When it comes to choosing your wedding venue, there are a seemingly infinite number of options. It can be difficult to narrow down the venues worth touring and try to determine what will be the best fit. Outdoor wedding venues have been growing in popularity for good reason but just because you like the idea of an outdoor venue, doesn’t mean it necessarily suits your needs. With the crazy amount of choices you will soon be making while wedding planning, let us help you out with this one! From a team that has hosted almost 600 outdoor weddings – we’re going to give you the “real” talk on outdoor wedding venues.
(Featured Photo: Brandon Shafer Photography)
Outdoor Wedding Venues Have Lots of Pros
Beautiful Scenery at Outdoor Wedding Venues
(Photo credit: Sean Cook Weddings)
The great thing about most outdoor wedding venues is that they are in naturally beautiful locations. Wedding venues near water, wedding venues in rolling countrysides, or wedding venues in (hint, hint!) the middle of a vineyard all have something spectacular in common – picture perfect views. Many outdoor venues aren’t set in big downtown cities so they offer serenity and privacy just simply by where they’re located. With an abundance of photo locations often right at the venue, giving you more time to enjoy that lovely scenery with your guests.
Outdoor Weddings Bring Beauty, So You Can Keep it Simple
(Photo Credit: Ashley Galminas Photography)
This one goes hand in hand with our first “pro”. Because of the natural beauty associated with many outdoor wedding venues, you often have the ability to keep it simple. Gorgeous surroundings means you can go easy on the decor if you want. It can take some time, creativity, and usually lots of money to transform an indoor space into the wedding you want. But with a sunset, some grape vines, and the stars – you don’t have to work hard to make the space beautiful.
We’re also talking simplicity for your guests. Many outdoor venues have onsite ceremony options and onsite parking. This means your guests can arrive without frustration, remain in the same location, and just enjoy themselves without having to worry about the logistics of getting from place to place.
Lots of Space at Outdoor Wedding Venues Means More Room for Experiences
(Photo Credits: top- Kati Mallory Photography, bottom- Rebekah Albaugh Photography)
One of the wedding trends we get really excited about is a shift in focus on guest experiences. Yes, it’s your day, but you want to make it memorable and fun for your loved ones. Choosing an outdoor wedding venue can often give you some room to let that guest experience come to life in ways it wouldn’t be possible with an indoor location. Think lawn games, fire pits, food trucks, etc. You can almost choreograph the space to guide your guests from experience to experience while giving them room to celebrate with you in ways they enjoy.
Unique Weddings Can Easily Be Designed Outdoors
(Photo Credit: Rachael Osborn Photography)
Although we have seen that growth in outdoor wedding venues recently, it’s still so easy to find unique options. The wedding venue you choose, should reflect who you are as a couple. Styles for outdoor venues vary from rustic to elegant, casual to formal, and everything in between. Most outdoor venues give you the ability to express yourselves and create memorable events because they shy away from what is typically found in hotels, banquet halls, or country clubs. If you take the time to discover what is truly important to you and how you want your day to “feel” you can narrow down your search and select an outdoor venue that is perfectly you.
Outdoor Venue Cons & How to Mitigate
Navigating Michigan Weather
(Photo Credit: Lauren Crawford Photography)
This is honestly the biggest concern for most couples when deciding if an outdoor wedding venue will work. Will it be hot? Might it be cold? Will it rain? All valid concerns. You don’t want to spend the duration of your planning worrying about something that is completely out of your control – it sucks the fun out of the process. However, doing your research when looking at venues can put your mind at ease. Always ask the “what if’s”. What is the plan if it rains, where will people go, how does affect the spaces you’ll be using? What if it’s cold, how does that change the flow of experiences my guests encounter? Is there an emergency plan for severe weather? If you are unsatisfied with the answers any venue gives you to these questions; move on.
You have to plan for the worst and be okay with Plan B if it’s needed. If you can only imagine your wedding day at a certain venue in perfect conditions, it might not be the right fit for you. Weather will always be a factor but as long as you take the time to think through scenarios, you’ll find it doesn’t have to be that constant worry in the back of your mind.
Dealing with the Outdoors and Bugs
(No photo here – no one wants to see pictures of bugs…)
Like it or not, there are some less glamorous parts to planning a wedding. If you are considering an outdoor wedding venue, how to deal with bugs can be one of those unsavory topics. Flies, and mosquitoes, and bees – oh my! The last thing you want to be doing on your wedding day is swatting away flies or trying to itch a fresh mosquito bite. If you have a fear or pretty intense distaste of the winged pests, you may want to reconsider your outdoor vibe. Bugs here and there are part of the territory. However, if you are looking at experienced and reputable venues, they will have thought of this already and hopefully taken the steps to keep your space as bug free as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask a venue what measures they use to control the issue. If they are like us, they will tell you the lifecycle of a mosquito is 21 days, and yes – we treat our spaces every 21 days – so fear not.
Outdoor Venues Come with Limited Dates
(Photo Credit: 430 Studios)
If you are reading this, you are likely planning your wedding somewhere close to our little corner of Michigan. Which means with good old Michigan seasons – we have a limited number of dates we can host outdoor weddings. Depending on the venue, Michigan wedding season often runs May through October. That’s only 6 months of Saturdays to choose from so those will be at a premium. You will want to start looking early and make some of those big decisions pretty quickly because dates fill fast.
In the end, your choice of venue is very personal and there are so many factors to consider but if you think an outdoor wedding venue might be right for you, we’d love to talk through your ideas! Just reach out!