Blooming in Love: A Guide to Planning a Spring Outdoor Wedding in Virginia

By: Lillian Miller, Event Coordinator

Springtime is the perfect season to have your outdoor wedding. It will have its challenging moments, but in the end, it will be so all worth it and so inspiring. Springtime is for new beginnings, and it goes perfectly with all the plants blossoming with the weather warming up. There will be many moving parts and things to consider to ensure it goes smoothly. Begin your search by looking at places to get married in Suffolk, VA, that can accommodate indoor and outdoor weddings. This 5-step guide will help you plan the perfect outdoor wedding.

Finding the perfect Suffolk Outdoor Wedding Venue

When looking for places to get married in Suffolk, VA, ensure that the wedding venue has enough room to accommodate your anticipated event size. Before researching wedding venues in Suffolk, create a guest list so that you and your fiancé agree about who is invited. While you can anticipate that there will be a percentage of people, you invite that cannot make it. You will have a ballpark figure to provide to the wedding venues in Suffolk. Also, ask if your venue can accommodate more or fewer people just in case your guest list changes. At the Suffolk Conference Center, our flexible event space can accommodate events from 2-500 people.

One cool thing about outdoor venues is that you have a lot of space to move around. This gives you an advantage to really transform the space and make it exactly what you want.

  • Make sure to ask what the maximum amount of people you are allowed to have is so that they can accommodate your party.
  • Ask how much freedom you have with the space you have.

Outdoor Wedding Venues: Have a backup plan.

Having a plan B in case of weather is a big concern to think about. The weather is unpredictable, and you want to ensure that if it starts to storm before, during, or after, the show can still go on! Usually, this is the only undesirable part about outdoor wedding venues, but it can easily be moved around to accommodate the weather if prepared.

  • Rent a tent for the outdoor portion of your event. There are a variety of options at different price points. However, this will be something you will want to reserve early to ensure you can get the tent you need for the space. You’ll need to coordinate with the outdoor wedding venue on the setup/teardown of the tent. 
  • If the wedding venue in Suffolk that you are touring has the option to have the ceremony outdoors and the reception indoors, find out if there is a possibility to have the ceremony indoors if the weather is just too bad to be outdoors.

Decorating an Outdoor Wedding Venue

Planning your wedding or event at a Suffolk outdoor wedding venueallows you to make it your own space and transform it into exactly what you want. The event can be formal or informal, and both will work beautifully. Especially in the Spring, working with what is naturally around can save you lots of time and money. You can use flowers, trees, and the beautiful landscape to your advantage.

  •  If you want to have a formal event and rent a tent, look into options like drapery, lighting, and chandelier. This will transform the space to be almost unrecognizable. The options are almost endless with the right budget and vendors. You can even add flooring to the tent, which can make it easier to walk and set up tables and chairs.
  • Part of the beauty of an outdoor wedding venue is to be out in the open and embrace nature with beautiful flowers and decorations.
  • Incorporating natural textures for your outdoor wedding can be show-stopping, so take advantage of it being outdoors!
  • Use flowers to your advantage, for example, floral arches, canopies, and chandeliers.
  • Also, try incorporating fresh herbs or flowers in your food and drinks!

Create a Delightful Menu

 Figuring out what you want to serve can be fun, especially when you find a Suffolk outdoor wedding venue with a creative chef in the kitchen. Having a menu that is farm-to-table is delicious and trendy. Talk to the Chef about what is in season and what may be best to serve. You should consider a couple of things if you are serving food outside.

  • Butler-passed hors d’oeuvres provide a more formal flair and present better than a traditional station.
  • Provide a plated meal instead of a buffet or family-style meal.
  • Hosting the cocktail hour outdoors after the ceremony

Additional Considerations

You will want to consider a few details that can help when deciding if you will select a Suffolk outdoor wedding venue. Some of these options might not seem like a huge deal, but they can make all the difference on the big day!

  • Make sure there is easy bathroom access for guests. Have signage if guests may get lost or do not know where the restrooms are located. Especially if they are inside and the event is outside.
  • If electricity is needed, communicate with the wedding venue and vendors to ensure there are accessible outlets. Understanding that you need to rent a generator and being prepared in advance with your vendors will save you a lot of headaches later.
  • Think about the typical temperature on your wedding date. Then think about what backup plan you may need if the weather is the exact opposite. Talk to Suffolk outdoor wedding venues about options when it comes to cooling or warming the space. Are fans allowed to be set up? Or should you provide your guests with custom hand-held fans at their seats with a program? That can add as a party favor but also help keep guests cool during the event. 

Bonus Tip: Work with Experience Vendors

Working with vendors who have experience, especially at Suffolk outdoor wedding venues, can be extremely helpful. At the Suffolk Conference Center, we will provide recommendations for trusted vendors in the area with experience working at our venue.

When you start looking at places to get married in Suffolk, VA, consider the time of year. Virginia is known to have hot and humid summers. This leads to Spring and Fall as the popular seasons for outdoor wedding venues in Suffolk. The Suffolk Conference Center is attached to the Hilton Garden Inn and is the most popular wedding venue in Suffolk. The Suffolk Conference Center can host an outdoor wedding ceremony and cocktail hour on the veranda overlooking the Nansemond River. The flexible ballroom space can be available as an inclement weather backup location for the ceremony if needed. Contact our sales team today to schedule a tour. You’ll see why we are the ideal place to get married in Suffolk, VA.