Finding the perfect wedding venue is an enormous task to scratch off of your to-do list during your wedding-planning craziness. The precise site of the wedding informs many of the other decisions you need to make, like what type of food to serve and where your ceremony will take place—all your plans begin to fall into place when you lock down your choice of wedding venue.
But what happens when you decide you want to hold your wedding in a place that’s far-less conventional than a traditional wedding venue, like your sister’s backyard or a beach or park setting? Can you expect a similar sort of domino effect, where the wedding-venue decision informs an array of other decisions?
Well, not really. When you picture the wedding of your dreams taking place in a lush garden, idyllic beach, sunny hillside or some other outdoor space, and actually decide to turn that dream into a reality, you end up creating a turbulent stir of logistical challenges that you’ll need to personally solve.
So, while the idea of an outdoor wedding might sound unique, quirky, and great fun in theory, actually staging nuptials out in the elements is incredibly difficult. From the moment you utter the words “outdoor wedding,” factors begin working against you. Let’s take a look at some of those now with the cons of holding your wedding reception and ceremony outdoors.
You Cannot Control The Weather
Any outdoor event risks facing Mother Nature’s wrath and weddings are no different. You can follow the weather reports and subscribe to daily updates from the Farmer’s Almanac—it doesn’t matter, as the weather is inherently unpredictable and can make a mess of even the best-laid plans. Even if you schedule your wedding during a time of the year when logic dictates that there’s less chance of inclement weather, you still can never be sure that the climate will cooperate. And we can tell you from experience: If you do decide on an outdoor wedding, you will check the weather constantly—and obsessively—multiple times a day in the weeks leading up to the wedding. This adds undue stress to the wedding-planning process and makes it impossible to enjoy any of the pre-wedding festivities—especially if you spy rain in the forecast!
Insects Are Sure To Bug You
Various winged creatures and creepy crawlers are just waiting to crash your outdoor wedding, turning the nuptials into an itchy, irksome, and icky formal affair. From irritating mosquitoes and bees to thieving seagulls and raccoons, you’ll have to decide just how tolerant you and your guests are of these wedding crashers. Some people who host outdoor weddings end up taking precautions to guard against bugs and pests, but do you really want to be the couple that hands out bug spray during the cocktail hour, has their vows interrupted by the sudden electro-bursts of a bug zapper or defends their guests from a band of rogue raccoons. That’s a level of responsibility you definitely do not need to shoulder on your wedding day.
You Risk An Anti-Climactic Entrance
There are more than a few absolutely classic wedding moments—one of which is the newlywed couple’s grand entrance into the reception hall, following their wedding party. This moment features applause, music, photo ops, and lots of loving adulation from the onlooking guests. Now imagine that moment taking place outside. There are no doors to swing open other than maybe a screen door at the rear of your sister’s house and no hidden corridor where you and your partner will emerge from in triumph. Maybe there will be a makeshift curtain that you can hide behind, but where’s the majesty in that? Without the aesthetic common in a grand wedding venue, your reception entrance just might fall flat.
Hidden Costs Are Suddenly Not-So-Hidden
Wedding venues are typically one of the most expensive components of any wedding, which totally makes sense when you think about it. Venues provide food and beverages, a full complement of waitstaff services, parking, bathrooms, utensils, oftentimes a bar, coat room, and all of the other details that many people take for granted. When you decide to plan your own outdoor wedding, you are responsible for every single aspect that a venue would normally provide—and not only do you have to supply these details, but you also have to pay for them. That means renting a gigantic tent, finding your own caterer, and even renting portable bathrooms. Where does it end? What’s more, the venue also has the staff to clean up after your wedding has concluded. This way you don’t have to task your mother-in-law with following your guests around with a garbage bag and a broom.
Holding your wedding outdoors with a heavy DIY aesthetic might sound cute, but that cuteness can wear thin as the price of your wedding begins to rise. Understand that in order for this type of wedding to be successful, so many different factors have to line up and you have to plan for so many varied scenarios that you never even dreamed of worrying about. Can it be beautiful? Of course! But why put yourself through undue stress when there are luxurious event venues just waiting to give you a gorgeous, stress-free wedding of your dreams? Save the outdoor fun for your honeymoon!