Say 'I Do' Outside

As wedding season rapidly approaches, it can be expected that weddings will be making the move outdoors, whenever possible. And while many might think that outdoor weddings need more because they are in such an open space, that is not necessarily true. There are a few key things to keep in mind when you are looking to plan an outdoor wedding, and none is more important than the simplest fact -- the best outdoor weddings use the space they have and are kept simple!

Wedding tent with lanterns

Use what Mother Nature gave you

Nature doesn’t need any fancy embellishments. You are given the natural elements to work with, and they don’t need anything added to them. Rather, look to complement them! It is very easy to do and leaves a lot of space for creativity. Take for example, a garden-type setting. It is the perfect opportunity to blend your creativity with the natural setting. You already have greenery and varying floral elements, so look to complement them. Centerpieces or accents can be flowers that match those of the natural setting.

Similarly, you can look at something like a beach setting. You wouldn’t necessarily have your go-to colors or floral arrangements set up with rich, lush greenery. Instead, you would complement it with light, airy hues and simple décor.

Think about your set up

In addition to decor, think about how you are going to set up your outdoor setting. Do you plan on having something like a tent? If so, that is an opportunity to create something that makes a statement. Can you decorate the interior of the tent, such as the poles and the canopy? This can include accent colors, lighting or even flowers. Think about what you have, what would be a nice complement to your space, and then consider where to go next.

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Centerpiece at outdoor wedding

Comfort is key

Perhaps the biggest tip I can offer for an outdoor wedding is to understand the space, the conditions and your guests. Guests must be comfortable. So, while it is obvious that the dead of winter will not be an ideal candidate for your wedding day, it is entirely possible that a summer scorcher occurs as you prepare to celebrate your nuptials. In that case, you can add decor items such as gazebos or umbrellas to offer your guests some refuge. But, make sure they fit! While gazebos and umbrellas are fairly universal in where they can go, they will have to serve as complements to the setting as well.

The outdoor wedding has many advantages, none greater than the pure, raw space you get to work with from the start. Beware of overdoing your decor, because your space loses its charm -- the reason you chose it to begin with! Outdoor weddings are all about flow in a pure, organic space. Highlight what makes that space what it is, and forget about making it something it is not.

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Comments on "Outdoor weddings 101"

Erica June 26, 2012 | 2:12 PM

I'd love to have an outdoor wedding! I have all of these daydreams about a forest wedding or an English garden wedding. Ah. Lovely.

Julie May 29, 2012 | 1:13 PM

One advantage to the climate of sunny Arizona is the possibilities of good weather for outdoor weddings (June, July and August not included). I got married at sunset on my front porch overlooking downtown Phoenix and it was heavenly! Natural surroundings truly do present a unique venue. Never underestimate the value in natural light for photos and videos!

Emma May 25, 2012 | 10:32 AM

I think the best tips here are to use the space already provided and not over-do the simple beauty of mother nature! And make sure that your guests are comfortable! It can be so miserable for everyone involved if the conditions aren't comfortable outside. Obviously, some things are out of your control, but still there can be things done to make it better for all.

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