Local outdoor wedding location ideas
A wide variety of local outdoor wedding locations, from elegant botanical gardens to down to earth farm locales
Photo Credit: Eric Renard
By Kevin VanGinkel
Have you or a loved one always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, vows taken with nature as a front seat observer? It is not only possible, it can be a dream come true if you pick the appropriate location and make a few inquiries to clear the path to a once in a lifetime occasion.
Parks often have very scenic locations within their boundaries. With ponds, meandering streams, tall stands of trees, water fountains, and other inspiring features, they can offer a beautiful setting for your wedding party to gather. Make sure to check with local park authorities well before the date to make sure that it allows gatherings of this sort. In many locales, a special permit may be required.
If you or your spouse to be works for a company, inquire if they have any outdoor offerings suitable for a wedding. A local industrial plant in our area owns a riverside park complete with covered picnic area, electrical outlets, and riverside podium that it makes available to its employees strictly for occasions such as weddings.
If you are lucky enough to live in an area that has a natural feature such as a waterfall, magnificent rock outcropping, or other spectacular view, consider the area if it is easily accessible. Again, it is advisable to check with local authorities to make sure that gatherings of this kind are permitted and if reservations must be attained.
Consider a local hotel if they have a garden setting or beautiful grounds. Oftentimes you can also rent a room at the same location to move the festivities inside in case of inclement weather. One hotel in our area not only has a magnificent outdoor garden, the hotel itself dates back to the 1800’s. It is quite striking in itself and many weddings are held outside with the hotel as the background.
Many botanical gardens make their grounds of stunning views and ample space available for rental for weddings and other gatherings. Many even provide seating, catering, last minute indoor options in case of inclement weather, and handling of all the details that must be considered when holding a gathering outdoors.
If the wedding being planned is a very small, private gathering, a local garden could be an ideal location. A friend spent years growing and designing a spectacular rose garden for her daughter’s weddings. After years of upkeep and after her two daughters fulfilled her wish, she went on to make the garden available to friends for their families.
Yes, friends of ours did get married at the local zoo. They took their vows on the trail in front of the snow leopard enclosure. The zoo also had a building that it made available for rental for gatherings of this sort. They had their food inside the building, while all other wedding festivities including dancing were held outdoors.
A local farm with rolling fields and a few cows or horses in the background would make a fantastic setting for a couple looking to tie the knot in a fun, no frills outdoor setting. Stack up a few bales of straw for the preacher to hold counsel and you are all set, and if a barn is available, all the better. Throw the doors wide open, and dancing and dining can flow from the interior to the outdoors depending on the weather.
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