Part 1: 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 getting married outdoors 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 huge amount 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 outdoor wedding suppliers we’ll take you through the important considerations you should take before deciding to have and when planning an outdoor wedding.

Over the next five blogs we will go through all 5 steps. If you’re inpatient (like me!) then you can download the whole article here.

 

Joe and Josie Wedding-360.jpg

“Inspiring, exciting and fun!”

Susan Denton Celebrant, Leicestershire

1. Plan your ceremony, or ceremonies!

One big consideration is the legality of getting married outside.

If you live in Scotland, then you are in luck as Scottish law allows couples to marry anywhere so long as the ceremony in conducted by a registrar, Humanist Society Scotland celebrant or religious official. Despite suggestions of a change in the law in the 2018 budget, most outdoor ceremonies in England are not currently legally binding and you will have to pick a venue that can host a legal ceremony if you want to formalise your marriage in the eyes of the law there and then.

To have a legal ceremony outdoors, a registrar must perform the service at a licensed wedding venue which according to Nottinghamshire County Council must be a “physical permanent structure which must be a permanent feature in the grounds comprising one room and a roof; it should be able to accommodate six people; you must also have an indoor room to licence in case of inclement weather”. Venues which are known for outdoor services should have such a structure approved for married, like a gazebo or summer house.

Laura and Ashley got married under this beautiful wooden pergola in the idyllic clearing outside Pitt Hall Barn, Hampshire.

Laura and Ashley got married under this beautiful wooden pergola in the idyllic clearing outside Pitt Hall Barn, Hampshire.

Charlotte and Dave got married at the stunning Palm House in Sefton Park, Liverpool. Nottingham Wedding photographer - outdoor wedding

If you have your heart set on a venue without a marriage license to perform an outdoor ceremony, and want to formalise your union, you will have to have a legal ceremony elsewhere at another time. It can actually be quite fun to sneak away to the registry office in the days leading up to your main day and make it official with just a few close family members or friends as your witnesses.

This option allows you to be much more creative with your venue and your ceremony.

Outdoor weddings are the best…They allow you to do what you want, where you want and how you want it without the restrictions that some indoor venues impose. They are fun-filled and personal!

The hardest thing about planning an outdoor wedding is understanding the legalities behind outdoor weddings and working out the best way for you to become legally married first or after your outdoor ceremony in a way that fits you and your wedding.
— Emily and Alan, who run The Outside Bride website and blog dedicated to helping couples plan their own outdoor weddings shared their thoughts on outdoor weddings:
We love to look back at the congregation to see the joy, laughter and tears, whether that be in a church, or like here outside in a clearing in the middle of stunning woodland.

We love to look back at the congregation to see the joy, laughter and tears, whether that be in a church, or like here outside in a clearing in the middle of stunning woodland.

Humanist ceremonies are some of our favourites to photograph and it’s how we married in 2015. This is a personalised, non-religious ceremony which gives you the opportunity to celebrate your union whenever, wherever, and however you want. These services can be completely tailored to your needs, and you will work closely with your chosen celebrant (the person who leads the order of service) to plan out your ceremony. They’ll take the time to get to know you, how you met and create a bespoke ceremony that reflects you and your relationship. You can incorporate traditions or practices from your own culture, any manner of readings, songs, or poems that you love. Make it your own and it’ll be one to remember for a long time coming!

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. They may not be included in this step but they certainly will in one of the other’s and deserve a mention here regardless!

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