If you have always dreamed of having an outdoor wedding ceremony then you are in luck. Thanks to some recent government reforms to the Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations it is now possible to hold a marriage or civil ceremony outside at an approved venue – yay! These changes come after increased awareness that sometimes it is preferable or even necessary to hold such events outdoors. However, it also means that marrying couples can have greater say over how their special day is structured.
These new regulations don’t mean that you can get married anywhere though, and there are still some guidelines. For instance, these new guidelines only apply to approved premises. This means you can have a garden ceremony at a licensed stately home, but not in an unlicensed field. Currently these new regulations don’t apply to religious ceremonies either, which must take place in a registered place of worship.
To celebrate these exciting new regulations, here are 10 outdoor wedding ceremony ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Ideas
Festival Style Wedding with Circus Tent
If you want to have an outdoor wedding ceremony, then an amazing way to keep your day seamless is to lean into the outdoor theme. A perfect way to do this is to choose a festival style wedding. You can hire a circus tent in lieu of a marquee to add some interest to your venue, and keep things on theme.
Make sure you have an area set up that is dedicated to your ceremony. This could be some rustic wooden benches for your guests with a beautiful floral arch for you to stand under, or some more traditional wedding chairs and parasols to keep your guests protected from the sun. Make it your own!
English Garden Wedding with Marquee
If your tastes lean more traditional, then you can still have an outdoor wedding ceremony! Imagine a stunningly romantic ceremony in the rose garden of a gorgeous stately home, followed by a champagne reception in a pristine white marquee. You can lean into your English garden theme by serving strawberries and cream and Pimms.
Entertain your guests with traditional garden games like croquet and boules, and don’t forget the string quartet.
Magical Forest Wedding with Treehouse
For this concept to work you will need to find a treehouse that is already licensed to hold weddings. From there you will have the freedom under the new regulations to hold your ceremony outside as long as the land is considered part of the treehouse venue.
Create a magical atmosphere by decking the forest out in fairy lights to light your guests way. Choose flowers which reflect the local flora so that your wedding looks organic against the forest backdrop.
Elegant Courtyard Wedding
For city wedding ceremonies, a chic answer to an outdoor wedding ceremony would be to utilise the courtyard of a hotel or city hall. The clean architectural lines would make a beautiful backdrop to your ceremony. Look for architectural focal points like feature windows to base your décor around.
Lean into the city chic aesthetic by having a black and white theme, non-traditional wedding outfits, and a reception rooftop party with canapes and cocktails.
How to Ensure Your Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Goes Off Without a Hitch
Provide Ample Cover
No matter the season, you must ensure to provide appropriate cover for your guests. This might be in the form of parasols at a summer wedding, or umbrellas and blankets for an autumnal affair. Don’t forget, rain can come whatever the season so you need to be prepared!
Don’t Let Bugs Ruin the Mood
There is nothing worse at an outdoor event than the feeling that creepy crawlies are dominating the mood! Having bug spray available for guests is a good way to keep everyone bite and sting free. You can even create a little bug bite first aid kit with antihistamine cream to have available just in case. Another good idea is to burn citronella candles, particularly at dusk. Incorporate them into the wedding aesthetic and have them bordering the perimeter to keep the evening bugs at bay.
Make Hydration a Breeze
If your guests are going to be spending the majority of the day outside, then the chances are they will be getting more dehydrated than usual. This will only be made worse by the free flowing alcohol that often is present at weddings! Keep things simple by setting up at least one hydration station, complete with cups and large water containers. If you’re feeling fancy you can do lemon or cucumber water, but ensure there’s a “plain” option for the kids.
Remind Guests to Pack For All Weather
Even if your wedding will take place during a hot sunny day, chances are things will get more chilly in the evening. A little reminder on your invitation to bring a jumper or jacket will ensure none of your guests get too cold as the night draws in. You can also provide blankets dotted around your venue for people to snuggle up under as the evening progresses.
This also applies to the bridal party. To ensure you will be comfortable no matter the weather, it is always smart to choose a bridal cover-up prior to the wedding. This can be anything from a personalised jacket to a lace bolero, or a faux fur stole. Just make sure it’s warm enough for when the cold sets in, and cute enough for your wedding photos.
Plan Your Footwear
While you may have your heart on a pair of stilettos for your big day, you might find that the sharp heels and soft ground are a recipe for sinking whenever you walk. You can combat this by buying some heel protectors to slip over the heel of your shoe. These are clear plastic ends that create a wider base on your stiletto heel, preventing it from sinking into the ground. You can also plan for a shoe change and keep some wedding white trainers ready for the party part of your day so that you can feel secure walking on the grass.
Keep it Green
An outdoor wedding ceremony and reception is the perfect backdrop for a classy, eco-conscious wedding. Let the outdoors be your theme, and opt for green nods throughout. This can be anything from place settings made from leaves, to ample recycling bins around the venue. Using reclaimed wood in your décor is another fantastic way to give off an eco-awareness vibe.