How do you transform an open field into a dreamy wedding venue under the stars? We’ve got all the answers. With all the abrupt changes the pandemic has brought to the wedding industry, one thing that remains the same among vendors and couples is creative solutions. Venue changes seem to be top of the list. But even if you’re not faced with that specific challenge, a ceremony with an outdoor reception is always a romantic option. Setting up an intimate wedding in an open field–so, literally anywhere—might be just the creative solution you need.
But how do you know what to bring? How do you make it comfortable for your guests? How do you decorate for an outdoor wedding? We’ll cover ALL that and give you a healthy dose of inspiration thanks to gurus like photographer Jessica at Under the Sun Photography, the visionary behind this particular outdoor wedding in an open Texas field. Caroline of Volaré Planning & Design, and event stylist, Sandra of Rustic Romance Rentals, also weigh in with their professional tips + tricks to help you transform any open space into a magical wedding venue!
How to Select a Location for an Open Field Wedding
An open field is a blank canvas—and depending on your personality, that’s either incredibly exciting or a little bit scary. You essentially have two options when it comes to choosing a location: a venue or private property. The team behind this day utilized a meadow on The Allen Farmhaus’ property, a wedding venue with plenty of acreage.
A traditional venue with a wide-open space offers the following benefits:
- An understanding and familiarity of needs for a wedding day
- A location for catering to utilize for preparing meals for a plated diner
- Both bathroom and handwashing facilities
- Power for various necessities such as lights for the evening
- Necessary permits are not likely to be acquired
If you have access to private land, it’s essential to ensure a few things with the property owner:
- Permission to stake off a space for a tent
- Ability to access power either by power cord or generator
- Bathroom and handwashing facilities (or ability to hire a vendor to provide this service)
- Location for catering to prepare meals, plate, and hosts to serve
- Point of contact/planner for the event
There are two more things to consider when you’re selecting the location for an open field wedding: the terrain and the time of year.
Terrain of location: Temporary infrastructures like a tent or ceremony backdrop require consideration of the terrain. There must be a reasonably leveled area for tables, chairs, and other furnished needs for your ceremony and reception. You also want to keep the mobility of your guests in mind, as elderly family members will need easy access to the location.
The time of year: Once you selected the location, the date must be considered in order to avoid harsh environmental elements that may be presented with each season. While you may be able to install some heaters or fans, spring or fall are your best bets to avoid extreme weather.
Design + Decor for an Outdoor Ceremony
Take a moment and evaluate the open space for your ceremony. Consider things like seasonal florals, the color of the changing leaves, the possibility of snow, the tones of a rockface, the serene blue of a nearby lake, or the green grass in early spring. Then, consider those natural elements when nailing down everything from your color scheme to the architectural pieces to the florals at your ceremony.
Highlight the main thing. For example, the team kept this space simple allowing the meadow to be the main focal point of the ceremony. The triangle archway by Accents & Events created the illusion of mountain-like terrains and further elevated the meadow. For seating, natural barn wooden benches were transformed into cozy seating arrangements thanks to lush accent pillows and soft throw blankets.
Nail down your florals. Finally, the florals are a vital design element, echoing the color + texture of the outdoor location. Root and Wilde Wedding & Event Florist chose a mix of garden roses, smilax, hand-died plumosa, and various dried florals + grasses for the bouquet and arch.
How to Set Up a Tented Outdoor Reception
How do you create an experience in a field? Hosting a tented outdoor reception is your wow factor! A tent not only shields guests from the potential elements but also has a purpose in design. The grand canvas tent from Indie House Events provided a focal point to the open-field space—a textural element to break up the endless field. The tent kept guests shaded during the day and transformed into an intimate candle-lit gathering space at night!
Set up a lounge. Lounges create a secondary space for guests to gather before and after the meal. Focus on a mix of textures that bring the location to life! This combination of furniture from Rustic Romance Rentals and Accents & Events made for a comfortable area for the guests to play music, sip cocktails, or enjoy deep conversations.
Dining options. You can think about dinner al fresco two ways: a traditional table + chair set or an intimate low-profile dinner under the open sky. Or why not both? Grandparents would be more comfortable under the tent while your bridal party could enjoy a fun twist on the dinner setting.
Make it cozy. You can create a space under the stars that’s both comfortable and stylish. Start with a jute-style rug under the low-profile table, then top with fluffy accent pillows for seating. This dreamy setting was styled by Volaré Planning & Design and Rustic Romance Rentals, perfect for lounging, enjoying campfire songs, and sipping cocktails.
Outdoor Décor for an Open Field Wedding
It’s all in the details. An intimate wedding experience allows you to focus on the details without getting overwhelmed. Imagine details as the stepping stones to the journey you’re about to embark on!
Focus on the table. Find ways to include the natural elements in décor throughout the day. Tabletop is an excellent place to start! These plates from Cathaus Rentals feature gold stars and cool tones topped with a personalized calligraphy river rock by Lazy Creek Designs.
Put it to paper. From invitations to signage to everything in between, paper goods are an excellent way to drop in thematic details. This hand-illustrated map by Lazy Creek Designs laid out the adventure ahead is a fun idea!
Bring in something unexpected. A fun idea for an outdoor wedding that’s totally mobile? A camper-style photo booth! We also have a soft spot for mobile bars — here are a few of our favorites around the US.
The final thing to remember about getting married under the stars? It just gets dreamier as the night goes on! Thanks to the team behind this day for sharing your inspiration and tips!
photography: Under the Sun Photography // venue name: The Allen Farmhaus, New Braunfels, Texas, USA // event design: Under the Sun Photography // planning: Volaré Planning & Design // florals: Root and Wilde Wedding & Event Florist // wedding dress: Willow by Watters 'Lunella' // wedding dress boutique: Liv and Love Bridal // hairpiece: Belaire Bridal // bride's shoes: Badgley Mischka // bride's ring: Astra Moonstone Ring Michellia Fine Jewelry // bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo, Watters and Bella Bridesmaids // hair stylist: Lily Flower and Makeup // makeup artist: Lily Flower and Makeup // paper goods: Lazy Creek Designs // calligraphy: Lazy Creek Designs // catering: Don Strange of Texas // desserts: Don Strange of Texas // tabletop rentals: Cathaus Rentals // furniture rentals: Rustic Romance Rentals // specialty rentals: Indie House Events (tent + lighting) // models: Lindsey & Chris Crockett, Catherine Carter Land and Macy Bucek // bartending: Don Strange of Texas
My sister would like to hire a female jazz artist that will perform at her outdoor wedding. Well, aside from the entertainment, you are also right that they must choose the right suppliers for the said event. I’ll also keep in mind to inform her that she must have a bathroom and handwashing facilities in the outdoor setup.
You made a good point that it would be crucial to properly place the catering in the area when planning an outdoor wedding. My sister specifically would like to have a barn wedding someday so she might start looking for a remote place to book. The farther away is will be in crowded areas, the safer it will be for sure.