Planning an outdoor ranch-style wedding in the Texas Hill Country

IMG_3022Recently, I just finished coordinating a beautiful fall outdoor ranch wedding outside of San Antonio, Texas. The planning had taken over a year by the bride and I was hired about 3 months out to coordinate the day of. The ranch she had her reception at was originally owned by her grandfather who had passed away. He had wished for one of his grandchildren to have their reception there and his wish came true! It was a really special day for the entire family.

_0407My bride was very DIY when it came to décor. She had a vision in her head and knew to make it just the way she wanted she needed to create it herself. If you are crafty I say, “Go for it!” You can save a lot of money and get exactly what you want by making it yourself. But, please give yourself extra time to do this. Even with all her planning, well in advance, she was still scrambling for help the night and morning of trying to complete her projects. Who wants to stress that close to their wedding? You can also hire a wedding coordinator to assist you in these tasks at hand.

IMG_3009Be sure to book your vendors well in advance (6-8 months) and be sure to follow up at least 1 month prior to ensure your order is correct. Two weeks before the wedding, we learned that the bathroom company didn’t have her order on file for some reason and we were frantically trying to ensure having a bathroom even up to 2 days prior to the reception. There are so many items to figure in when having a wedding on a ranch with nothing but land. Here are several points to remember:

1. Tent – does it need flaps, heat or fans for the weather expected? Will it be big enough to hold all your guests, dance floor, DJ & band, other vendors (caterer, bartenders, etc.)? Having a CAD drawing is crucial.

2. Bathrooms – Do you want a comfort bathroom with 2-4 stalls?

3. Electricity – Do you need to rent generators?

4. Water – Do you have a water source?

5. Tables, chairs, bars, dance floor, linens, china

6. Parking area – Do you have some of the land cleared for parking?

7. Decor

8. Large cleared out grassy area with no weeds for tent (need to maintain this space up until the wedding) and prepare for bugs (spray the area)

Nov 15  CAD _0362There’s a lot to consider, isn’t there? Don’t forget to prepare for the weather and have heaters/fans/additional tents on standby so they are available to you if needed. If you wait until the last minute they will be rented out and then what will you do?

Lastly, you need to think about your budget when planning a wedding of this caliber. It will probably cost you more than a typical reception at a venue for all the items you need to consider for. The venues already have all those items in place.

If you need help with planning your wedding and where to get the items needed for an outdoor wedding please contact Trudy Scott with Royalty Event Parties, 210-595-9263 or I’m here to help with coordinating, planning your honeymoon and ordering invitations/stationery.

The 2nd and last photos were provided by The Wedding Shoppe.

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