12 Aug Perfect Outdoor Wedding Lounge Criteria
You are horrified by the Covid-19 ramifications and restrictions and accordingly may not be able to quite
have the wedding you had originally planned for this summer, and opting instead for a small and
intimate gathering. Small and intimate does NOT mean it needs to be any less of a celebration. In fact,
your reduced guest list will allow you much more opportunity to spend at least some time with all of
your guests which in turn, makes for a much more personal and relaxed experience for everyone! But
there are plenty of ways to make an intimate wedding just as beautiful and even more enjoyable and
great things are done by a series of small things brought together. The following are top styling tips
pulled together to help you create the perfect outdoor wedding lounge – working with the space you
have and combining practicality with style and these are:
- CURRENT GUIDELINES
Let’s get the boring but essential one out of the way first! Likewise:
Arrange your lounge seating with plenty of space in between chairs so that guests from
different households can safely gather together within the current social distancing
But without feeling that they are being kept apart.
You can also place small bottles of hand sanitizer and face masks in attractive baskets on
side tables for your guests to use as needed.
If you are reading this post-COVID and restrictions have now been lifted, (YAY!), all the
below tips are just as relevant for weddings without restrictions!
- ROOM FOR EVERYONE
Provide plenty of seating likewise:
It’s all about getting creative and making the most of your setting to provide a beautiful,
inviting space for your guests to relax and celebrate in style.
Start with a couple of main clusters of sofas and armchairs and boost your seating
provision by adding stools, floor cushions, beanbags and pouffes.
Some guests will settle in one place for the evening and take up residence on a
comfortable sofa, whilst others will move around between groups.
These smaller seats allow those meandering guests to perch comfortably when they
stop to chat.
- GET COMFY
If you are thinking of hosting a small wedding reception in your garden or perhaps a small
marquee, get comfy likewise:
Creating indoor/outdoor lounge areas are the perfect way to encourage your guests to
gather comfortably and relax after your wedding breakfast.
Add plenty of cushions to your sofas and armchairs in a palette that complements your
wedding colors and/or the colors of the garden.
Not only will these provide additional comfort, but they are a subtle and effective way
to keep the design concept consistent and add a touch more color to the space.
A chance to continue the celebration whilst re-connecting or meeting new friends.
- ADD SIDE TABLES
Ample seating is crucial, but don’t forget about tables! For:
Your guests are likely to be enjoying a drink or two as they relax in the beautiful setting
you have created.
But trying to balance champagne flutes on an uneven lawn could lead to a lot of wasted
champagne – something that doesn’t bear thinking about!
You can place small side tables between seats and larger coffee tables in front of sofas
so that your guests have plenty of room to put their glasses down.
These also give you further scope to introduce some more design details such as florals,
candle lanterns and tealights.
- HELP YOURSELF!
And on the subject of drinking…Guests can help themselves or be served – whatever fits the
vibe you are going for! likewise:
Where there’s alcohol, there should also be water! Particularly if it’s hot.
But there’s no need for hydration to be boring! Keep your guests refreshed with a
display of self-serve infused waters.
There’s nothing quite like a refreshing summer cocktail to sip on when relaxing in the
sunshine, so why not introduce a cocktail bar, or place drinks trolleys amongst the
seating to serve your signature cocktails from!
Large drinks dispensers not only hold plenty of water, but they look beautifully inviting
when filled with a variety of different colored fruits and herbs.
- COMPLEMENT YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Work with the space you have. Just as you would at an indoor venue, try to complement the
natural features of the space so there is a feeling of continuity in your design likewise:
If the garden is full of pastel-colored flowers in shades of blush and white, for example,
introducing a strong palette of reds and yellows would be overwhelming to the eye and
detract from the relaxing atmosphere you are trying to create.
If the natural colors of the space are bold, don’t fight them! Keep your own palette
neutral to allow the natural colors of the space to do the talking!
Look for areas within the space that you can use as natural backdrops for your set ups,
such as old brick walls, flowering hedges, gates and doorways. Leave as they are or
enhance these by introducing floral or lighting displays.
Consider setting up an area especially for photographs, perhaps with a selfie pod to
encourage your guests to add some fun and frivolity to your wedding album.
‘Room with a view’ – face your set ups towards the best views – ponds, lakes, rolling
countryside, etc., for this not only provides your guests with a beautiful outlook, but
helps focus their attention away from other less inviting vistas.
Create screening with room dividers and props with floral displays, for these can be
used to hide unsightly features as well as create a subtle barrier to areas you’d like to
keep free of guests!
- LOOK FOR SHADE
If it’s hot, your guests will be grateful for some shade accordingly:
Try to place plenty of seating in the shade of large trees or if there is a lack of natural
shade, set up a few attractive garden umbrellas.
On a slightly larger scale, canvas gazebos or stretch tents still have the outside feel with
open sides, but protect your guests from the sun (and rain!).
With this in mind, you can hand over the wedding to a wedding planner who is also
curator of gorgeous furniture and props for hire to give you him/her top tips for creating
a beautiful outdoor wedding lounge.
You can take his/her notes from the collection of what he/she says on how to create the
perfect outdoor wedding lounge in shade.
- FIND YOUR STYLE
The options are endless so be imaginative and be sure to inject plenty of your own personality
and style likewise:
If you have a relatively blank canvas with few obvious natural features, you can get
really creative and have some fun with your styling.
You can literally create a setting in any style you like– be it English country garden with
lashings of floral blooms.
Tropical luxe with a Mediterranean feel and an abundance of plants and bamboo
Or go completely country with hay bales, blankets and horse troughs filled with bottles
Repurpose your florals likewise:
If you have had beautiful floral displays at your ceremony or wedding breakfast,
consider moving them out to your lounge setting when the meal is over.
This will not only make the most of them but will help to ensure the space feels like a
wedding and not just a normal garden party.
Reposition your table center florals on to side tables or display plinths
And pluck individual flowers from the larger, less mobile displays and repurpose into
bud vases to cluster on your coffee tables.
- GRAZING DESSERTS
If you have a more formal sit-down meal, then:
Why not consider serving your cake outside,
Or provide trays of sweet treats on side tables for your guests to graze at.
Keep in mind however that if it’s warm, your cake should be kept in the cool until you
want to serve it.
If you want it on display, place in a shady spot and avoid soft icings and cream unless
you want your cake to sit in a puddle of its own icing!
If your reception will go on into the evening, don’t forget about the lighting! Likewise:
String festoon or fairy lights between trees and along walls,
Position up-lights at the base of trees or sculptural features
And place clusters of candle lanterns and tea lights around your setting to bring a warm,
romantic glow to your reception as the sun goes down.
- SUMMER EVENINGS
Keep your guests warm in summer evenings likewise:
You can loosely place throws over chair backs or have baskets of blankets at hand for
your guests to grab as the evening chill sets in.
You can also position fire pits or outdoor heaters near to your seating areas for added
But just be aware of wind direction if you are having open fires.
Engulfing your guests in smoke isn’t the best way to encourage them to stay and relax!
- HAVE A PLAN B!
So, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan! for:
We know all too well that our great British weather can put a rather large spanner in the
works and just as you’ve created the perfect outdoor setting, the heavens can open!
If you have the space inside your marquee or wedding venue, consider the layout and
where you could set up your lounge area, should you need to move it indoors.
The same styling rules apply and as long as you have kept your concept design
consistent, it should work just as well indoors.
So, get creative and have some fun designing a relaxed indoor/outdoor setting for your
guests to gather and mingle and celebrate your marriage in style.
At Stage Gorillaz we believe that planning a wedding should be an enjoyable experience for everyone
involved, but most importantly for you. Why don’t you as an event manager implement these best
practices and plan engaging, memorable events that achieve your event goals with Stage Gorillaz.
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