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How to Keep Pesky Insects Away from Your Outdoor Summer Wedding

By Tammy Pitts

You’ve thought of everything for your outdoor wedding ceremony: food, lights, music, chairs…you’ve even obsessed over the weather forecast. As you’re prepping for your beautiful event, don’t forget about coming up with a game plan for keeping pesky insects away.

Consider the Season and Time of Day

Common wedding-crashing pests include flies, mosquitoes, ants, and yellowjackets. There are several things you can do to keep them away from the party.

●      For starters, if possible, plan your outdoor wedding for spring or fall. While summer is a popular season for weddings, it is also peak insect season – a time when bugs are most active.

●      Dusk is also the worst time to get married outdoors because that’s mosquitoes’ dinner hour. So rather than a sunset wedding, hosting your nuptials in the late morning or afternoon is preferable. 

Choose Your Venue Carefully

Your dream wedding shouldn’t include bugs. So choosing the right venue is crucial. Inquire about the venue’s pest control history and strategies during your visit.

●      Avoid areas near standing water or dense vegetation, as these attract mosquitoes and provide hiding spots for insects.

●      Be on the lookout for insect nests. For example, mounts of dirt could indicate ant nests, and Yellowjackets are known to place nests at the base of trees.

●      Discuss any concerns with the venue provider before signing any contracts.

Preventative Measures

Remove all standing water from the property where the wedding will be held –– standing water attracts a variety of insects, including mosquitoes. Trim any nearby trees and shrubs and check them carefully for hives and nests.

Pre-spray the Venue

A couple of days before the wedding, have the venue sprayed for mosquitoes and other bugs. This will help reduce the number of insects that show up for your party, and it will target areas where bugs are nesting and breeding. When it comes to stinging insects, inspect the area about a month before the wedding.

If you spot Yellowjackets or wasps buzzing about, immediately notify the venue. If the wedding is on your property, call a professional exterminator right away. Remember, it can take a couple of weeks for all remaining stray Yellowjackets to die or leave the area, so it’s best to discover this issue as early as possible.

Keep the Air Moving With Fans

Air movement is the key to keeping bugs from hovering near the buffet table — whether that be a breeze from Mother Nature or setting up fans to circulate air. While they spend their days flying around, they’re not very strong, so a light breeze will keep them away. If you suspect flies will be in the buffet line, make sure all food and drink stations are covered.

●      Strategically place big fans across the venue to keep the air circulating.

●      Consider providing guests with mini battery-operated fans featuring your wedding logo or engagement photo to help keep them comfortable and deter bugs.

●      Additionally, place decorative gift baskets with fans, bug spray, and water at the venue entrance for guests to use as needed.

Use Natural Repellents

Incorporate plants like mint, lavender, petunias, and chrysanthemums, which naturally repel insects, into your wedding décor. Bugs also loathe citronella, catnip, rosemary, and marigolds. You can also set up fly traps around the venue perimeter.

Consider Enclosures

Consider a screen pavilion or tent for your big day. A screened tent can keep bugs out, but the drawback is it would detract from the natural beauty of your outdoor event.

With careful planning and the right measures in place, you can ensure your outdoor wedding is a memorable event without any flying or crawling pesky party crashers.

Tammy has an extensive background in journalism, media relations, social media strategy, marketing, and brand management. She resides in Michigan with her family which includes her two sons and their Goldendoodle, Max. In her free time, she loves to read and travel.

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