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Outdoor Wedding Essentials: Tips for an Unforgettable Celebration

Outdoor wedding ceremony overlooking Mission Bay at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego.

Outdoor weddings have a certain magic that’s hard to resist. The fresh air, the natural beauty, the enchanting ambiance all come together to create an experience that you and your guests will never forget. But when it comes to planning an outdoor wedding, there are a few things to consider. Don’t worry though, I’m here to help!

Planning an outdoor wedding has its unique challenges, from finding the perfect venue to making sure your guests are comfortable. In this article, I’ll share some valuable tips and insights to guide you through the planning process. These suggestions will help you create an outdoor wedding celebration that will be cherished by you and your loved ones for a lifetime.

Outdoor wedding reception tables and florals under string lights at Rancho Las Lomas.

Choosing The Right Outdoor Wedding Venue:

Choosing the right outdoor venue is obviously the first step! Your choice of venue lays the groundwork for an unforgettable wedding celebration. Luckily, when it comes to planning a Southern California wedding, outdoor venues are abundant! Here are some tips to help you select the perfect venue for your outdoor bash.

Reflect on Your Vision

Before you even start looking at venues, take a moment to visualize your dream wedding. What kind of atmosphere, style, and overall vibe are you going for? Do you imagine an intimate garden ceremony or a grand beachfront affair? Knowing what you want will help you narrow down your venue options.

Capacity and Accessibility

Make sure to consider the size of each venue and whether it can comfortably accommodate your guest list. Also, think about accessibility factors like parking availability and proximity to transportation hubs to make it easy for your guests to attend.

A bride being walked down the aisle at her outdoor wedding reception at Green Gables Estate in San Marcos.

Consider the Season

Different outdoor venues have their own unique beauty at different times of the year. A garden venue may burst with vibrant colors in the spring, while a vineyard could showcase picturesque autumn foliage. Think about the season you’re getting married in and how each venue aligns with the look and feel you’re going for.

Visit and Visualize

Once you have a few venues in mind, schedule visits to experience them in person. Walk through the spaces and try to envision your ceremony and reception setup. Pay attention to details like the layout, natural surroundings, and any potential limitations or advantages each venue might have.

A bride and groom share their first dance in an open outdoor courtyard at their wedding reception at Rancho Las Lomas in Orange County.

Weather Preparedness

Mother Nature can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. When touring venues, ask what options they have when the weather takes a turn. Renting a tent or marquee might be a smart investment that ensures you can still enjoy your outdoor celebration, rain or shine. Keep an eye on the weather forecast leading up to your wedding day and make sure to communicate the contingency plan to your suppliers and guests.

Guest Comfort

Taking care of your guests’ comfort is essential, so make sure you’re providing the necessary amenities. Consider renting portable restrooms, especially if the venue doesn’t have adequate facilities. Provide shade options like umbrellas or canopies for outdoor seating areas. Keep everyone cool by offering refreshing beverages and fans or misting stations in hot weather. When it’s cooler out, have blankets or outdoor heaters available to keep everyone cozy.

A bride reads her vows to her groom under an arch of white roses at their outdoor wedding ceremony on the lawn of the Bel-Air Bay Club in Los Angeles.

Enhancing the Natural Beauty of Your Outdoor Wedding

Nature is already a stunning backdrop, so why not incorporate more of it into your decor? Work with the existing landscape and add touches of greenery, flowers, and seasonal accents. You can even go the eco-friendly route and use sustainable materials for decorations while minimizing the use of single-use plastics. Let the natural surroundings shine and add a touch of elegance with lanterns and fairy lights wrapped around branches.

Lighting and Sound

Outdoor spaces can sometimes present challenges for sound and lighting. Make sure your ceremony and reception areas are equipped with quality sound systems to ensure clear audio for speeches, music, and announcements. Talk to your vendors about lighting options to create the perfect ambiance as the sun sets. Soft string lights, lanterns, or candles can create a romantic glow in the evening.

A newlywed bride and groom toast each other with champagne flutes and share a kiss in a horse-drawn carriage after their outdoor wedding ceremony at Galway Downs by Wedgewood Weddings in Temecula.

Pest Prevention

Bugs don’t make for the best wedding guests. But it’s sometimes hard to keep them at bay, especially during warmer months. You can combat them using citronella candles to keep those pesky insects away. Consider providing insect-repellent wipes or sprays for your guests’ comfort. You can even use potted plants like lavender, mint, lemongrass, and rosemary to naturally deter any flying pests.

Happy Feet

Let’s talk footwear! If your wedding will take place on grass, gravel, or any other uneven surface, make sure to let your guests know. Encourage them to wear appropriate footwear like wedges or flats to navigate the terrain comfortably. You could even have a basket of flip-flops or comfy slippers available at the reception, so everyone can dance the night away without any discomfort.

An outdoor wedding is a magical and unique experience for both you and your guests. By considering these essentials, you can create a celebration that embraces the beauty of nature while ensuring everyone’s comfort and enjoyment. Embrace the charm and versatility of an outdoor setting, and let your love story unfold against a backdrop of natural splendor, creating memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Ready to capture your own love story? Let’s chat about how we can turn your dream wedding photos into a beautiful reality.

Don’t settle for ordinary – let’s create something extraordinary together!


Your story matters to me, and it's at the heart of my process. I believe in a personalized approach, getting to know you and your story to capture your wedding authentically while ensuring you can truly enjoy your special day.