You’re trying to decide whether to have an indoor or an outdoor wedding. Both have excellent pro’s, but depending on the time of year, they can have some major con’s.
I hope you have a date, or at least a season in mind of when your wedding will take place. If not, then revisit this question once you’re closer on this decision being made.
Having an outdoor wedding allows you to use the natural beauty as your decorations. Yes, you’ll probably want a nice arch for the ceremony and will need to rent chairs (or hay bales!) for your guests to sit on during the ceremony, but other than that, God has painted you a pretty picture for your special day! A few words of warning, though. If you’re having a summer wedding in a hot climate, avoid outdoors. Or have the ceremony in a shaded area and provide fans and water/lemonade, but don’t keep your guests waiting too long! Also, what if it rains? You definitely need a back-up plan. Can you tentatively rent tents? Or is there a space nearby that offers cover in the case of inclement weather? These are all things to consider with outdoor weddings!
Indoor weddings are great because you have so many venues and decorating styles to choose from! Do you get married in an old church and decorate with a rustic theme? Or do you get married at the art museum with more formal décor? You definitely need to know the estimated number of guests before you book your venue though (see my “I’m Engaged! Now What?” blog for more info). The last thing you want is to have a gorgeous, intimate venue that seats 100, but you’ve invited 300 guests! Make sure that there is ample parking. Some venues have very small parking lots, so you may want to consider a shuttle service or golf carts (or horses and carriages!) to assist with transporting your guests comfortably.
Some venues offer an indoor or an outdoor area. If you’re unsure of what you want and cannot honestly pick if you want to have an indoor or an outdoor wedding, then find a place like this and reserve both spaces. The ceremony can be held outside, and the reception can be indoors. Just make sure that the chance of ultra hot weather or hurricane season won’t ruin your guests’ experience. And have the staff on call in case you need to make a last minute change to have the ceremony in the indoor space.
Either way you go, you will have a beautiful wedding if you do your homework. Talk with your venue director about any potential problems she can think of. She probably has even some “disasters”, so ask for advice around these disasters so that you aren’t added to her list of catastrophes!