Outdoor vs. Indoor Weddings: Which is Right for You? Credit: Balance Photography

Outdoor vs. Indoor Weddings: Which is Right for You?

Guest post by Katie Pierce

Have you been debating whether an outdoor or indoor wedding is the perfect fit for you? Each has its own unique charms, so we know it can be a tough decision to make. Whether you’re looking to say “I do” in a garden, beach, park, or chapel, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of outdoor and indoor ceremonies to make the best choice for your special day.

So here’s what we’re working with…

Indoor weddings offer the comfort of air conditioning and protection from the elements. But outdoor weddings provide a beautiful natural backdrop and the potential for stunning sunset photos. But then again, outdoor weddings also risk a strong breeze turning your beautiful up-do into a frizzy mess. And indoor weddings, on the other hand, may lack the romantic ambiance of starry skies and twinkling lights. Can it get any more frustrating than this? Don’t worry because we’re here to offer some help.

Outdoor wedding

Outdoor weddings can be a lot of fun and truly magical! But before you break out the bubbly and start rehearsing your vows, sit down and take the time to carefully assess the pluses and minuses of an al fresco ceremony.

Here are the pros:

  • An outdoor wedding ceremony allows your guests to fully experience the beauty of nature. Depending on the time of year, you can choose locations that feature breathtaking blooms and trees, vibrant sunsets, and a star-strewn sky.
  • An outdoor ceremony gives you the flexibility to choose where your wedding will take place - whether it’s a vineyard, beach, wooded area, or park.
  • Many outdoor venues also come with built-in decorations like manicured gardens and gazebos. Depending on the season and time of day, you may even be able to take advantage of that beautiful golden hour light!
  • There are typically fewer limitations when it comes to decorations, such as floral arrangements and table settings.
  • You’ll have plenty of space to accommodate large wedding parties and guests. (They'll have more room to dance and mingle too!)
  • The opportunity for breathtaking photos is unrivaled.
  • If you’re on a budget, an outdoor wedding can be much more affordable than an indoor ceremony.

On the flip side:

  • Outdoor weddings are subject to the whims of unpredictable weather conditions. They can easily be spoiled by rain or unseasonably hot temperatures.
  • Outdoor weddings can be challenging to light, so you may need additional lighting equipment if it gets dark.
  • With an outdoor ceremony, the chances of noise pollution are higher - especially if your venue is near a busy road or urban area. You may also have to worry about noise from airplanes and other aircraft passing by.
  • Cleanup can be more labor intensive as you must ensure that everything used for the ceremony is cleared away properly.
outdoor wedding ceremony

Photo credit: Ideal Imaging by Alistair Jones

Indoor wedding

Imagine tying the knot in a historic building or grand hall. Dreamy! But before you rush out to book the first indoor venue you come across, spare a few minutes to consider these pros and cons. 

Indoor wedding pros:

  • Indoor weddings tend to provide a more consistent atmosphere concerning temperature and humidity levels.
  • Indoor weddings often come with less stress and hassle as most details have already been taken care of.
  • Many indoor venues offer built-in decorations, such as beautiful carpets, drapery, and art.
  • Your guests won't need to worry about extreme weather conditions or bugs at an indoor ceremony.
  • You won't need to worry about noise from the outside world, as most indoor venues are soundproofed.
  • Most indoor venues have reliable electrical systems for powering live music or a slideshow presentation.

Indoor wedding cons:

  • Depending on the size of your guest list, you may find it difficult to comfortably fit everyone in an indoor venue.
  • Indoor weddings tend to be more expensive than outdoor ceremonies as you'll likely have to pay for the use of the venue, furniture rental fees, and other services.
  • Unless you're getting married in a naturally stunning location such as a chapel or cathedral, indoor venues may not offer the same romantic backdrop as outdoor weddings.
  • You may have fewer options when it comes to decorations, as some indoor spaces already have a specific colour scheme.
  • Indoor weddings can be subject to noise pollution from other events taking place at the same venue.
Outdoor vs Indoor Wedding ceremony ideas

Photo credit: Ideal Imaging by Alistair Jones

Different venue considerations for each type of wedding

No matter your choice - outdoor or indoor - there are certain details that you should always keep in mind. 

Here are some key points to consider when booking a space:

  • Location: Are you getting married close to home or traveling far away?
  • Weather: What is the climate like in that area, and how will it affect your ceremony?
  • Accessibility: Will there be easy access to the venue via public transportation or shuttle service if needed?
  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend on a venue, and what kind of amenities can you expect with each one?
  • Regulations: Are there any restrictions to using the space, such as noise level or time limit?

Wedition Hot Tip: whether your wedding takes place outdoors or indoors, giving a personalised wedding magazine to your wedding guests is sure to be a big hit! Here at Wedition we will style your magazine to fit in with your wedding colour scheme and use it to tell your story as well as the story of the venue, whether it be an indoor one or an outdoor one! We can include your wedding stationery essentials too such as your order of the day, order of the service, readings and wedding menu. Get in touch with Liz to set up a video call to find out more:

Outdoor vs Indoor Wedding favours

Weather contingency plans for outdoor weddings

If you’re still leaning towards an open-space setting, it’s always wise to have a plan for inclement weather. 

Some options include:

  • Having tents or canopies as a backup in case of rain.
  • Scheduling the ceremony at least two hours prior to sunset to avoid the risk of darkness.
  • Booking a location with an event hall in case you need to move indoors at the last minute.
  • Ask your guests to dress comfortably in layers to easily adjust their clothing if the weather changes.
Weather contingency plans for outdoor weddings

Photo credit: Ideal Imaging by Alistair Jones

Creative ways to make your indoor venue feel special

If you’re opting for an indoor wedding, there are plenty of ways to make your space feel extra special. 

Consider these ideas:

  • Hang string lights or paper lanterns for a romantic ambiance.
  • Incorporate lush floral arrangements and greenery to bring the outdoors in. 
  • Add a dramatic statement piece, such as a chandelier or wall art, to give your venue that extra oomph.
  • Use shimmery fabrics like satin, velvet, and sequins to create an elegant look.
  • Hang curtains or fabric from the ceiling for a cozy vibe.
Indoor wedding ceremony

Photo credit: Hayley B Weddings. Venue: Wotton House

Ultimately, there's no right or wrong choice on whether to have an outdoor or indoor wedding. It all depends on the style you want for your big day and the type of venue that reflects it. Take your time, crunch the numbers, and have fun!