Have you or a loved one always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, vows taken with nature as a front seat observer?
When exchanging vows under the sun or the stars, be sure to expect the unexpected. But with some creativity, planning and foresight, the adventurous couple can have the wedding of their dreams. When you’re choosing your ceremony location, share your ideas with your significant other and use both of your ideas for inspiration. You may already have a special location in mind, such as the location where you met, or the place where he or you proposed.
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Having an outdoor fall wedding means that the entire world is decorated in your wedding colors for your special day. If you want to keep your spending to a minimum, then making use of resources that are readily available makes the most sense. An orchard, a local church, a pumpkin patch and other outdoor locations are already decorated according to theme. Parks often have very scenic locations within their boundaries. With ponds, meandering streams, tall stands of trees, water fountains, and other inspiring features, they can offer a beautiful setting for your wedding party to gather. Make sure to check with local park authorities well before the date to make sure that it allows gatherings of this sort. In many locales, a special permit may be required.
Even a family home is a great place to have a small outdoor fall wedding. The location for your fall wedding can have the biggest effect on your budget, so make sure you plan it right.
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There are no rules that dictate that you have to get married in the traditional place of worship, some ministers and clergy may not want to participate in a ceremony that takes place outside of the church.
If you do not already have a special location in mind for your ceremony, there are many great ideas as to where you can have your outdoor wedding and exchange vows. Just keep in mind that some public or outdoor areas need reservations or require a temporary permit.
Here are some ideas on outdoor wedding locations:
On a farm
A local farm with rolling fields and a few cows or horses in the background would make a fantastic setting. Stack up a few bales of straw for the preacher and you are all set.
Old barns are wonderful places, and it seems to be the trend. Many places have already updated old barns for these events and can accommodate most of your needs in-house.
These facilities will be booked up many months in advance.
A clearing in the woods
The good thing is that if you found a clearing in the wood, you most likely know the people who own it. With an event in the woods you are at the mercy of nature, so make sure you involve in with you plans.
A local hotel may have a garden setting or beautiful grounds. You can also rent a room at the same location to move the festivities inside in case of bad weather.
If you or your spouse to be works for a company, inquire if they have any outdoor offerings suitable for a wedding.
If you are lucky enough to live in an area that has a natural feature such as a waterfall, magnificent rock outcropping, or other spectacular view, consider the area if it is easily accessible.
Beside a waterfall
Waterfalls are great, I love waterfalls. The problem with waterfalls is that the location around them is not very friendly for large groups or events. Make sure you do all the scouting you can with this way ahead of time.
In a garden
If the wedding being planned is a very small, private gathering, a local garden could be an ideal location. If you have a garden like mine it is beautiful in the spring before the weeds take over. You are also at the mercy of the weather, you may need to re-plant or plant later in the year. Plant vegetables and flowers for the right season. Make sure you water and take care of the plants all year, it will set the whole event into motion weeks and months earlier.
In a gazebo
Gazebos are beautiful and are usually already located in a well manicured lawn or park. Most gazebos have electricity and the landscape can easily be set with fall foliage or pumpkins and corn stalks.
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Depending upon where you are in the country, an outdoor fall wedding will require you to take the comfort of your wedding guests into consideration. Older and younger guests, especially, will appreciate it greatly if you make a patio heater available. Augment your fall themed wedding with small attended bonfires or fire pits and make your guests’ comfort a part of your fall wedding. Take advantage of the warm and comforting foods provided by nature in the autumn when planning your outdoor fall wedding. Serve drinks such as hot cider with cinnamon sticks and hot cocoa to add a cozy feel to the fall outdoor wedding reception while people are waiting for a main course.
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- Examine each location carefully. Is there a major intersection nearby? Is the place prone to bad weather? Are there lots of mosquitoes?
- Ask about rules such as neighborhood noise restrictions. What could be worse than the neighbors calling in the cops to break up your reception?
- Tell your vendors about the location and discuss any challenges or extra expenses they may incur in working there. You may want to hire vendors who already have outdoor-wedding experience.
- Calculate the costs of outfitting an outdoor site before you choose a location. Do you plan on providing a tent? What about lawn furniture?
- Consider weather and have a backup site ready. If you have chosen a back-up site, make a note on the invitation.
- Designate a central location where guests can gather for cake, dancing, bouquet tossing and so forth. String lights between trees hang them in the branches, rent some spotlights or scatter candles and glowsticks the possibilities are endless.
- Scout out several possible locations even the outdoors can get booked up far in advance.