Category Archives: summer wedding planning

couple posting for photos before enjoying music for outdoor wedding

Music for Outdoor Wedding: 9 Wedding Planning Questions to Ask

Need music for your outdoor wedding? These tips can help you plan the music for your outdoor wedding, and put you on the path to the wedding of your dreams.

What kind of music would we like for our ceremony? Cocktail hour? Reception?

The first step in choosing music for your outdoor wedding is to think about what kind of music you want during each step of your wedding. There are several options: do-it-yourself, musicians, band, and DJ. Sometimes, the solution is one of the wedding music options, but it can also be a combination. For example, a couple might choose to have musicians for the ceremony and a DJ for cocktail hour and reception. (If you choose the latter, use this list of wedding DJ questions to find the best DJ for your special day.)

For couples who need music for the cocktail hour and reception, make sure you ask a band or DJ for the total cost; some music professionals may charge charges for additional hours. (You can also contact a wedding DJ that offers a package with the cocktail hour and reception services included without any overages.)

Are there adequate hook-ups for lighting and music?

If you want to host an outdoor wedding with lighting and/or DJs, you are going to have to determine if there are hook-ups for lighting and music. You can typically ask your venue staff at a wedding venue, but the matter may be more complicated for a backyard wedding. In these cases, ask your wedding DJ or band for information on required hook-ups for your wedding. (A rental company can also give you information on the electricity requirements needed for event lighting.)

Do we need a tent? A dance floor?

While you may want the weather to be perfect for your big day, it’s (sadly) not always the case. Decide whether you need a tent for your ceremony or reception. Fortunately, there are clear tents and tent styles that still allow you to bring the outdoors in.

If you want to host the ultimate dance part, consider whether you want a dance floor. A dance floor can be a beautiful focal point, and an easy way for your guests to dance without wrenching an ankle (and doing damage to the lawn!) If you are holding the wedding at a venue, always ask before renting a dance floor. Some venues have guidelines specifically about dance floors.

Is there a curfew? Do we need a permit?

Some municipalities require that couples secure a permit for their event. If you are planning a backyard wedding, contact your local municipality for information on permits and curfews. At a wedding venue, staff should be able to give you information during your initial meeting or venue tour. (Don’t forget to pass curfew information on your wedding DJ or band.) Either way, it’s important to do your research; you don’t want the cops to shut down your wedding celebrations and end the fun.

What other entertainment do we need?

As you plan your outdoor wedding, don’t be afraid to consider other forms of wedding entertainment—especially for those who don’t want to hit the dance floor. Fortunately, there are tons of other outdoor wedding entertainment ideas (in addition to music for your outdoor wedding) that guests’ll love. You can choose from any number of ideas, such as yard games, photo booths, table games (with personalized questions about the happy couple!), and tasting stations. (Some wedding DJs even offer photo booths as part of their wedding entertainment package.) You can also talk to your wedding DJ or band about adding dance floor games to your wedding reception line-up. Whatever you choose, be creative and have fun with it!

25+ Hot Summer Wedding Reception Ideas

beautiful summer wedding with lighting and beautiful dance floorIt’s easy to see why so many couples choose summer as the ideal time for a wedding. After all, the weather is great and there are a ton of indoor and outdoor venues to choose from (here’s a list of the hottest Chicago wedding venues). From there, it’s time to look for inspiration for the details that can make your summer wedding as hot as the temperatures; we’ve put together a few ideas (heavy on the music, our personal favorite) that can make your summer wedding unforgettable. (Contact your favorite vendors who can turn your vision and customized playlist into reality.)


  1. Popcorn bar
  2. Food truck (For your main course or for a late night fuel that’ll keep them dancing)
  3. Ice cream sundae bar (or popsicles!)
  4. Wine or beer tasting
  5. Serve a special signature drink


  1. “Walking on Sunshine” Katrina & The Waves
  2. “Summer Nights” from the movie Grease
  3. “Summer Wind” Frank Sinatra
  4. “I Can See Clearly Now” Johnny Nash
  5. “Wipeout” The Surfaris
  6. “Summer Love” Justin Timberlake
  7. “Summer of ‘69” Bryan Adams
  8. “California Dreamin’” The Mamas & The Papas
  9. “Walkin’ on Sunshine” Katrina and the Waves
  10. “Margaritaville” Jimmy Buffet


  1. Name in lights (perfect for a summer night-talk to your DJ to see if they have a package deal)
  2. String or twinkle lights
  3. Floral centerpieces
  4. Mason jars (for drinking and décor)
  5. Succulents
  6. Potted plants
  7. Cut flowers


  1. Photo booth (Choose an extra large photobooth for awesome family and group photos)
  2. Yard games
  3. Summer trivia cards
  4. Fireworks (Check with the venue before you plan on fireworks)
  5. Face painting
  6. Dance floor games