We speak to brides daily about their chosen wedding venue; we see a fair mix of church weddings, destination weddings, renewal of vows, and civil ceremonies. Broken down into ‘type’; we see barns, castles, stately homes, boutique hotels, and more. We have, however, seen a surge in the number of girls looking to hold their wedding ceremony and/or reception outside.

With such beautiful countryside and stunning architecture right on our doorstep, we would be silly not to make the most of it! However, other than Scotland, UK law does not allow a couple to marry in just any chosen location. The ceremony must be held under a fixed roof (and a marquee doesn’t count as a fixed roof!), such as a registered venue, pagoda, or religious place of worship.

If you have always dreamed of a truly rustic venue such as on a beach, in the depths of the forest, or in the middle of the countryside with no option of a legal fixed roof, do not despair! Some couples choose to have a blessing, as opposed to a ceremony in their chosen place and view this as their official marriage declaration with family and friends in special surroundings. (You will need to visit a registry office a day or two before to process the paperwork and legal bits.) Your blessing can be as personalized as you wish, and as a result can often be a lot more meaningful.

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Image from stylemepretty.com

Remember the weather!

As glorious and exciting as a UK outdoor wedding sounds, you do need to be practical. After all, we Brit’s aren’t renowned for our weather! Winter weddings are not completely ruled out; just make sure your guests are aware that they will be spending time outdoors so they dress appropriately. Spring weddings can be absolutely breathtaking when held outside, but the infamous April showers do tend to show their face in other months too! A back up location indoors is best where possible; often you can decide to use this as late as the day before the wedding or even the morning of, depending on the forecast.
A summer wedding at Midday can be just as uncomfortable for those  guests who have turned up in towering heels, unaware you were to be holding your ceremony on grass. In this case, why not leave a little gift on each seat: Heel Stoppers for the ladies (see here) and Sunglasses for the men!
Guests young and old will appreciate a shelter out of the wind, rain, or warm sunshine!

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Image from: Etsy.com

Don’t forget the practicalities!

If you haven’t chosen a conventional ‘wedding venue’ don’t forget there are other basics you will need to cover. You will need to hire toilets, a strong and capable generator, and allow your caterer somewhere to prepare the food if it is to be served hot and cooked on site. (Often a mini-marquee serves as a great catering tent; outside summer months look at having these connected by an undercover walkway. Nobody ever wants to eat soggy chicken!)

There is always the Reception

If planning an outdoor wedding doesn’t seem as straightforward as it initially did on your Pinterest board (we are all guilty of this, one way or another!), don’t forget that you can be married inside and then hold your reception in the outdoors. Why not hire hay bales, collect storm lanterns to hang in the trees, borrow blankets and outdoor furniture, and hire giant garden games to really encourage guests to stay outdoors as day turns to evening and the party begins.

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We would love to hear if you are planning a wedding outdoors; our bride Acacia is hopefully holding her ceremony and her reception outdoors next year, on August 1st 2015. Catch up on her journey here! Tell Ellie on Facebook about your wedding plans and offer any advice to other brides looking to get married outside too; chat with her here!

 

 

Featured image from: weddingchicks.com

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