We might sound a little biased on the subject of outdoor weddings considering both of our venues include an outdoor space with the venue rental. But, really, what better place to commit to your “Future Mr. or Mrs.” than in the beauty of the great outdoors? Seriously, as a newlywed myself, we held our ceremony beneath a willow tree in a garden meadow. We could not have asked for a more perfectly appointed location. And, the location only called for the addition of some guest seating (provided with the venue rental) to complete the picture. #budgetfriendly

Here are our tips for hosting an outdoor wedding…

Let Mother Nature Work For You – With the current trends of greenery and gardens in all of the wedding mags (and real life), Mother Nature comes fully equipped to provide those elements at little or no extra cost to you. The location can then guide your design, decor and dining decisions. A cohesive design is crucial to #winning the event design game for weddings or any kind of soiree.

Sprinkle in Surprises – Nothing says fall fĂȘte like a S’mores station seamlessly integrated into a cozy lounge area around a fire pit. Or how about a basket of sunglasses greeting guests for an afternoon waterside ceremony? Little details that take advantage of the outdoor space or tell guests “we were thinking about you” create opportunities for you and your guests.

Don’t forget the lights – Whether it’s lanterns, strings of bistro lights, or fire pits…”lighting” is key to setting the stage for a truly magical ambiance. This tip goes for both indoor and outdoor locations. Lighting and sound will make (or break) the show.

Plan for the Elements – The reality is when Mother Nature is involved…she is in charge. All you can do is have a plan for it. Plan for the weather. Plan for pests. The biggest concern for most couples on their wedding day is…the weather. Why? Because Mother Nature loves the trends, but sometimes she likes to mix things up and next thing you know your beautiful spring evening gets an unexpected drive-by rain storm. What to do? For starters, have a back up plan. It’s a must because “hope” is not an effective strategy in event planning.

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Christie Bazemore {Founder of SocietyWed. Co-Founder & Partner – 128 South and Bakery 105 in Wilmington, NC. Entrepreneur, Small Business Mentor, Event Planner, Wedding Geek, Writer, Business Innovator, Idea Maker, Boot Camp Betty, Yoga Nut, Animal Lover, Avid Reader}