Outdoor weddings are my favorite. The beautiful weather, the fun colors, the abundant DIY and creative opportunities, and the gorgeous landscapes make for an amazing day. Being able to creatively incorporate the natural elements with your own color palette and decorations, and simply enjoying the great weather with loved ones is the perfect way to celebrate your big day. Outdoor venues allow you more freedom because of the open space, and you can really let your style shine! The natural beauty of an outdoor venue is reason enough to go outdoors, but the creative opportunities certainly add to the charm!
Venues for your outdoor wedding can vary from your backyard, to an arboretum, or to even a state park! Whatever you decide, make sure you have a backup plan in case of bad weather. And double check to ensure you have the proper permission or permits to use the space.
From wedding favors to outdoor games, the fun DIY options for an outdoor wedding are endless. Not only will they save you money, but they’re fun for you and your guests! This is also a great way to get your bridesmaids and family members involved in your wedding by having them help make the paper cranes or personalized bean bag toss!
Outdoor weddings are out of the ordinary and are great for setting a relaxing environment. Ready to choose an outdoor wedding but looking for some inspiration? We have you covered! We put together a list of 14 fun ideas for your dream outdoor wedding that will ensure your big day is memorable and enjoyable for everyone.
YOUR DREAM OUTDOOR WEDDING
Have you decided on the setting? The outdoors are a great opportunity to choose between a variable of environments –the countryside, a lush field of green grass, the woods, mountains, or the beach. Think about your favorite open space and celebrate your wedding there!
Jo Photo. Kennedy Blue styles Stella, Anna, Olivia, Hannah, and Violet.
Complement your decorations. With an outdoor wedding, you can design your color palette and decorations around your venue. If you were to choose a beach setting you can create everything, from favors to your bridesmaid’s dresses, to complement it. And it doesn’t have to be expensive – since the venue is so beautiful you don’t necessarily have to spend as much on decorations!
But what about the weather? The weather doesn’t have to get in the way of your big day! When planning ahead for rain, wind, extreme heat, or even snow, consider all the fun photo opportunities! Cute umbrellas, rain boots, sweaters/cardigans, flannels, sunglasses, and even rain ponchos and winter coats can be made into fun and memorable photos with your wedding party and guests. Tip: stock up on fun color coordinating umbrellas for your wedding party and guests in case of rain, and enjoy your outdoor wedding and pictures later!
Have fun with florals! Especially if your wedding is during the spring or summer season, why not take advantage of all the beautiful flowers that are in season? Incorporate flowers into a crown, the altar, guest favors, hanging decorations, centerpieces, flower petals on the tables, and a backdrop for your photo booth. Read more about how to style floral headpieces here!
If possible, hang décor from trees using transparent thread. You can decorate with glass bottles, paper crafts (such as origami), mason jars, old photo frames, balloons, or florals for a gorgeous complement to your outdoor wedding. You can get super creative with this, and it doesn’t have to cost much. Not only will this make your wedding seem more personal, but it creates another fun photo opportunity for guests!
Lighting! Even though you have to plan around natural lighting when you are outdoors, you also have a plethora of options to make your outdoor wedding personal and whimsical. Creative string lighting, mason jars, candles, lanterns, and even sparklers can add unique touches. (Another plus of candles is that you can elect to have bug repellant candles-taking care of two problems at once!) Lighting can add a huge romantic touch to your venue, and is one of the many benefits of being outside!
Can you hear the sound of music? An outdoor wedding is perfect to have a live string quartet or any kind of live music. The space of the venue can allow you more room for the musicians, and it’ll add even more to the magic!
Be creative with your wedding favors! You have the unique opportunity to give out especially fun and practical favors for your guests. You can choose to give favors that guests can use during the wedding (such as bubbles), or take home to enjoy later. Some ideas we love are sunglasses, flip flops for dancing, bubbles, disposable cameras, sunscreen, umbrellas, sparklers, S’mores kits, potted succulents, and many more. You can customize the favors to represent your wedding theme or you and your fiancee's names (such as having the succulents say "Help our love grow!")
Plan fun outdoor games for your guests! Maybe the best part about an outdoor wedding is the awesome games your guests can enjoy in between wedding activities. Not only is this fun for the kids, but the adults can have a blast too. Making or buying outdoor games is relatively inexpensive, and your guests can create lasting memories over the bean bag toss. Consider ladder toss, bean bags, horseshoes, bocce ball, Jenga, lawn twister, and more. You can even customize the games to fit your wedding theme or include you and your fiancée’s names!
Pictures, pictures, pictures! Make the most of your gorgeous outdoor venue with a fun photo opportunity for guests. Forget the photo booth and instead create a memorable photo area! Include props, frames, flowers, and sparklers – whatever you want! –, and incorporate your outdoor venue to create unique and memorable photos for your guests!
Allen Doberenz Photography. Kennedy Blue styles Claire and Paige.
Include your pet! Outdoor weddings are typically easier to incorporate your beloved pets into. Whether for photos or for the ceremony, being outdoors makes having your special “family” members apart of your big day that much easier.
Create a unique altar. Incorporate your outdoor venue to make a natural and gorgeous piece. Being outside means you have more room during your ceremony, so why not take advantage of it with a non-traditional altar? There are tons of simple ways to make your backdrop more personal, such as adding flowers, leaves, ribbon, photos, mosaics, sea shells, or tree branches. It can be as simple as looping a ribbon over the tree branches or unique as constructing a totally new altar!
Outdoor wedding colors can be so much fun! You can choose to have your bridesmaids stand out against the venue, or complement the natural landscape. Having an outside wedding allows your bridesmaids to use deep, rustic colors like eggplant, navy blue, or claret, or wear dustier colors like sage green, blush, and slate blue. Bright colors, such as coral or mint, are also fun too! It really depends on your venue and season, but don’t be afraid to be creative. These beautiful bridesmaids below decided to pop against their background by choosing the Kennedy Blue color mint.
Ray + Kelly Photographers. Kennedy Blue style Hannah.
Re-purpose antique furniture that will complement your outdoor theme. Mix and match furniture or use alternative seating such as hale bales or swings! Re-purposed items can be more than just seating however. You can use old picture frames, tables, mason jars, decorations, tea cups as candle holders, or even find items for your altar or entryway. Not only will this be cute and unique, but it could save you money too!
Choosing an outdoor venue is a great option because it can reduce your expenses and you can have a lot of fun with it! The natural beauty of the venue, the (hopefully) gorgeous weather, and all the fun decorations you can create can all come together to create a truly memorable and one of a kind wedding. See more gorgeous outdoor weddings on our Real Wedding page!
An outdoor wedding is a perfect way to combine your love for the outdoors or season with spectacular photo and DIY opportunities! Have you planned or attended an outdoor wedding before? What worked well and what didn't? Share your experience and opinions in the comment section below!