Planning an outdoor wedding adds some extra considerations to your to-do list, but if your heart is set on tying the knot with nature for a backdrop, they’re well worth it. Here are some tips to help you plan a beautiful outdoor ceremony while keeping stress at a minimum.

1. Dress for success (and comfort)

Consider comfort and functionality when it comes to your attire. This is true for your wedding party, as well as the wedding dress.

In states (like here in Kansas) where the summers are hot and winters are frigid, you may opt for a spring or fall wedding. While the temperatures are pleasant, they can be variable, so consider having an optional wrap that coordinates with your dress should the temperatures dip. If you’re getting married in the summer, don’t choose a dress that will be too warm and/or won’t offer any kind of ventilation. You don’t want to sweat your way through the vows!

Another pro tip: It’s probably best to avoid heels if you’ll be walking on uneven ground. Choose a dress for yourself and your bridesmaids that works well with flat shoes or sandals.

2. Advise guests on how to dress for the weather

When sending out invitations or creating any other wedding announcements for your special day, inform guests on how to dress for the weather.

For those that aren’t local, the name of your venue may not tell them much about what the event will entail. Even if guests are aware the occasion will be outdoors, many outdoor events take place near an indoor space.

If the majority of your event will take place outside, and there isn’t a place for guests to take a break from the elements and cool off, be sure to let them know so they can dress accordingly.

3. It might rain–have a plan

It doesn’t have to be the end of the world if it rains on your wedding day, but it may be problematic if you don’t have a plan.


  • How will you take pictures if it rains? Do you have a backup plan with the photographer?
  • What (if any) is the rain policy at your venue of choice?
  • Is there an indoor area you can retreat to in the event of rain?
  • What options does your venue offer in the event of rain? For example, do they have tents available? If so, is there an extra charge?

If you’re at a loss on how you’ll take pictures for a location that is primarily outdoors, there are ways you can get creative and still get those outdoor shots (without ruining your makeup). Consider purchasing matching umbrellas for the wedding party ahead of time, just in case. If you don’t use them, you can return them. Or they can serve as a little extra gift from the bride and groom.

4. Tents are your best friend

Tents are a blank canvas (pun intended!) and extremely versatile for outdoor weddings. You can decorate and arrange the inside however you like and they’re fairly weatherproof. If there’s no indoor space available at your venue, consider renting one of these. You can always ask the venue for recommendations if you’re not sure where to look.

Ask the tent rental vendor for recommendations on how to anchor the tent properly, and don’t skip this step! You won’t be able to enjoy your ceremony or reception if you’re worried every time wind rattles the sides of the tent.

5. Think about heating and cooling

Even if the day of your spring or fall wedding is beautifully warm, the temperatures can get downright chilly at night. This is especially true if you’re getting married near a lake or the ocean, where wind blowing across the water will bring the temperature down further. Rent a patio heater or two if your outdoor ceremony or reception will extend past sunset.

If you’re getting married in the summer, you can’t go wrong renting some cooling fans for your tent, especially if there isn’t an air conditioned area available for guests to get a break from the heat.

You don’t have to worry about the patio heaters or fans detracting from your decor. Vendors have all sorts of styles available to match your aesthetic!

6. Discuss any potential concerns with the venue

One of the most important things you can do when planning your wedding is to make a list of your concerns and bring them to the people involved in bringing your actual event to life. One of those includes the venue.

If you’ve chosen a venue that has hosted a lot of weddings in the past, they’re likely to have a good understanding of what potential weather-related problems might arise.

Find out what their policies and processes are for handling the unexpected. They’ll be able to answer your questions and give you peace of mind.