Find Your Dream Wedding Venue

Whether you envision your wedding held in a hotel ballroom, a trendy bistro or a sunny backyard, there are pros and cons to consider for each. Here, what you need to know before you book.

Outdoors

outdoor-wedding
Photo Credit: Tanja Lippert Photography (left); Elizabeth Messina

Pros

Nature-made decor
Let’s face it, who needs lavish decorations when an amber sunset, blooming wildflowers or acres of kelly-green hills can serve as your backdrop? “Outdoor and tent weddings are among my favorite,” says Allison Sargent, of Allison Sargent Events in New Jersey, whose own daughter, Carly, was recently married in a custom-built tent overlooking two fairways on a golf course. “Everyone loves the outdoors on a glorious day,” she says.

A blank canvas
“Tented receptions are fantastic because they are blank canvases,” says Julie Pryor, of Pryor Events in Los Angeles. “You can add dramatic lighting, carpeting, and draping. And clear tents bring the outdoors in.”

Cons

Unpredictable Weather
“I am a big fan of outdoor events, but you need to be flexible and realize you do not have control of the weather, which has a mind of its own,” says Pryor. “I always have a backup for outdoor events, even in Southern California. This may be an indoor space that an event can be moved into or a gorgeous tent.”

Tents are costly While the cost of tents can vary widely, based on size, type and structural design, Marcy Blum of Marcy Blum Events and Weddings in New York City says you should “absolutely” expect to pay more for a tented wedding because you’re shelling out for “not only the tent, but also for the tables, chairs, and other peripherals that are rarely included in site fees.”

Temperature control
“When you host your wedding outdoors you are always vulnerable to weather and change in temperature,” says Colin Cowie, of Colin Cowie Events and Celebrations, in New York and Los Angeles. What to do? “Make sure to shield guests from the sun during the day and provide heaters in the evening,” advises Pryor. Handing out paper fans and parasols can go a long way toward making your guests feel as comfortable as possible.

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