We’re Fazackarley a wedding photographer and wedding film maker duo based in Brighton and London and covering the whole of the UK. We’ve designed this guide featuring some lovely outdoor weddings we’ve photographed over the years to help you with your own wedding planning.
Getting married outdoors
Can you legally get married outdoors in the UK? The good news is that yes you can. However, for your marriage to be legal your ceremony is required to be held at a place of worship or at another licensed building and a registrar must carry out, or be present at, your ceremony. Take a look at this link for more detailed guidance on this.
What to consider for an outdoor wedding
- Does your venue have an indoor option in case of bad weather?
- Consider providing umbrellas for guests. You can buy wedding specific ones or purchase plain ones in bulk online.
- Consider letting your guests know you will be having an outdoor ceremony so that can plan their outfit choices to go with changeable weather (you don’t want your guests getting sun-burnt or getting too cold if they weren’t expecting to be outside)
- Windy weather can make it hard for guests to hear your ceremony and speeches so it’s worth checking with your venue if they provide mircophones
- Remember to let your videographer and or photographer know in advance if you are having an outdoor ceremony so they can select appropriate equipment for being outside.
- Ask your venue if they provide water for guests on very hot days
- Check if there are any rules about confetti use within the grounds.
Outdoor wedding venues
Outdoor weddings have risen in popularity in recent years and a lot more venues are adding outdoor ceremony options to their existing offering so it’s always worth checking with any venues you are interested in prior to setting your date. Here are 10 great outdoor wedding venues in the South of England that allow outdoor ceremonies:
Pelham House, Lewes
A luxury wedding venue in Lewes, East Sussex. Pelham House is a stunning 16th Century Townhouse that has recently been renovated to a sumptuous standard to become an exclusive use wedding venue. At Pelham House you have the option of an indoor or outdoor ceremony so you don’t need to worry about the weather spoiling your special day. Pelham House can be reached in just over an hour from London by train and about 15mins outside of Brighton.
- Offers overnight accommodation options for you and your guests
- Indoor and outdoor ceremony options
- Historic market town venue
- Exclusive use venue
- Good public transport links and close to mainline train station
Nymans, West Sussex
If you’ve always dreamt of a botanical garden wedding then Nymans could be just what you are looking for. Nymans is managed by the National Trust and offers outdoor wedding ceremonies in its stunning logia, set in the heart of the beautifully maintained gardens and against the backdrop of a romantic house and ruins.
- Ceremony-only venue, no current facilities for wedding receptions
- Beautiful garden location with car parking onsite for guests
- Close to M23 and approx 20mins from Brighton
- One of the few locations in the area offering outdoor ceremonies
- Plenty of location opportunities for stunning wedding photographs
Firle Place, East Sussex
Firle Place is a truly sumptuous luxury country house wedding venue in East Sussex. Firle House is located within the Firle Estate and set amongst the backdrop of the South Downs. It offers couples a number of options for their wedding reception from the Riding School, Herb Garden & Orchards and the South Lawn and Dell Gardens.
- Close to St Peter’s church in Firle village for anyone wishing to hold a religious marriage ceremony.
- Stunning views of the South Downs
- A number of options for your ceremony and reception
- Plenty of parking onsite for guests
Rumbolds Barn, West Sussex
Rumbolds is an historic 16th century barn and stunning wedding location in the heart of the Sussex countryside, perfect for couples planning a countryside wedding with a hint of relaxed and rustic charm. Rumbolds is also one of the few venues locally that allow outdoor wedding ceremonies.
- Outdoor ceremony
- Lovely quiet, countryside location
- Outside catering permitted
- Plenty of beautiful outdoor opportunities for wedding photography
- Plenty of car parking onsite for your guests and suppliers
- Owners live onsite so are on hand to help your day go smoothly
If you’d like to be king and queen for the day then why not get married at Lewes Castle in East Sussex? The Castle itself is largely ruins but the Castle Keep and West Tower, standing majestically high on a hilltop have been preserved and offer a stunning opportunity for outdoor wedding ceremonies, overlooking the South Downs and market town of Lewes.
- Instead of a walk down the aisle you ascend the magnificent zig zag castle steps.
- Historic market town location
- Good transport links and close to mainline train station
- Unique venue
Set in the heart of Buckinghamshire, Notley Abbey is a magnificent historic listed building the former home of Sir Laurence Olivier, with impressive grounds which provide plenty of opportunities for wedding photography.
- Once the former home of Laurence Olivier
- Exclusive use wedding venue
- Outdoor and indoor wedding ceremonies offered
- Spectacular tree-lined driveway
- Wedding planning team to help your day run smoothly
The Gardens in Yalding, Kent
The Gardens Yalding is an exclusive use wedding venue in the Kent Countryside. The venue offers couples the opportunity to have an outdoor wedding reception, set amongst the backdrop of 12 acres of stunning historic gardens.
- Indoor and outdoor ceremony options
- Your wedding reception can take place within the Garden’s interlocking tipis
- Ample free parking for your guests
- Exclusive use of bridal dressing room on the day of your wedding
Bury Court Barn
Bury Court Barn is a luxury barn wedding venue in Hampshire is set in a beautiful countryside location. The barn itself is set within stunning gardens framed by a majestic oast house (which is now used as a quaint bridal suite) and offers an abundance of opportunities for wedding photography.
- Indoor or outdoor wedding receptions
- Plenty of onsite free parking for guests
- Dedicated wedding planning team to help you with your plans and to ensure your day runs smoothly.
- Stunning countryside location
Buxted Park Hotel
If you are looking for a wedding venue with a bit of grandeur then Buxted Park should hit the mark. Located on the edge of Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, Buxted has played host to many well-known historic figures in its past including Winston Churchill and Marlon Brando. The house itself is a Palladian style mansion and inside rooms are airy and spacious rooms with dazzling chandeliers and magnificent fireplaces.
- Options for indoor or outdoor ceremony
- Grand historic venue
- Plenty of parking onsite for guests
- Accommodation available onsite
Outdoor wedding decoration ideas
If you’re thinking about having an outdoor wedding ceremony then you can really let nature shine and keep decor to a minimum. However, you might want a few styling ideas to really make the day feel like your own, so think flowers, ribbons on the backs of chairs, beautiful baskets of confetti or bespoke packs of tissues for your guests.
What if it rains on your wedding day?
We’ve photographed our fair share of rainy weddings and while everyone hopes for bright sunshine on their wedding day you can’t guarantee what the weather will do. However, if your plans include both indoor and outdoor options you can ensure a bit of rain won’t spoil your big day. We get so many questions about this we wrote a specific post about it here.
Planning a garden wedding? We’ve written a specific post about garden weddings so check it out here.