(Closed) Outdoor wedding brides–any regrets? Problems?

posted 6 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Ours was awesome!  If you remember Memorial Day weekend and you’re anywhere near the midwest it was f’ing HOT.  We sweated our behinds off but we had tons of fun! 

You can do a first look and pics beforehand if you’re worried about light.  We did quite a few of them before so we could get to the reception. 

Our guests came to the wedding on a tram provided by the venue, so it was just ‘all aboard let’s go!’ then they got dropped off, sat down, and the wedding started (I, my Maid/Matron of Honor, dad, and pastor were hiding out there already). 

Post # 4
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m about to have an outdoor ceremony too, so I’d like to follow this thread!

Post # 6
3081 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

We’re planning an outdoor wedding in August at 3PM…so I’m concerned wtih the heat for sure. But I have been to several outdoor weddings and hot/cold/wet/dry/windy/snowy, all have been great. The keys to my favorite ones are a good crowd/couple and that they aren’t too long. I’m going to follow this thread though, because I’m interested in other bees’ responses.

Post # 7
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’ll give you some pros & cons. 

Pros: convenient. Everyone just drives to one place. No going here there and everywhere. 

Outdoor photos are lovely. 

We didn’t have the costs involved with renting limos or paying the church/priest (FYI) I found out that if you don’t have it at the same church you go to, the church considers it a “destination wedding” and will charge you twice for it. ( catholic at least)

Cons: it could rain, be buggy, be too hot or be too cold. 

You may have to contend with outside noises ( other weddings, vehicles, etc)


In the end you have to realize there will always be ” what-ifs” and disasters will happen. You can’t account for everything. You just have to do your best and choose what feels right. You’ll have a wonderful day no matter what because you’re marrying the person you love. 



Post # 8
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@All In:  There was not another wedding there that day… I don’t think.  There was another reception inside later (in a different room, we were in a greenhouse and they were in a ballroom).  Our wedding was at 6pm which was an hour after they closed to the public so they started to set up right at 5. 

We had about 40 guests.  Just immediate family and close friends.  Our ceremony was less than 20min long so everyone could get inside and start the party.  🙂

Post # 9
4194 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

Do you know how long the prior ceremony is? If it’s 1/2 hour or less, you should be fine- guests are able to arrive at my venue 1/2 hour before. Only concern I would have in your situation would be if you need to adjust the set up- chairs, flowers, etc.

Post # 10
842 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I don’t think an hour is enough time.  Most ceremonies don’t seem to start right on the dot, then ~30 minutes for the ceremony and then all the guests of the earlier wedding need to leave.  What if they linger?  What if the earlier bride and groom do a receiving line?  That could take a half hour itself.    I would want some type of guarantee from the venue that the other wedding would need to clear out 30 minutes before your start time.

I had my wedding outside and a big consideration is lighting.  To get good pictures, you need to be in the shade.  If you’re in direct sunlight, it’ll be more difficult for your photographer.  The photographer may also want to be at the cermeony a few minutes earlier getting light readings.

We had some problems on the day because we were outside and I’m really annoyed at the venue’s DOC.  The DOC was panicking at how hot it had gotten and thought we’d be in the sun, even though both my Darling Husband and I told her we’d rehearsed there at the same time the day before and it was fine.  But she didn’t listen and moved us.  Because of the move most of our guests couldn’t hear our vows, we’re obscurred by a column on the video and you can barely hear us, one of my bridesmaids FELL during the processional (tripped over uneven ground covered by the runner, which she wouldn’t have walked over if we hadn’t been moved), and I looked stupid because I got stuck when my cathedral veil got caught on stone steps that I shouldn’t have had to walk up.

In hindsight, I highly recommend doing your rehearsal the same time the day before, and if it looks good, then tell EVERYONE that there’s absolutely no moving of the ceremony. 

Post # 11
11172 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Ours was amazing! The weather was perfect and the sky was a gorgeous color blue. That being said I certainly did worry.

The day before our wedding there was 25 mph winds going through the area and I couldn’t imagine how the flowers/decor would survive, lot alone my veil and dress. Thankfully the wind died down overnight.

In the words of my wedding planner, always have a back up plan. Even if you don’t use it at least you have peace of mind throughout the planning.

Post # 12
326 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I got married outdoors – a little different though – my ceremony was at 7pm in May in South Florida (sun was out until at least 8pm).  There could have been a wedding 2 hours before mine, but there wasn’t (luckily).  If you’re the later wedding, I wouldn’t worry – I kind of feel bad for the first wedding though – my venue told me that the florists usually start setting up for the second wedding during the first wedding’s cocktail hour (also outdoors).  I think outdoor ceremonies are beautiful.  If you’re concerned about lighting – you could always do pictures before the ceremony (like a First Look) – if you don’t want to see your fiance beforehand, you can still do a lot of the “formal” family and bridal party pictures beforehand.  We did our photos before at the hotel we stayed at before going over to the venue.  You can also talk to your venue or your florist or whoever is in charge of your decor and ask them about renting lighting – you can do amazing things with uplighting and spotlighting – and there’s nothing more romantic than candlelight.  I kind of wished that it would have been darker for my wedding so I could have had that candlelight effect.  Either way, it will be ok – if you decide to move it indoors to a church, that’s fine too, but just know that you do have options if you guys really have your hearts set on an outdoor wedding. 

Post # 13
252 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I am doing an outside ceremony in Alabama on labor day weekend. I am super worried about the heat so we are going to keep the ceremony short. I am also worried about rain.


If you have always had your heart set on an outside ceremony, then do it, it’ll find a way to work and be perfect.  If you let your self get to stressed out and move it to a church if you’ve always wanted an outdoor ceremony, you will regret it later on.


Post # 14
724 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Here is our story.  We had an outside ceremony in the end of March (still winter) in the mountains.  Our dream was a winter wedding with snow.  I am an event coordinator so I planned a noon ceremony and advised our guests to dress accordingly.  This gave people time to get all dolled up for the reception as well as have fun in Banff (a small tourist town my husband grew up in) after the ceremony.  We gave fleece blankets in the welcome packages to help keep them warm and in the event of extreme weather the hotel had an inside room we could use.  Since the worst thing that could happen would be snow (which I actually wanted) we decided to keep it outside.

HOWEVER, this past winter that was supposed to be a colder than average one ended up being a warmer than normal winter leaving me to stress not about a cold blizzard but slushy, muddy mountain rain!  NOT what I was envisioning.  We bought every type of umbrella you could imagine: a 3 person one for us and officiant, 2 cool ones for our attendants and a 10 foot off set one in case of really bad slushy snow.  

I was stalking the weather like a crazy person.  Predicting weather in the mountains in March is impossible and the forecast wasn’t good: wet slushy rain.  My biggest fear.  The day before our wedding it dumped snow so bad you couldn’t see across the highway.  But since it was wet and hovering around 0 degrees Celsius it didn’t last too long.  We stuck to our guns and ended up having the best day.  The terrace for the ceremony was cleared of snow by the hotel but the surrounding area and trees were covered in white.  We took a chairlift ride to the top of a ski hill and got our fluffy flakes.  It was perfect for us.  I honestly feel because we had a back up plan in case of poor weather it kept our minds at ease and let us stick it out.

As for your ceremony here are my 2 cents.  I don’t feel 1 hour is enough time between ceremonies.  I am shocked they would even schedule it like that.  If you are worried about the rush then I would move locations.  I was okay with our decision and I still stressed out.  For pictures you could always do a reveal shoot before the ceremony and or find an indoor location.  We had a few indoor locations in mind as we couldn’t count on nice weather.  Make sure to keep in mind you are the focus.  A great landscape background is always nice but you can always get fantastic photos in other locations.  Our day was pretty gray and white but we went to a local Arts campus and used our venue location.

Good luck on whatever you decide.  In the end it will be perfect for you and a day you will never forget.  Afterall getting married is the important part and all you 2 will be looking at is each other.  I never once noticed my mountain backdrop.  Smile


Post # 15
26 posts
  • Wedding: March 2013

I’m getting married on Good Friday and there are not many churches willing to open their sanctuary to us that day so we may have to use our venue as a dual site. It’s going to be a lakeside wedding so it could be beautiful, but I am from Texas and I’m fully aware of the crazy weather we have. We haven’t decided yet, but I have thought about doing an outdoor reception, with the backup of having the reception set up, just with an aisle down the middle. I understand your dilemma!

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