The Pros & Cons Of An Outdoor Wedding

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One of the biggest decisions a couple has to make when wedding planning is where to hold the wedding ceremony or the reception. Choosing between holding the wedding or reception indoors or outdoors is a big part of creating your dream big day.

So whether you envision yourself with a lush green background and fabulous view or a princess-style ballroom and castle, before you settle on whether you’re in or out, here are the pros and cons of outdoor weddings:

Con: The weather

One of the perks of an indoor wedding is there is no need to plan for weather mishaps from extreme temperatures of hot or cold (if its summer or winter) or rain, which can dampen the celebrations.

Pro: Family friendly atmosphere/setting

An outdoor wedding means you will have plenty of space for the children to run around and have fun. You can set up a collection of lawn games to keep them busy and entertained, but will also help keep the adults occupied in the gap between the ceremony and the reception.

Con: Harder to book

Outdoor weddings are commonly held during the summer months, which is the most popular season for weddings. Outdoor wedding venues will be in high demand so you will need to book early. Another disadvantage of high demand is that the prices will be higher than in other seasons and there is the risk of scheduling conflicts with other weddings.

Pro: Lighting

When you hold a wedding outdoors, the lighting can be ideal for photos (unless it’s very sunny). If the lighting isn’t ideal your photographer can move around and find the best lighting to make the most of your amazing natural setting. However, the lighting is best on an overcast day.

Con: Restrictions

Public spaces, such as parks or beaches, might come with a few legal limitations that can affect your plans for your dream wedding. You will need to check local regulations and rules regarding alcohol, crowd size, noise levels etc. before you book.

Pro: Beautiful scenery and views

Holding your wedding outside means you can have a variety of naturally beautiful backgrounds that can create breath-taking opportunities for your wedding photos. Another advantage to holding the wedding outside is that the scenery acts as a bonus décor and can save on costs.

Con: Rental costs

The problem with an outdoor wedding is that it is a blank canvas, while this might seem like an advantage as you can create your dream wedding from scratch; it adds an extra expense because you will need to rent a tent because of the unpredictability of the weather. Many rental companies will have a rain policy so you can get one last minute on the day; if you book in advance for this option should the weather suddenly try to dampen the celebrations. If your wedding celebration isn’t being held outside of a venue then you will also have the added cost of renting chairs, tables and portable restrooms.

Pro: Best of both worlds

Many venues now offer the option of having your ceremony outdoors and your reception indoors (however they might charge you for both settings). This means you can get the best of both options if you’re unable to decide and also provides a backup should the weather not be behaving.

outdoor wedding

Con: Sound

At an outdoor wedding, sound can easily be lost in a big open space. Unfortunately this means that some guests may not be able to hear the ceremony or the speeches at the reception.

Pro: No space limitations

Unlike indoor weddings where you might be limited by the space available due to the venue having a set maximum capacity for fire and health and safety regulations, an outdoor venue provides more flexibility with having a big wedding.

By Felicity McKee, Excalibur Press