Our guest blogger Amanda Hevener, a wedding industry insider, is back on the blog today with unique outdoor wedding venue ideas.
One unique way to personalize your wedding ceremony, and in most cases, your reception, is to hold it outside. You don’t have to be a lover of the outdoors to be a lover of outdoor weddings — but you do need to hope for good weather.
SAVE the DATE: As you’re well-aware, weather can vary depending on where you live and what time of year it is. Some locations and times are just not conducive to outdoor weddings. Love the thought of a snowy walk down the aisle? Unless you want your wedding outfit to consist of snow boots and a parka, you had better choose a different season if you’re saying “I do” in the Midwest or Northeast. The first thing to settle on if you want an outdoor wedding is the date. Once the time of year has been picked, think beyond the beach and plan an original outdoor wedding.
PICK a VENUE: There are many outdoor venues to choose from, so think out of the box for something personal that the average bride and groom may not consider. Here are some ideas:
- Sports Stadium: Hold the ceremony in your favorite sports venue during the off-season. If you love baseball, nothing beats exchanging vows on home plate. If you’re a football fan, say “I do” on the fifty-yard line. Most sports venues have event planning services that can help you every step of the way, and many also have their own in-house catering service. Not only will your wedding be memorable, but you will most likely be able to have your reception in a party room or an exclusive part of the stadium.
- Party in the Park: Check out local parks for an inexpensive wedding venue: in small towns and cities, community parks should have picnic areas and gazebos. In larger cities, local parks are likely equipped with pavilions or buildings you can reserve. You can also rent a tent specifically for the event. If you go this route, your wedding will likely be more laid-back: Let your guests know in advance and have them come in casual clothing, especially if you plan to incorporate yard games into the reception fun.
- Church Garden: Find a local church with an outdoor garden or grotto. They are not particularly common, but going out of your way will be worth the scene. An outdoor grotto or shrine located behind or near a church is truly unique place to hold your wedding. The natural scenery will make a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony, and you won’t have to find another location to play host to your official wedding pictures.
- Local Vineyard or Farm: Many vineyards have a special event planning service specifically for weddings, although you might find a more intimate (and less expensive) environment if you go to a small farm or vineyard without the planning amenities. At a smaller venue, ask if you can set up a large tent on their grounds to hold both your ceremony and reception. A local farm is another great option if you don’t have a favorite vineyard. It works out well for both you and the farmers: You can purchase their produce to serve at your reception, and you get a very original outdoor wedding location.
- Friend’s Yard/Estate: If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or relative who has a large backyard that opens up to a lake, stream, golf course, or even forest, ask if you can use their space. This is a great way to save money — as long as you promise to hire someone to clean up the mess. You won’t have to pay to reserve separate ceremony and reception spots since you can have both in the same location.