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Take it outdoors

 Are you a barefoot beach kind of girl, or are you dreaming of a fairytale wedding in a luxury ballroom?  If you can picture yourself getting married in a lush backyard garden, in a rustic barn or on your favorite beach, you might want to consider an outdoor wedding.  But don’t think that you’ll save a lot of money having your ceremony outdoors instead of in a country club. An outdoor venue has its own set of expenses that make it unique in planning, according to  Of course, a simple backyard ceremony and reception can be relatively inexpensive, depending on the number of guests and the amenities involved. A backyard barbecue would certainly be less costly than a large outdoor wedding with a catered five-course meal and live music. Natural landscapes make beautiful settings and create breathtaking photographs. You can also save money on design costs because the scenery provides enough visual interest without added décor.  However, there can be many additional costs to an outdoor event. Because of the unpredictability of the weather, you’ll likely need to rent a tent to protect the wedding party and guests from the possibility of natural elements like rain and wind. You may have to have a pest control professional spray the area before your wedding so you don’t have mosquitos eating your guests or their dinner.  You’ll have to think about a Plan B, too, just in case the weather is totally uncooperative on your wedding day. That may be an indoor venue near your first-choice outdoor site, and you’ll likely have to pay for that venue for it to be held for you.  Also, be prepared to shell out money for other necessities, from portable restrooms to a dance floor, tables, chairs and lighting.  Because the season is limited for outdoor weddings in Michigan, usually May to October, you may pay a premium price for a limited number of weekends, compared to year ‘round venues.  That being said, an outdoor venue can make your wedding memorable like no other, and can provide a more casual setting for food, entertainment, etc.  You can enjoy food as simple as a backyard barbecue or a catered five-course feast.  Start off the wedding reception with a signature cocktail passed to guests, along with appetizers served by hired wait staff. Incorporate fun foods into your reception, from an ice cream cart to cotton candy. Offer a S’mores bar and a bonfire once evening hits the reception.  As in any wedding, you’ll have to budget your expenses carefully, and decide which amenities you can live with, and can’t live without.  Most of all, cherish your special day, knowing you were well-prepared for any contingency.


Outdoor wedding ideas from

- Provide pillows if you’re using uncomfortable outdoor seats.

- Just a photo frame dangling from ribbons off a tree can also serve as a cheap and easy photo booth.

- Use a flower box as a rustic drink cooler.

- Put your wedding program on a fan.

- Wrap a tree or two with string lights and photographs to display memories.

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