Everyone wants to add something special to their wedding day. A wedding will form one of your life’s most important memories and mark new beginnings with someone extraordinary.
It is a moment you’ve probably been looking forward to for a while and must be memorable.
The fresh air, the connection with nature, and the sophisticated aesthetics associated with outdoor weddings are perfect.
You can do a lot with an outdoor wedding to keep it unique. Take advantage of countless themes to use alongside nature and beautiful scenery.
Outdoor weddings are also known for the best wedding photos, allowing you to preserve the magical day in vivid color.
However, nothing this perfect comes easy. Getting the right effect takes careful planning and a little skill. You will also have to outwit Mother Nature and contend with all the fauna and flora you will share the space with.
Planning outdoor weddings is not always an easy task, and that’s why we’re here to help.
Combining all the details of an outdoor wedding to get an outcome that fits your standards may quickly become a headache. You need to know where to begin mapping your journey and pinpoint the most important things to consider.
We have categorized everything you need to know into five basic aspects to consider when planning an outdoor wedding:
Before you even consider what outdoor setting you will have your wedding in, you must consider the weather. Everything hinges on it.
Although there are several ways to track the weather with a level of accuracy, planning such a large-scale outdoor event needs extra care. The best strategy is to work with seasons. This is because seasons remain consistent over time, and you will be more confident about what kind of weather to expect.
Therefore, when considering the weather:
Think About Your Locality’s Climate
What do you have to work with? Do you live in a warm place or one prone to erratic weather? How dry is it? The climate varies wildly, but the patterns recorded over decades will help you know when you would be most conducive for an outdoor event.
For example, in the US you can work with the seasons. However, depending on where you live, you may need to worry about either sporadic rains or arid summers.
Consider the Best Months for Outdoor Wedding
After researching your area’s climate, you will narrow your options to the best months. Avoid months with extreme weather, such as sweltering summers or white winters.
The best way to work with the seasons in the US is to plan your outdoor wedding during early fall and summer.
These cover the months of April, May, June, September, and October. The main reason is that these periods have the mildest weather and the slightest chance of unpredictable, disruptive weather.
However, you can have an outdoor wedding in the middle of a hot summer. You will only have to invest in the proper shade, cooling, and air conditioning equipment, plus enough hydration.
The outfits will also have to be suitable for the weather, especially the bride’s wedding gown. The only thing that may still be a risk is a heat wave, but you will be able to find out about that in due time.
The same goes for any other season. Remember, it is your wedding. If you dream of a white winter wedding or one amongst the autumn leaves, go for it!
For such cases, the best strategy is to:
- Track the weather a few days before. It will help you predict what to expect.
- Inform your guests about how to dress and what to expect. For example, for beach weddings, remind them that they will be walking around on the sand and need appropriate shoes.
- Always have shade and rain protection tents.
- Make sure there will be no mud or excess dust. For example, choose a place with a lawn.
Begin Planning and Booking Early for Your Outdoor Wedding
Finally, always start planning and booking early! Once you identify when you want your wedding, find available slots in venues that match the vision you have. Do not worry about being creative; there will always be a theme and appropriate decor to suit your wedding.
Consider having a backup plan too. For example, have an indoor venue right next to your outdoor venue. You will use this in case of any issues.
The Theme, Decor, and Scenery
After you have secured the venue of your dreams, the second biggest task that awaits is the aesthetics.
The outdoors is a unique environment with its distinctive palette of colors. You will not be dealing with walls and ceilings. There is also the texture of the ground to think about, plus the glare from the sun. And depending on your location, you will have beautiful scenery around the venue.
So, what are the best ways to work with your environment to get the best result? First, you need to find a suitable theme and colors so your theme compliments the natural surroundings.
Choosing the Right Theme and Colors
Before deciding on an overall theme, you should consider what your color palette is going to be. Here are a few simple rules to avoid having a color problem:
- Avoid greens and blacks if your venue has a lot of green vegetation. Go for more vivid colors that contrast and complement green instead. You can choose from orange, yellow, or lavender. Also, avoid too many green flowers for your decor.
- If your venue is going to be by the beach, bright colors are best. Consider bright pinks, teals, and yellows. Also, do not be shy to go with ocean or sky blues paired with whites or creams. Unlike with a greener venue, complementing the ocean will not blend you into the background.
- Go with the season. Use summer wedding color schemes that comprise bright, bold, and cheerful colors. Oranges, yellows, and blues are perfect for this. Next, explore fall wedding color schemes, winter wedding color schemes, and so on.
The idea is to contrast or complement your surroundings. However, what colors you choose and how you blend them will depend heavily on what theme you are going for.
The best themes for a sophisticated and unforgettable outdoor wedding are classic, garden, and modern:
Classic Wedding Theme For Outdoor Wedding
A classic wedding theme is refined and elegant. It fits perfectly with outdoor settings because it is simple and easy to understand in a unique setting. Classic themes are created by:
- Color palette with soft colors
- Using luxe table linens
- Fine china
- Elaborate overhead lighting and intricate candelabras
For decor, stick to symmetrical, streamlined patterns and simplicity.
Garden Wedding Theme For Outdoor Wedding
This theme is the most natural for outdoor weddings, especially those in greener environments. For this theme to work, you do not necessarily have your wedding in a literal garden. However, if you want to use plants front and center for your decor, you are already creating the perfect garden theme.
Create elaborate floral flower tunnels, arched floral passages, and perfect green lawns. You can also use colorful flowers to separate the guests’ seats from the aisle.
Modern Wedding Theme For Outdoor Wedding
The modern theme is about minimalism, clean geometric lines, and monochromatic color schemes. It is sleek and straightforward. It works well with eye-catching, scenic outdoor venues because it allows the observer to focus on the view. Modern themes aim for functionality and elegance, as opposed to attracting attention.
The theme can be as creative as you like; you do not have to confine yourself to these three! However, these will create a luxurious, elite, and sophisticated aesthetic.
The Time of Day, Lighting, and Photography
In this category, we need to consider the following things:
The Best Time for Outdoor Weddings
Most outdoor weddings occur in the evenings, often starting at around 5 pm. However, evenings are popular because they are cooler, especially in the summer.
They also provide scenic backgrounds for dreamy photos while creating an ultra-romantic atmosphere.
- Daytime weddings have a magic of their own. They create a feeling of optimism and positivity that brings a lot of good energy to the wedding.
- Mid-morning is a popular time for daytime weddings, flowing naturally into a brunch or lunchtime reception.
- Daytime weddings are perfect for beaches and bright floral gardens.
The Best Lighting for Outdoor Weddings
Your lighting for an outdoor event is part of the decor, especially if the event will take place at night. However, in addition to being beautiful, they must also provide sufficient lighting. Ensure the altar, meal tables, pathways, aisle, and guests’ seats are well lit.
Great lighting ideas for outdoor weddings include:
- Colored spotlights
- String lighting
- Rope lighting
- Suspended votives and chandeliers
- Moving lights
- Fairy lights
Providing electricity for outdoor weddings is another essential and often forgotten chore. First, ask the venue’s owners or relevant authorities if they have an electricity supply. If they do not, find out if you can get one to the venue.
How to Take Good Photos For Outdoor Weddings
The scenery provided by outdoor weddings creates some of the best wedding photos. You need to hire a photographer who knows how best to take them.
Capturing the scenery is another reason why proper lighting is essential. However, natural lighting should also be well managed. For example, the sun should not be behind the altar; it should also not be on either side of the aisle.
Instead, it would be best if the sun is behind the guests and facing the altar for everyone’s comfort, including the photographer.
A professional photographer will know how to navigate all of this, but you need to give them enough lighting to work with. It would be great to have extra lighting in case any modifications need to be made. You could also request the photographer to come with their lighting.
The Outfits and Washrooms
Next, you must ensure your guests are as comfortable as possible.
Inform them in detail about how they should dress, so they do not get too cold or too hot. For example, tell them what shoes would be best to wear.
It may be the first outdoor wedding for some of your guests, so they may not know what they must consider. However, coming to your wedding should not feel challenging, so make it as easy as possible for them.
Also, ensure several clean washrooms with running water, mirrors, and toilet paper. Position them a little farther off the main venue but not too far away.
Taking care of the natural environment will be essential and should feature prominently on your to-do list. Here are three areas for you to consider
You should definitely hire event professionals with noise control systems to avoid causing disturbance to wildlife and the general public. However, trees, fences, and even moving water surrounding the event should be sufficient. Also, many venues already have noise barriers.
Make sure there are bins everywhere for people to dispose of their trash and clean up materials in case someone spills or pours something by mistake.
Remember that these are only five areas for you to structure your wedding planning around, not a set of rules. You can switch them up as much as you like or add to them. But with this foundation, you will have the outdoor wedding of your dreams.