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How to Choose Between an Indoor and Outdoor Wedding

Check out the pros and cons of each and decide which is right for you.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Jose Villa

One of the biggest decisions a couple has to make is choosing between an indoor and outdoor wedding venue. Whether you two see yourselves getting married in a lush backyard garden or exquisite ballroom, you should first consider the advantages and disadvantages of each setting. Here, find out the pros and cons of indoor and outdoor celebrations, then determine which is right for your day.

 

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Indoor Weddings

If you've always dreamed of a ceremony in your house of worship or a reception at the country club your family has frequented for years, this one will be a no-brainer. But if you're not particularly religious or never really saw yourself as a ballroom bride, choosing an indoor celebration might not come as naturally to you. If you're a Type A bride, or just someone who considers control over aspect of the day one of the most important requirements, you'll like lean towards an indoor ceremony. Still not sure? Check out the major pros and cons below.

 

Pro: No weather worries

With indoor weddings, there's no need to worry about unpredictable weather patterns. Undesirable temperatures or rainy forecasts can't put a damper on the festivities, and guests will be comfortable all night long.

 

Con: Space constraints

While you can change the décor of your venue, you can't change its size. Space constraints and safety restrictions may limit your guest count—especially if you're planning a seated dinner. If you're worried about the logistics, ask potential venues about the maximum capacity before booking. You can also save space by having a cocktail reception.

 

Pro: Design opportunities

The décor options are seemingly endless with an indoor venue, as long as you follow the venue's regulations. Blank walls and ceilings can be the perfect backdrops to display cute decorations, and you don't need to worry about the wind knocking over your centerpieces or blowing our your reception candles.

 

Con: Décor costs

Of course, filling a blank indoor space with décor and flowers comes with a hefty price tag. Make sure to plan accordingly, so you can design the wedding of your dreams while adhering to your budget. 

 

Pro: More intimate

With all of your guests confined to one room, your festivities will feel cozy and intimate. Plus, you don't need to worry about external distractions (like car horns) interrupting your ceremony or the reception toasts.

 

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Outdoor Weddings

Do you feel absolutely at home in nature? Have you always dreamed of a barefoot backyard bash, or swapping vows with a meadow as your backdrop? Then you're probably just the type of bride for an outdoor wedding. But remember, you can't control the weather, and outdoor celebrations are often logistically more challenging, especially if the property you've chosen isn't a tried-and-true wedding venue. 

 

Pro: Beautiful scenery

Natural landscapes make beautiful settings for wedding ceremonies and create breathtaking photographs. Couples that choose outdoor weddings also save on design costs, since the scenery provides visual interest without much added décor.

 

Con: Rental costs

Most of the time, outdoor wedding venues come as a clean slate. You'll probably need to rent a tent to protect against the natural elements, which can set you back thousands of dollars. Be prepared to dish out money for other elements as well, such as portable restrooms, a dance floor, tables, chairs, and lighting.

 

Pro: Natural lighting

Nothing beats natural lighting for beautiful wedding pictures. Make sure to hire a professional photographer who knows how to take beautiful images after the sun sets as well.

 

Con: Bugs

Mosquitos and other bugs will inevitably crash your outdoor wedding ceremony, buzzing around the guests and the food table. Make preparations to ensure that guests aren't bothered by the little pests.

 

Pro: Family friendly atmosphere

An outdoor setting gives children space to run around, which will hopefully keep the tantrums to a minimum. Consider breaking out some lawn games to keep the little ones (and adults!) occupied. 

 

Con: Harder to reserve

Since outdoor weddings can only take place during the warmer seasons, demand for the best locations will be high. To avoid scheduling conflicts, book your venue as soon as possible.

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About the Author

Nicole Harris

Nicole fell in love with the bridal industry after a summer internship with Martha Stewart Weddings. Although she's still a couple of years away from tying the knot, she can't help planning her own Big Day. She's crazy about creative DIY décor, classic lace gowns, colorful invitations, and huge (preferably endless) dessert spreads. Until it's time to pick her first dance song, though,...

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