Unique Outdoor Wedding Ideas

Fun with Fountains

There are many unique outdoor wedding ideas you can use to make your celebration even more special and take advantage of the natural beauty all around you. From choosing a perfect outdoor location to sprucing it up with custom decorations to capturing it in your wedding photographs, these outstanding outdoor ideas can make your ceremony truly memorable.

First, choose an outdoor wedding location with unique features. Cascading fountains are both picturesque and romantic, and are lovely additions to your reception décor that themselves do not need expensive embellishments.

Bridal Bridge

Many formal gardens and parks have small, quaint bridges as part of their meandering pathways. Add lengths of tulle and small floral arrangements to the bridge to decorate it for your wedding, and use it as a setting for unique bridal portraits. If the pathways are oriented correctly, you can even use a bridge as your ceremony site with your guests on either side.

Wedding Arches

There is nothing new about bridal arches, but you can make yours more unique by theming it to match the wedding location. An arch at the end of a pier overlooking a stunning skyline or island scene, for example, can be wrapped not only with tulle and flowers, but also with weathered rope as befits a nautical wedding theme. A garden arch could be wrapped with flowering vines and butterfly accents, while a beach arch may be decorated with palm fronds.

Set the Scene

While your wedding ceremony and reception will take place at defined locations, help set the romantic mood by decorating how guests will reach those places. Bows tied to lights lining a drive or pathway, for example, integrate the entrance into your wedding décor. Rose petals can be scattered up multiple pathways, lanterns can be hung from trees, and shepherd’s hooks with floral kissing balls can line the way to the appropriate locations.

Private Settings

Instead of a golf course, beach, or country club with wide open vistas, opt for a more private outdoor setting such as a secluded garden with high yet elegant walls. Tulle or ribbon can be draped from those walls if desired, and the privacy will make your day more memorable by minimizing any unnecessary interruptions.

Floating Flowers

If your outdoor wedding will take place at a resort or hotel with a pool, investigate the possibility of adding floating decorations to the water. Tropical floral arrangements, heart shaped floral wreaths, and floating candles or lanterns are all popular choices that can add something special to your event with ease.

Line the Aisle

Flower petals are frequently used to line the wedding aisle, but instead of that predictable option, choose a more unique decoration and use small vases with tightly knit floral arrangements. These can quickly be put in place to decorate the ceremony area, and they are easy to transport to the reception site for economical reuse.

Fan Programs

A fan-shaped wedding program is a unique touch for outdoor weddings, particularly those in warmer climates and sunny locations. To be sure each guest gets a fan, leave one on each seat at the ceremony site or have ushers pass them out to arriving guests. Miniature bottles of chilled water are also appreciated by wedding guests in warm areas.

Use Umbrellas

Instead of a wedding tent to offer shade, opt for airy umbrellas that won’t block breezes. Placed strategically between tables rather than sprouting from tables, the umbrellas will offer extensive shade to your reception site. For more flair, wrap the ribs of each umbrella with tulle, twinkle lights, or ribbons for delicate decorations.

reception entertainment

Reception Entertainment

Many couples choose to have entertainment in addition to the traditional wedding dance. At a beach wedding, consider hiring a hula dancer or fire baton twirler. Snake charmers, mariachi bands and even swing choirs can be hired for a short period of time to entertain guests during the dinner hour.

creative reception lighting

Creative Reception Lighting

There are many unique outdoor wedding ideas you can use to make your celebration even more special and take advantage of the natural beauty all around you. From choosing a perfect outdoor location to sprucing it up with custom decorations to capturing it in your wedding photographs, these outstanding outdoor ideas can make your ceremony truly memorable.

First, choose an outdoor wedding location with unique features. Cascading fountains are both picturesque and romantic, and are lovely additions to your reception décor that themselves do not need expensive embellishments.

Outdoor Portraits

Be sure you take advantage of the beauty of your outdoor wedding location for fabulous bridal portraits. Use the setting’s natural architecture and landscaping to frame your photos and capture the outstanding outdoor beauty of your wedding day.

Parasols

A lace trimmed wedding parasol is a stylishly nostalgic accessory for outdoor brides. A parasol can be carried in addition to or instead of a bridal bouquet, and it is easy to have your seamstress add trim to a plain parasol so it will match your wedding dress.

Sand Decorations

Beach weddings have multiple opportunities for unique outdoor wedding ideas, and writing on the sand is one of the most popular. Decorate the area leading to your ceremony site with carved hearts or hearts made from arranged flowers, shells, or rocks. A larger heart of flower petals may have the couple’s names, the wedding date, or initials inside it, and it looks fabulous in photos.

Aisle Petals

Rose petals scattered on the wedding aisle is a common decoration, but you can be a bit more unique by choosing thick ribbons of petals lining just the sides of the aisles. Fall brides can opt for colorful leaves to line the aisle instead, while winter brides may choose pine boughs or holly as their aisle decorations.

Ballooning Nuptials

Take your wedding ceremony to new heights by exchanging vows in a hot air balloon. While the wedding guests cannot accompany the couple, a larger balloon can usually hold the bride and groom, the officiate, and the necessary witnesses. Speakers can be set up to broadcast the vows to earthbound guests as well. If you’d rather exchange vows on the ground but still want to incorporate a balloon, it can be a beautiful way to exit the reception or for the bride to toss her bouquet from.

Windblown Photos

Take advantage of the breezes at your outdoor wedding for windblown photos that highlight the beauty of your gown and veil. This type of action shot will lend ethereal romance to your wedding photos. Other great nature wedding portraits include a waterfall backdrop, sunset silhouette kiss, and a beach wedding couple splashing in the surf.

Fairytale Carriage

Add a touch of fairytale romance to your wedding day by arriving at your outdoor ceremony in a gilded carriage, and leave the ceremony and reception in the same fashion. Carriages can be rented in many locations, but if this old fashioned touch is not right for your event, consider a vintage limousine, sleek motorcycle, or simply riding horses instead.

Wedding Tents

While wedding tents are common, make yours more unique by including an outdoor retreat area at your wedding reception. Guests can visit a nearby patio or terrace for a few quite moments to relive their own romance on your special day.

roast marshmellows

Roast Marshmallows

At backyard wedding receptions or beach wedding receptions, there may be a space available for a fire pit. If so, consider having a table set up with s'mores' fixings and allow everyone to make their own treats once night has fallen.

Decorate Outdoors

Even if your wedding will take place in a church, use outdoor decorations to make the most of your setting. Twinkle lights and lit topiaries, a torch lit pathway, or lines of luminaries can set a romantic mood for any evening event.

Interested in more unique wedding ideas? Check out these pictures of wedding table decorations and examples of wedding decorations at receptions for more unusual and stylish inspiration.

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Unique Outdoor Wedding Ideas