10 Awesome Outdoor Wedding Trends

Warm weather (and wedding season!) is approaching. We couldn't help but pick out our favorite ways to customize your outdoor celebration.
by Andrea Fowler

From scenic destination backdrops to sentimental family estates, there are so many reasons to fall in love with outdoor weddings. And with wedding season approaching, so comes a new wave of trends to inspire your planning. So pitch a tent, get those power generators running and get ready to party with Mother Nature.

  1. 1. Bringing the Indoors Out

    Outdoor wedding lounge with couches and side tables
    photo by Mirelle Carmichael Photography

    This isn't your typical lounge space—this is lounge space: home edition. Along with old-school arm chairs and love seats, these spaces are getting a residential renovation with side tables, coffee table books, family photos, ottomans, and extra pillows and blankets. The best way to make guests comfortable is to invite them into your living room, right? So why not pick one up and drop it into your outdoor reception?

  2. 2. String Lighting

    String lights hung in a tent silhouette
    photo by Austin Gros

    After sunset, everyone loves the enchantment that comes with string lights. But if you're going for a real wow factor, think about how you can use them to craft a one-of-a-kind space—a close-knit grid creates a canopy of romantic, twinkling stars, while a tentlike silhouette feels uniquely boho.

    From: A Formal, DIY Woodland Wedding With a Bohemian Spin at a Private Residence in Sebastopol, California

  3. 3. Expert Contrasting

    Red and blue outdoor wedding color scheme
    photo by Brandon Kidd Photography

    It depends on the season, but most outdoor receptions are set against backgrounds of greenery. With that in mind, pick a color scheme that pops against the natural surroundings. Choose one color that's complementary, like red, for a vibrant accent, and one that's analogous, like blue, to create a sense of harmony and balance.

    From: A Chic, Themed Wedding at L'Auberge Del Mar in Del Mar, California

  4. 4. Elegant, Open-Air Tents

    Open air wedding tent with elegant decorations
    photo by Robert & Kathleen Photographers

    Sophisticated tented receptions are all the rage. We're talking dressed to the nines: luxe furniture, bundles of linens and draped fabrics, lighting installations, even candelabras. Essentially, couples are creating their dream indoor reception space outdoors. (And let's be honest, the inner child in all of us is freaking out because really, this is the most amazing fort ever.)

    From: A Romantic, Fall Wedding at Sole East in Montauk, New York

  5. 5. Working With the Elements

    Outdoor wedding ceremony
    photo by Best Photography

    Think about how your surroundings can be incorporated into the decor. Whether you're draping fabric over tree branches, filling a nearby pond with floating candles or turning a picket fence into an escort board, the possibilities for personalization are endless.

    From: A Natural, Fall Wedding at Lange Farm in Dade City, Florida

  6. 6. Long-Lasting Stems

    Bridal bouquet with king protea
    photo by Christina Lilly Photography

    Oftentimes, heat and humidity accompany outdoor weddings. Opting for wilt-proof blooms means your floral arrangements will look amazing from the getting-ready pictures to the after-party. The trendiest stems? King protea, garden roses, peonies and orchids.

    From: A Buckner Farm Wedding in Hood, Virginia

  7. 7. Nighttime Ceremonies

    Nighttime outdoor wedding ceremony
    photo by Emily Wren Photography

    What's more romantic than saying "I do" under the stars? If you and your partner are night owls, have an after-dark ceremony. Then let the nighttime fun continue with a bonfire or small display of fireworks.

    From: A Magical, Romantic Wedding at Aldie Mansion in Doylestown, Pennsylvania

  8. 8. DIY Ceremony Backdrops

    DIY ribbon wedding ceremony backdrop
    photo by Emma Case Photography

    If your outdoor space lacks a unique focal point for exchanging vows—make one! A wall of balloons, colorful ribbons, tissue paper tassels or green garlands are all good candidates to create your own altar backdrop. Turn this corner of the reception space into your photo booth after you exchange vows.

    From: A Bright, Offbeat Wedding at the Foundry in Long Island City, New York

  9. 9. Lighting Installations

    Industrial wedding space with ivy and suspended chandeliers
    photo by Aaron Delesie

    Not big on flowers? Fill the space with alternative decorations like suspended lighting—it has a way of making an open-air space feel more intimate. If you want lighting and flowers, you can create a harmonious pairing by arranging wreaths around chandeliers or attaching flower garlands to the light suspensions.

    From: An Elegant Island Wedding in Maui, Haiwaii

  10. 10. Nature-Inspired Confections

    Rustic-themed wedding cake decoration
    photo by Joleen Willis Photography

    Let your natural surroundings inspire more than just your reception decor—show a picture of the wedding location to your baker and see what ideas come of it. We love the thought of a fondant mountain range, faux moss, airbrushed ferns or even brown sugar cane masquerading as beach sand.

    From: A Romantic, Garden-Inspired Wedding at Palmdale Estates in Fremont, California


    Pick up The Knot Outdoor Weddings for more outdoor wedding inspiration and planning tips.

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