Outdoor wedding ideas: outdoor wedding setting

There are so many reasons to have your wedding outdoors. Alfresco locales offer unparalleled views, natural lighting makes it easy to snap the perfect pics, and abundant space means you have more flexibility when it comes to your guest list. From stunning venues to gorgeous decor and invitations, here are some of our favorite outdoor wedding ideas.

19 Outdoor Wedding Ideas for Your Special Day

Outdoor wedding ideas: wedding setting with chandeliers

Here, you’ll find outdoor wedding ideas from unique venues to dazzling decor. Plus, you’ll find gorgeous digital wedding invitations you can use to match the theme of your outdoor wedding

1. Celebrate at a National Park

Outdoor wedding ideas: Mount Rainier Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

Invitation Inspiration: Mount Rainier Invitation

Love the great outdoors? Plan your nuptials at one of the 423 National Parks in the United States. From popular spots like Yosemite and Yellowstone to more secluded options like Arctic National Park and Voyageurs National Park, you can find a stunning landscape to honor your love. From dramatic mountain cliffs to towering redwoods, sandy beaches to scenic lakes, there’s something for every adventurous couple. Be sure to check out our guide to planning your National Park wedding.

2. Choose an Area Known for Unique Landscapes

To celebrate in a gorgeous outdoor location without the crowds of National Parks, consider a quieter venue in an area known for its scenery. Leavenworth, Washington is a charming choice for those who want a European village vibe framed by a wintry landscape — plus there’s a reindeer farm in town! Meanwhile, Sedona, Arizona is a magical locale for couples who want a mystical or desert-inspired wedding. Is there a grassy mountaintop or beach cove in your area you enjoy visiting? Consider having your wedding there.

3. Go Country With a Rustic Wedding

Outdoor wedding ideas: Rustic Lace Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Invitation Inspiration: Rustic Lace Invitation

Spend an evening, or the weekend, celebrating your “I do’s” with a romantic rustic wedding. Barns, farmhouses, and ranches are popular wedding reception venues for this outdoor wedding idea. Fairy lights, outdoor dance floors, and Mason jar decor make for a casual yet elegant affair guests are sure to remember.

4. Drape Greenery Around the Venue

Many outdoor wedding venues feature vaulted tents. Use that space to make a statement by draping greenery along the ceiling. From eucalyptus boughs to pine branches and ivy, there are options to suit all styles. Keep the rest of the decor in a neutral color palette to let the greenery sand out.

5. Choose a Winter Wonderland Wedding

Outdoor wedding ideas: Wintery Boughs Invitation

Design: Jessica Williams

Invitation Inspiration: Wintery Boughs Invitation

Plan a winter wedding for a fairy tale scene that even Elsa would envy. Get married at a ski resort, mountain chalet, or snowy meadow. Your decor can include apres-ski chic decor including patterned throw blankets and fire pits to keep guests warm. All-white decor and metallic accents will add a touch of glamor.

6. Opt for a Natural Arch

For outdoor weddings, you can build a wedding arch or find a location on the property that makes a natural ceremony backdrop. Olive trees with cascading branches make beautiful backdrops or you can adorn a wooden arch with floral arrangements and greenery.

7. Enchant Guests at a Garden Wedding

Outdoor wedding ideas: Night Sky Invitation

Design: Banter & Charm

Invitation Inspiration: Night Sky Invitation

Transport guests to an enchanted garden for your whimsical wedding. You can host the event in your own backyard or find a venue with a sweeping lawn, romantic rose bushes, or water features that add ambiance to your big day. For the reception, a tea party is the perfect way to build on the enchanted garden theme and makes a whimsical backdrop for cutting the wedding cake.

8. Bring the Indoors Outside With Themed Chandeliers

Want to transform the outdoors into a cozy indoor-inspired space? Hang chandeliers made of Mason jars and greenery above the tables. You can suspend them from tree branches or the structure of your wedding tent to create a romantic vibe.

9. Host a Farm Wedding

Pastoral Vista Invitation

Design: Holly Whitcomb

Invitation Inspiration: Pastoral Vista Invitation

If you love farm life and all the wonderful animals that come along with it, why not celebrate with a farm wedding? Whether you get married in a barn or in a pasture flanked by rolling hills, this wedding theme is perfectly suited for spring, fall, or summer. Whether you’re surrounded by goats, donkeys, pigs, cows, horses, or llamas, one thing is for sure — your loved ones won’t be the only party animals! 

10. Party It Up With Lawn Games

Have some fun with lawn games that will keep guests entertained while you’re taking photos with the wedding party or are getting ready before the ceremony. Corn hole, ring toss, and other outdoor party games are easy to set up and will keep guests of all ages having fun during the more mellow parts of the day.

11. Celebrate a Countryside Ceremony

Birds of a Feather Invitation

Design: Ann Gardner

Invitation Inspiration: Birds Of a Feather Invitation

Say “I do” among dreamy hills of green grass and light breezes with a countryside ceremony. You can use haystack seating for affordable and intimate ambiance. Complete the day with a post-wedding alfresco dining reception.

12. Arrange Aisle Bouquets

Greet wedding guests at their seats with stunning floral arrangements placed at the end of each row along the wedding aisle. You can choose tall-stem wedding bouquets featuring calla lilies, gladiolas, and lupines. Alternatively, you can add elements like branches and leaves to create a dramatic effect.

13. Savor the Sun With a Summer Wedding

Oceanside Invitation

Design: Raven Erebus

Invitation Inspiration: Oceanside Invitation

Soak up the warmth of sunny rays and eternal love with a summer wedding. For a venue, choose a beach, public park, or golf course to exchange your vows. Other more creative venue ideas include aquariums, orchards, and rooftop event spaces. For decor, choose summer-inspired floral designs with daisies, dahlias, and sunflowers.

14. Splurge on a Destination Wedding

Plan a destination wedding in a gorgeous outdoor locale for a day you’ll cherish for eternity. Jet to a private island resort or fly guests to a mountain retreat where you can share your love and celebrate this new beginning.

15. Design Outdoorsy Centerpieces

When it comes to wedding decoration ideas, centerpieces are a key element. They’re the focal point of tablescapes and help tie in your design theme across the space. Choose tall glass vases and elaborate wedding flowers for a sophisticated look or go for a grounded aesthetic with concrete trays filled with succulents. Floral garlands mixed with twigs and wood elements are also one of the most classic outdoor wedding ideas.

16. Celebrate New Beginnings With a Spring Wedding

Spring Flowers Invitation

Design: ChristyHyLee

Invitation Inspiration: Spring Flowers Invitation

Spring is all about renewal, hope, and joy — plus, it’s a great time to find stunning florals. Celebrate in style with a spring wedding by decking the space out with in-season floral arrangements. You can work with a florist or craft your own DIY creations using flowers from your own garden. Pastel hues are perfect for spring weddings and you can mix in metallics to elevate the look.

17. Add Romance With String Lights

String lights and twinkle lights add a cozy ambiance to any outdoor space and can instantly dress up a wedding venue. They’re easy to hang and you can mix them into the structure of the tent or use small string lights to brighten up the wedding reception tables or cocktail hour space.

18. Fall for an Autumn Wedding

Textural Overlays Invitation

Design: Ann Gardner

Invitation Inspiration: Textural Overlays Invitation

Autumn is one of our favorite seasons. Pumpkins, hayrides, and sweater weather lend a cozy vibe that’s perfect for a fabulous fall wedding. Decorate the space in jewel tones like garnet, emerald, and rust, or opt for brighter fall colors like yellow and orange. As for venue, consider a farm, barn, or a forest area with leaves that change colors. 

19. Choose a Unique Wedding Dress

Having an outdoor wedding means you can be creative when it comes to your wedding dress. Choose from classic wedding colors like white and beige to let a colorful background take center stage or opt for a color that matches your wedding theme. A sapphire blue dress is perfect for a winter wedding while a scarlet design will shine at a fall or holiday celebration. If you’re getting married in a place with a lot of rainfall, consider pairing your dress with cute cowboy boots or rain boots.

Planning for Outdoor Wedding Weather

Beach wedding setting

Having a wedding outdoors means you’ll need to contend with Mother Nature. Depending on your wedding location and time of the year, that can mean planning for sun, rain, wind, and snow. Here, you’ll find a few tips on dealing with the weather.

Help Guests With the Dress Code

Since these outdoor wedding ideas are exposed to the elements, you’ll want to give your dress code a little extra thought. If the wedding is in a location that’s new to people on your guest list, they may not know how to dress appropriately. 

Include a note in the invitation or a section on your wedding website offering tips and general advice on what to expect from the weather. If rain is in the forecast, recommend waterproof shoes, an umbrella, or a waterproof coat. For snow, be sure to tell guests to dress warm and layer up.

Have a Back-Up Plan at the Venue

Many outdoor venues have experience with inclement weather, so they’ll have backup options. Discuss weather arrangements with the wedding venue and see if they offer optional coverings or shade to keep guests dry in case it rains. Some wedding venues have alternate wedding ceremony locations or reception areas indoors if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

If you’re hosting a backyard wedding, you can look into renting a clear tent that keeps guests dry yet still offers views. You can also incorporate weather gear into your decor. Hand out clear umbrellas if there’s just a small chance of showers or opt for colorful parasols and fans to protect guests from high temperatures.

Be Flexible

With outdoor weddings, the key is to adapt and be flexible. Planning a wedding months out means you won’t know exactly what the weather will be like on your big day. Remember, your wedding day is all about celebrating your love, so roll with the punches and find a way to enjoy the moment, even if it ends up not being exactly how you envisioned it. After all, stormy clouds make for stunning wedding photos and some incredible sunsets once the clouds part. (Plus, those unexpected twists will be part of your wedding story for years to come.)

Outdoor Wedding Ideas That Stand the Test of Time

No matter where you host your nuptials, your love story is at the heart of it all. From your wedding venue to your theme and decor, every element helps to tell your story. And when it’s time to send invitations for your big day, Greenvelope is here for you. You’ll find hundreds of wedding invitation designs, including outdoor-inspired templates that celebrate the beauty of nature. For more outdoor wedding ideas, be sure to browse our entire collection of customizable outdoor wedding invitations.