7 Easy & Essential Tips for Outdoor Weddings

Is anyone else loving each summer moment as much as I am?! I have to be honest, this year has been insanely busy over here at Brittany Allen Photography and I have been loving every single second of it. Today, I wanted to share a few of my tips for outdoor weddings, because even though we have been having a sun-soaked summer here in Detroit, we all know that we need to be prepared for ANYTHING in Michigan. Today’s post is going to do just that (because I would much rather you stress a little BEFORE your wedding day than during!).


tips for outdoor wedding venues in Detroit wedding ceremony with bride and groom kissing
two grooms take outdoor wedding photos


First, have a SOLID backup plan.


I know this might sound obvious, but when you are balancing 118 items in your wedding budget, it’s easy to look at the weather forecast and think “do I really need a tent in case of rain?”. Look, I know how tempting it is to shove your backup plan to the back of your mind (after all – you have a lot to do). This is why this is one of my biggest tips for outdoor weddings.


outdoor tented wedding


Whether you are choosing to have your entire wedding outside (from ceremony to reception) or you are just planning a few outdoor wedding portraits in the afternoon, make sure you have a backup plan. Don’t worry, when it comes to backup wedding photo locations, I’m here to help! The LAST thing I would want is for you to be disappointed on your wedding day by something that could have easily been prevented.


outdoor wedding ceremony
outdoor wedding reception in Detroit


Second, provide a little comfort for guests.


Nothing takes you out of a present moment faster than being too hot or cold! A little goes a long way in terms of little comforts so my recommendations are simple. If it’s hot, provide cute fans and water. If it’s chilly, offer up some blankets or bring out some heaters. Getting married in the fall? Why not add a little Hot Chocolate Station to keep their hands (and insides) nice and toasty?


mini fans for outdoor wedding ceremony guests


Spray for bugs.


As a wedding photographer, I’m sure the candid photos you imagined didn’t include you brushing bugs off your dress or slapping your bridesmaid to try and get a mosquito. Many wedding venues will do this for you, but don’t hesitate to double-check! Getting married in your backyard or at a family home? This is one step you won’t regret!


wedding at outdoor wedding venue in Michigan
bride and groom holding hands during outdoor wedding ceremony


For home and backyard weddings, rent bathrooms!


This one applies mostly to home weddings but because backyard weddings have increased in popularity lately, I wanted to include it in my tips for outdoor weddings. If you have 50+ guests coming to your home, you don’t want them heading inside to use the washroom. TRUST ME. Not only are long lines inevitable, but your home’s plumbing is also likely not equipped to handle the volume and that is DEFINITELY not a problem you want to deal with on your wedding day.


Seriously, there are so many “what ifs” you don’t want to deal with on your wedding day so if you are on the fence, here is why I think you should hire a wedding planner. I’m drawing back on my own experience as a bride here!


tips for outdoor weddings in Detroit
outdoor wedding venues in Michigan


Your wedding dress should reflect the environment.


Okay, there are no “should’s” on a wedding day, so take this or leave it. But as a wedding photographer, I always appreciate it when a bride’s wedding dress matches the setting. Getting married in the middle of the woods? If there is hiking involved (or even more than 2 minutes of walking), you might want to consider alternatives to a ballgown. Getting married on the beach? Consider a dress that moves with the wind (and consider avoiding lace or tulle that might get filled with sand!).


There are definitely no rules on your wedding day but I know that if you are uncomfortable in your wedding dress, it shows. Before you say yes to that gorgeous wedding dress, consider the wedding venue you are wearing it at. What you do then, is up to you!



tips for outdoor weddings - dress should match wedding venue


Lighting is Essential.


Lighting is one of the easiest things to overlook during the wedding planning process, which is why I wanted to include it in my tips for outdoor weddings. If you are having an evening reception outdoors, you are going to need to rent some lighting (unless your venue provides it!). Trust me, it doesn’t get dark until later during the summer but when it does it gets black.


Plus, string lights through your tent and over your dance floor provide the prettiest, most romantic feeling ever. Who doesn’t want to dance underneath the stars? You’ll feel like the only two people in the world – trust me.


black and white photo of bride and groom dancing under string lights


Lastly, let your outdoor wedding backdrop shine.


If you’ve chosen an outdoor wedding venue, don’t be afraid to let the backdrop shine. Unlike a ballroom wedding venue, you don’t need to go over the top with rentals and florals to give your guests a wow factor. Instead, let the beauty of the outdoor location take center stage (after you, of course!).


Seriously – I am a big fan of gorgeous backdrops over here. For more Detroit wedding inspiration, make sure you are following me over on Instagram.


wedding dress hanging in garden wedding venue
outdoor wedding ceremony in Michigan


Enjoy these Tips for Outdoor Weddings!


At the end of the day, the goal is to just relax and enjoy your outdoor wedding! These tips are designed to help you prepare for your wedding day so that when your moment arrives, there is nothing to distract you from remaining completely present. Wedding planning can be stressful, and part of what I love about my job as your wedding photographer is making it a little easier (even if it’s not what you expect from the woman behind the camera!).


city wedding photos in Detroit, MI


Trust me, once you get your outdoor wedding photos back, you will see that the extra steps required in these tips for outdoor weddings have been SO worth it. Enjoy the sunshine! If you are looking for a Detroit wedding photographer, you can learn more about working together here. I would love to soak up that natural light with you.


golden hour wedding photos


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