5 Tips For Planning An Outdoor Event In Northern Michigan

Wedding guests seated under white tent around farmhouse style tables.

Outdoor Wedding Venue

Photo by Jenni Hecht Foto Co.

Choose An Outdoor Venue With Protection Against The Elements

Humans are capable of many things, but controlling the weather is unfortunately not one of them! Weather can be very unpredictable, especially in Northern Michigan. While you can’t control what the weather can do, you can make sure you’re prepared if you wind up with less than ideal conditions for your outdoor event.

Pavilions and tents are a great way to provide protection from the sun and rain while still allowing your guests to be outdoors. Don’t underestimate how important shade is for our toasty Michigan summers! 

If you are hosting your private event in the shoulder seasons, it may be necessary to search for a venue that offers temporary ‘walls’ or other protection from the wind. Some pavilions and tents can utilize canvas or plastic panels that can be rolled up or down to protect guests from wind and rain.

Inform Your Guests Appropriately

What type of weather do you expect for your event? Will there be a lot of walking required to access the outdoor area of your venue? Having the answers to questions like this can help your guests prepare for what to expect at your venue.

If you expect it will be chilly, or that your guests will need to prepare for a bit of walking, let them know with a short blurb in your invitation. “Wear comfortable walking shoes” or “please bring a jacket as we expect it to be chilly” can help your guests plan appropriately for your event.

Small wooden chapel in the woods framed by mature pine tree branches.
Chapel In The Woods

Photo by Jenni Hecht Foto Co.

Have Amenities Available At Your Venue

Having some basic amenities accessible at your event can greatly enhance your guests’ overall experience. These are the top 5 basic amenities we recommend having on hand for your outdoor event:

  • Cold water – don’t underestimate how much of a difference this can make! Having ice cold water available to your guests is very much expected and necessary – especially if you have any older guests during a summer event.
  • Bug spray/repellent – if your event is outdoors in Northern Michigan, you can expect at least a few of our insect friends to attend as well. While some guests may not be bothered by our flying friends, it is nice to have spray on hand for those who would rather not be visited by the bugs. 
  • Blankets – if you’re planning a spring or fall event, the temperature can be a tough thing to predict. It is nice to have blankets on hand in case you have any guests that didn’t quite dress appropriately for the day.
  • Wet wipes – I am a mom, and wet wipes are my solution for 90% of life’s problems. But even if you’re not a mom, wet wipes can come in handy for a LOT of things. Having a pack or two on hand at your outdoor event can make for an easy clean up or wipe down that would otherwise call for a trip to the bathroom!
  • Hand sanitizer – this one may seem obvious, but in the post-COVID era you cannot have an event without having hand sanitizer readily available for your guests. We recommend keeping one at every table, so your guests know exactly where to find it when it’s time to eat!

Don’t Stress The Weather

I’ll be the first to admit, this is HARD to stick to. Planning an event is stressful. It takes a lot of time and effort, and you hope that everything turns out the way you had planned. Unfortunately, the weather is one part of your event that you simply can’t control when you utilize an outdoor space.

Stressing over something that you can’t change will not help you enjoy your event. Instead, we recommend using some of the tips outlined above to just plan for weather changes. Your day can be perfect in many ways, and having a little rain or wind just might add a special touch to your event. (If you’ve ever seen rainy wedding day pictures, you’ll know what I mean!)

Research Outdoor Venues In Northern Michigan

Northern Michigan is an outdoor paradise, and it can be a wonderful place to host your special event! With a plethora of unique indoor and outdoor venues to choose from, you are bound to find one that suits your personality and your event’s style. 

Bright Lane Gardens is a one-of-a-kind outdoor event space that features beautiful water gardens, landscaped walkways, and an outdoor pavilion – all sandwiched peacefully among acres of wooded privacy. Our venue is a great option for hosting bridal showers, birthday parties, and even small daytime ceremonies. 

If you’d like to learn more about our venue, or want to inquire on available dates and pricing for your small event, please contact us on our website.

Ferns and flowers join an emerald cloth napkin and compass to adorn a table setting for a reception.

Place Setting At Outdoor Venue

Photo by Jenni Hecht Foto Co.