Outdoor Wedding Tips & Tricks

Are you planning an outdoor wedding? When considering an outdoor wedding, there are a few key dos and don’ts that you should consider. We have developed a list of important tips to help you plan a successful outdoor wedding. First, let’s review the benefits of having an outdoor wedding. More couples are opting for outdoor weddings due to the many benefits that come with them.

The Pros of an Outdoor Wedding

Accommodates Larger Parties

An outdoor wedding gives you more space, making it easier to hold a larger event.

Beautiful Scenery

In addition to exchanging vows with your partner while surrounded by the beauty of nature, you’ll also have stunning wedding photos to remember the occasion.


You have the freedom to select any wedding theme or style thanks to the natural surroundings and neutral landscape of most outdoor venues.

Natural Lighting

The natural lighting provides the ideal backdrop for your event photos and an extra touch of authenticity and love.

Minimal Decorations

Since there aren’t many adjustments for the wedding ceremony and reception, outdoor venues allow you to save money on flowers and other decorations.

Arrangement Flexibility

An outdoor wedding allows for greater flexibility in the placement of tents, chairs, and tables due to the ample space.

Have Good Outdoor Wedding Etiquette

Your guest’s experience should be highly valued when planning an outdoor wedding. Help your family and friends feel prepared for your wedding by explaining the outdoor wedding format and potential weather.

Do: Ask Questions from The Start

When searching for a location for your outdoor wedding, bring a list of questions when you tour potential venues as there are some ambient details that tend to be forgotten. You’ll need all the relevant information before choosing a location for your outdoor wedding. Iron out all of your vendors’ needs during your initial talks with them to make sure your big day goes as smoothly as possible. Some of these questions can include:  is there a lot of outdoor noise that would require a PA? Are there noise ordinances to factor in? Will pollen be a factor? Is the area handicap accessible?

Do: Book Your Venue Early

Outdoor wedding venues are usually in high demand, especially in the spring and fall. To avoid competing with other couples for these unique settings, reserve your venue as soon as possible to secure the date that you and your fiancé prefer.

How Should You Handle Catering or Dining Outside?

Consider how the weather might affect your wedding cuisine when planning your ceremony. You must get the appropriate caterer for your event that is prepared to have the appropriate accommodations in the event that the weather changes dramatically. At The Matthews House, most of our catering happens inside, while the ceremony and cocktail hour are outside. 

Do: Serve Lighter Fare

One benefit of outdoor weddings is that you have the chance to be creative with your menu. Serving small, bite-sized portions of your favorite foods is just one of the fun options you have for the day. Serve appetizer-sized plates of your favorite cuisine to impress your guests.

How Should You Decorate Your Outdoor Setting?

The setting of your outdoor wedding should elevate the occasion’s elegance. If the backdrop of your outdoor wedding is primarily made of greenery, it’s okay to draw attention to the beautiful design of the garden with your setting. Your guests will adore the beauty of your outdoor setting if you add eye-catching decorations such as furniture, chandeliers, and lamps.

Weather Tips

Don’t disregard the rain. It’s important to have a thorough backup plan ready in case it rains or snows while you’re holding an outdoor wedding. Have a supply of umbrellas on hand to provide cover. You might also want to have a plan to transfer your outside celebration indoors if it becomes too hot, too cold, or too wet.

Do: Provide Heat Relief

If you are having your wedding outside during the warmer months, you must provide tents and seating for your guests to ensure their comfort.

Don’t: Begin Your Outdoor Wedding Midday

You should consider how the sun’s position can affect your guests. It’s not a good idea to start your outdoor wedding midday because it is the warmest portion of the day.

Don’t: Forget Sun and Bug Protection

The last thing you want is for your guests to develop a sunburn as the day wears on. Make sure there’s sunscreen for your guests. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, consider pest-proofing the venue or offering bug spray for your guests to use as needed.

Have A Weather Contingency Plan

Planning an outdoor wedding raises many concerns, especially with the weather. If you’re unsure of how the weather will be on your special day, make reservations for tents. Always remember to include a weather contingency plan in your contract when negotiating with your rental company or venue.

How To Prepare Your Guests for An Outdoor Wedding

Mention that your wedding will take place outdoors in your invitation so your guests can choose their outfits and other accessories for the occasion. Let them know the dress code to prevent guests from worrying about what to wear.

Do: Wear Breathable Attire

Wear breathable attire, and suggest to your guests that they dress in a way that is both comfortable and fashionable. Suggest to your guests that they wear clothes that will allow them to feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.

Do: Have Your Wedding at The Perfect Outdoor Venue

Make sure you find the right venue for your outdoor wedding. Consider having your wedding at a location that is both lovely and affordable. The Matthews House is one such place.

Are you ready to host an outdoor wedding reception in downtown Cary, North Carolina? At The Matthews House not only do we have a beautiful outdoor space for your wedding or rehearsal dinner, but we also have in-house catering an a fantastic list of vendors that we partner with to make your day special.

Call The Matthews House today at (919) 467-1944 or contact us to learn more about how we can give you the outdoor wedding of your dreams. Still not sure? Check out our gallery to see more of what we have to offer.

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