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40 Outdoor Wedding Ideas for 2021

by Amanda Davis
outdoor wedding ideas

If you plan to say “I do” within the next year or two, it’s likely your ceremony and reception will have to be outdoors due to COVID-19. Fortunately, outdoor weddings have always been beautiful, so lean into it. You can use various aspects of your wedding, like floral arrangements, the wedding cake, and wedding favors, to tap into the natural surroundings of your venue.

While outdoor weddings are often seen as rustic and boho-styled, they can also be modern and classic. Whether picturesque, green scenery was always in the plan, or if today’s circumstances have caused some major rethinking and replanning, we’ve rounded up the 40 best outdoor wedding ideas for inspiration. Time to embrace the great outdoors and create your dream wedding among the trees.

1. An outdoor lounge

To add a laidback element to your wedding reception, provide various outdoor lounge areas for wedding guests to socialize in. Instead of being stuck at their assigned tables, they’ll have these areas to enjoy each other while waiting for the bride and groom to arrive.

2. A floral aisle

A beach wedding will always make for amazing wedding photos, and so will wildflower aisles like this beauty. Simple, elegant, and very fitting for a serene scene.

3. A mountainside wedding

A beautiful mountainside will take your outdoor wedding ceremony to the next level. The only wedding decorations you’ll need at the ceremony is the view.

4. A mobile prosecco bar

Since we can’t go in the bar, bring the bar out to us. As it can move wherever the party goes, this outdoor wine bar is an adorable way for your guests to self-serve. Leave a few glasses, add big signage, and let the party continue.

5. Blankets for an evening reception

Fall weddings are gorgeous with their autumn tones and rustic wedding style. But an outdoor wedding can get especially chilly during that particular time of year. Make sure your guests are always warm and cozy by providing blankets. This addition doesn’t have to break the bank either. Grab a vintage wicker basket for a rustic touch, a DIY sign to match, and voila!

6. Outdoor elements in decor

Are you in Florida, known for oranges? Georgia, known for peaches? California and their poppy flowers? Use your local design elements and input them in your outdoor wedding. This idea has a basket of oranges for guests to take as they please.

7. A rooftop reception

If you’re in a city and can’t plan your wedding day in natural greenery or farmland, there’s no settling with a cityscape view from your favorite rooftop. There are tons of rooftop venues that also host wedding ceremonies — perfect for an outdoor city wedding.

8. Pampas grass aisle decor

If your dream wedding has a boho theme, this pampas grass decor is a must. The trend has taken the wedding decoration circuit by storm for being easy yet bold. Use it on its own to line your aisle, or add it to your centerpieces at reception tables. They work beautifully in multiple ways.

9. Floor seating for the kids’ table

Want to make sure the kids are enjoying themselves, too? Make the kids’ table a sitting table! They’ll love all of the pillows and the laidback feel.

10. Floor seating for all

With these warm colors and wood tables, you can add this floor seating arrangement to your ‘Rustic Wedding Ideas’ board. Your reception will be beautiful, fun, and even more sociable if you and your group of wedding guests can pull this off.

11. A reception by the river

A reception by the river will look magical in the moonlight. If possible, add a few rows of string lights into the trees to add to the fairytale mood.

12. A woodsy ceremony

A true outdoorsy couple will love being surrounded by redwoods or pine trees on their big day. Book an outdoor wedding venue in the woods if it’s your scene. For fall weddings, you’ll get the vibrant yellow and orange leaves in addition to your wedding colors — a truly beautiful sight.

13. Bistro lights for ambiance

A backyard wedding without bistro lights just isn’t the same. Make sure to add this decoration idea to your outdoor wedding to add to the ambiance once evening falls.

14. A courtyard cocktail hour

Want your guests to make a pit stop before heading to the reception? This courtyard set is perfect for the lull in between the ceremony and hitting the dance floor. 

15. Organic elements in tablescapes

Include the great outdoors in your decor with organic elements that come from it. Adding apples to centerpieces or nameplates is perfect for a garden party wedding — straight from the source.

16. An outdoor arch

The pampas grass returns with the beautiful archway! Adding an arch to your ceremony will bring all of the attention back to the happy couple rather than on all of the other outdoor elements. We don’t want anybody distracted by the great views.

17. A mediterranean reception

Rattan chairs, wicker chandeliers, and herbs and lemons as centerpieces — it’s a mediterranean dream. 

18. A reception with a view

Enjoy food and laughter while looking over a gorgeous view. Whether it’s a local favorite or a travel-worthy site, what better way to celebrate your love with the people you care about most?

19. A destination wedding

La Badia di Orvieto⁠ is perfect for a minimal yet classy destination wedding. But wherever you go, enjoy the scenery of where you are.

20. Sanitizing stations

While the pandemic is still underway, you’ll need sanitizing stations at your wedding, preferably in multiple places throughout the venue.

21. Mixed seating to add comfort

Why not try something unique with your ceremony seating? Your seats don’t have to be uniform, and the mixed seating will add a unique touch to the ceremony.

22. Outdoor chandeliers

Bring the elegance outdoors with gorgeous chandeliers. For this outdoor reception, chandeliers add a modern style to what would have been a normal farm wedding.

23. Drapery by the water

Whether the wedding is on a boat or on a pier, these flowy drapes next to water will be a gorgeous sight to see. Just imagine the wedding party in front of that view. The floral arrangements add to the delicate look of this beautiful setup.

24. A vineyard wedding

Love wine? Then a vineyard is a perfect venue for your wedding. The scenery is breathtaking, and the wine served will come right from the source.

25. Double arches

A double rose arch that screams ‘spring wedding,’ this adorable floral arrangement can start at the arch and grow to centerpieces and bouquets.

26. Hanging flowers outside

These hanging floral arrangements add even more elegance to your dreamy wedding decor.

27. An outdoor mansion reception

If you can, renting a private estate like this Beverly Hills mansion will make for an incredible outdoor wedding venue.

28. Raining lights

We love string lights for wedding decor, but ‘raining’ string lights will add something special to your wedding photos. Hang the string lights from a tree to get the ‘raining’ effect.

29. A canopy of twinkling lights

Speaking of string lights, they really can do it all. Creating a canopy effect with light will make your outdoor wedding look like you’re surrounded by twinkling stars at night.

30. A family tree

If you’re a romantic, displaying all of the family wedding photos on a ‘family tree’ is a great use of outdoor space. Make sure to gather and add your great grandparents, aunts and uncles, and older siblings’ photos.

31. A rug aisle

The ultimate boho decor is adding mix-match rugs down the aisle. It’s a clever way to bring an aspect of the indoors to your wedding outside.

32. Non-alcoholic hydration stations

This hydration station was created using an old vanity — how smart. Make sure to provide non-alcoholic beverages so guests can hydrate and refresh, especially while in the heat during a summer wedding.

33. A small garden ceremony

If you’re following recommended precautions, you’re probably keeping your wedding party size very small. This intimate setting is perfect for a small group.

34. A desert wedding

Desert weddings always have a unique look to them. Places like Joshua Tree in California and Pheonix, Arizona are great desert city options.

35. An audience-facing aisle

If you’re planning smaller nuptials, take a different angle on your wedding ceremony by having your audience face the aisle instead of looking straight ahead. 

36. A clear tent

Clear tents are great for outdoor weddings; this way, you can still see the nature around you while keeping warm and covered.

37. Hay bale seating

A classic staple for a farm wedding, or a cute addition for the bride that’s country at heart, this circle hay bale is an adorable way to add additional seating.

38. Drapes on a tree

With just a few drapes, a fairytale wedding can happen. This simple yet elegant look can only have this whimsical effect outdoors.

39. Wedding doors outdoors

How do you make a grand entrance outdoors? Add actual doors between you and your wedding ceremony set up. These decorative doors can even be customized to ensure they fit your wedding theme.

40. Unique outdoor lighting with mason jars and tree trunks

When it gets dark, but the celebration is still going, these DIY mason jar candles are great for both lighting and decor. With the tree trunks underneath, you’ll be sure to keep the outdoor, earthy feel.

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