1. Use the seasons in the guest details. If it’s summer, provide inexpensive, neutral sandalwood fans for your guests. Or greet them with refreshing welcome popsicles instead of the more traditional cocktail or water. If it’s winter or fall, consider providing your guests cozy blankets that could even double as guest favors that will actually get used! Some venues, like ours already have an inventory of blankets for guests to use during your wedding festival – so all you have to do is say ‘yes, please!’.
2. Include your animals – or animals in general. Having your wedding at an outdoor venue opens up the possibilities in terms of what and who can be included. If you and your future forever-love share a dog, a cat, or even a horse – don’t be afraid to ask your venue if they would allow them to participate in the ceremony in some way. Elm Pass Woods does! For more tips on this, see our blog post on including dogs in your day. Alternatively, if you don’t have pets – consider hiring out a fun animal for your guests to enjoy during the reception. Alpacas, llamas, or a donkey – we have wedding pros that will bring animals out to the Texas Hill Country to make your wedding festival even more memorable.
3. Two words – Smoke Bombs! Being outside means you can include this whimsical element to your wedding if you choose. If you want to add a truly unique feature that guests have never seen to when you are officially pronounced as hitched – giving colorful smoke bombs to the folks on both sides of the aisle can really spice up your photos and/or videography. Alternatively, you can just purchase a few to have for when you do couple’s portraits during golden hour or even at night (we have a couple of fav woodsy spots around the venue where this looks magical!). Pro-tip: peruse Pinterest for smoke bomb inspo, and always ALWAYS tell your photographer ahead of time smoke bombs are in your plan so they can build it into the shot list. If you book a wedding festival here – I can always help you source them, luckily they are quite inexpensive!
4. Always yes to yard games. Whether it’s giant connect-4, jenga, corn hole, darts, or even ping pong – yard games will always bring an element of fun to a wedding, especially during cocktail hour when you and your wedding party are knee deep in allll the portrait photography after the ceremony. Games really bring out the nostalgia harkening back to a simpler time before adult responsibilities crept in! They are always a hit – even a simple game of giant checkers for those less mobile or where space is tighter is still a great option. The festival grounds here provide endless options for game layouts – and you won’t need to find a rental company because we have a large inventory at your disposal free of charge!
5. Get creative with the bar. If you’ve chosen an outdoor venue then you have limitless freedom in terms of giving your refreshments visual interest. Consider using an old vintage wheelbarrow to ice down mini bottled waters next to the ceremony area so guests can enjoy them while waiting for the festivities to start. A simple assortment of corrugated tin bowls and basins at varying heights for each different kind of bottled beverage is an in expensive way to make your bar area pop. Alternatively, an antique canoe filled with ice is guaranteed to make an impression on your guests. Our canoe is actually one of the design elements our wedding festivals are known for – again, available to our couples free of charge!