A few weeks ago I had an article on Church Weddings with examples, tips and stories of the various chapels, churches and more that I've shot at. Today we showcase outdoor wedding ceremonies. I've shot at so many outdoor wedding venues that I can't possibly show them all here, but I can post a few along with some tips down below if you are planning an outdoor event.
One of my favorite outdoor wedding venues is Sandy Pines Pavilion. What is nice about this Demotte, Indiana golf course wedding destination at that photos before and after can all be done right there along with the reception.
One of the other hidden benefits of an outdoor ceremony is I often have more area to move about as a photographer. This means I can swirl about to the front side and capture some emotional moments from family and guests like in the collage above.
If country club weddings are not your thing, we have plenty of farmland here in Northwest Indiana. The photos below from Meadow Springs Manor shows this off as does other area venues such as County Line Orchard and Red Barn Experience.
Not too many people realize that there are outdoor weddings in Chicago quite often that have the city as a backdrop. So this is an option as well.
Here are my top tips for planning an outdoor wedding ceremony:
- If you think the wind blowing your veil around is annoying, think about what it might do to the decorations you have set up. Have a plan to secure chairs, lanterns, flowers and more. While I may use the wind to my advantage to have your veil blowing in the wind romantically, we certainly don't want the archway to come crashing down. :)
- Outdoor weddings often have a structure like a gazebo or archway, etc. and these can often cast shadows from a blazing sun. Ask your officiant to look closely at you as they begin the proceedings. Have them move you if need be so there are no shadows or stripes coming across your face. I've seen the slats of the gazebo cast a shadow across the groom's face making it look like he has black bars tattooed on. Look at each and move a few steps if you see this happening.
- If you are using a non traditional area such as a beach where you often visit or something along those lines, don't assume you have a wedding there even if it's a quick "15 minute" nuptial. You will need to secure a permit. This will be a lot less expensive than paying a fine.
- If you are having an outdoor reception at say your parent's beautiful home, be sure to have generators on hand in case the electricity fails or the home simply cannot handle the enrgy of a DJ and outdoor lighting, cooking, etc.
- The "R"word - also known as rain, thunder, lightning and more. If it's a slight rain, don't worry about it - get some umbrellas and let's have us a wedding and take some pictures. My equipment can handle it as can I. If it's looking to be more than that, take out the extra expense of reserving a tent company just in case.
- Concerned about too much sun and guests? Consider passing out some stylish floppy hats as they enter the ceremony area. Or, simply warn them ahead that this is an outdoor venue with very little shade.
I often hear, "oh no, my day is overcast and cloudy". As photographers, we love this! I don't have to fight with the sun and we have plenty more vantage points to choose from. Just because it's cloudy doesn't mean your photos will look gloomy in the right photographer's hands.
At those church weddings I wrote about recently, I often show off the architecture. This can be done at outdoor weddings in a way as well. Clouds and sun take the place of stained glass windows, etc.
I hope you have enjoyed this article about outdoor weddings in Northwest Indiana, Chicago and Michigan. Please fill out the Contact Form to inquire about photography for your big day, indoor or outdoors. :)