Outdoor Wedding Reception Ideas

Outdoor wedding reception ideas can be helpful when you are planning your spring wedding, summer wedding, garden, fall or backyard wedding.

outdoor wedding reception ideas


No matter the theme of the wedding itself, there are many combinations you can chose for incorporating the outdoors into your wedding event. You can get married outside and have the reception indoors, vice versa or combine the two by giving guests access to both indoors and outdoors through out the event.

When I got married, we held our wedding at a local garden. There was a cabin-like building on site that was open through out the night.

We welcomed guests in the house, exchanged vows out in the garden and then held the reception as a combination of both allowing the flow of traffic to buzz through out the garden and the house. We did this by placing the food and drinks on the patio but doing the cake cutting inside.

Here are some more outdoor wedding reception ideas for you to use:

  1. Depending on the theme of your wedding, offer your guest wedding favors that can also double as items to make them more comfortable out in the elements. For example, if you are getting married on a hot, sunny day, offer your guests water in custom labeled water bottles and parasol umbrellas to block the sun. Or if you are getting married on the beach, offer you guests custom flip-flops to wear on the sand that they can take home and use at home.

    outdoor wedding reception ideas, flip flop wedding favors


  2. If you're area is prone to surprise rain or thunder showers, get a plan B together. Whether it be a building to quickly move the party into or a tent that can host all your guests in the event of a downpour.

    outdoor wedding reception ideas, rainy wedding


  3. It's all about the lighting as the sun goes down but the party is still going! Get a boat load of white christmas lights and throw them on anything that doesn't move. Also, you can purchase or make chinese lanterns and hang them from the trees, tents or manzanita branches in your centerpieces.

    outdoor wedding reception ideas, outdoor wedding lighting ideas


  4. Use real furniture outside to create a comfortable mood that welcomes guests to sit down and stay a while. Make sure you use furniture that you wouldn't mind getting dirty or even buy some Goodwill pieces just for the occasion. And only do this if you have a lot of help with the heavy lifting!

    outdoor wedding reception ideas, outdoor wedding sitting ideas


  5. Come up with alternative lighting such as lining the walkways and stairs with small votive candles in mason jars. Utilize parasol as dual-purpose lighting and shelter. Give your guests wedding favors that light up so they can assist in lighting up the reception area.

    outdoor wedding reception ideas, outdoor wedding lighting ideas


Here are some more outdoor wedding reception ideas:

  • Have a BBQ food theme offering everyone's down-home favorites in classy hors d'oeurve style versions.
  • Have wine and cheese stations placed all over the reception area. One of the worst wedding complaints is "Beautiful wedding but we were starving the whole time!" Don't let this happen by offering your guests little snacks all day and night long.
  • Chocolate fountain like in Bridesmaids. 'Nuff said :)
  • If you are getting married during the windy season, use that to your advantage. Use kites, pinwheels, windsocks and chimes in your decorating and embrace the 2nd element.

I'd love to hear some of the creative things you've done for your outdoor wedding reception ideas!

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

What's New?

You Might Enjoy...

Sponsors