Part 2: 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. This is step 2. 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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“Bespoke, personal and amazing!”

The Outside Bride

2. Plan out details of the day, and budget, fully

Despite what many people first think, hosting your wedding outdoors is by no means a cheaper option or one that can be taken without a lot of planning. And that’s something many of the specialist suppliers highlighted. Often, they involve DIY venues, where you bring in different suppliers to sort out different aspects of your day – seating, flowers, decorations, food, and entertainment. So, although we haven’t put it first on this guide, the most important thing as with any wedding is deciding on your budget. Think through the smaller details before you commit to spending anything. Using a wedding planning guide can help to keep track of everything (we’ll send you one in our ‘welcome emails’ if you sign up to be our email buddies). You’ll find that taking more time to consider the details of the day at this stage, the better you can plan and the less chance there will be of an expensive surprise closer to your big day. There will be plenty of extras that you wouldn’t need to consider for an inside wedding such as external power, renting toilets and a ‘Plan B’ in case the weather gets a bit...well, British!

Fran and Luke had a beautiful, personal outdoor wedding on the cliffs of North Cornwall led by a humanist celebrant. Nottingham outdoor wedding photographer

As Emily and Alan explained, as well as planning out your ceremony, it’s important not to forget about coordinating everything behind the scenes, You need an “understanding of suppliers’ requirements for setting up and taking down, i.e. how much time is required to set up, space they need, power, access vehicles on site, etc.”

It’s really important to consider the running of the day itself and to have someone who will ensure it goes smoothly. What happens if the water supply to the toilets is blocked or the electricity gets cut off? Do you have someone who can handle everything behind the scenes?

“Think about the reasons why you want an outdoor wedding long and hard before making your final decision. A DIY outdoor wedding is not the cheaper or stress-free option and could end up costing more than a venue in the long run. With all these individual suppliers coming together who is coordinating them all on the day like the duty manager would at a venue? As an experienced on-the-day coordinator, it is usually me connecting the hose to the back of the mobile toilets once the water has run out from the taps, and topping up the generator with more petrol once it’s low, who would it be at your wedding?”
— Sam from S D Celebrations explains about the practicalities and things to consider on the day itself
We love it when people embrace outdoor weddings and even think about alternative accommodation. These guests picked a camper-van as a place to rest their head after a long evening party!

We love it when people embrace outdoor weddings and even think about alternative accommodation. These guests picked a camper-van as a place to rest their head after a long evening party!

Ruth from Festoon explains some of the pitfalls and practical difficulties of an outdoor wedding with regards to decorations, food and more:

“With an outdoor wedding you’d be surprised how many things need to be done. Will there be people on site to receive deliveries? Will you want to be there the morning of the wedding to sort out last minute decorating? Hire in a coordinator to hold these elements for you so you can fully relax and enjoy the day.

With catering, there’s lots to consider. Will it be cooked on site, or brought in? If cooked on site there’s a big cost for hiring in kitchen equipment and extra generators.

The biggest mistake people make is thinking it will be a cheaper option! If you want a full wedding experience and you need to hire in a full kitchen, water, loos etc you won’t be saving money. Also one big factor can be – does your tent hire company allow fire pits? Many don’t! And most will have a minimum distance from the tent it will be allowed.”
—  Ruth from Festoon, a wedding coordinator of creative weddings, outdoor and off-the-grid weddings

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, we’d love to hear from you - share your plans in the comment box below or contact us.




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 we thought they 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