How to plan an outdoor wedding, from event ideas to garden décor to the best of dresses

Whether you are envisioning a micro-wedding in your garden or walking down the aisle in a forest clearing, the idea of ​​an outdoor wedding is always green. Its popularity has increased since the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions on weddings and receptions. According to Pinterest, searches for “small garden weddings” have risen by 160 percent.

With wedding restrictions gradually being lifted in the coming months, it is difficult to get plans for your wedding day set in stone. But good news for future brides and grooms – there’s no reason you can’t start planning your dream outdoor wedding in the months ahead.

The first is the first – the weather. In the UK you are spoiled for choice in beautiful locations, but there is always a chance the rain will stop playing. “Always have a plan A and B, with plan B being the rainy weather option,” says wedding planner Katie Slater, founder of Songbird Weddings, which specializes in unique outdoor weddings – from themed forests to secret gardens.

“If a couple has rented a marquee, make sure that the ceremony can take place in the marquee in bad weather. Or you could set aside a budget for a stretch tent. ”

If you’re not sure where to start, the first thing you need to do is set a clear budget with your other half. “I tell all of my couples to keep an eye on a character from the start so they can work back and decide how much to spend on each element,” she says. This is especially important for outdoor weddings, where the cost of the practical elements – such as cooling, lighting, and parking – can pile up quickly.

“Everyone forgets about energy,” says Slater, “plus toilets and a fridge tag to keep all of your food and wine.” If you have a guest list of 50 or more people will need an amplification system or speakers for everyone to hear, she adds.

From dreamy outdoor locations to inspiration for decor, flowers, and that all-important dress, we’ve put together this guide to planning an outdoor wedding to tell you everything you need to know.

Best outdoor wedding venues

The sky is the limit (literally) when it comes to outdoor wedding venues. From wonderland forest landscapes to festival fields, ceremonies on the beach, a rustic barn or a garden tent, there is a wedding room for every taste. But it is important that you remember the logistics.

In order to hold your legal wedding ceremony outdoors, it must be held under a licensed structure. “Many venues have outdoor ceremonial areas, such as outdoor ceremonies. For example, a pavilion where you can get married, ”says Slater.

If this option is not for you, there is no reason why you cannot go to a church or registry office to inquire about the legalities and then get a reception. “You can go to a registrar the day before and then have a warm, meaningful ‘ceremony’ on your wedding day,” she says.

Here are some of our favorite outdoor wedding venues to add to your mood board:

Cripps Barn, Gloucestershire