How to Create a Dreamy Outdoor Wedding in the UK
It is not surprising that so many couples ask us to help them embrace the charm of the British countryside to create an unforgettable outdoor wedding experience either at home of as part of a destination celebration.
We wanted to create a helpful guide to turning those rural party dreams into reality, that will allow you to host a beautiful event celebrating in a natural setting.
1. Scenic Venue Selection
The very first step is to choose a venue or location that embraces the scenic wonders or an area of outstanding natural beauty in the UK. From woodlands and pretty gardens to lush grounds in historic estates, select a space that best speaks to your vision.
Logistically you will want to consider what is available on site and what you will need to bring in. You'll need to consider vehicle access, supply of electricity and water, local transport and accommodation for guests, and ground suitability for dining or dancing.
2. Seasonal Sensibility
It is important that you appreciate and leverage the unique beauty of each season in England. Most popular are dates in Spring with incredible flowers in bloom, or Summer months where you are more likely to have warmth and dry weather.
With the right planning however you can opt for other seasons using autumnal hues, or even a winter wonderland – it just takes a little more planning and imagination!
Either way, you should align your theme and design concept with the season for a truly magical atmosphere.
3. Natural Décor Delights
For an outdoor wedding we love letting nature be your inspiration and style elements around that focal point. We would recommend you incorporate local flowers with organic natural shapes, bring in greenery, and include other natural elements or textures into your décor for a more authentic and dreamy vibe.
It is entirely possible to create a fashion forward impactful design using nature as a grounding guide, it really doesn't have to be "rustic" to suit rural or outdoor locations.
4. Weather-Ready Planning:
Remember that no matter the season, you will need to have a contingency plan for inclement weather. So either choose a spot with an indoor space close by, or book in a marquee/tent in case it's required for rain cover, wind protection, warmth or even shade.
Be prepared for the unpredictable British weather. Have a backup plan in case of rain, and consider providing items like cozy blankets or parasols to keep guests comfortable.
5. Whimsical Lighting
Create an enchanting and romantic ambiance with chandeliers, hanging lights, lanterns, or candles. As the sun sets, it really is lovely when the warm glow of these lights cast a magical spell over your celebration.
If you wanted to create a separate after party space with more of a "disco" feel, then we would always recommend you create a separate space, often indoors or under separate cover, where noise pollution is limited and you can have more fun with lighting production and enhanced decor.
6. Comfortable Seating
You will want to choose both comfortable and stylish seating arrangements. Even if you opt for rustic wooden benches or folding chairs, if guests are seated for longer periods of time you'll want to provide bohemian-inspired or classic style seat cushions, or a softer style with lounge furniture available.
Of course you should choose options that align with your outdoor theme, but keep comfort in mind at all times!
7. Local Flavor Feast
One of the best ways to host an amazing rural or outdoor wedding is to embrace the culinary delights of the region. Find a caterer who is more than happy to recommend and incorporate locally sourced ingredients and traditional dishes to add a taste of authenticity to your wedding feast.
Outdoor doesn't = buffets and sharing plates either. You can still have a more formal dining style, but keep each dish beautifully simple and leave the flashy presentation to restaurants. It just doesn't really work in the setting.
8. Personalised Touches
As with all of our weddings, we would really recommend you weave your personalities into all of the details. From bespoke signage to scenting and storytelling, make the celebration uniquely yours rather than creating a flat "theme" that lacks depth or imagination.
9. Live Music Under the Stars
Throughout the wedding celebration it's always nice to enhance the romantic outdoor atmosphere with live music. From the ceremony, to the reception, dining and dancing - whether it's a string quartet, acoustic band, or a DJ spinning your favorite tunes, let the music amplify the joy!
10. Capture the Moments
Hire a skilled photographer to capture all of the moments. With outdoor locations you will want to have an expert who understands the light and setting to ensure your details and guests are photographed perfectly - bright sun, cloudy skies, darker winter nights and changing landscapes are all something a top photographer will be able to handle with ease. Choose carefully!
11. Sustainable Choices
Make eco-friendly choices wherever possible. From zero waste catering, to real petal biodegradable confetti and reusable décor rentals, infuse sustainability into your dreamy celebration given your location of choice. Choose suppliers who have a strong ethos and can guide and support you in delivering on sustainability while never compromising on style or quality.
12. Relaxed Atmosphere
For outdoor weddings we usually encourage a more laid-back and relaxed aesthetic, and we love to create an atmosphere where guests can truly unwind. By blending the charm of the outdoors with thoughtful details, you can craft a dreamy and unforgettable wedding day in the picturesque landscapes of the UK. Laid back luxury is often harder to achieve than it looks - concentrate on a cohesive well designed concept, hire in the very best talent with a clear brief, and make sure each element flows seamlessly.
We love letting the beauty of nature be your backdrop as you embark on a journey of love and celebration!
To get more inspiration for English outdoor weddings check out this orchard dinner party at the Four Seasons in Hampshire or this marquee wedding set in the grounds of a private home in Herefordshire.