Once the ring is snug on your finger and the glow of post engagement euphoria has settled around you, its time to start the fun – planning your wedding! Often before you can even choose your date, you must first choose your venue. There are so many options available that it can be overwhelming, to say the least. One of the questions you’ll first have to resolve is whether to choose an indoor or outdoor location for your wedding reception and today I’m hoping to make that choice just a bit easier for you!
As a bride in the age of Pinterest, it’s important for you to first know your own mind. By that, I mean that the internet can be a wide world of glorious images that vary drastically when it comes to style and execution. On the same wedding inspiration pinboard, you may have pinned and ultra-glam indoor ballroom setup right next to an elegant outdoor chateau wedding. Take some time to reflect on the images that speak to you the most. As a bride once myself I distinctly remember having images of many styles that I loved, but as you peruse your images think to yourself, “What MOVES me?” What makes your breath catch in your throat? What makes you utter a dreamy sigh? Those images are the ones that inspire. Consider making an additional board of just these images. I’m willing to bet that you’ll start to see a trend emerge. Perhaps you’ve pinned mostly colorful indoor receptions, or maybe it’s chairs dripping with florals surrounding a dance floor beneath the stars? As you prune and hone the images that bring you joy, you’ll start to see your own preferences taking shape.
You might now know that you prefer your reception be outdoors (or indoors!) based on the process outlined above. If not, never fear! There are more variables to consider. The season and location of your wedding are the next largest factors to consider (if you’re having trouble deciding on a season, let us help you here!). It might go without saying, but your comfort and the comfort of your guests is a very high priority. If you’re thinking a summer wedding in the south, consider asking the venues if they have options for keeping guests cool (fans, coolers, drink service, etc). The same goes for cold weather weddings, check to see if your venue has hot specialty cocktails for your bar service (think Hot Toddys!), or a warming room for guests coats. If you are committed to marrying in a season with extreme weather and your venue doesn’t offer outdoor solutions, it may be best to opt indoors. While it might seem doable in the wedding salon, you don’t want to be sweltering or shivering all day, whatever the season, in your gorgeous gown.
If you’re like most brides, marrying in the spring or fall while the weather is warm and pleasant, you may not have to address the above concerns at all! However, do make sure that your venue has contingency plans for inclement weather if you opt outside. Whether that’s a tent or a nearby ballroom, you shouldn’t have to stress if the weather decides to turn on your wedding day. And if that should happen, don’t fret; legend has it that getting married on a rainy day is good luck!
If all of these decision-making tricks still leave you grasping at straws, consider the photography potential of your space. I always love a beautiful outdoor setting where the natural light will enhance any photographer’s skill! Nothing beats the sparkle of the stars or the perfection of those last rays of sunlight filtering through the sunset. But there’s a lot to be said for ballrooms as well! If you’re leaning toward an indoor reception, consider the paint in your setting of choice. A natural bight white will enhance indoor pictures and give them their most natural hue. Look for indoor venues with ample space (got to have elbow room to bust a move, after all!) and light bright paint colors for the most natural looking photos.
At the end of it all, outdoors is not superior to indoors (or vice versa) when it comes to wedding venues. Like most aspects of wedding planning, it comes down to a large number of factors unique to your wedding. The largest of which should be your preference. If you’ve always seen yourself with a garden party reception, then make it happen! If a glamorous ballroom has been your dream, then go for it! Many venues will have access to both an indoor and an outdoor setting for your reception, my favorite venues certainly do. Work closely with your wedding planner to make sure that your vision is coming to life exactly as you planned that it would. Indoors or outdoors, if it’s what you’ve wanted all along, you can’t go wrong!
*Thoughtfully composed by April, Charity’s day-of wedding assistant and lover of all things elegant and timeless.*
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