Getting the most from outdoor wedding venues

Outdoor wedding venues can be utter perfection. To pull them off with total finesse, there are a number of things you ought to consider. Seemingly simple choices like decorations, the theme you’re having, and the season you choose to marry in can make all the difference to your outdoor wedding.

Another decision, although this one is the biggest you’ll make for this type of wedding, is the venue. We’re going to guide you through getting the most from your outdoor wedding venue so your wedding planning will be a total breeze. Follow our top tips on making your outdoor wedding be the best it could possibly be.

Pick an appropriate theme

outdoor wedding venues

To really make your chosen outdoor wedding venue shine, picking a great theme is essential. If you choose to marry in a beautiful pine forest, then a dreamy woodland theme will really make your venue stand out. Think tulle bows on rustic wooden chairs and a flowing fairy-like gown for yourself.

If you’re marrying in an overgrown ‘Secret Garden’ like garden, you could consider a vintage themed wedding. A 1970s boho theme will work as will a heavily floral 1930s style tea party or picnic. Because beautifully overgrown gardens have a mysterious quality to them, it tends to really highlight a vintage theme.

While any theme will work in an outdoor venue, it’s important to consider the elements that you want to focus on in the venue. These elements can be the pillars for choosing your theme or your colour scheme. This in turn will make the venue seem even more amazing than it undoubtedly is. Everything will be utter perfection with these simple steps to enhance your venue.

Consider the seasonality of your venue

outdoor wedding venues

If you are organising the party in your own garden, or that of your parents, you might want to consider the flowers and plants that will be in bloom when your wedding day rolls around. Starting early means you’ll have time to do some replanting. If you have picked a date, talk to an expert at your local garden centre to find out which plants you should choose to give the best effect on the day.

If marrying at home or in the garden of your parents’ house isn’t an option and you are determined to hold your reception in a particular garden or venue, find out when the plants and flowers are going to be at their best. This will allow you to pick your date accordingly if you’re adamant on having particular plants as the backdrop for your wedding. Check for any photos of the venue during various seasons and remember to talk to one of the gardeners who should know the seasonality of every plant in the location.

Using plants and flowers as the backdrop to your outdoor wedding will vastly enhance the venue itself. If you pick a park that looks lifeless in winter but is full of beautifully coloured tulips in spring, then you really ought to consider how much a difference the plants will make to your wedding.

If all else fails, add thoughtful flower arrangements

outdoor wedding venues

Even the most experienced gardener can’t guarantee a certain garden will be at its best on a specific Saturday in eighteen months’ time. Gardens rely on the seasons, and a bit of unseasonable weather can delay or accelerate the usual progress of a garden by several weeks. This can obviously ruin plans for your flower-intensive wedding if everything doesn’t go to plan with the weather and the garden.

Don’t fret, though. There are solutions! If your garden is looking a bit bleak you can supplement its natural beauty by adding in the plants and flowers that should have been there. You can do this by transplanting some into the garden to add the freshness and colour that is missing. If gardening isn’t your thing, then consider some potted plants and flowers instead. The effect will largely be the same.

Another option is to introduce subtle arrangements of cut flowers brought in from elsewhere, together with the potted plants and shrubs. Organise your cut flowers in rustic containers like old fashioned watering cans and glass jugs to add a true personal touch to the venue of your choosing. Making these tiny changes will greatly enhance an uncooperative garden and turn your venue into something truly spectacular.

Let there be light

outdoor wedding venues

Lighting at any wedding, even an outdoor one, is essential. As soon as the sun goes down, you’re going to need lighting options so your guests are tripping over themselves to get to the donut station. Even if you’re getting married in mid-summer you’ll still need to make sure there is lighting at your outdoor venue.

Outdoor weddings are great because there are a number of gorgeous lighting options you can consider. Candle lanterns placed in the trees, on small posts in the ground or peppered over the surfaces and tables can provide you with a cosy glow. This is a beautifully romantic option but you will need quite a number to get the light that you’re looking for.

Warm white or coloured fairy lights are another option to consider. These will obviously provide a lot more light than the lanterns but they’re just as romantic, especially if you use the warm white coloured ones.

If you’re marrying somewhere famous for its pests, check for citronella candles if you want to prevent the lights from attracting unwanted guests of the insect world.

The important thing to remember with the lighting for your outdoor venue is that you want your guests to be able to see what they’re up to, but you don’t want them blinded by industrial floodlights. So consider the romantic options we have listed above to really make the most of your wedding venue. After all, you don’t want to forget the lights and then need to all go inside when it gets dark, do you?

Don’t forget to decorate

outdoor wedding venues

Plenty of couples fall into the trap of not considering décor for their weddings. It’s an easy thing to do as there is literally a million things to think about when you’re planning a wedding.

You might be wondering, why would an outdoor wedding venue need decorations? Well, even though your outdoor venue might look naturally beautiful, you can still add some extra decorations to make it look even more amazing. It’s all about adding finishing touches to really enhance everything.

You could consider adding a decorative gazebo for your wedding cake table if your wedding is happening completely outdoors. This works in two ways. You’ll be adding a decorative touch and your food will be somewhat protected by the weather and elements.

If your theme is full of colour and life, consider hanging colourful bunting to tie your theme to the venue. In addition, you could include small decorations for the trees such as ribbon bows or colourful butterflies in different materials.

Other than these, decorate your outdoor wedding the way you would an indoor one. Don’t forget about table cloths and place settings. Have a rustic table with your guest book and seating chart. Like everything else we’ve mentioned, you have to embrace the venue. Respect what it is and really showcase it. You are choosing to marry in the great outdoors, after all. It should definitely be celebrated!

Consider a glamping tent or marquee

outdoor wedding venues

One last thing to consider is whether or not you’re going to have some kind of tent or marquee. You might be thinking about having your wedding completely exposed and embrace the outdoor venue that you’ve picked, which is a beautiful choice and what many couples long for.

If, however, you know the area you’re marrying in very well and you know that the weather can be somewhat unreliable, it might be worth having a tent or a marquee as a back-up. This way if the weather does turn, you will still be connected to the outdoors as opposed to being forced inside.

Whatever you end up choosing, it needs to feel like it works with the outdoor venue. A stark white tent can look alien against a manicured garden, but can feel natural if it’s decorated in the right way. Using potted plants and flowers at the entrances can bring the outdoors in. And stringing fairy lights outside the tent as well as inside will blend the two spaces together.

With a tent, you can really embrace a glamping or boho theme and make the whole wedding feel very chic. Almost any theme will work with beautiful tents, it’s all about how you decorate.

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