With the right weather and a beautiful natural backdrop, outdoor weddings can be some of the most picturesque, beautiful, and fun to attend! There’s nothing like soaking up the sun outdoors at your wedding, and we’ve compiled a list of the best outdoor wedding ideas to make your outside wedding everything you’ve dreamed of.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many couples have been forced to postpone their wedding or change the venue to a space where social distancing is possible. This means that, for public health reasons, it may be best to have your wedding outdoors where there is plenty of space for guests to spread out.
Whether you’re planning an outdoor wedding due to safety concerns or because you love natural light and the great outdoors, there are plenty of outdoor wedding ideas that can turn your outdoor wedding into a dreamy fairytale. Check out our favorite outdoor venue ideas and outdoor decoration ideas.
Outdoor Wedding Venue Ideas
- Backyard Weddings
- Vineyard Weddings
- National Park Weddings
- Botanical Garden Weddings
- Forest Weddings
- Farm Weddings
- Tented Wedding
- Beach Weddings
- Estate Weddings
Throwing a backyard wedding is not only lovely and homey, it also saves you a significant amount of money since you don’t have to rent out a venue! There’s nothing wrong with a backyard wedding, especially since you can use the money you saved on the venue to spruce up your backyard. Consider getting married in your own backyard, or a close family member or friend’s backyard for a special, intimate wedding you’ll never forget.
Looking for an outdoor wedding venue that is sure to impress? Look at local vineyards, or consider a destination wedding somewhere like Napa Valley or the Finger Lakes region where there are abundant wineries to choose from! Getting married on a vineyard means that you’ll have plenty of outdoor space for guests, a lovely backdrop full of grape vines, and plenty of wine for the reception. Many wineries are used to hosting events like weddings, so they may also have tables and chairs ready for you to use, as well as other amenities.
National Park Weddings
If you love the great outdoors or you and your fiancee love to hike, getting married in a National Park is a unique outdoor wedding idea. America’s National Parks boast some of the most scenic views in the country, and you can get married in one of your local parks or turn it into a dream destination wedding location! Be sure to look into any permits you may need to set up decorations within a National Park before you plan your wedding.
Botanical Garden Weddings
Botanical gardens have all the decor you’ll need for your wedding waiting for you! Consider getting married at a local botanical garden for a unique and beautifully floral wedding venue. You’ll get plenty of outdoor space, plus perfectly maintained foliage to set the scene for your wedding ceremony and reception. Talk to your local botanical garden to see if they can host your wedding!
Some couples prefer to get married completely in the wilderness, so a forest wedding may be perfect for you! Search for local woods or state parks that will work as a wedding venue and seek out any permission needed to use the land first. You should also be aware that getting married in the forest means you may have unexpected guests like deer, hikers, or even bears. Be sure to get the full picture of your location and prepare for all possibilities.
The barn wedding venue has become extremely popular in the last few years, so getting married on a farm may be your dream wedding! A rustic farmhouse makes the perfect backdrop, or shelter, for an outdoor wedding. Consider local farms for your wedding venue – it may be less expensive than traditional venues, and you get the added rustic beauty of a farm, plus farm animals and plenty of outdoor space!
You can turn any open field into a beautiful wedding venue with the right decor and a large tent! If the location doesn’t matter too much, find a field or another outdoor space where you can get married and set up luxury tents to act as your venue (and to provide shelter from the weather). Any outdoor space can be transformed into an elegant wedding venue with a nice tent, tables, and decorations. Plus, you can save on your venue budget and add it to your decoration budget!
If you love the beach, why not opt for a beach wedding? A wedding on the beach offers guests plenty of space to spread out, plus you have the ocean as a lovely backdrop for your nuptials. Choose a local beach or turn your outdoor wedding into a destination wedding at a beach of your choice! Enjoy the sounds of the waves crashing and the sand between your toes while you say “I do.”
Do you like the idea of a beautiful backyard wedding, but your yard just isn’t big enough? Consider getting married at another estate, country home, or manor! Renting out another home to get married gives you the power to create the best backyard setting that you want, and you can take advantage of historic houses in your area or other cool estates! Research properties in your area that would make for a picturesque outdoor wedding venue and inquire about hosting your wedding at a lovely home that matches your style.
Outdoor Wedding Decoration Ideas
If you’re getting married outside, your plan for outside wedding decor is probably different than in a traditional venue. Use these outdoor wedding decoration ideas to turn any outdoor space into your dream wedding venue!
- Wedding Arches
- String Lights
- Photo Backdrops
- Picnic Tables
- Hay Bale Seating
- Mason Jars
- Floral Displays
- Bar Carts
- Blankets, Fans, or Parasols
- Lawn Games
- Fire Pits
- Wooden or Chalkboard Signs
- Vintage Props
- Hang Decor from the Trees
- Create a Dance Floor
Set the stage for your outdoor ceremony with an arch that matches your style and theme. You can make a DIY flower arch from real or fake blooms, make a rustic wooden arch, or have one constructed out of other materials! For an outdoor wedding, consider natural materials like wood, vines, or even tree branches.
Light up your outdoor wedding with string lights! Once it starts to get dark, string lights offer an ethereal glow that is sure to make for a beautiful outdoor wedding. Choose from tiny fairy lights to larger industrial bulbs and string them around trees, along the tent, overhead, or anywhere that makes sense to set a warm ambiance for your wedding.
Many outdoor weddings already have scenic backgrounds, but you can also set up a photo station for another photo option! Create a backdrop that fits in with your colors or theme and encourage guests to take pictures. You can use cloth draped over branches, wooden backdrops, flower walls, and more.
Need an easy seating option for your wedding outside? There’s nothing wrong with good, old-fashioned picnic tables! Since you’re already outside, picnic tables should match fairly well with your aesthetic, and you can spruce them up with tablecloths, centerpieces, and much more.
Hay Bale Seating
Looking for cheap and easy seating for either your ceremony or reception? Consider using hay bales! If you opt for a rustic barn wedding, hay bales may be easily available. Add some blankets to the top of the bales and they make a comfortable seating option that will match the theme of your farm wedding.
If you’re planning a rustic outdoor wedding, you can find many uses for mason jars. Serve cocktails in mason jars, use them as vases for your flowers and centerpieces, or even hang them from trees with flowers, candles, or other goodies inside. Get crafty with mason jars for a cheap outdoor wedding decoration!
Getting married outside means you’re probably a fan of nature, at least to some degree, and no wedding is complete without flowers. Lean into your natural setting by adding even more floral displays to your decor! Flowers look beautiful at any wedding – indoors or outside – and they’ll blend wonderfully with your outdoor venue. Add floral centerpieces to tables, drape flowers and vines across tables and around trees, or hang floral displays from trees, string lights, and more.
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Make sure your guests stay hydrated by placing bar carts around your outdoor venue. You can set up rustic ice buckets full of beers and soft drinks, set up stations with pre-made or make-your-own cocktails, or hire bartenders to man your bar stations. You can even use wheelbarrows as bar carts on a farm or at any outdoor setting. Get creative and search for movable bar carts or drink stations that match your decor.
Blankets, Fans, or Parasols
An outdoor wedding means that you’re at the mercy of the elements. Pray for good weather, but prepare for everything by providing guests with blankets if it gets cold, or hand-held fans or parasol umbrellas if it’s hot. You can match the blankets, fans, or parasols to your colors and theme, and set them up in cute displays for everyone to access. Outdoor weddings are typically intimate affairs, so let your guests get comfortable with cozy blankets or lightweight fans.
Take advantage of the outdoors by lighting up some sparklers! You can ask guest to light these all at once for a great picture, or even ask them to hold sparklers as the bride and groom exit the wedding. Sparklers will make for some amazing photos, and they’re a fun way to add some spark to your wedding day.
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Keep your guests entertained with fun lawn games! Consider classics like corn hole, ladder golf, and more to scatter around your outdoor wedding. If you allow kids on your big day, this will help keep them entertained, but adults love games as well! Just be sure to keep any games away from the bar, dessert table, or anywhere where a stray corn hole bag could break something.
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For an outdoor night wedding, set up fire pits. This is a great way to light up the night, and it allows guests to gather around in smaller groups to mingle and keep warm. A few fire pits will make for a cozy end to the night as your wedding winds down, and it’s a special addition that only outdoor weddings can indulge in.
Wooden or Chalkboard Signs
Use chalkboard signs or even painted wooden signs to label amenities and direct guests to where they need to be. A chalkboard with a rustic wooden finish looks great at an outdoor venue, and they can be used to direct guests to their seats, to share information about the food or drinks, or they can be used as fun photo props!
Balloons are a cheap, easy, and classic way to decorate any wedding. Get balloons to match your color scheme and tie them to chairs, tables, centerpieces, and more to add some color to your outside decor. You can also get letter balloons or other specialty balloons to further decorate or to create a photo backdrop.
For a countrified outdoor wedding, vintage props can step up your decor! Consider renting an old pickup truck, use old bicycles with baskets to hold party favors, or search for other vintage props to decorate your outdoor space. Go thrifting or check out antique shops, and don’t be afraid to get creative!
Hang Decor from the Trees
If your wedding is in an area with plenty of trees, use them to help decorate! You can create a photo wall on a tree by stringing polaroids around it, or you can hang photos, vases, or string lights from trees. Get crafty and hang recycled wine bottles to create a cool glass wall for pictures, hang signs from the trees, or come up with your own unique decoration ideas.
Nothing is more romantic than candlelight, so consider lighting your outdoor wedding with candles! For safety reasons, you may want to keep candles in glasses like mason jars, wine glasses, or some kind of container so that they don’t tip over and ignite anything. As long as you keep safety in mind, candles can make for a lovely ambiance under the stars.
Create a Dance Floor
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Finally, don’t forget about a dance floor just because you’re outside! Indoor wedding venues tend to have a space for the dance floor laid out, and just because you may be on grass doesn’t mean you can’t still have dancing at your wedding. Dance directly on the grass, or consider creating a dance floor out of wooden pallets or other materials!
These outdoor wedding ideas may help to create your dream wedding, whether you planned on getting married outside or you had to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions. Either way, use these venue ideas and decoration ideas to design a beautiful wedding under the stars!
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