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.
“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.
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.
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
Arnos Vale Weddings
S D Celebrations
Festoon wedding coordinator
Ruby B Ceremonies
Susan Denton Celebrant