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Wedding planning is full of decision-making. If you’re anything like me… and to be clear, I’m someone who gets overwhelmed standing in front of the coffee menu… planning something as huge as a wedding can be a little, overwhelming.
I genuinely love outdoor weddings and I love seeing what you can do with a space that is so beautiful you barely need to bring anything in to make it your own. I love the idea of working with nature as it is, especially if you are a couple that loves being surrounded by nature.
Outdoor weddings in Cleveland generally breakdown into a few different categories:
These weddings might be held everywhere from a private garden in a home to a garden on museum grounds like the Cleveland Museum of Art or Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. They are generally surrounded by florals and can have everything from an extremely classic or historic feel to a very modern high fashion feel depending on the venue. Although most of the time they lean into the more classic/historic category.
Outdoor Micro Weddings & Elopements
Again, these can range widely. If you’re unfamiliar with the term Micro Wedding and want to learn more about what they are and how to plan one you can find that here, it also defines the difference between micro weddings and elopements but generally, most are both held outside, especially in the Cleveland area. The exception for these is definitely those held inside the Cleveland Courthouse itself.
Outdoor Estate & Country Club Weddings
Estate and country club weddings tend to be very classic in feel with a very traditional vibe to them. The benefits of these types of outdoor weddings other than if that’s the aesthetic that you’re going for is that most of these venues are extremely versed in hosting outdoor events and are well prepared.
That said, if you’re thinking of planning an outdoor wedding in any setting, there’s a couple of things that are generally important that I would like you to consider.
4 Things to Consider if you’re Planning an Outdoor Wedding in Cleveland, Ohio
1. Think about the time of day you’re planning your wedding.
Do you want a starlit event? Sunset? A beautiful sunny day with a sunset dinner and dancing under the stars? Seasons and times change the look and feel of a space dramatically. Thinking through all of that carefully is a very important step before you decide that it is the space of your dreams.
2. HAVE A RAIN PLAN. HAVE A RAIN PLAN. HAVE A RAIN PLAN.
And if I didn’t mention it, I would strongly mention that you need to have a rain plan. 😉 No one likes to imagine pouring rain on their wedding day but I assure you, it happens. Hear me out though, I’m not just saying have a plan, I’m saying have a good plan.
Why do I say this? Because I have seen couples so sad when their beautiful day is rained out and the backup plan was something they weren’t thrilled about at all. At times a budget dictates the decisions, I do understand. But I would say factor a back up plan into your venue budget, and overall consideration because it really is that important.
There are incredible tentmakers out there, wonderful rain options, and lots of ideas that the venue or your other vendors might have. I would really encourage you to be open to thinking through your backup plan and making it something you LOVE equally as much because it’s your wedding day.
3. Think the outdoors through
Sometimes planning an outdoor wedding can be logistically a lot harder than having an indoor venue. Occasionally it can work the other way around as well, but I do believe that there are times when as beautiful as the outdoors can be, it can be more challenging than you might think at times. How will you run electrical? Where will the food be prepped? Some outdoor venues accommodate for all of this, but be sure to ask the questions. A field in the middle of nowhere might be the perfect location for an intimate wedding ceremony but dancing the night away might be better served at a local rooftop restaurant.
4. Your Guest Experience
If you’re going to have your guests outside, thinking about how to make them comfortable can be a really beautiful wedding touch. If it’s going to be hot and sunny; think paper umbrellas or little fans. If there is a possibility of bugs you might add citronella candles to the look of your day. Will it be dark out? Make sure you have enough lighting so your guests aren’t in danger of tripping. It all seems a little bit like common sense, but sometimes in the midst of planning the big things, those are the little details that we forget. There is nothing like going to a wedding thinking of how much the couple considered your experience.
Lastly, I will remind you – make your wedding about you guys as a couple. The wedding venue you pick, whether inside or outside, needs to be one you love. Wedding planning can be so overwhelming but all planning does is plan an event. Then you get to spend a lifetime together. Being married is the real joy.