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As a seasoned DJ of nearly three decades, I’ve experienced ALL kinds of weddings and special events. Many brides and grooms think that planning a wedding under a tent in their backyard is easier and more affordable. I am here to explain all of the factors to consider before you plan your outdoor wedding… and this goes beyond the basics of just hoping and praying for decent weather.

First, let’s start there. Especially in the state of Michigan, the weather is the most unpredictable element that you will encounter. If you plan a wedding in May, you risk a cold, damp day… If you plan for June or July, you run the risk of sweltering heat… Plan too late in the season, and the humidity or mild temps can ruin your day.

1arborgazeboAlways have a plan B ready. If your ceremony is planned for outdoors and under the sun, be wary of available shade for your elderly guests. If it rains, be ready to quickly move the event under the tent or inside. Be ready for anything… Michigan weather is always very unpredictable.

Second, what about access to the backyard for vendors, the elderly and your physically challenged guests? Please consider the accessibility for those that you hire and for those that are disabled. Be sure there is a pathway, free of too many obstacles.

Third, be sure to hire a caterer that will bring more than enough food. One of the most embarrassing moments of a backyard event is running out of baked chicken or mostaccioli. I suggest that in the event the weather is really hot and muggy, be sure to have “lighter” fare available… Salads, fruit, veggies, etc… not to mention plenty of bottled water.

Fourth, who’s tending bar? Make sure that you hire a competent bartender to serve your guests. If you’re just having a friend of the family help out, please make sure that he or she is committed to acting as the bartender and not one of your drunken guests, for the entire evening.

Finally, and you’d be surprised how often I see this, make sure that you have enough trash receptacles for cups, dishes and plastic-ware for proper disposal. Assign one of your “helpers” to assist with trash duty. Make sure they are emptying the garbage often to lower the chances of flies and bees ruining your guest’s meal.

So before you decide to “save money” on a backyard wedding, be sure that you consider ALL the factors so you’ll have time to actually enjoy your BIG DAY!

Happy planning!

About the author

Chris is a seasoned and talented DJ and Marketing Professional. Since 1987, Chris has been using his emcee skills and keen ability to read a crowd, while entertaining at weddings, special events, corporate parties, fund-raisers and more. Formerly MC's Entertainment and MC's Professional DJ Services, Foster chose to change the name to Momentum Entertainment in 2011 to better relate to today's modern bride. Choose Momentum for your next BIG event!

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