Essential Tips for Selecting the Perfect Outdoor Wedding Venue

how to find an outdoor venue for a wedding

Planning for a wedding is an exciting yet overwhelming experience. You need to make many decisions, and the key among them is the wedding venue. The venue is so important because it impacts the rest of your choices.

A good venue means great ambiance and an incredible guest experience. You must also choose an outdoor wedding venue that reflects your theme and personality. If you’re wondering ‘how to find an outdoor venue for a wedding,’ you’re in the right place because, we’ll discuss some essential tips to help you make the crucial decision of selecting an outstanding wedding venue. 

Benefits of an Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings are very popular because of the many benefits they offer each couple. It is hard to replicate their ambiance, versatility, and flexibility in indoor settings. Here are a few reasons to inspire you to choose an outdoor wedding venue:

Natural beauty—An outdoor venue can be a serene beach, a lush garden, or a majestic mountaintop. Regardless, they all offer a romantic atmosphere and breathtaking views that you cannot find in an indoor setting. 

Photographic opportunities – With these incredible views come many beautiful photo options. Outdoor venues are wonderful for evergreen wedding photos because of their natural lighting and picturesque backdrops that never run out of style. 

Ample space – in most cases, an outdoor wedding location accommodates more people than indoors. They will also offer you more options to customize the guest seating, whether you want a grand ceremony or an intimate gathering.

Customization – your wedding decor team has more options to implement in outdoor settings. They can incorporate different ceremony arches, reception layouts, and kids’ play areas, among many more ideas. 

Connection with nature—Create a memorable experience for you and your guests by indulging in the lush greenery and natural light of an outdoor setting. Being in nature and light releases serotonin, endorphins, and melatonin, which boosts our guests’ relaxation.

Choosing the Right Location

There are many options to explore when choosing the right location for your wedding. When you’re wondering how to choose an outdoor wedding location, these may need to be clarified. You may be torn between a romantic garden setting, rustic countryside charm, a glamorous ballroom, or a beachfront paradise. Here’s how to make the right choice:

Identify your style—Begin by knowing your personal style as a couple. Then, narrow down to settings that resonate with both of you and the tone you want for your wedding. 

Logistics—The second most important factor is how the guests will move to and from the venue. You know who you want to attend, so select a venue that is easy for them to access. This may include ample parking, overnight accommodations, public transport, and distance. 

Guest experience: Choose outdoor wedding venues that have as many amenities as you need. For convenience, look at whether they offer catering, restrooms, parking, and a sound system as one package. 

Seasonal considerations—Consider the weather on your preferred date and plan accordingly. For instance, if you’re planning a summer wedding, choose outdoor venues that offer shade in the form of gazebos or tents. 

Venue availability: Book your wedding venue early, as the most popular destinations sell out fast. When you get a date, secure it quickly if it meets your requirements. 

Venue Size and Capacity

Before you choose a wedding venue, create a guest list of all the people you want to attend. Have a buffer room for more guests in case of some last-minute changes- it is better to overestimate attendance than to underestimate. 

Venues have restrictions based on the fire codes and space limitations they have to adhere to. Narrow down to the ones that can accommodate your maximum number of guests.

Remember to reserve some extra room for vendors like musicians, photographers, or caterers so that they can work without interfering with the seated guests. 

Know the wedding style you prefer. For instance, if it is a seated dinner, you need some room for a dance floor to break the monotony. 

If you choose outdoor wedding venues, select ones with room for unique accommodations like tent rentals without affecting the space available for guests to sit, stand, move around, take photos, and dance. 

Ensure the venue is easily accessible to guests of different abilities and regularly communicate with the venue staff about changes or special requests before the wedding day.

choose outdoor wedding venue

Accessibility for Guests

When you choose outdoor wedding venues, accessibility is a priority to ensure everyone participates and enjoys the events. A key issue is physician accessibility for people on wheelchairs or crutches passing through entrances, doorways, and bathrooms. 

Ensure auditory accessibility using a reliable sound system so everyone can hear and see what’s happening. Printing out a few program guides will help guests know how far the ceremony has come. 

Cognitive accessibility is another factor that is easily overlooked in wedding ceremonies. Use simple, clear language so every guest understands your words. If you and your spouse come from different language groups, have a translator. 

Train your staff to identify and resolve accessibility issues when they arise. They can respond to any special accommodations guests request.

Venue Services and Amenities

When evaluating wedding venues, you’ll notice that some places offer all-inclusive deals, so you don’t need to hire other vendors. You may also encounter a wonderful venue, but you need to bring some resources from outside. Weigh the pros and cons of each option to know what suits you best. 

Some must-have amenities for a wedding ceremony include a catering service, washrooms, decor, photo and videographers, entertainment, security, a sound system, ample seating, and parking. 

When you choose an outdoor wedding venue, you may include some additional amenities beyond the basics to improve comfort for your guests. They may include a concierge service, an event planning service, merchandise and souvenirs, and wifi.

Food and Entertainment Considerations

These two are integral to the memorable experience you want to create for your guests. When choosing food and cake, narrow down to two main vendors and have a tasting session so that you can get a taste of what they’ll serve on the wedding day. 

Have a broad menu selection that accommodates people with different preferences and restrictions. With guidance from your caterer, include gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and allergen-free options. 

You can serve these dishes in buffet style, a formal sit-down dinner, food stations, or a cocktail reception with passed hors d’oeuvres.

The beverage section may have alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, including wine, beer, specialty drinks, and sodas. 

Go all out with the entertainment by hiring a DJ, band, or live musicians to keep your guests enjoying all day and night. Ensure that most guests can identify with the music you’ll play and comfortably jam to it. You may include a first dance, surprise performance, speeches, and toasts as part of the entertainment. 

Entertainment goes beyond music, and more so when you choose an outdoor wedding venue. If your event will extend into the night, you can have fireworks and sparklers. To boost the vibe, you may also have guest engagement activities like photo booths, lawn games, or dance floors.

Weather Contingency Plans

One of the biggest concerns you’re likely to have when you choose an outdoor wedding venue is the weather. To manage this, keep a close eye on the weather forecast and plan accordingly. Have a backup tent or indoor setting in case it starts pouring, and keep your guests informed about the forecast through chat groups and social media. 

Have a flexible timeline that can accommodate any weather-related delays and disruptions. If you’re still worried, you can get insurance coverage that compensates you if the ceremony is rescheduled. Keep calm and trust all will be well after taking the necessary measures.

Understanding Venue Restrictions

Some common restrictions to look out for include noise levels, capacity limits, setup and decor guidelines, teardown, and additional fees for violating contract terms. Read the contract carefully and let the venue owner elaborate on the areas of keen interest. 

Noise restrictions are common when you choose an outdoor wedding venue because of surrounding properties. Also, watch out for restrictions on decor, like having open flames and confetti.

Adhere to the alcohol policies and plan for who will set up and teardown within the prescribed timeline.

Financial Considerations

Finally, consider the cost of the type of wedding you want. If you choose an outdoor wedding venue, prepare for higher costs, as these may require tent rentals, permits, and landscaping fees. 

The best way to be clear on your finances is to budget beforehand and have a miscellaneous amount for emergencies. Try to stick to the budget as much as possible to remain aligned with your overall financial goals as a couple. 

To Wrap It Up

Planning a wedding is overwhelming, but having a solid roadmap of where you’re going and what you need to do to get there eases the pressure. Indoor weddings are cozy, but prepare for higher stakes when you choose an outdoor wedding venue. 

But regardless of your preferred style, ensure that the wedding planning process doesn’t steal the joy of your big day. Now that you know how to pick a wedding venue try to keep a positive attitude and ask for help whenever you need it.

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