For some couples-to-be, there’s no greater beauty than the outdoors. Publicly pledging their love to each other while surrounded by fresh air, sunshine and gorgeous scenery can be an inspiring beginning to married life. If this sounds like you and your intended, maybe it’s worth considering taking your nuptials outside. However, you’ll need to take care in choosing your venue and attend to some logistical considerations while you’re planning.
Outdoor Wedding Options
While any couple’s wedding arrangements typically begin with selecting a venue, it’s an even more vital decision for outside events. Public venues, such as botanical gardens, parks or conservatories, may book up quickly, so it’s a good idea to make your inquiries as soon as possible. Couples wishing to say “I do” during traditional wedding season—usually June through October—may have some challenges landing a reservation. Be willing to be flexible with your location choices, your date or the time of day for your nuptials.
A botanical garden, museum, conservatory or similar type of venue may already have all-inclusive wedding packages that include food, seating, décor and more. Additionally, some have climate-controlled options to keep you and your guests comfortable. If you’re fortunate, some locations may let you choose from a variety of rooms, gardens or settings for your affair, so you don’t have to write off the entire venue just because one of its spaces isn’t available. Nevertheless, make sure you read and carefully understand their policies before putting any money down or signing a contract. You may be limited by their terms when it comes to selecting caterers, photographers, disc jockeys or other vendors.
If a garden or museum is out of your price range, consider some less expensive options such as beaches, parks, mountains or other types of public spaces. You’ll likely need to rent your own tents, chairs and other equipment, so you’ll want to make sure you factor these costs into your budget. In addition, you should ensure you provide access to restroom facilities and a source of electrical power. Finally, you might consider working with your caterer to create a slightly less formal, more outside-friendly menu for your special day.
Finally, a spacious backyard can serve as a great ceremony or reception location with some careful planning. You’ll need to rent some additional props, of course, just as you would for a beach or park celebration. Moreover, a backyard wedding gives you access to the home’s indoor facilities. This means you could have an easier time arranging certain logistical elements, such as designating areas for clothing changes as well as food and beverage storage.
Select a “Rain Location” as a Backup
If you’re not marrying in a covered outdoor space, you’ll want to consider having a backup location in case of foul weather. This is especially true if you’ve got your eye on a beach, a park or any other area that does not have its own built-in shelter or has a covering that doesn’t completely protect from the elements. Consider possibilities such as a nearby restaurant, or pick a venue that has both indoor and outdoor areas at your disposal. Furthermore, you may want to purchase event insurance just in case. It may be helpful to reimburse you for any additional costs of moving your nuptials in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.
It takes a little more arranging to pull off your outdoor nuptials, but the result will be well worth it. Just remember to select your venue carefully and decide on your final pick as early as possible. Finally, invest in contingencies such as a backup location and event insurance. With these beginning steps, you’re laying a good foundation to having a successful wedding outside.