Let's get this straight. There are only a handful of outdoor wedding venues where you can legally marry in the UK. Weddings in the UK must be in a licensed building and that building must have a roof and a solid structure.
Hence why churches, hotels, register offices and other such weddingy type buildings are the norm for weddings.
But wouldn't a wedding outdoors be nice, particularly on a lovely summer's day? Many of you seem to think so and I get hundreds of brides wanting to get married outdoors and asking me how is it possible and where can they get married outdoors. There are ways around the law, but you need to be flexible.
The way to do it is to legally marry in a register office and see it as just doing the 'paperwork', like filling out your forms, arranging the date and doing your banns, which every couple has to go through anyway. There would just be an additional step where you actually legally marry as well.
If you don't want this to feel like your wedding, then simply don't invite anyone. You only need two witnesses and they can be anyone, literally anyone. One couple I know had two members of staff at the register office witness their wedding, so it really can be anyone!
Then, you simply go ahead and arrange your wedding in the usual way, but instead of officially marrying in front of everyone, it will be a 'fake' wedding. Perhaps 'fake' isn't quite the right word, because as far as your guest know, the wedding hasn't happened yet and this is the real thing.
Your emotions will certainly be real and so will the tears!
My sister-in-law did it this way and it worked a treat (see Anna and John's wedding at home). Their witnesses were their parents and no other guests were allowed at the register office. They saw it literally as a formality.
The following day, they had a massive big 'wedding' with a celebrant where they read their own vows and set their own scene at the foot of a castle. The wedding was beautiful and the location simply stunning. However, there were a few issues, that you should consider with outdoor wedding venues.
It was an August wedding. Usually a lovely warm month, but it was 17 degrees tops and standing around in a flimsy dress; it was a touch chilly. There was also the prospect of rain, but luckily it held off.
Had it not, we would have got quite wet with no cover at all. Likewise, had it been baking, it would have equally been unpleasant. If you're thinking of an outdoor wedding, what are you going to do if it does rain or if we're in the middle of a heat wave?
As I say, the wedding was lovely, but it was hard to hear the couple saying their vows. There were no microphones and so the wind simply carried their voices away. I was sat in the second row and not even at the back! I suspect those sitting ten rows further back would have had an even harder job hearing.
Having read the vows afterwards, it's a shame not to have heard them express them to each other, but at least I got to read them.
I'd definitely think about how the sound will carry in your outdoor wedding venue and if you need microphones and sound system, how will you set this up? (Think about power, cabling, lighting etc)
Besides those two rather large points, I do love outdoor weddings. Well, actually I love weddings. But, being surrounded by nature makes the ceremony feel so much more special; whether its woodland, flowers, your own garden, cliffs or the beach, there's an earthy, natural element to outdoor wedding venues that I simply like.
That opens the floodgates for all sorts of different weddings, so let your imagination run wild.