The salty ocean breeze mixed with the scent of sun-warmed bark and gently tousled her perfect curls as she took her first step towards her groom. It was as if the natural world that surrounded her breathed a sense of serenity into her very being, calming her nerves and softening her soul. A song sparrow sang a fluttery tune and suddenly the thoughts in her head stopped racing. With every step she felt the earth beneath her feet, grounding her, supporting her, and carrying her down the aisle. As if the day wasn’t magical enough, Mother Nature was performing tiny miracles right before her eyes—she could see them and she could feel them.
From majestic redwoods to expansive beaches to lush green mountains, Northern California is breathtakingly beautiful and undeniably romantic. So it’s no wonder that so many couples choose this natural landscape as the setting for their wedding day.
Of course, finding the perfect outdoor venue that matches your vision, works for the month of your wedding, and provides you with the support you need in planning for your big day can sometimes be a challenge. But it is possible. Let’s look at three important things to consider when looking for an outdoor wedding venue in Northern California for your magical day.
Three Considerations For Your Outdoor Wedding Venue
1. Find your “why.”
A lot of brides want to have outdoor weddings but when asked why, many can’t come up with a specific reason. The consequence of this is that finding the best outdoor wedding venue then becomes difficult. If you don’t know what you are looking for in an outdoor venue, how will you find the perfect one? You need to ask yourself what the main draw of having an outdoor wedding is. Is it your dream to say “I do” with an ocean view? Do you want to have a fairytale wedding among the Redwoods? Do you want to feel the sand between your toes as you walk down the aisle?
Figure out what the most important thing is for you when you think about having an outdoor wedding and write it down. Let that be the focus of your wedding vision and guide the hunt for the perfect venue. This will help narrow your search for a venue and find one that’s right for you. Once you’ve found your “why,” you can find your what.
When you get clear about what aspects of the outdoors mean the most to you on your special day, you can then focus the rest of your wedding plans around them. For instance, if you decide to say “I do” with the redwoods as your witnesses, let them inspire your decor, your music, and even your dress.
2. Consider the season.
We here in Northern California are lucky to have the mild weather we do—especially because it makes it possible to get married outdoors during any month of the year. While the deep winter months undoubtedly can be chilly, some brides love the winter weather, especially because it makes for some epically beautiful wedding photos.
When looking for a venue, consider the season you are getting married in. While it may seem obvious to say that getting married barefoot in the sand in January isn’t the best idea, it’s easy for brides to put blinders on when trying to bring their vision to life.
For instance, if your wedding is to take place in April, May, June, September, October, or the winter months, it is important that you make sure your venue has a rain plan. Whether this is an alternative indoor location, rain tents, or even a bunch of wedding-day umbrellas, make sure it is one that you are comfortable with. This way, if it does rain you will be happy following the alternative plans.
3. Choose an all-inclusive venue.
Outdoor weddings are beautiful, but they can be a bit more difficult to plan and execute. There’s a lot to think about—from the acoustics of the space to the lighting to photo locations. That’s why choosing an experienced, well-established, all-inclusive venue for your outdoor wedding is a good idea.
All-inclusive venues will have on-site planners who know their venue inside and out and have experience with a number of different wedding sizes, seasons, and styles. Their expert advice and assistance in the planning process can really be invaluable to you when it comes to planning your big day. Plus, they’ll be able to give you a list of the best wedding vendors in the area, like decorators, musicians, and officiants, who are comfortable and familiar with working in the outdoor space you choose.
Another advantage of selecting an all-inclusive venue for your outdoor wedding in Northern California is that such venues will typically have indoor and outdoor spaces for you to choose from. All-inclusive venues like Kennolyn have beautiful outdoor locations with ocean and Santa Cruz mountain views for both the ceremony and the reception, as well as stunning indoor options. This allows you to mix and match your ceremony and reception locations according to your preferences and the time of year.
While it is important to find your “why,” also consider the season, and choose an all-inclusive venue for your wedding. When it comes to finding the perfect outdoor venue you also have to listen to your gut. If the staff are friendly, the property is well-maintained, and you can immediately see your vision come to life before your eyes when you see the venue, you’ve probably found your place. And then, you’re one step closer to walking down the aisle in the fresh, fragrant, Northern California air.
At Kennolyn, we believe that finding a beautiful venue is the first step to planning a perfect wedding day. To find out if one of our breathtaking outdoor or indoor venues is right for your big day, contact us today.