The Pros & Cons of an Outdoor Wedding

After I got engaged I immediately had visions of our day. I knew from the start I wanted to get married outside. I am not religious and neither is Mat and quite frankly Churches really freak me out. I knew I wanted to spend the day in sunshine and be surrounded by nature. I am by no means a hippy but I knew of all the places to have a wedding it would have to be outside, whether it take place on a beach, a forest, or for me ideally, a field.

I started setting about pinning all the pins! When my mother brought me down to earth. "You can't get married outside!" she told me when I gushed my ideas and plans to her. I yelped and told her it wasn't true and showed her all my beautiful pins woefully. She explained that the UK here has some very strict rules on marriage and that I also would have to scrap the idea of writing our own vows as the UK sees marriage as a holy binding contract and it's not to be messed with. 

I felt defeated and after finding google no help at all I finally came across an article (which I can no longer find!) explaining the UK marriage outdoor laws. I can tie the knot outside but the grounds/place has to have a marriage license. Which is hard to find in my local area, where I plan on getting hitched. I started to feel totally bummed but as I kept scrolling I realised it was still possible. I can get married outside and have the ceremony but it just won't be bindingly legal until we sign the official marriage documents in a licensed place. 

So I now have to decide whether to get married before or after I have my marriage ceremony haha. Very confusing. I wish it was more simpler and relaxed like other countries, damn you UK. 

So with all the planning still commencing I thought I would add a small list of the pros and cons of marrying outside, just to give myself peace of mind. 

The Pros

You can have your wedding anywhere*

I love the idea that you can have your wedding ceremony anywhere (as I mentioned above it won't be legal until you sign the documents on licensed grounds). I think it's beautiful that you could marry the one you love in a place that holds sentimental value to the both of you. The ideas are endless! On a cliff, hidden in a forest, on a bridge! I love that you can have it somewhere extreme like bungee jumping if thats your thing or somewhere super romantic like under the eiffel tower (as long as these places aren't government protected haha). You can make your place family friendly or a perfect elopement for the two of you. 


As mentioned above, wherever you choose to say your vows someplace will offer the most spectacular view which is a bonus for your wedding photos! I would love to be able to have photos in a field of wildflowers or a forest or even a lake on my day! This could be helpful as the view will be so beautiful that you don't need to splash out on the extra venue decor as nature has already done it for you. 


I can bet that the field I choose as my venue probably won't be booked up for the next year or so like all the other outdoor locations I've viewed such as hotels and golf clubs. Some locations could be so unique that you wouldn't have to book at all. Handy! But I'm also adding this to my con list...

It's Versatile

An outdoor venue could be so beneficial to some couples as your decor and planning isn't as restricted. You could have more space, less rules and more inspiration.  You could think of somewhere like field as a blank canvas, as there would be no restrictions on decor (unless it ruins the field, but I'm looking at natural decor). I know that this is why I want an outdoor wedding ceremony as I know churches can have strict rules and regulations when it comes to decorating.

Weather Control*

*Not including the UK haha because when have we ever had control over that! The good thing about having an outdoor wedding is that in some places you can control the weather. If you do plan on getting married in the sun you could head to the beach for an over seas wedding in a hot country.

No Hidden Fees

With most venues there are small hidden costs everywhere that you might not even discover until you have to pay th full bill. These things could catch you out such as cleaning fees, damages, even extra music instruments. At least outside you can start from scratch and add up as you go along and not get any surprises at the end.


Not legal

As I have mentioned at the start of this post, to be legally married you have to do it on licensed grounds, so for some, myself included, we will have to make a trip to a registry office the day before or after to make it legal. 


I mentioned in my pros list that availability is a pro but it all depends on where you choose to do it. My ideas like a field or forest I imagine would be fine but some places could be in high demand or even a tourist destination.

Privacy and Comfort

An indoor venue gives you the control and luxury of privacy from wanderers or nearby sounds such as a motorway. They can also provide comfort for younger and elderly guests which an outdoor wedding might not. There is also the notion that they will be better equipped during an emergency.

Allergies and Wildlife

I plan on having an open evening party where we dine and dance outside under the star in the summer. As idyllic as this sounds, it could be ruined by pesky flies in the evening and even wasps. Also as my wedding will be taking place at the height of summer outdoors, I know certain people will be uncomfortable as they're allergies will come into full swing. As I'm typing this I just remembered that one of my bridesmaids has hay fever! 


This is the worst con. With an outdoor wedding there isn't a nice tidy package for the day so when providing essentials these costs may add up. You may have to rent the land, rent amenities and electricity, and even furniture which will add up your costs. I am planning mine in a field so I have to look at shelters from sun and rain! 


Weather will always be on a bridesmaid whether indoors or out but it'll make a huge impact on an outdoor venue. To me it doesn't really bother me too much as I know I have no control and would actually love a wedding photo in the rain! But I also need to think of my guests and their comfort. Rain could also destroy the venue such as creating muddy fields and even some vendors won't rent out equipment such as marquees as they can get damaged or muddy. The annoying thing about British weather is that there is no chance of knowing what will come. You could end up walking down the aisle in a gale only for it then to start raining, and as soon as you duck for shelter, it could change into an indian summer. You can't win, but you can be prepared!

What do you think of these pros and cons? Did you have an outdoor wedding? Would you ever consider it?

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