When envisioning your wedding day, the dream of an elegant outdoor wedding may top your list. At it’s heart, a outdoor wedding is bound to have an abundance of daylight, which is the key to beautiful photos. Whether it’s an open field with a stunning mountain backdrop or the wooded backyard of your childhood home, nature can set the stage for your dream wedding. Let’s dive into the art of an outdoor wedding setup to ensure every moment of your wedding day is picture-perfect. 

Why Have a Tented Wedding?


A tented wedding is a perfect option for couples who are looking to keep the sophisticated and elegant feel to their wedding and would like to incorporate their love for nature or for a specific place. Think of it as crafting an intimate space to get married outdoors. A tent is more than just a shelter from the sun or rain, they’re blank canvases that allow couples to customize every detail of their setting. They’re also a dream for skilled wedding planners who are experts at taking these spaces and turning them into beautiful outdoor venues

What to Consider for an Outdoor Tented Wedding


Consider Your Location

Choosing the right location can make a world of difference:

  • Beach: Sun, sand, and the sound of waves make for an unforgettable setting, touching all your senses.
  • Winery: Rows of grapevines and scenic views transform any event into an elegant affair. Also, guaranteed good wine to serve at the reception! 
  • Backyard: An open field or a wooded section of private property are both great options for incorporating your love of nature into your wedding ceremony. I see many home weddings as a way to honor a special place for the couple. 

If you’re looking for some great venues to help get you started you can check out my list of the 20 Best Luxury Wedding Venues in North America. I’ve included not only some of my favorite outdoor wedding settings, but also some traditional indoor ones as well. 

Highlight Lighting

Professional lighting is key to having a pleasing reception in a tented wedding. Theses pros can transform a space beyond what you even thought possible. Tasteful spot lighting, afe lights and unique chandeliers are some of my personal favorites, adding both atmosphere and charm. 


Have a Rain Plan

Weather can be unpredictable. While you can’t control the skies, being prepared ensures everything will go perfectly even if it does rain. A robust tent, elegant umbrellas, and covered pathways can ensure guests, and their outfits remain pristine.


Keep Guests Comfortable

Whether it’s a wedding outside in the sweltering heat or a chilly evening, guest comfort is paramount. Provide shade or heating, depending on the forecast, and ensure there are beverages to keep your guests hydrated and comfortable.


Weather-Proof the Tents

For an outdoor wedding setup, consider sidewalls to protect against changing weather. A floored tent is an investment that will ensure that the floor doesn’t become sodden with rain. 

Keep Yourself Comfortable

On your wedding day, it’s essential to prioritize your comfort. Taking moments to freshen up ensures you’re glowing in every photo. Prior to the wedding day, prepare for all the various weather curveballs and make sure you have items to keep you warm or cool or dry, as the situation might demand. For a fall wedding it’s a good idea to provide wraps that guests can grab as needed.


Consider Food Options in Outdoors

Outdoor wedding planning requires thinking about food logistics. Opt for dishes that can withstand the elements, and ensure there’s shade or warmth to maximize freshness.


Always Look For Light

Light plays a pivotal role in photography. Different times of day offer varying light qualities, from the golden hour to the dramatic midday sun. Your photographer should help you plan when you will be where to capture the right photos at the right time. Generally speaking the hour before sunset, called “golden hour” is prime time for the best photos. 


Wedding Planning Tips for Tented Nuptials

Grand Entrance: If the bride stays hidden before the ceremony consider creating a grand entrance! Another benefit to having an outdoor ceremony is that there are more options for making a spectacular entrance such as a vintage carriage. 

Cocktail Hour: This interlude between the ceremony and reception is a chance to relax and mingle. Set up a comfortable lounge area, complete with beverages and light bites, allowing guests to revel in the ambiance.


Destination Wedding: If your outdoor wedding is also a destination wedding, ensure there’s ample shade and hydration for guests unfamiliar with the climate.

Wedding Ideas: Personalize your space. Whether it’s a memory lane of photos, a dance floor beneath the stars, or a fire pit for late-night stories, your unique touches will be what guests remember.

In the end, planning an outdoor wedding, be it a grand ceremony in an expansive field or an intimate backyard wedding, revolves around anticipating needs and blending them with the aesthetic of the area. Think of ways you can highlight the natural beauty as well as frame it up with the elements you bring in, such as a ceremony arch.

Your wedding day is a celebration of your love and the beginning of your life together. With just the right planning you’ll be able to capture the beauty of your outdoor space and combine it with the vision that you’re creating to create an unforgettable event that you’ll cherish forever. 


All photos are the exclusive property of Liz Banfield and are protected by copyright.


How to Have the Best Photos Possible For Your Outdoor Tented Wedding

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