Why You Should Risk an Outdoor Ceremony



Sitting here and formulating this wedding advice blog about having an outdoor ceremony, rain is lashing against my office window. As a Surrey wedding photographer I am under no illusion that in the UK it has the tendency to have unpredictable weather. When I offer outdoor wedding photography to clients as an option when they are discussing plans, it is either met with excitement or apprehension. It may not be your thing and that is okay. But after reading this piece you may consider something that you had never thought of.


So this is going to be the blog for you if you are sitting on the fence with having an outdoor ceremony.


LGBT Wedding Photography, Festival Wedding





The Light


Thats right, you heard correctly. My first reason and it is a wonderfully important one is – THE LIGHT. Couples think of their weddings and they imagine lovely bright and light photographs. However, the reality is that many churches and registry offices are not blessed with the most natural light. They can be very dark, small and your images as a consequence with be on the darker side. This is not a problem, I LOVE the atmosphere that shadows can create. However, if soft, bright natural light is your game then look no further.  An outdoor ceremony is perfect for allowing natural light to be a participant in your wedding day.


Top Tip no.1 – Remember…


When planning your outdoor ceremony to pick a place where the sun (if it makes an appearance) is behind you so that you are not blinded. If it is a bright but overcast day – even better! If the sun is out perhaps choose a location with some foliage or ask your florist to make something to create some shade.


Outdoor Ceremony Wedding Photography





Say it LOUD and say it again. Choosing an outdoor wedding ceremony allows you the freedom to design your day!  It is very rare when organising your outdoor wedding that there will be much opposition to suggestions. Venues that offer outdoor ceremonies will have some guidelines in place but these are less strict than an inclosed space. What this means from a photographers point of view is that you will get an unrestricted view of your outdoor wedding. With more space, means more movement without distraction and noise so photographers are able to move around freely. Being outside is also a great example of how to stay COVID safe during your wedding planning. Having an open ceremony helps with air circulation and I have a blog all about postponed COVID weddings.


Outdoor Wedding Ceremony with Friends As Celebrants


The freedom of an outdoor wedding is that you can choose your location, seating arrangements, your celebrant (whether it be a trusted professional or a friend). Take for example Amy and Ruth who had their best friend conduct their wedding ceremony. Or Ellen and Tom, who had their closest two friends lead their ceremony together under a 100 year old oak tree! It is important to note that apart from Scotland where you can get married anywhere, in the UK if you wish to have an outdoor ceremony you must already had had a legal ceremony elsewhere. There are some wedding venues that are licensed for outdoor wedding ceremonies, however these venues have to have a fixed structure for the legal part of your vows.  Once you have taken care of the legal part, the wedding world is your oyster when it comes to planning.


Woodland Wedding Surrey





Think about it – your wedding day is an adventure in itself. You are setting off on a journey with your favourite person. So why not add some spontaneity in to the mix? The reason why adventure is the third instalment as to why you should risk an outdoor wedding ceremony is because it’s the biggest hurdle to overcome. There is a lot of planning that goes into a wedding day, and to have there be an added level of anxiety is not everyones cup of tea.   Take my couple Thea and Henrik for example, they planned an outdoor wedding in Sweden in a very precarious month of weather. They had prepped for lots of rain and were met with glorious sunshine. It just goes to show that you never can predict the weather! The fact is that if you have a wedding in the UK it may rain. There is no denying this. However, you can plan a wedding inside and things can go wrong too. That is life.


It is about learning to embrace the possibility that your day may not be ‘perfect’ 


Rain On Your Wedding Day, Surrey Wedding


Top Tip no.2 – if the forecast predicts rain…


If the weather forecast predicts even the smallest chance of rain, always be prepared. It is better to be over prepared than under with an outdoor ceremony. Grab some fun wellies and some umbrellas. Always opt for clear or white umbrellas for your wedding day. They are great at allowing light through so that your guests faces are not too dark. If you would like more tips and tricks at navigating rain on your wedding day then visit my blog. Embracing the adventure is all about having fun on your wedding.


Destination Wedding Photographer Sweden




Then my work here is done! But if you still need a little convincing then here are a list of three reasons why we should work together.  Talking about why I am the photographer for you is also present in my blog about looking for an LGBTQ friendly wedding photographer. If you have been trawling the internet searching for ‘Outdoor Wedding Photography Surrey’ and ended up here then hello! I am so glad that you found the right place. I have been involved in so many gorgeous outdoor wedding ceremonies and would adore to me part of more in 2022 and 2023. The last couple of years have seen me photograph outdoor weddings in French vineyards, Norfolk Barns, at Surrey lakesides and woodland weddings and many more.


Jesse x