11 Tips for Planning the Perfect Rooftop Wedding

Say, "I do," with a breathtaking view.
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Jacqueline Mann
jacqueline mann headshot
Jacqueline Mann
The Knot Contributor
  • Jacqueline writes articles for The Knot Worldwide that cover an array of wedding-related topics.
  • She previously worked as a marketing manager for a wedding venue where she learned the intricate details of wedding planning.
  • Jacqueline graduated from Bluefield University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and communications.
Updated Jan 02, 2024

Few things rival the backdrop of nature or a sprawling city skyline as you marry your best friend. Give your nuptials a unique perspective with a rooftop wedding boasting panoramic views. Hosting an outdoor wedding means breaking away from the traditional four walls, but there are different things to consider during your planning process. This includes the decorations you choose and having a plan for unexpected weather changes. Thankfully there's a team of knowledgeable wedding vendors on The Knot Vendor Marketplace to help you on your journey. We also spoke to wedding expert Samantha Kin, owner of To Be Loved Events based in Los Angeles, California, to gather the details you need to plan a wedding on a rooftop.

Rooftop Wedding Costs Are Sometimes Higher

Kin said, in general, rooftop weddings sometimes come with a heftier price tag compared to the average wedding cost. Several factors go into the price. "The reasons for this might be the upkeep of the rooftop, the added rentals that might be required, the added bonus and exclusively you get for the rooftop views for your event, and the demand for gorgeous rooftop wedding venues," she said. "Other added costs might include tenting if needed."

Keep Decor Minimal

You already have a stunning backdrop for your rooftop wedding. Depending on what is already in place at your venue, take a minimal approach to decorating your wedding space. "I love to highlight the natural surroundings of the landscape while also speaking to the couple's love story," Kin said. "Making the skyline the main focus is what I recommend. For example, maybe you'd like to accent the rooftop with florals without blocking any views, accenting and enhancing the venue without distracting. Or maybe you'd like to have your signage and decor include wording to reference the city you're in as a nice touch."

Have a Rainy-Day Backup Plan

Rainy days happen, but that doesn't mean they have to dampen your big day. Having a backup plan in place gives you peace of mind leading up to your rooftop wedding. "Typically, you would make this call the week of the wedding day and would include a pre-determined plan for a tent to cover any outdoor areas and/or plans to move a part or all of the event indoors, if that's an option at your venue," Kin said.

Keep Guests and Vendors Comfortable

Something that may get overlooked when planning a rooftop wedding is guest and vendor comfort. Keep the weather in mind and how the sun will hit your space during your ceremony and reception. "Especially if it's a warmer month, discuss shade needs with your vendors and think about parasols and/or personal fans for everyone," Kin said.

Don't Forget About Natural Weather Restrictions

As you pick out decorations, signage and other wedding essentials, make sure they can hold up to wind and other weather. "I would avoid delicate elements that could blow away easily, like light, paper signage or place cards," Kin said. "And I would just be wary of sun/weather damage to any furniture or rentals you may want to bring in."

Make Sure the Venue is Accessible for All

Take note of how guests will get to your rooftop wedding space as you take your venue tour. "Make sure the rooftop is accessible if you have any guests who need wheelchair accommodations, etc. up to the rooftop or where the event is taking place," Kin said. "It's also important to consider where the accessible restrooms are in proximity to the event spaces."

Schedule Around Street Noise

Unfortunately, honking horns, delivery trucks and other street noise won't come to a halt as you say your vows. Pay attention to the noise level on your venue tour and consider how it will affect your rooftop wedding ceremony. "Make sure to account for peak traffic times and how the noise will be specifically during your ceremony if that matters to you," Kin said.

Ask About Restrictions

Kin suggests asking your venue about any restrictions that will affect your rooftop wedding. "[This includes] restrictions for certain decor, candles, electrical, lighting, parking, load-in time, etc.," she said. "Also, make sure to ask if there is a vendor room of some kind to keep your florals in a cooler place if it's a hot day."

Bring Your Own Vibe

Rooftop weddings often offer a blank slate for any theme or vibe you can dream up. Host a garden party, black tie affair, boho chic soiree or include a movie theme. Reflect your personality and create an atmosphere you and your guests will love.

Create a Lounge Area

If not already provided by the venue, rent cozy furniture to create a chic lounge area at your rooftop wedding. Long couches, chaise lounges and oversized pillows offer a relaxing spot for guests to hang out and take in the view. Rent outdoor, weather-resistant pieces that won't get damaged by sun, rain or humidity.

Provide Outdoor Essentials

Stock your rooftop wedding bathrooms with baskets of outdoor essentials for your guests and vendors. This could include sunscreen, bug spray, cooling mist and aloe vera gel. For cool evenings, have pashminas ready to keep loved ones warm.

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