Outdoor wedding venues are open and inviting, but sometimes some unwanted elements enter the scene very quickly. Unlike indoor weddings, outdoor ceremonies are more often at the mercy of Mother Nature. With a little preparation and flexibility, you can still have the wedding of your dreams outdoors. Wedding planners are notorious for contingency planning with specific locales, but if you do not have hired help, be sure to keep a few of nature’s elements in mind.


Many brides may be wearing heavy dresses and veils, along with heavier makeup for photos. No one wants a fainting bride, or one with makeup melting down her face onto the dress. Brides and grooms may consider lighter attire for outdoor weddings in the summer months, along with waterproof makeup. Umbrellas can be bought online or rented, and can provide a nice photographic visual as well as relief from the sun for guests.


While considered a token of good luck on one’s wedding day, rain is still a nuisance with which to contend. Be sure to monitor the forecast for a few days ahead of time, and have plans to bring in a tent, and be sure it has flooring if the rain has already begun. You and your guests will appreciate not sloshing around in the mud in your fine shoes.

Tent rentals could be your most expensive contingency item, but the most important. Rental companies will usually require a deposit of 30 to 50 percent, and then if the tent is canceled too close to the event the full amount could still be owed. Be sure to research the company’s cancellation policy. It might be worth it to still have the tent set up, even if you do not plan to actually have the ceremony beneath it. It could provide a nice congregating space for guests.

Photo by positionmktg.


Space heater rentals are available in most cities, and your guests will thank you for providing them if it’s chilly outside. Be sure to opt for an outdoor propane patio heater with a safety switch.


Tablecloth clips can be found online for $5 to $15 a set, which will help keep your table linens in place in case of windy conditions.


Yes, it’s human nature to admire weddings, and outdoor venues such as public parks and beaches sometimes provide the ultimate opportunity for gawkers. If you would like to keep the unwanted guests to a minimum, consider posting a polite sign indicating “private ceremony”. While you can’t keep everyone away this will provide a nice hint.

With a little contingency planning and thinking ahead, outdoor wedding venues can provide you and your guests with an opportunity to connect with nature and witness your nuptials.

Weddings can be expensive and the venue is likely to be a big chunk of your budget. So if you can find one of the many affordable venues that are probably right under your nose, you can cut a great deal from your wedding costs. Here are some of those best kept secrets – cheap wedding venue ideas.


Choose nature as your wedding venue by getting married and partying at one of the many cheap outdoor wedding venues. Assuming good weather is fairly guaranteed in your part of the world at the time of year you are considering this can be a good dollar saving option. There are likely to be beautiful views and great places for your young guests to play.

Parks will often let you hold a wedding for a small fee. Try and find one with a patio area for the ceremony and with nice features such as a fountain for the photographs.

Photo by photographix.ca.

Mountain tops will provide breathtaking scenery and fresh air for your big day. The only trouble will be trying to find the landowner to ask for their permission.

Forests can be very tranquil and picturesque so the perfect place for a wedding.

Vineyards can offer rolling hills for classic photos and may also have large enough buildings to host your party into the night.

Beaches can be one of the most scenic and memorable places for a wedding. But not only do you have the views, you have the sounds and smells of the ocean to make a truly unique day.

Check out your local outdoor venues to see if they are available for hire and how much they will cost. These charges are usually low but do not forget you will need to factor in the costs of furniture hire, caterers and other suppliers.


A theater would certainly be an unusual venue to hold your wedding or reception. There is something statuesque about them that would give a certain aura to the event. You will need to check with your local arts centers to see which offer such services but many have off seasons when they are under-used. Imagine having your reception in a grand theatre lobby or even on stage.

Photo by Tracy Hunter.

Museums and galleries

Museums and galleries are often in elegant buildings and have many facilities. Some have areas that they rent out for special events so it would be worth checking with any in your area.

Your college

Some colleges are very picturesque and many have charming chapels where you could wed. Special offers are usually available to alumni although standard prices are still typically in the affordable range.  Move on from the chapel to a house on campus where you could hold the reception. In a similar vein, you could check out schools (private ones are usually in nice old buildings) or summer camps in their off seasons, which will probably have wonderful scenery.


Think of the favourite places you like to eat and next time you are there ask them how much they would charge to rent the whole place for the night. If the restaurant has a nice back garden, perhaps you could use that for the ceremony or set it up as dance floor for the evening.

Homes of friends or family

Why not beg or borrow a wedding venue? Do your parents have a large garden? Would your friends parents let you borrow their holiday home? Large gardens or homes make ideal locations for a wedding and reception. They are personal and unique but make sure you respect their goodwill and leave it as you found it.

Photo by Jayray24.

Church halls

These types of buildings may be quite basic but generally have a few services such as a small kitchen, washrooms and tables and chairs. If you can rope a few family members and friends into helping, you could transform this sort of venue the day before the wedding with inexpensive decorations and make it look fantastic.

Community or social clubs

There are probably many clubs in your area that you do not even know exist unless you are a member. These could be community clubs, social clubs, sports clubs and working men’s clubs. You will be amazed at the facilities they have and the low prices that they charge to hire them. You may need to join the club to be able to hire them but this cost will be very low. Some clubs are in horrible locations but some can be in stunning buildings with lovely grounds. Prepare yourself for some thorough research and it could pay off enormously.

Unusual places

Couples are marrying at more and more unusual wedding venues these days. You do not need to be as creative as considering the top of your local roller coaster or diving in your nearby ocean, but have you seen any quaint old mills or breweries in your area that are not dilapidated? These places will not be set up for weddings so you will probably get them cheaply but you will need to bring in and pay for the usual wedding supplies. Or how about the amusement park but not at the top of the roller coaster? They have large locations that have off seasons and would certainly make for a memorable day if you got to use some of their facilities during the reception.

Once you shrug off your blinkers and look beyond the traditional wedding venues you can find yourself getting more and more creative. Don’t overlook somewhere potentially fantastic just because you’ve never heard of a wedding there before – go in and ask, you may be surprised at your good luck. Just because you opt for cheap wedding venues does not mean your day will be any less than perfect. The perfect location is where you will be happiest making your special day memorable.

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