Having the Perfect Outdoor Wedding

In Myrtle Beach we are blessed to have great weather for most of the year and that means lots of time and locations for outdoor weddings.  Even here planning your outdoor wedding can still come with the need for contingency plans and “what-ifs”.  The biggest problem being the weather, there is always the possibility of the weather not cooperating with your wedding day, forcing you to move indoors.  When the weather cooperates it makes for a beautiful wedding, so let’s look at some cool ideas for the reception.  Having the perfect outdoor wedding isn’t as hard as you think.


One of the most important parts of an outdoor wedding is where it takes place.  Are you going to need a tent for the reception?  We recommend a tent, it will help keep your guests cool and not in the direct sun all day.  July in Myrtle Beach can get hot!  You don’t want a sunburn in your wedding photos.  Some of the guests may find the heat a little hard to handle.  The tent is also your insurance against bad weather.  You’re going to have to take some other things into consideration when thinking of an outdoor wedding, like keeping the cake cool and how food will be served.  Your venue is also going to need suitable parking nearby so guests can easily reach the party.  Here is some help picking a venue.


One of the great things about outdoor weddings is that you need fewer decorations, Mother Nature has provided them for you.  You just need a few things that complement the natural beauty of your surroundings.  Take precautions that decorations like candles or torches are secured and out of reach of the kids.  If you have wires for lights or the DJ then make sure they are arranged so guests aren’t tripping over them.


A big chunk of any wedding budget is going to go towards the food and drink that you serve.  You can have anything from some finger food to a full blown sit-down dinner with an open bar or a cash bar.  Remember that a big part of the experience of going to a wedding is the food that is served.  For an outdoor wedding you are going to have to adapt a bit.  One option is a huge roast or you can have a buffet or foods that work for a picnic.  Make sure that there are suitable options for kids and vegetarian guests.

Outdoor weddings can be absolutely magical, but planning them is far different than the traditional wedding.

Wedding Planning

Traditional and Non-Traditional Wedding Styles

Before you start the process of planning out your wedding you need to decide what type of celebration you want it to be.  How formal or traditional do you want it to be?  This is your day and you can have a traditional ceremony, non-traditional or somewhere in between.  Let’s look at the different styles and see which is right for you and your guests.

Traditional Wedding

The most traditional weddings tend to be very formal, the groom and his attendants are dressed in black tie and the bride wears a full length white gown with a train.  Formal bridal gowns can get pretty elaborate and they are accompanied by a classic veil and pearl jewelry.  When it comes to decorations for the church and the ceremony the flowers would include either roses or orchids.  The dinner tables are set with fine china and beautiful centerpieces, the music at the reception is classical played by a small orchestra.

Non-Traditional Weddings

An informal or non-traditional wedding gives you the freedom of making your wedding anything that you want it to be.  Groomsmen can wear anything from a suit to pants and a shirt.  For the bride she also can opt for a less formal gown, although even at informal weddings the bride often sticks with wearing white, most brides will also keep the bridal bouquet.

Non-traditional wedding can run the gamut from an exotic destination wedding on a Caribbean beach to a backyard celebration with family and friends.  When it comes to the reception you can have anything from a buffet and a DJ to a candy bar and photo booth.  Whatever makes you and your guests feel the most comfortable.

Somewhere in Between

Most weddings today tend to be somewhere in between keeping elements from a formal wedding while putting their own individual mark on the ceremony.  Most of the time the wedding attire stays on the formal side with white gowns and black tie, dresses aren’t necessarily as ornate but the bride sticks with a long white dress.    Bouquets and decorations can be more colorful but the reception is where you will notice the biggest difference between traditional and non-traditional weddings.

While the church ceremony may have had all the trappings of a formal wedding the reception may be more of a party atmosphere, this is a celebration after all.  The reception may still have a formal dinner though it is usually a simpler affair, though buffets  or family style service is more common.  The reception offers dancing and a band or DJ rather than classical music played by an orchestra or trio.  The occasion is more about making memories than it is about sticking to traditions and formalities.

The key to a beautiful wedding is about finding what works for you and don’t be afraid to make your preferences known.