Most couples think they have to choose between an indoor and outdoor wedding, but why not have the best of both worlds? You can always plan an event that takes place at two venues so you can soak up the surrounding nature while having the convenience of a covered venue.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with our go-to guide for planning an indoor-outdoor wedding, focusing on factors such as guests’ comfort, decor, and more. Follow our tips so you can confidently tackle the planning process and put together a day your guests will be raving about long after your wedding is over!
Why throw an indoor-outdoor wedding, anyway?
If you’re on the fence about planning this type of event, we’ve outlined a few benefits to show you why it could be the perfect choice for you:
It weatherproofs your wedding
An outdoor wedding can be fairytale-like and beautiful, but let’s face it—Mother Nature can be unpredictable. By planning a celebration that takes place in two venues, you’ll be prepared for whatever the weather throws your way. In case the summer sun becomes unbearable, or the winter wind gets too cool for comfort, you can simply step inside. Don’t let the weather ruin your day!
It gives your guests more freedom
Say your “I dos” in the great outdoors, and when the sun sets, direct your guests indoors for a night of dancing, dining, and all-around good vibes. Being flexible with your venues allows guests to freely explore both venues, making for a more memorable experience. Whether they want to dance by the DJ booth or step outside to slow-dance under the stars, they can spend their day as they see fit.
It offers the opportunity to plan various activities
While indoor wedding games like “Guest Guess Who”, “Stand Up, Sit Down” and the “Mr. and Mrs. Game” and fun, they’ve been done too many times before. If you want to stand out and score big with your wedding guests, why not plan fun outdoor festivities such as ring toss, croquet, and bocce ball? With an outdoor venue, you can play fun activities that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to carry out indoors.
How to put together an indoor-outdoor wedding
Creating an indoor-outdoor wedding can be tricky, but fear not! We’ve put together a few tips to make your day magical:
Choose your venue carefully
Not all wedding venues are ideal for indoor-outdoor events. You’ll want to look for one that allows for a seamless between both indoor and outdoor areas, such as a venue with a vast garden for the ceremony, and a grand ballroom for the indoor celebration.
Work around the weather
Depending on the time of the year, you may need to limit the time spent outdoors. For instance, if you’re getting married in the spring, you may be able to spend more time in the gardens to mingle and engage in post-ceremony games. However, in the summer, your guests will likely want to go indoors to cool off with AC, so make sure to move to the covered venue immediately after your vows.
Consider your guests’ comfort
If there’s one thing you can count on at indoor-outdoor weddings, it’s that one or two doors will be open all day, as your guests will be constantly moving between both venues. This means that your venue’s AC may not be able to maintain the indoor temperature. To ensure that your interiors are never too hot or freezing, you may want to partner with a company that uses specialized software to design the ideal HVAC.
Bring the outside beauty in
Even if you’ve taken the party indoors, that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your venue’s breathtaking views. Fortunately, most wedding venues have large glass windows that let the outdoors in, and showcase the scenery to create a painting-like background for your big day.
Remind your guests to wear the right shoes
The last thing you want is for your guests to fall flat on their faces when their stilettos sink into the grass. In your wedding invitations, be clear that a good chunk of your event will take place outdoors, and that it would be wise to put on practical, comfortable footwear.
Curate a menu for both venues
When planning an indoor-outdoor wedding, it’s important to prepare two separate menus. This is because food that’s suitable for indoor dining may not be the best choice for al fresco dining, and vice versa. By curating two menus tailored to their respective venues, you give your guests the chance to indulge in mouthwatering meals, wherever they may be.
For example, for the indoor portion of your wedding, you may want to serve more refined meals such as roasted meats. On the other hand, outdoor food can include finger foods or hors d’oeuvre that can withstand exterior temperatures. You could also incorporate healthy meals into your al fresco menu so your guests have the energy to participate in any games you’ve planned.
Maintain consistency in your decor
When it comes to decorating your indoor-outdoor wedding, it’s crucial to aim for consistency. If your interior’s decor is too far off from your exterior’s, it’ll look and feel like you’re throwing two different events. Everything you can find in the covered venue, from the color palette to the textures to the choice of wedding flowers, should blend with the exterior decor to create a consistent ambiance. For example, if you’ve gone for a boho-themed wedding, both the interior and exterior must be decorated with bohemian elements such as wildflowers and wood.
Bring your wedding vision to life
An indoor-outdoor wedding and choosing the right wedding dress can be too challenging for you and your partner to plan yourselves, so why not leave it to the pros? Remember to communicate and collaborate with your wedding planner, vendors, and loved ones to ensure flawless execution.