Outdoor Weddings: Tell Your Guests To Go Outside and Play

by editor
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I know it. You know it. Just about everyone except maybe your mom knows it. Outdoor weddings are the bomb.

They automatically keep everything from getting too formal and stuffy because, hey, you’re outside. Anything too nice is gonna get scuffed.

And if your beliefs fall into that spiritual-but-not-religious category, outdoor weddings are perfect. Nature’s beauty is something that all religions agree on.

The weather will be a factor, but everyplace has good weather sometime. If you’re in the Southwest, you’re guaranteed perfect weather for big chunks of the year, and if you’re getting married anywhere else, well, just ask the locals. And have fun.

Get wet
You can arrange a beautiful water-friendly wedding and reception right on a beach. Just make sure the bridesmaids’ dresses won’t go transparent when they go crashing into the surf later on. Boat weddings are also fun. You can get anything from a party float on a lake to a full-on cruise ship. You’re guaranteed great scenery and plenty of fun for your guests.

Up, up and away
If you’re both early birds, a hot-air balloon wedding is terrific. (Most balloon rides need to be early in the morning because of the way hot and cool air currents work.) There’s no better dramatic exit from your ceremony than to climb in and give your guests the Wizard of Oz treatment. You’ll get a beautiful view, and you and your new husband will get a little quiet time before you come back down to hit the reception.

Get in touch with your animal instincts
Aquariums and zoos are great for animal lovers. You’ll have a little time to look around after you exchange vows, and a lot of them have beautiful settings. And you would be surprised at how open most aquariums and zoos are to helping you put together a wedding. Turns out zookeepers are kind of romantic. Who knew?

Park it here
National, state, and even local parks make beautiful settings, and the fees are usually very reasonable. They’re a great option if you’re on a budget. And you can play hide and seek when you’re done.

Let’s make history
I’ll admit it: I’m in love with a nerd. And talking about having our wedding at a historic site gets him pretty geeked up with joy. He’s most interested in an old ghost town, but we’re talking about a couple of other historic locations that mean a lot to him. You can also get married on the grounds of a mansion or castle or anyplace that makes your heart and brain happy. Plus you can make your wedding attendants dress up all old-timey.

I doooooooooo
If your families and friends are all pretty durable, why not have your wedding at a ski or snowboarding resort, a horse ranch, or even a zip wire course? If you choose your location well, you can work rock climbing, mountain biking or any other sport into most weddings. Even the guests who aren’t into the rough-and-tumble stuff will enjoy watching the rest of you get silly. Just try not to face plant until after the photos.