Outdoor wedding ceremonies are inherently romantic and fresh as they’re inspired by nature itself.
With proper planning, they’re absolutely perfect for spring and fall wedding events. And they can also be beautiful for summer weddings, provided that the ceremony isn’t long and there are options for shade and refreshments, especially in places where summers can be brutally hot and humid. And of course, outdoor ceremonies may be the safest choice in the face of pandemics and sometimes the only approved and available option.
It’s simply awe-inspiring to say your vows with the open sky overhead, birds chirping in the distant trees and the smell of fresh cut grass or wildflowers all around! And of course, wedding photos and video taken in lovely outdoor settings can be simply astonishing.
Keep in mind, if you choose to have an outdoor ceremony, you must be prepared to be flexible on your wedding day, the weather of course, being your number one concern. In addition, outdoor ceremonies can often be more of a challenge because there are a few more factors to consider, and more to plan and prepare for, than if the event was held indoors.
For example, you might want to budget for and seek out additional structures or make/purchase items to use as a backdrop. This often isn’t necessary for ceremonies set inside a church or wedding venue’s established ceremony space.
The location of the sun needs to be considered as well (you don’t want it to be in your eyes as you recite your vows). And as previously mentioned, wind and rain can obviously be a huge problem too, going as far as to necessitate an entire last minute ceremony relocation.
So if you’ve chosen an outside setting for your ceremony, be sure to have a backup location or tent secured and ready to go in case the forecast calls for inclement weather. And even though it might seem that an outdoor wedding is an easy DIY proposition, it is highly encouraged to hire professionals to handle most of the décor for you. They have the expertise to know which items work best in an outdoor setting and the experience to effortlessly handle the set up (and possible move) of your decorative items and structures.
Vineyards, farmhouses, golf or country clubs and seaside resorts are venues that usually offer at least one location on property that’s perfect for an outdoor wedding ceremony. But if you have your heart set upon a ceremony outside (at least as your first choice), don’t limit your search to only these types of venues. Many other event locations have an outdoor space available too, from restaurants in the city to museums to quaint inns or bed and breakfasts to of course, your own backyard! A beautiful outdoor ceremony can be accomplished in a huge variety of settings: by the water, on a rolling green field or farm, in the woods, in a city museum courtyard, in a garden, under a porch or awning or even on a rooftop deck.
Structures and natural features play important roles as beautiful and eye catching backdrops for the bride and groom ‘at the altar’. With outdoor weddings, you have so many backdrop options from which to choose to enhance or personalize your wedding ceremony. Of course, the easiest method is to select a venue that already has a gorgeous backdrop built in! So look for venues that feature natural beauty in the form of waterfalls, lakes or streams, large shade trees, mountains or rolling hills. And venues with attractive man-made, fixed backdrops such as historic or grand buildings, massive marble columns or arches provide amazing ceremony backgrounds.
Or you can ask to bring in your own decorative backdrops. Consider renting or constructing gazebos, rustic barn doors, mantels and arbors. And chuppas can be decorated in your favorite flowers, flowing fabrics, ribbons in your theme colors or hanging candles. Be sure to check out our recent post on wedding backdrops for some great ideas!
Everything considered, outdoor weddings are fantastic and we love when our clients choose them! And even on those days where rain had other plans for the ceremony and the event was moved indoors or under an awning, everything worked out smoothly and beautifully in the end.
And we’re happy to say that we’ve had the pleasure of filming so many exceptional al fresco wedding ceremonies in such a variety of settings. Seaside hotels and mountain retreats always host amazing outdoor ceremony spaces. In addition to the examples we gave above, we also love these New Jersey & Pennsylvania venues which offer outstanding outdoor, park-like locations in which to exchange vows: The Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, NJ, The Old Mill in Rose Valley, PA and Congress Hall in Cape May, NJ. Check out the weddings of Julie and Chris, Diane and Jesse and Shannon and Branden for more incredible wedding examples with outdoor ceremonies!
July 16th, 2020
by Kristi Chapman
in Tips & Ideas