Your Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings are romantic and scenic, but there’s a lot that can go wrong. Here’s your guide to planning a trouble-free, outdoor wedding.

Who will officiate?
Some officiants will only perform ceremonies within a house of worship, so you’ll need to check with yours in advance before planning your ceremony outside.

Inform your guests
Guests need to know they’re attending an outdoor wedding so they can dress appropriately. It’s also a good idea to send weather information to out-of-town guests who may not be familiar with the climate.

Be prepared
Combat potential outdoor issues by having the following items on hand:

Plenty of water
Umbrellas
Handheld paper or wood fans
Sunscreen
Bug spray
Tissues/paper towels

Securing your Outdoor Wedding Location
For an outdoor wedding, the draw is the setting, so finding the right spot and coordinating the event around it is the most important task on your to-do list. Your setting options are as limitless as the great outdoors itself. But before getting your heart set on a specific spot, these are some key questions you’ll need to ask.

Is There Privacy?
Keep in mind that if your location is a public space – or even near a public place (like a street or sidewalk), you may have to contend with onlookers. Try to reserve your space in a secluded spot to prevent unwanted guests or distractions.

What’s The Backup Plan?
Obviously you’ll need a plan in case of inclement weather. If your location doesn’t have indoor facilities to accommodate your event should the skies open, you’ll need to rent a tent. Many rental companies will reserve your tent for a deposit and that way, if the weather is nice and you don’t use it, you don’t lose the full payment.

Can You Hear?
Will guests have to compete with roaring waves, gusting winds, honking cars, or screaming children to hear your vows? You may need to rent a sound system and mics for the officiant and yourselves. Your band or DJ should be able to provide this for you.

Outdoor Décor Elements
Let the setting speak for itself – Don’t compete with Mother Nature; rather, subtly enhance your background (whether it’s a sandy beach, blooming garden, or thick forest) with a complementary color palette and décor elements.
Au Natural – Consider details like burlap table linens and vintage furniture to set your scene. It blends into the outdoor setting while also creating a statement. Get inspired by the vintage gems available from Found Vintage Rentals.
Lighting – Create ambiance in your outdoor space by getting creative with your lighting – there is nothing quite like bistro lights, twinkle lights, or lanterns set against a natural scene.

Outdoor Wedding Flowers
Blooms – An outdoor wedding calls for flowers that can brave all sorts of weather. Look for sturdier blooms like mums, orchids, carnations, alstroemeria, lisianthus, calla lilies, and sunflowers. Also, don’t overlook these hearty, simple floral embellishments that look fabulous by themselves: baby’s breath, bells of Ireland, hypernicum berry, bupleurum, and dusty miller.
Style – Keep your containers and arrangements natural-looking, as an intricately designed, elaborate pedestal centerpiece in a tall candelabra just doesn’t fit. Instead, use loose arrangements in mason jars, wooden boxes, vintage containers, crates, or pails.

Outdoor Wedding Menu
Keep it simple – Even an elegant outdoor wedding calls for simpler fare that can withstand varied temperatures, so avoid items like mayonnaise or dishes which must be served cold. If yours is a casual affair, consider a traditional outdoor barbeque.
Keep guests refreshed – Have plenty of ice and water, along with teas or lemonades, especially if your outdoor wedding will take place in a warm environment. Alcoholic beverages like sangria, mojitos, or mint juleps will also keep your guests refreshed.

Outdoor Wedding Cake Ideas
Make it last – Wedding cakes can melt outside. Opt for fondant icing over buttercream. Stay away from mousse and ice cream cakes. Many types of cupcakes hold up well in the heat.

Outdoor Wedding Attire
Bride – Dare to go casual. Outdoor settings allow for breezy fabrics and shorter hemlines. Knee and tea-length gowns are making a major comeback, while lace and/or organza are good outdoor fabric options. But if traditional elegance is what you prefer then you can still plan a formal dress code – just consider what’s best suited for sun, sand, or grass.
Bridesmaid – You may want to forgo the giant ball gown and instead, stick to a romantic empire or a-line dress in a flowing organza or light-catching taffeta.
Shoes – For both bride and bridesmaids, opt for a wide, flat heel, cute ballet flats, or strappy sandals, as a stiletto may sink right into the ground.
For the guys – Lose the tux and consider an unbuttoned affair. Dress the guys in khakis and sport jackets or crisp oxfords. If you’re heart is set on a tux, get a vest with a full back – which will look better when their coats are off.

Outdoor Wedding Favors

Keep ‘em cool – Personalized paper fans are both decorative and functional.
Keep love blooming – By giving packs of flower seeds.
Plant it – Gift them with miniature potted plants or herbs.
Give – Forgo the traditional favors and donate to your favorite “green” organization in your guests’ names.

Outdoor Wedding Getaway
Up and away – A hot air balloon makes a dramatic statement and affords some romantic alone time with your new spouse
Sail away – Make your exit on a sail boat, yacht, catamaran, or canoe (hint: you’ll need a body of water).
Horseback – Make sure you practice before you galloping into the sunset.
Vintage Flatbed Truck – ‘Cause you’re a down-home couple at heart.
Horse-drawn carriage– This romantic exit is the ultimate departure fit for a princess.

Outdoor Wedding Entertainment

Fun and games – In a natural outdoor setting, you’re not limited to a traditional band or deejay to entertain the crowd; outdoor games like horseshoes or croquet can be a fun and unexpected twist.



Advice for Forgoing the Traditional Wedding Venue

Many wedding venues have outdoor settings available, which makes planning an alfresco event a bit easier (they provide and handle the essentials). If you’re planning your outdoor wedding at a public park, beach or private home; however, you’ll have added details to attend to:

Permits
Public outdoor locations require numerous permits and fees. Be sure to find out about any restrictions on noise, alcohol consumption, number of guests, food preparation, tables, tents, and time limits.

Rental fees
Keep in mind that you’ll have to rent everything – from tables and chairs to bathrooms and sound systems – and these rental fees can up your bottom line.

Details
Attention to detail is key to the success of an outdoor wedding. Coordinating the permits, rentals, backup plans – not to mention the typical wedding details – can be taxing. Seriously consider enlisting the help of a professional coordinator to keep things together.

Accessibility
Is there convenient parking? If not, you’ll need to secure a nearby lot and provide a shuttle – especially if you’ll have elderly guests or others with limited mobility.

Wedding Insurance
Outdoor weddings are a prime candidate for insurance, which will to help recoup losses caused by extreme weather conditions or any other circumstances that prevent your wedding from taking place.

Congratulations to all of our October couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our October couples!

Sara and Jonah 10/1 at Oak Hill
Crystal and Thomas 10/1 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Carla and Robert 10/1 at New World Home Cooking
Suzie and Tony 10/1 at Belvedere Mansion
Lauren and Rick 10/1 at The Inn at Stone Ridge
Laryssa and Sharyn 10/2 in Elizaville, NY
Rosanna and Carl 10/2 St. Mary’s Church and The Rhinecliff Hotel
Amanda and Brent 10/2 in Hopewell Junction, NY
Nina and Miguel 10/7 at The V.I.P. Country Club
Andrea and Evan 10/8 at Bowdoin Park and Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Sasha and Matthew 10/8 at Schultz Hill
Katie and Anthony 10/8 at Emerson Resport & Spa
Melinda and Marcello 10/8 at Renaissance Westchester Hotel
Julianne and Tim 10/9 at The Chapel of Our Lady Restoration
Moira and Robert 10/9 at Blue Restaurant
Alicia and Robert 10/9 at Glen Sanders Mansion
Jillian and Jamie 10/10 at Locust Grove
Georgia and Christopher 10/14 at The Dutchess Golf & Country Club
Shanna and Michael 10/15 in Jewett, NY
Meredith and Nicholas 10/15 at West Park Winery
Eileen and Kurt 10/15 at The Meadowbrook
Jennifer and Robert 10/15 at Brookside Manor
Amanda and Wesley 10/16 at The Candlewood Inn
Wendy and Duane 10/16 at The Garrison
Alexandra and Brian 10/16 at Mohonk Mountain House
Kristen and Jonathan 10/19 in Saugerties, NY
Indy and Keyuan 10/22 at Castle on the Hudson
Jennifer and Paul 10/23 at Villa Borghese
Nicole and Shanee 10/23 at Round Hill House
Jamie and Raul 10/29 at St. Patrick´s Cathedral and Apawamis Club
Kathleen and Brendan 10/29 at Church of the Holy Spirit and Doubletree Hotel Tarrytown

Congratulations to all of our September couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our September couples!

Elizabeth and Ron 9/3 at Poets Walk
Elizabeth and Dana 9/3 at New York Country Club
Melissa and Jeremy 9/4 at The Links at Unionvale
Nicole and Nick 9/4 at Twin Lakes
Jill and John 9/4 at Millbrook Winery
Kellie and Mark 9/4 at The Falkirk Estate and Country Club
Gabrielle and Dean 9/10 at West Park Winery
Laurie and Rick 9/10 at The River Grill
Kaitlyn and Brian 9/10 at The Onteora Mountain House
Luciana and Eduardo 9/11 at The Ashokan Reservoir
April and Jill 9/16 in Central Park, NYC
Kaeleigh and Cory 9/16 in Gardiner, NY
Nichole and Peter 9/16 at The New York Country Club
Michelle and David 9/16 at The Glen Island Harbour Club
Jennifer and Marcelo 9/17 at The Stony Ford Golf Course
Stacy and Craig 9/17 in Yorktown Heights, NY
Veronika and Brainerd 9/17 at Oak Hill
April and Heath 9/17 in Kinderhook, NY
Sarah and Justin 9/17 at West Settlement
Beth and Hermann 9/17 at Del Posto Ristorante, NYC
Melissa and Kyle 9/18 at The Grandview
Nicole and Derek 9/23 at Arbor Ridge Catering & Banquet
Adam and Erin 9/24 at Mary’s Parish in Greenwich, CT and Westchester Country Club
Jessica and Kyle 9/24 at All Souls Church
Peter and Nicole 9/24 at The Historical Harness Track
Daria and Lukasz 9/24 at Mohonk Mountain House
Nicole and Ryan 9/24 at Overlook Lodge
Aimee and Michael 9/24 at Highlands Country Club
Katie and Rick 9/25 at Mohonk Mountain House
Jessica and Todd 9/30 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel

Congratulations to all our August couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our August couples!

Shelly and Frank 8/4 at Belvedere Mansion
Sierra and Bryan 8/5 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Victoria and Isaac 8/5 at Brookside Manor
Damian and Shawn 8/6 in Rhinebeck, NY
Nicole and Rina 8/6 in Rhinebeck, NY
Tista and Prashant 8/6 in Jewett, NY
Crystal and Pedro 8/6 at Hunter Mountain
Lauren and Corey 8/6 at Windham Mountain
Ashley and Ismael 8/7 at Catlin Gardens
Jeremy and Sonya 8/7 at The Marist College Gazebo
Kristine and Vincent 8/14 at Full Moon Resort
Russell and Meiling 8/14 at Kefi Restaurant in New York, NY
Lance and Folami 8/18 at Riverfront Park
Kimia and Terrance 8/18 at The Grandview
Melissa and Ted 8/19 at The Grandview
Andrew and Ashley 8/20 at FEAST Round Hill
Vicky and Holly 8/20 at The Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery
Sherry and Eric 8/20 at The Grandview
Robin and Michelle 8/21 at The Rhinecliff
Michelle and Matt 8/26 at Trump Hudson Valley
Tina and Rami 8/27 at The Grandview
Priscila and Ed 8/27 at The Grandview
Michael and Melissa 8/27 at Mohonk Mountain House
Melissa and Luke 8/27 at Rolling Greens at Dutchess Golf and Country Club
Heather and Blake 8/27 in Salt Point, NY

Your Outdoor Wedding

Intimate Garden, Beach or Backyard Outdoor Wedding Ceremony?

It’s not just nature lovers who are taking part in outdoor wedding ceremonies any longer. Every year, thousands of couples break from tradition and run to the “altars” of lush gardens, sandy beaches and even the comfort of their own backyards.

So, if you’ve chosen to forgo the family church to say your “I do’s,” then the location of your outdoor wedding ceremony is going to be one of the most important decisions you make during the wedding planning process. A great location will set the mood for the whole day and may even play a big part in the theme and colors that you choose. And remember, there is no reason to believe that an outdoor wedding can’t be just as formal and elegant as one held in the grand ballroom of a swanky country club. So, to get you thinking, here are a few outdoor wedding options that are sure to satisfy your wedding day fantasies:

Many state and county-owned parks offer incredibly beautiful garden areas designed specifically with brides and grooms in mind. These “wedding gardens” can offer lush, well-groomed landscaping that will provide the perfect natural backdrop for amazing formal portraits, and other wedding pictures. And there’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on on flowers for the wedding ceremony. Catch a flower garden during the right season and your wedding ceremony will literally flourish with colorful blossoms.

Beach weddings set the stage for incredibly romantic ambiance and offer a unique opportunity to play up ocean-inspired themes. Picture yourself walking down a sandy aisle lined with conch shells, lit with the warm glow of tiki torches, to the sounds of a steel drum band. The setting sun is your backdrop and, just as it dips below the horizon, you kiss for the first time as husband and wife. This may sound too good to be true but for many couples, this was their wedding day… and it can be yours too.

You don’t have to be a homebody to fall in love with the idea of tying the knot in your own backyard. Many couples are opting for a more laid back approach to their big day by hosting intimate weddings in the privacy of their home. These weddings tend to be smaller, but fewer guests mean you can splurge on other things…like an amazing menu designed to satisfy even the most experienced palate.

As with any outdoor event, weather is a factor. When planning your wedding be sure to avoid seasons known for excessive rain. Keep the comfort of your guests in mind. If you want your friends and family to bless you with good wishes, it’s best to avoid months with excessive hot or cold temperatures. They’ll be so glad you did. With a little luck, your day will go off without a hitch no matter if you select to hold your wedding ceremony on a beach, in a garden or in your own backyard, and you’ll be on your honeymoon before you can say “newlyweds.”

Congratulations to all our July couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our couples that were married this July!

William and Kristine 7/1 at The Eagle’s Nest
Andrea and Christopher 7/2 in Hillsdale NY
Colin and Maria 7/2 at Bella Bella
Lindsey and William 7/2 at Catlin Gardens
Jason and Elena 7/3 at The Croton Dam Bridge
Edris and John 7/3 at CV Rich Mansion
Mary and Michael 7/5 at Post Park
Stephanie and Ryan 7/8 in Jewett NY
Gina and Christopher 7/9 at The Ashokan Reservoir
Rosalie and Greg 7/9 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel
Jessica and Mark 7/9 at The Ashokan Dreams Bed and Breakfast
Julianne and Daniel 7/15 at Rolling Greens at Dutchess Country Club
Sherman and Kerrianne 7/15 at The Eagle’s Nest
John and Deanne 7/16 in Pleasant Valley NY
Patty and Jessie 7/16 in Catskill NY
Nikki and Owen 7/16 at Vassar College Chapel and Locust Grove
James and Aryssa 7/16 at Round Hill House
Paul and Danielle 7/23 at Magnanini Farm Winery
Karen and Sonja 7/26 in Woodstock NY
Kathleen and Maryann 7/26 in Beacon NY
Nicole and Michelle 7/27 at The Beacon Riverfront Park
Sheri and Matt 7/30 at Patriot Hills
Heather and Missy 7/31 at The Town of Crawford Park

Congratulations to all our June couples!

A big Congratulations to all of our couples that were married this June!

Louise and Dan 6/3 at Anthony’s Pier Nine
Suzanne and Michael 6/4 at Minnewaska Lodge
Maya and Craig 6/4 in Hopewell Junction
Jennifer and Michael 6/4 at Lippincott Manor
Jessica and Jeff 6/4 at Le Petit Chateau
Kristin and Dennis 6/5 at The Grandview
Nicole and Hector 6/10 at Glen Island Harbour Club
John and Sarah 6/11 at The Stone House B&B
Isabelle and Richard 6/11 in Salt Point
Allison and Pat 6/11 in Hyde Park
Angela and Mario 6/12 at the Villa Borghese
Ezra and Karen 6/15 at Perkins Memorial Tower
Melanie and Dave 6/18 at Harvest on Hudson
Jacqueline and Evan 6/18 at Total Tennis
Ashley and Ammi 6/18 in Hudson NY
Sarina and Hamza 6/18 at Villa Barone Hilltop Manor
Michelle and Kevin 6/19 at Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa
Lisa and Christopher 6/24 at The Villa Borghese
Simone and Brendan 6/25 at West Park Winery
Rebekah and Harry 6/26 at The Onteora Mountain House
Justine and Jeffrey 6/28 at The Walkway Over The Hudson
Natasha and Steven 6/30 at Belvedere Mansion