We may sound like a broken record in our newsletters but we cannot recommend enough hiring a professional wedding planner, especially with something like an outdoor wedding.
Unpredictable St. Louis Weather
Renting a tent with sides that can be quickly deployed is a must. DO NOT rely on pop-up canopies from the local store! Those are not safe in even moderate winds. They also are not very tall and can feel claustrophobic with a lot of people in them. A professional tent will be installed safely and provide plenty of room for your guests. Don't forget to give the caterers someplace protected to prepare the meals!
Not only will a tent protect your guests from the rain it will also shade them from the sun. Tents can even be heated or air conditioned if needed!
A nice touch is to provide plastic heel covers, hand fans, and bug spray for your guests to keep them comfortable.
Choosing the Right Food and Decor
It is easier for your caterer to provide grilled food at an outdoor reception, plus the smell of the grill will add to the ambiance!
Flowers should be hardy enough to take the St. Louis heat. Work with your florist to choose flowers that won't wilt quickly. Orchids and potted plants are ideal.
The decor should be heavy enough to not blow away in the wind. Napkins, menus, and place cards should be secured with tape or a weight to keep them in place. Anything hanging should be heavy enough to not blow around and be secure enough to not get knocked down by the wind.
Keeping the Neighbors Happy
Parking will be problematic. Contact City Hall about parking regulations so you know exactly where you can and cannot park cars. One solution is to hire a valet company. This will ensure cars are parked legally and your guests will not have to walk very far in an unfamiliar neighborhood. A second option is to work with a local business to use their lot and hire a shuttle limo bus to bring guests to the house.
Noise will be a concern for your neighbors. Work with your entertainment vendor to make sure it doesn't get too loud outside of the property. The layout of the wedding and the direction the speakers face makes a big difference in how far the sound travels. A professional sound company or DJ will be able to help you figure out the best layout. They will also have a sound level meter with them to ensure they stay within city and homeowner's association regulations on noise.