I get a lot of questions from couples planning their Ohio outdoor wedding on if it really is best to be inside or outside. I’m definitely a fan of the outdoors, but there are things to think about when making your plans! There are many venues to select from in the state, so this will blog not cover those particular locations, although I’ve linked all the ones I’ve previously blogged about below!
The photos selected in this blog were from one of my favorite Ohio outdoor weddings. The bride’s parents hosted the wedding at their home here in Cincinnati. Backyard weddings are something to consider if you have a family member, friend, or even you, own a beautiful property with ample backyard space. Many of these will still apply!
If you’re getting married outside, we all send good vibes your way that you will have a beautiful, sunny ceremony! But, this is Ohio, and we all know that the weather doesn’t always play nice. Sometimes we experience all four seasons in one day! (you know, when it starts out as 70 degrees, and then by evening it’s snowing, ha!)
If you’ve chosen a wedding venue here in Ohio (or our surrounding states in Kentucky and Indiana), ask your venue their backup plan for rain. Most venues will have an indoor area you can use (which may be the reception space). If they do not, some venues will allow you to rent a tent. Another alternative is just to consider having umbrellas for your guests. I’ve even seen some couples get married in full-on rain (see this blog here). I know that may not be preferred, but I would not stress over the weather!
I’ve also seen couples who are worried about the cold. If you have a cold snap on your big day, keep your ceremony short (like 10-15 minutes). I’ve seen brides also hand out blankets and hand warmers to guests. Basically, take care of your guests if you’re asking them to sit outside in non-ideal conditions.
There are seasonal implications for each when you decide to get married outdoors in Ohio. Below is a quick summary of what to think about.
Spring (late March – late May): Spring is such a beautiful time to get married outside! The weather toys with us constantly though! If you’re getting married right when the season is changing (in that March-April timeframe), definitely consider the points in tip 1. Aside from that, consider allergies! If you struggle with outdoor allergies, or anyone in bridal party, be sure to keep plenty of antihistamines on you the day of.
Summer (June – August): summer is also a great time to get married. There is so much light in the day and everything is lush and alive. But it’s hot! Our midwestern summers can get quite muggy. So, think about leaving plenty of water for guests. I’ve seen couples keep water stands right by the ceremony and reception. Also, as your wedding favor, you can hand out fans to help keep people nice and cool! Additionally, consider a ceremony time later in the day as well.
Fall (September – November): ok, yes fall is another beautiful time to get married. If getting married outside, the primary thing you’ll have to watch for is weather (see tip 1 again!) The biggest question I get for fall weddings is “do you think the leaves will still have color?” If you’re not sure, ask! I do keep so many photos I can show couples exactly what it looked like the previous year. Additionally, there are many predictions online about fall foliage. Check those out! Generally, peak fall in Ohio is between the 2nd week of October and first week of November, although that does shift!
Winter (December – early March): not too many couples opt for an outdoor wedding in the winter. But I have a place in my heart for winter weddings! They’re so beautiful. I have been fortunate to photograph ceremonies in the snow, and it couldn’t be prettier. Once again, keep the ceremony super short, and provide blankets to your guests. Additionally, some venues may have ground heaters you can use.
This is something I wish someone told me about! I got married at 10am outdoors. The sun was so bright on my ceremony spot. When picking your ceremony location, think about where the sun will be. You can use an app on your phone to figure that out! If you have a beautiful location, but the sun will be right on you, it may not deliver the most flattering photos. Try to find a ceremony spot where the sun may be behind trees, behind a hill, or off to the side.
I know this is hard! If you’re struggling, and the time of the season is right, consider a ceremony around 5 or 5:30pm. The sun won’t be as harsh. If you’re still not sure, ask a photographer. A good photographer should be an expert on light.
Much of this still applies from Tip 2 and seasons. If you’re getting married in the winter, early spring, or late fall, the sun will start to dip soon and you’ll have to consider an earlier ceremony so that you have plenty of time for photos. If you’re getting married in late spring, summer, or early fall, you’ll definitely have lots of time to build into your day.
For outdoor weddings, I’m still a fan of ceremonies later on in the day (like 5pm) as long as there is a first look. If no first look, I would recommend a 3pm ceremony spot, and finding one that isn’t in the broad sunlight.
I want to note that there are exceptions to all of these tips above when planning an Ohio outdoor wedding. There is no hard and fast rule to anything about wedding planning – make it your own. These are just meant to be things to think about when planning your Ohio outdoor wedding. Cheers!
Outdoor wedding venue ideas (from my previous blogs)