Can you hold an outdoor wedding just about anywhere?

If you want to do something a bit different with your wedding, you might choose to hold it outdoors.

Outdoor weddings can be really special, especially if the weather goes your way! The day is less formal, you have lots of space at your disposal and you’re in touch with nature, which is something that many couples dream of.

However, there are lots of things to consider and plan for with outdoor weddings, because they can go wrong quite easily. You might need a large marquee or tent, just in case it rains, you’ll need to choose somewhere accessible so that all your guests can get there and you’ll need to sort out toilets and other facilities.

Before all this, however, you’ll need to pick a location. One of the questions that most couples ask is – can we hold our outdoor wedding anywhere we want?

The answer, unfortunately, is no. Here are some reasons why:


  • Rules and permits. They aren’t romantic and shouldn’t be part of the process, but these legal obstacles unfortunately are. You need to check whether your chosen location is actually suitable for weddings, and get permission in writing before you start planning anything.


  • You might not be legally married. If it’s important to you that you are legally married on your wedding day (some couples are fine to go to a church or registry office the following day to legally tie the knot), you should find out whether your ideal venue has a wedding licence. This, again not a very romantic thing, is the legal document that will determine whether your ceremony is recognised in the eyes of the law or not.


  • You might need other licences. You might need legal permission to do other things on your chosen site, such as to play live music and serve or sell alcohol – these are other crucial things you need to check before booking and planning anything.


  • Space limitations. This one all depends on your plans for your big day. If you’re counting on having a big wedding with hundreds of guests and lots of entertainment, you’re going to need a venue that’s big enough. If you’re planning to put up any sort of structure, such as an event tent, you will need enough space for it, access to get it in and erected, and enough capacity inside for all your friends and family members.


  • Problems with privacy. The last potential roadblock involves members of the public wandering into your wedding day, which can happen if you choose an outdoor space which members of the public have access to. Even if you book the space for your own exclusive use, you may still end up with accidental gate-crashers. You should also consider whether your wedding will be intruding on the privacy of people living near your chosen venue (i.e. a public park).


If you’ve considered all of these potential problems and found a way around them, then you’re all set to pop up your marquee, have an emergency umbrella at the ready and have an amazing outdoor wedding to remember!

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