An Outdoor Wedding: Is it for you?

December 2022
Written By: 
Pete Banko
Photographs by: 
courtesy of shutterstock

There’s much to consider with an al fresco ceremony

So, you want an outdoor wedding? 

Many couples planning their nuptials often envision a spectacular outdoor wedding with immaculate weather. But accomplishing the goal of a romantic open-air wedding requires much preparation and planning, the experts say.

The Grand Strand offers many fairytale wedding settings, such as Brookgreen Gardens, “One of the Most Romantic Wedding Locales in South Carolina," according to USA Today readers. Other options include resorts, country clubs, plantations, and the ever-popular sandy beach at sunset.
But, despite the ease of accessibility these outdoor venues may seem to offer, couples should consider a wedding planner or consultant, experts advise. Grand Strand wedding consultants have the resources and experience with local vendors that can help make your event a success. And to help with the complexities involved, many websites, such as and, offer extensive detailed checklists to help you stay organized and on schedule. 

When it comes to planning any wedding, advance planning is critical. As you prepare for your outdoor celebration, begin with your wedding locales; the venue you select for your nuptials will play a major role, as its scenery becomes your built-in décor. And as you’ll be outside, it's also critical to consider the area's environment.

A lot can happen on the big day, from out-of-nowhere wind to last-minute thunderstorms, so prepare for the unexpected well in advance. Depending on the type of venue you select, there are dozens of things to consider, such as power generators, restrooms, and proper attire to pull off a gorgeous, glamorous outdoor affair.

At Brookgreen Gardens, set in beautiful surroundings that combine art and nature, there is a team of creative and experienced professionals who will assist you in hosting an exceptional event. Brookgreen Gardens hosts 50 to 80 weddings per year, ranging from elopement ceremoniesto reception-only celebrations, to the conventional to-do of both ceremony and reception. 

Anna Lovell, Manager of Weddings and Private Events at Brookgreen Gardens, has some tips if you are considering an outdoor event.

“We always suggest a Plan B and Plan C, D, or E when it comes to weather in the Lowcountry,” Lovell says. “We require a wedding planner for most events, and they are all top-notch on plans for anything that could arise.”

Many venues like Brookgreen Gardens offer assistance to successfully accomplish your goal of a dream wedding. But their services differ.

“Brookgreen Gardens is the venue only,” says Lovell. “All other services are brought in from the outside. We have exclusive partnerships for catering: Austin’s Restaurant Group or Inlet Affairs, as well as EventWorks for all rentals.”

Whether you are having a large gathering or an intimate affair,  you’ll want to ensure you and your guests are comfortable for the duration of your magical outdoor event. Taking the necessary precautions to ensure a seamless guest experience will also help you stay stress-free on the day of the wedding. 

“Any couple can embrace an outdoor affair, but there can be some unique challenges to outdoor receptions, specifically if you struggle letting go of control or don’t actually enjoy being outdoors for five-plus hours,” cautions Skylar Caitlin in a recent story in Brides Magazine. Caitlin is a wedding industry veteran and MVP planner at Chancey Charm Wedding Planning & Design. 

“Moreover, even if you do love the outdoors, you’ll need to take the time of year you’ll be getting married into account," Caitlin says.  “East Coast summers can be extraordinarily hot and humid, so if gathering outside for several hours with little to no time indoors doesn’t sound appealing, it might not be the right set-up for you.”

In the end, an outdoor wedding leaves plenty of room for a couple to show off their style and personalities. And it's never too soon to start planning.