an elegant ambiance with white pillar candles nestled inside sleek glass hurricanes or a contemporary feel with LED furniture or accents? Consider adding a fire pit for late-night s’ mores.

Money Talks

Of course, as with any event, the budget is king. Luckily, many expenses can be recouped or avoided altogether when planning an outdoor event. The decor is generally not as extensive as the beauty of the space takes center stage. However, when working in an outdoor space, there are important considerations that can cause major bottom-line busters if not accounted for. Are there restrooms and electricity on-site? Places for vendors to set up? AV for a band or an outdoor slideshow? Outdoor spaces offer more flexibility for grand entertainment like carnival rides, yard games, or sparkler fun, so once your budget is set, you can decide whether the expenses outweigh the challenges.

If you are interested in holding an outdoor event at Stephens College, get in touch with one of our coordinators today! Our team has created experiences from indoor/outdoor events to large corporate celebrations.

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