Part 5: The ULTIMATE guide to planning your outdoor wedding! 5 essential steps from EXPERTS in Nottingham, Derby and beyond

Outdoor weddings are our favourites to photograph. There’s something undeniably magical about saying your vows in front of the ones you love with nature as your backdrop. With the unparalleled beauty of a beach scene, a quaint woodland clearing or even wild flower meadow, it’s no surprise to us why get married outdoors it is the number one choice for many couples. They can be the most enjoyable and memorable weddings for couples and guests alike, but there is a lot of legwork which goes into them. That’s why we have put together this guide towards organising your outdoor wedding, whether it’s just for your ceremony or you are planning to spend the whole day outdoors. Featuring words of wisdom from some local, experienced and fantastic outdoor wedding suppliers we’ll take you through the important considerations you should take before deciding to have and when planning an outdoor wedding.

This article is pretty comprehensive, so we decided to split it into 5 different blogs, one for each step. You’ve arrived on step 5. If you’re inpatient (like me!) then you can sign up to be email buddies and we’ll send you the whole article. Just click here.

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“Creative, exciting and adaptable!”

Arnos Vale Wedding venue, Bristol

5. Get creative!

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, we think that’s awesome as it gives you the opportunity to get creative, embrace your personality and fill your day with the things which you love and embody your relationship - so go to town with it! Whether that is crafting your own personalised ceremony, filling the day with the music that you bonded over, or decorating the venue according to your own taste, or to match your hobbies and interests. Forgetting the traditional ‘shoulds’ and embracing your shared passions will make your wedding an unforgettable experience for all!

When it comes to decorations, an outdoor wedding can mean you have relatively little to deal with and go with a more environmentally friendly approach, as Buffy the wedding coordinator at Arnos Vale explains:

“Embrace your surroundings. Use the scenery and natural landscapes to your decorating advantage and embrace the ‘less is more’ approach (great for your purse strings too). Delicate lace bunting, posies of wildflowers or bunches of foliage will enhance your venue whilst still being mindful of your environment, team this with informal sharing food, a relaxed atmosphere and good music and you’ll have a fantastic day.”
— Buffy the wedding coordinator at Arnos Vale Weddings, specialising in inspiring wedding that reflect the bride and groom on their big day

You can also be creative with catering. It doesn’t have to be a traditional sit-down wedding breakfast if you that’s not the vibe you are going for. How about festival-style catering vans (think outdoor pizza ovens, paella feasts or a hog roast), afternoon tea, or even a picnic and ask guests to each supply a particular dish. There are lots of options!

Talking of catering, the bar can be an area to get creative. If a full on bar and bartender are out the budget – no problem! Why not create an alternative bar? Full some rustic wheel barrows, a self-serve beer barrel on a homemade wooden bar or a old bath tub filled with a selection of drinks for people to help themselves too.

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What about a wedding book? Ever wonder if there’s a more interesting or exciting way to do a wedding book? A way which will allow you to display it in your home and will include your personality? We’ve seen some fantastic wedding book alternatives such as a fingerprint tree, a Polaroid guestbook – where people take a selfie, sign it and stick it in, or sign a guitar or other meaningful object in your life, a giant wooden “C” the first letter of the couples surname – which was a combination of both of their surnames or even giant Jenga where everybody signs a different block.

Outdoor weddings usually provide you with lots of space, so why not make the most of this and set up a selfie station or photo=booth. These can be really fun ways of making memories throughout your day and making sure you’ve got some fun photos of all of your guests!

A great way of ensuring that you’ll be able to search through all those many, many photos your guests take is to decide on a hashtag. It’s worth taking your time with this one. Firstly, brainstorm some ideas – be creative! Next, you’ll need to narrow it down and agree on one hashtag and then, and this is very important, make sure it’s not currently being widely used – you don’t want to mix your images in amongst another wedding or event. Finally, make sure your guests are aware of it, put it on the save-the-dates, invites and display it on signs throughout your day – especially near a photo-booth, if you have one. You can also use it to record the build-up, this is an especially good idea if you’re doing a DIY outside wedding where there will be lots to prepare in advance.

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding and would like to read the full article we’ll send it to you as a e-book if you sign up to be our email buddies.


A massive thank you to all the lovely, wedding suppliers who contributed to this blog. You can find out all about them and how to get in contact beneath.

The Outside Bride

We run two businesses. Baylily Bell Tents is an outdoor based business providing bell tents for outdoor weddings and events. We provide infrastructure for weddings, guest villages, bar tents, chillout spaces, kids play tents, pamper rooms etc but also offer full event support and management where required.  We also own The Outside Bride which is a website and blog dedicated to helping couples who are planning their own outdoor weddings. We provide inspiration and practical advice for brides and grooms but also have a full support arm of the business for outdoor based wedding suppliers.    Website       Facebook      Instagram       Youtube

We run two businesses. Baylily Bell Tents is an outdoor based business providing bell tents for outdoor weddings and events. We provide infrastructure for weddings, guest villages, bar tents, chillout spaces, kids play tents, pamper rooms etc but also offer full event support and management where required.

We also own The Outside Bride which is a website and blog dedicated to helping couples who are planning their own outdoor weddings. We provide inspiration and practical advice for brides and grooms but also have a full support arm of the business for outdoor based wedding suppliers.

Website Facebook

Instagram Youtube

Arnos Vale Weddings

Photo courtesy of    Pip and Simon Photography   .   I am the wedding coordinator at Arnos Vale Cemetery - a Victorian Garden Cemetery in the heart of Bristol, Bristol’s only licensed woodland venue for your ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening celebrations.  Nestled in the woods you’ll find our woodland wedding venue the Underwood Centre, imagine birds singing and fairy lights twinkling as you toast marshmallows around the fire. Our iconic venue the Spielman Centre welcomes you with grand steps and elegant pillars, a stunning fusion of Victorian architecture mixed with modern glass design. Finally, our Grade II listed Anglican Chapel is the centrepiece of our venue collection, giant wooden doors open to the grandest of halls complete with original Victorian features.  I have worked in this unique and historical venue for 18 months and I’ve seen so many inspiring and magical weddings. I truly believe that every wedding should be a reflection of you and your partner so if you want wolves to walk you down the aisle (yes, really) and a brass band procession then lets do it!    Website       Facebook      Instagram       Pinterest

Photo courtesy of Pip and Simon Photography.

I am the wedding coordinator at Arnos Vale Cemetery - a Victorian Garden Cemetery in the heart of Bristol, Bristol’s only licensed woodland venue for your ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening celebrations.

Nestled in the woods you’ll find our woodland wedding venue the Underwood Centre, imagine birds singing and fairy lights twinkling as you toast marshmallows around the fire. Our iconic venue the Spielman Centre welcomes you with grand steps and elegant pillars, a stunning fusion of Victorian architecture mixed with modern glass design. Finally, our Grade II listed Anglican Chapel is the centrepiece of our venue collection, giant wooden doors open to the grandest of halls complete with original Victorian features.

I have worked in this unique and historical venue for 18 months and I’ve seen so many inspiring and magical weddings. I truly believe that every wedding should be a reflection of you and your partner so if you want wolves to walk you down the aisle (yes, really) and a brass band procession then lets do it!

Website Facebook

Instagram Pinterest

S D Celebrations

Samantha Dobson is an experienced wedding planner and Independent family Celebrant. Having coordinated 100’s of weddings in a variety of locations, from fields to back gardens & the odd boat in-between. In the summer months Samantha can usually be found running around behind the scenes coordinating couples dream wedding days - just like your wedding day PA!  As a Celebrant Samantha writes and conducts unique, personalised wedding, baby naming & vow renewal ceremony’s. Loving nothing more than weaving couples personalities into their special day. Creating totally unique ceremonies filled with fun, love & laughter at unique venues.    Website       Facebook      Instagram       Pinterest

Samantha Dobson is an experienced wedding planner and Independent family Celebrant. Having coordinated 100’s of weddings in a variety of locations, from fields to back gardens & the odd boat in-between. In the summer months Samantha can usually be found running around behind the scenes coordinating couples dream wedding days - just like your wedding day PA!

As a Celebrant Samantha writes and conducts unique, personalised wedding, baby naming & vow renewal ceremony’s. Loving nothing more than weaving couples personalities into their special day. Creating totally unique ceremonies filled with fun, love & laughter at unique venues.

Website Facebook

Instagram Pinterest

 

Festoon wedding coordinator

I have been co-ordinating creative weddings for 13 years. Specialising now in ‘full co-ordination’ or ‘on the day co-ordination’ for outdoor or off-grid weddings.  We also provide decorating and wild floristy services for weddings, as well as hen party crafting including making flower crowns that the hens then wear out that evening or tissue paper pom poms that can be used at the wedding.  We travel all over the UK & Europe but local to us is Herefordshire, Shropshire, Cotswolds & Wales.    Facebook      Email      festoon@live.co.uk

I have been co-ordinating creative weddings for 13 years. Specialising now in ‘full co-ordination’ or ‘on the day co-ordination’ for outdoor or off-grid weddings.
We also provide decorating and wild floristy services for weddings, as well as hen party crafting including making flower crowns that the hens then wear out that evening or tissue paper pom poms that can be used at the wedding.

We travel all over the UK & Europe but local to us is Herefordshire, Shropshire, Cotswolds & Wales.

Facebook

Email festoon@live.co.uk

Ruby B Ceremonies

Susan Denton Celebrant

I am an award winning, qualified independent Celebrant helping you to mark your milestone moments with unique, personal, meaningful ceremonies.     Website        Facebook        Instagram

I am an award winning, qualified independent Celebrant helping you to mark your milestone moments with unique, personal, meaningful ceremonies.

Website

Facebook

Instagram

I am a celebrant who creates romantic and fun ceremonies,especially outdoors, for couples who want a truly personal experience!  As a celebrant, I create unique and wonderful wedding ceremonies for people who stand out from the crowd and who want the ceremony to reflect their personalities and their ideals.    Website       Facebook      Instagram       Twitter      Pinterest

I am a celebrant who creates romantic and fun ceremonies,especially outdoors, for couples who want a truly personal experience!

As a celebrant, I create unique and wonderful wedding ceremonies for people who stand out from the crowd and who want the ceremony to reflect their personalities and their ideals.

Website Facebook

Instagram Twitter

Pinterest