Outdoor weddings are far and away the most popular choice for summer weddings, but how do you make yours stand out while still reflecting you and your partner’s personalities? Luckily, there are several unique outdoor wedding themes that you can use to plan your wedding so that you and your guests will remember your special day and stunning venue forever. OneWed is lucky to have a team of amazing planners, bloggers, and photographers who have shared their favorite themes below.
Combining the natural elements of the outdoors with a touch of vintage glamor is sure to make a lasting impression on your guests. This theme is defined by pairing flowing material and fringe décor with bold patterns, vases, beautiful flower arrangements, and a touch of sparkle. For a color palette, Meredith McIntosh of Love and Lavender recommends gold, blushing pinks, and whites to add romance without overwhelming the natural setting. To let your guests mingle in style, an outdoor lounge area with a few pieces of vintage furniture will provided an unexpected but welcome backdrop to cocktail hour. Tents and canopies lit with chandeliers will give your guests respite from the hot summer sun during the reception, and trees wrapped with small white lights will add a grandiose effect long into the night.
To make an elegant outdoor setting feel less stuffy, Nicki Korman of Toast of the Coast recommends going with a residential ballroom theme. This style features a variety of table shapes and centerpieces to create a more open, casual feel that encourages mingling. With this theme, a beautiful space doesn’t have to feel traditional or like a venue; it can be a fun, yet still classy environment in which every guest can feel comfortable. The overall feel of the wedding becomes closer to that of a lounge room rather than a ballroom, and guests respond to the laid-back atmosphere by mixing and socializing easily.
When choosing a venue for your outdoor wedding, Sarah Darcy of Classic Bride Blog believes that you should pick a venue that speaks to your heart and that echoes you and your partner’s personalities. For a timeless look at an outdoor venue, Sarah recommends choosing a natural and neutral color palette, limited to two colors, to keep the design aesthetic simple and cohesive. For her Southern charm wedding, Sarah chose a historic home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that showed a hint of New Orleans’ famous French Quarter. A green and creamy white color scheme enhanced the setting without overwhelming the eyes, and the result was a wedding and venue that showed the couple’s character for a memorable night. (Photos by Look Photography)
For an easygoing, unpretentious wedding, Kate Harrison (founder of Green Bride Guide and Director of Merchandising and Eco-Friendly Marketing at mywedding.com) offers a wedding setting highlighted by a backdrop of rugged mountains, thick forests, and sunny skies. Kate believes that green weddings are moving from being seen as just for “rustic, DIY” brides. Although that’s still an element of the market, an emerging trend is weddings that are venue-focused, such as this wedding in the woods. This mountain-inspired wedding added touches of purple décor with flowers and other design elements; this simple detail accented the bold mountain setting in a way that was perfect for a spring wedding. (Photos by Grace Combs Photography)
For a rustic-chic wedding theme, Nancy Liu Chin of Nancy Liu Chin Designs recommends a vineyard setting for its versatility; at a winery, the wedding can have a natural environment that you can dress up to be modern and glamorous or play into the rustic feel by going for a vintage, barn-inspired wedding. In the pictures above, the wedding décor is rustic in the sense that the wood and flowers are very natural; however, there is a more modern edge to the look, thanks in part to the beautiful table settings. The tucked-away setting gives the wedding an intimate feel, letting the bride, groom, and their guests escape from an urban setting for a few hours. (Event Design + Wedding Planner: A Savvy Event. Photography: Kevin Chin. Venue: Clos Pegase. Calligraphy and Paper Products: Mira Aster. Floral and Event Design: Nancy Liu Chin Designs. Table: Blueprint Studios. Rentals: Hartmann Studios)
For a wedding trend that celebrates nature and simplicity, Cassandra Eldridge of Cassandra Photo suggests looking for an outdoor venue with wide open spaces, such as green pastures and woods that will be enhanced with simple décor such as white twinkle lights, baby’s breath in the floral arrangements, and altars draped in flowers. With this style of wedding, simple and personal touches can help the bride and groom show off their personalities without breaking the budget. A white tent-covered reception sprinkled with twinkling lights will keep your atmosphere intimate, and in this setting, small details go a long way towards creating an organic, rustic-chic vibe.
No matter where you choose to have your wedding, you can accent your outdoor venue with a complementary theme that will be unique to you and your partner. The options are endless, and you can create a memorable event that your guests will be talking about for years to come. Comment below and tell us which of these outdoor wedding themes is your favorite (if you can even choose just one!)
Graphics put together by the friendly folks at Williams Ski and Patio in Highland Park, IL.