Whether or not to plan an outdoor wedding in Nova Scotia

There is a saying in Nova Scotia, “If you don’t like the weather…wait 5 minutes”. While this can be true on many summer days, it was not the case for Heather and Mitch who planned an outdoor wedding last August on their parents lakeside property in Windsor, NS. Despite the heavy rain we experienced that day, their celebration was a beautiful union of love.

Here are some considerations when planning an outdoor wedding in Nova Scotia.

Tent: Having a tent is a must when planning a wedding in NS. There is a lot to know about tents which can be a learning process for couples as they plan. Hire a planner to help navigate what is the best type of tent for your outdoor celebration. Consider a tent large enough to house your guests for every part of the celebration if need be. For example if it were to rain ALL DAY, you need space for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dance. You won’t be able to ask guests to leave the tent to do any flip to the space so extra tent space is crucial to making this happen smoothly.

Evacuation Plan: It is not enough to have a tent now a days. If you are signing a contract with a tent rental company, you will be signing off on understanding that you could have to evacuate your tent if winds reach a certain speed or if thunder and lighting is present. Talk to your planner about a contingency plan ahead of time.

Parking: Is there space to park a number of vehicles on the property? Can you use a neighbours property if you need extra space? Does the parking mean guests have to walk a far distance to the wedding site? All things to consider when planning your outdoor wedding.

Power: You will need power for lights, DJ, microphone, potentially outdoor washroom facilities and possibly catering. Do you need a generator to facilitate this?

Water: you will want to make sure water is easily accessible for drinking, hand washing and for things like chafers for catering

Ice: You will need a large amount of ice. Depending on the size of your wedding or event a home sized deep freezer could be enough. Some ice companies will rent you an outdoor freezer for the occasion.

Kitchen: While some caterers come with kitchens on wheels or BBQ’s to do the cooking, others don’t and may need access to your kitchen to ensure the freshest meal is served.

Storage: You will need a place to store things such as empty glass racks, empty linen bins, crates and liquor the days leading up to and on the wedding day that are out of sight.

This list of considerations only scratches the surface of planning an outdoor wedding in Nova Scotia. The truth is, the one thing out of all our control is the weather! If you are not ok with the idea that it could rain on your wedding day, I recommend not planning an outdoor wedding celebration. 2023 was an incredibly tough year for outdoor weddings and events. We saw record setting rainfalls, hurricanes and wild fires. You are essentially building a venue from the ground up on your private property and with that comes a lot of responsibility and logistics to consider.

This wedding day wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a solid vendor team.

Photography: Tanya Canam

Coordinator and Bartender: Pineapple Eventworks

Rentals & Tent: MacFarlands Events

Hair: Alisha Jessome

Catering: Cocoa Pesto

Faux Flowers: One Day Affair

Fresh Florals: Blossom Shops