Are you imagining you and your fiance saying your wedding vows at an outdoor venue? The gentle breeze, chirping birds, and warm sunshine. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? It absolutely can be, but hosting a successful outdoor wedding can come down to choosing the right venue for your big day. Let’s talk about some of the top things to consider when saying “I Do” at an outdoor venue.
This is probably one of the first concerns a couple will have when planning an outdoor wedding. Weather can be unpredictable, so opting to say your vows in the great outdoors may require some extra planning. What season will you want to have the outdoor ceremony? This can become a huge factor in your planning. If it is going to be a summer wedding, you may want to plan on having the ability to seat your guests in the shade or have the means to keep them cool. If a spring wedding is more your speed, then you will want to know that your venue has a back-up plan for if it rains. A good outdoor venue will have an option for an indoor ceremony if necessary, no matter what season. April showers bring May flowers, but nobody wants that on their wedding day.
If you’re planning on going a little more outside the box with your outdoor wedding and plan to have it without a registered vendor, then you will need to look into whether or not you will need a permit. Some places like parks or other wildlife areas will require you to visit the city park department or a local government building and obtain a permit to host an event. This can sometimes be done online as well. Don’t forget to check on the rules they have about noise, trash removal, occupancy, and if there are any restrictions for decorations or tents.
Many couples are attracted to the idea of an outdoor wedding because let’s face it; nature is beautiful! Not to mention with the beauty of nature, you can get away with fewer decorations, meaning less money to be spent! With an outdoor wedding, you can plan on keeping it simple if you want. Many outdoor venues already have an archway that might have natural greenery on it or can be supplied by the venue at a minimal cost. Despite needing minimal decorations, you will want to check with the venue to be sure that they will prepare the area before the ceremony, such as mowing the grass, raking leaves, or cleaning up any duck droppings if there is a pond nearby.
This detail can often get overlooked when planning an outdoor wedding. If you plan to say “I Do” during the day, make sure the sun won’t be blinding you, your guests, or the officiant. You will want to be able to orient the ceremony so that the sun isn’t an issue. If you are having an evening ceremony when the sun is setting (hello gorgeous sunset photos!), then you may want to consider whether or not you will need additional lighting to keep things well-lit through the end of the ceremony. Those sunset pictures may look nice, but you want good lighting for the rest of the ceremony, too! Check if your venue provides outdoor lighting such as string lights or lamps that won’t be in the way but will still create adequate lighting.
This category is two-fold; can everyone hear in the back row, and will there be noisy distractions surrounding the ceremony? An outdoor venue will likely require the officiant to have a microphone and a few outdoor speakers so that guests can hear. Being outdoors also means you have a little less control of other sounds happening outside. Is your venue near a busy street? Is it on a golf course that might have golf carts driving by or do they restrict carts the day of? Check into these things before you sign a contract, so you aren’t disappointed on the big day.
If you’re considering holding your wedding ceremony outdoors, reach out to Cooper’s Ridge in Mid-Missouri today to schedule a tour! We have a gorgeous outdoor setting on 38 private acres of picturesque view with modern indoor space for back-up or to host a reception. Contact us today and start planning your dream wedding!