22 Gorgeous outdoor wedding decoration ideas
Surrounded by trees, flowers, and a canopy of blue skies—who wouldn’t want to say “I do” in the great outdoors? If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, you have the opportunity to create a fantastic event space that feels uniquely you. But having such a blank canvas, even one with built-in scenery, can sometimes feel intimidating.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor summer, spring, or fall wedding ideas, you can make your big day extra special with decor details that complement your style. Implementing decor components such as decorative structures, lighting, flowers, and spatial design can quickly transform any outdoor space into your dream wedding. Here are some outdoor wedding decoration ideas to inspire you.
Set up stunning structures to frame your ceremony
Because your outdoor wedding location likely has no walls or ceiling, you can rely on nature as your backdrop. Groves of trees, hedges, and other landscaped elements can help set the stage. However, some spaces may benefit from adding man-made structures to help set the scene for your meaningful event. Large-scale, functional decor is the perfect place to start.
Opting for beautiful architecture and structures can give your wedding a feeling of grandeur, and provide a slightly more finished look. Leave a lasting impression on your guests with any of these ideas:
If you’re slightly unsure about the elements and aren’t fully ready to commit to an entirely outdoor ceremony and wedding, consider hosting your guests under a tent. A tent can protect guests from the bright sun, light rain, and wind. They also come in various materials, sizes, and styles that you can choose from according to the number of guests you expect. If you choose to go tent-free, keep an eye on the weather leading up to your big day. Having an indoor option as backup is always a good idea in case unexpected weather arrives.
Floral by Precious Bloom; “Lush Canopy” by Paperless Post.
Arbors can create a stunning spectacle for your wedding ceremony or reception. Exchange vows underneath an arch dripping in flowers, or welcome your guests to the afterparty with a vine-covered structure to mimic an English garden estate. You can even line up multiple arbors to create your own “tunnel of love.”
If you’re still looking for an outdoor wedding venue, you can search for an option with a gazebo for a classic, romantic atmosphere. This structure provides a vintage flair for an outdoor ceremony, perfect for exchanging vows. You can also deck it out with themed decor and lights to provide your guests with a lovely designated photo area.
“Leaves of Gold” by Paperless Post; Image by Greer Gattuso.
4. Outdoor swing
Give your guests a chance to relax in the breeze with a pretty outdoor swing. You can rent a stationary swing or attach one to an existing structure or sturdy tree. Set it up in a beautiful, solitary area to give you and your guests room for a breather after an upbeat dance. You can also decorate the swing with flowers to create another stunning photo-op.
Looking for an outdoor venue that really makes a statement? Search for sites that include fun, nostalgic outdoor entertainment like a Ferris wheel or carousel that your guest can ride during the reception. Or hire a vintage car—perhaps decorated with an overflowing floral arrangement —to park at the scene of your nuptials for a unique and enchanting photo prop.
Use furniture to liven up your reception space
Once the stage for your ceremony is set, it’s time to make your reception area shine. Breaking up your outdoor event space with furniture and decor can help create comfortable and elegant places for guests to gather.
Implement unique seating and dining options for your guests with these decor tips:
5. Conversation pit
Designate a few areas for your guests to relax and converse. A sectional outdoor couch, a few vintage armchairs, or even some plush pillows can turn any yard into a lively lounge area.
Add privacy to your space with the help of some dividers. Hanging curtains can offer some layers and separation within your area, or create a behind-the-scenes station for any wardrobe adjustments. You can also use an elegant paper screen for a more stylized feel.
7. Picnic tables
For a more laid-back wedding, place large picnic tables around the area to give guests a place to hang out, eat, and relax. Line the table with gingham plates or picnic napkins to complete the outdoorsy aesthetic.
8. Antique table or dresser
Looking for a chic piece of furniture to add some personality to your space? Add an antique dresser or table to your wedding decor. A dresser, in particular, can serve multiple functions: Turn it into a guest book signing station, or set up photos of you and your spouse. Pull out some drawers and fill them with beautiful floral arrangements.
9. Dance floor
If your outdoor wedding has uneven ground, it’s a good idea to rent a dance floor to give you and your guests a stable surface for when the music starts. Many wedding rental companies offer portable dance floors for an easy outdoor transformation. Go for more rustic wood grain, or dance the night away on a classic black-and-white tile floor.
Shine bright with charming lights
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of an outdoor wedding. Once the sun sets, you won’t have indoor lighting fixtures to keep the party going. But that means the lighting you choose for your outdoor wedding space can be even more captivating.
Luckily, many lighting options can complement your wedding theme while providing ample light to keep your guests feeling safe.
Light up your wedding scene with any of these dazzling lighting displays:
Image via White On Black; “Fionola” by Paperless Post.
10. Fairy lights
Fairy lights remain a classic option for outdoor weddings. Hang them from the ceiling to mimic a night sky full of stars or string them through arbors for a touch of drama. You can even drape them over foliage to turn your outdoor wedding into a fairytale forest.
11. Paper lanterns
Add some splendor and color to your party with paper lanterns. These hanging baubles supply you with a lightweight and gorgeous display. Pair them with paper fans that match your color scheme to fill your event space with joy.
12. Tea lights
Tea lights offer a small and subtle way to add sparkles of light throughout your wedding. This inexpensive lighting option can complete your dining tables and decorative displays. They can even create pathways through the grass or sand. Opt for battery-powered LED tea lights to keep guests cooler than regular candles, and to prevent unwanted flames.
13. Bottle lights
Add eclectic elegance to your reception by placing small LED light strings inside glass bottles or jars. This trick can add some funky flair to complement your vibrant tableware. Try it with clear or colored glass bottles depending on your color scheme.
“Margent” by Paperless Post; Image by Emilie White.
14. Wooden lanterns
Rustic outdoor wedding inspiration calls for wooden lanterns. Wooden lanterns work exceptionally well for mountain, barn, or country weddings. Stick LED tea lights in the lanterns or opt for a lantern with a glass covering to protect them from any breezes.
Who says chandeliers aren’t allowed outside? If you have a sturdy support system to hang them on, like a terrace or gazebo, you can rent out beautiful chandeliers to add a layer of elegance to your event. If you already have the lighting covered, go for a floral feel with a flower chandelier.
“Pintura” by Paperless Post; Image via Amanda Holder Events.
16. Neon lights
Custom neon signs for weddings have recently grown in popularity. Available in many different shapes, sizes, and colors, a neon sign can add a personalized, effervescent glow that resonates through your space.
Let your decor flourish with flowers
Outdoor weddings allow you to convene with nature. You know what that means: flowers, flowers, flowers. You can let your inner flower child take over from here.
If your outdoor wedding venue is filled with flowers already (like a garden or field of wildflowers), you can add even more floral arrangements to your tables. If your table settings and bouquet aren’t enough to satisfy your floral fever, try out a few of these floral decor tricks:
Image by Cling & Peck; “Germinal” by Putnam & Putnam for Paperless Post.
17. Flower wall
Create a floating flower wall to add some delightful depth to your event space.
18. Potted plants
Small potted plants can make lovely decorations for an outdoor wedding. Place flowers, succulents, and cacti around your event space for an eclectic, personalized feel. You can give them away to guests at the end, too.
If your outdoor wedding has a country picnic feel, break out some romantic baskets and fill them with flowers. Hang baskets on the backs of chairs or let them stand out as centerpieces.
Line your space with beautiful flower garlands for a classic springtime feel. You can also use garlands to adorn tables or to deck out the aisle.
“Keyuri” by Anita Dongre for Paperless Post; Image by Richelle Dante.
21. Floating flowers
If your wedding takes place alongside a pond or fountain, you can make the most of your surroundings by adding flowers to the mix. Place full flower heads or petals into the body of water for a delicate, Monet-inspired touch.
22. Floral tableware
Can’t get enough flowers? We can’t blame you. Try some floral-inspired plates or cups to make your big day even brighter. You can even opt for flower-shaped plates for a fully immersive floral experience.
Capture your outdoor wedding’s essence with invitations
Once you’ve got your decor and wedding guest list, you can move on to one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning. No matter what kind of outdoor wedding decor you decide on, there’s a wedding invitation to match. Give your wedding guests a special sneak peek into what they can expect with an invite that says it all.
Start your search with these nature-inspired wedding invitation ideas:
— Fruit of Capri: Perfect for a summer wedding, this invitation hints at a jubilant night among the wildflowers.
— Lanterns: The RSVPs are sure to float into your inbox with these lantern-inspired invitations.
— Natural Wreath: Welcome your friends and family to a rustic country wedding with this subtle yet stunning invitation.
Plan your outdoor extravaganza with Paperless Post
Planning an outdoor wedding takes both skill and creativity. The goal is to create a beautiful atmosphere, but also ensure your guests feel cared for without all of the amenities of an indoor space. Luckily, your wedding decor is a fantastic way to make the outdoors feel luxurious.
At Paperless Post, we know that incredible weddings start with beautiful invitations.
That’s why Paperless Post offers a diverse collection of classic stationery-inspired online wedding invitations and cards to compliment any wedding theme, with all the modern conveniences hosts love. Customize and send your invitations in a flash, and watch the RSVPs roll in.