How to Plan for an Outside Wedding Ceremony

outside wedding ceremony | Angie Barrows Photography

Outdoor weddings are magical – there is nothing like celebrating a couple’s love surrounded by nature, a body of water, or the backdrop of a city. That said, there is a lot of uniqueness (and legwork!) in hosting an outside wedding ceremony because of that aspect. From weather backup plans to how you decorate, it’s important to make sure you cover all the bases when orchestrating your big day!

As long as you are prepared throughout the planning process, your outdoor event is sure to be as picturesque and perfect as you hope it will be! Below, we’ve put together some of our best tips on hosting an outside wedding ceremony.

1. Ask the Right Questions

Before you make any decisions, go in with an exhaustive list of questions you want to ask your potential wedding venues. This will help to determine if a venue can accommodate an outdoor wedding event, including the “who, what, where, when, and how” of it all. Asking the hard questions before you fall for a space that may not work with your vision or budget will save you a lot of stress!

2. Decorate Around Your Backdrop

One of the best benefits of an outdoor wedding is the beauty of it all – whether you opt for a stunning beach, pristine garden, cozy backyard, or rolling lawn, you know the setting is going to be stunning. When decorating, make sure you’re accentuating that beauty and using the natural landscape to its full advantage! You have the power to make your wedding as formal or informal as you’d like to, regardless of the location, so really hone in on what you want your day to look like. And most importantly, make it feel like you!

3. Consider Your Caterer

Find a wedding caterer that is proficient in working outdoor weddings. Confirming this with your caterer beforehand is extremely important! Make sure that not only is the caterer comfortable but that they are equipped with everything they need to make it a success by asking the right questions and learning more about their experience.

That said, there should always be an enclosed space available for catering prep and food service, so be sure to keep this in mind when planning!

4. Choose Fun Food

Hosting an outdoor wedding gives you the freedom and flexibility to get really creative with the food you serve! For a ballroom or hotel wedding, you probably wouldn’t ever consider hosting a New England lobster bake, Hawaiian pig roast, or classic Southern BBQ, but at an outside venue, any of these themes would fit the space perfectly! Work with your caterer to come up with a fun, inventive menu for your outdoor wedding. Just make sure they are able to accommodate your vision based on the space!

5. Book Your Venue on the Early Side

If you want a peak-season outdoor wedding (and really, who doesn’t?!) it’s best to book your venue as soon as possible to ensure you don’t compete with other couples who have the same idea. Since not every outdoor venue works in all seasons, getting ahead of the game will help ease your mind and avoid scheduling conflicts!

6. Have a Plan for Bad Weather

While no one can control the weather, you can go into your wedding day as prepared as possible! When planning your outdoor wedding, think about the impact inclement weather could have on your space and guests. If there’s a possibility that the day is chilly, have extra cozy blankets on hand for the ceremony. Super hot summer day? Bring in some big fans or air conditioners for extra comfort. If it’s the rainy season, plan for a tented area to give cover to your decor, food, and loved ones. Being proactive will save you so much stress in the long run!

7. Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner

Though having an outside wedding event is worth the extra work involved, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to try and coordinate everything on your own. Consider hiring a wedding planner that specializes in outdoor events – they will know exactly what to look for, what questions to ask, and come up with a comprehensive plan of what needs to be done for a successful wedding day. There are often scenarios and details most people wouldn’t even think about that a wedding planner will have the experience to handle smoothly!

8. Protect Against Pests

Depending on the season and where you host your outdoor wedding, you’ll want to keep in mind any unwanted critters who may try to attend. Including citronella candles or tiki torches can help keep mosquitoes away. Another great option is to incorporate bug-deterring flowers to your arrangements – peppermint, lavender, and marigolds can work wonders! If you are really worried about pests, see if you can hire an exterminator to come prior to your event to clear the area.

Contact The 1812 Farm

The 1812 Farm in Bristol, Maine is the perfect setting for your outside wedding ceremony! Our impeccably-restored historic barn set upon a lush, stunning property makes for an ideal backdrop on your special day. To learn more about our venue, please contact us today!