Top tips for planning an outdoor wedding.

If you’re currently planning your outdoor wedding – first of all congratulations! Second of all, relax and enjoy the planning part – your wedding day goes by so quickly and some of the best memories will be the exciting build-up! 

It can feel like a huge task, but when you break the day down into smaller elements it’s far less intimidating. We’ve been working with Sainsbury’s Bank and the Money Matters team to put together some top tips to inspire your big day.

This has been quite a year and remarkably difficult for many people to plan their finances, let alone plan a wedding, so with the help of Sainsbury’s Bank’s and their Outdoor Wedding Guide we can hopefully help iron out any worries or challenges you see ahead.

Choosing Your Wedding Venue

Outdoor wedding venues provide an amazing opportunity to showcase your personality and creativity. They tend to be more laidback in terms of décor, catering and use of space than formal “package” venues. 

We recommend finding somewhere that provides various landscapes or structures to plan your day around. As beautiful as the UK is for an outdoor wedding, you can’t always guarantee blazing sunshine, so it’s great to have somewhere with a wet weather backup plan, incase you need it.  This might be a traditional barn building like Mickleton Hills Farm Barns where Caviar & Chips are a preferred supplier, with its rustic backdrop.  Or maybe it’s a country house with outdoor terrace and gardens like Caviar & Chip’s new wedding venue Stockton House in Shropshire. Your venue will have come across the weather challenge before so make sure to ask the question so you can put any worries aside. 

Caviar & Chips work with some of the country’s most stunning venues from Nottingham to Berkshire and lots of cities in-between and you can take a look through lots of venue ideas on our where we cater page.  

It’s fantastic to find a venue that acts as a “blank canvas” that really allows you to make your own mark – planning your décor can be a great way to involve your bridal party. A venue that allows outside catering can be a huge benefit to both the character of your wedding and your budget! Caviar & Chips can offer amazing street food options, such as Bao Buns, Dirty Burgers and Hot Dogs, or even a BBQ set-up.  Take a read through their street-food inspired catering blog for more inspired ideas.  

Wedding Styling

Outdoor weddings benefit from the natural beauty of the landscape, so your decorating work is already halfway there. If you don’t know where to start, we recommend looking at photographers who have shot at your venue before – they’ll likely have lots of detail photos that can inspire your own choices. Make a mood board for each part of the day and start narrowing down the elements you love most. The internet is a wonderful place full of DIY tutorials, you’ll be amazed how much of the decorating you can pull off yourself on a small budget. Also check this piece Boutique Marquees did on planning your wedding for more inspiration. 

If you’re having sharing dishes and family style dining, long runs of rustic wooden tables work perfectly. Add some candles and foliage runners up the centre to add to the intimate rustic theme. If you’re having a more formal meal, separate tables can make more sense, particularly for servers. Use the opportunity give each table group its own unique décor and name, inspired by the venue and guests. 

Your Wedding Food

We might sound biased to our friends at Caviar & Chips, but one of the most memorable parts of your wedding for guests is the food! This can really be an amazing opportunity to showcase your personality, wedding theme and tie in with the venue’s aesthetic. Whether you’re going for al-fresco garden dining, a rustic barn setting or a quirky tipi or yurt, there’s no need to stick to the traditional three-course sit down dinner. The options are endless – and Caviar & Chips can help you narrow them down.

Nothing gets a crowd more excited and fuller of laidback summer nostalgia than a BBQ. A BBQ doesn’t just have to be (the most delicious and locally sourced) sausages and burgers, you can add some halloumi, colourful veggie skewers, portobello mushrooms and maybe even a whole salmon to the grill to cater for all dietary requirements. Complement these mains with lots of fresh seasonal sides for sharing and you’re onto a wedding meal that guests will be talking about for weeks after.

If your wedding is a little less “rustic garden” and a little more “colourful festival” we absolutely LOVE adding some street-food inspired ingredients.  From tacos to bao buns and burgers to loaded fries, the only problem you’ll have is wanting everything! Or, you could opt for a classic and traditional Sunday beef roast.

No wedding would be complete without a little tipple. If you’re hiring in a bar or working directly with your venue, ask if you can work with the mixologist to creatively craft a bespoke cocktail to name after you and your partner!  One of the things we loved about what Caviar & Chips provide is their amazing gin piano bar!  Imagine choosing your favourite drinks and creating your own bespoke bar for your wedding day.  That sounds perfect to us!

A big thanks to Sainsbury’s Bank

Thank you so much to Sainsbury’s Bank for putting together their ideas and tips for outdoor weddings and their guide for wedding planning this coming year.