Outdoor Wedding Decoration Ideas

All the outdoor wedding decoration ideas you need for the perfect outdoor “I do’s.”

By Deanna deBara

couple overlooking outdoor mountain wedding
Photo by Unsplash

If you’re getting married outdoors, you’ve already got some built-in, stunning decoration courtesy of Mother Nature. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t add your own personal flair to your ceremony and reception.

Outdoor wedding decorations are a great way to personalize your wedding and accentuate the already gorgeous backdrop you have for your big day.

But, how should you decorate for your wedding day? Here are some of our outdoor wedding decoration ideas—whether you’re getting married on the coast, in your backyard, or somewhere in between.

Outdoor Wedding Decoration Ideas for a Beach Wedding

Outdoor Wedding Decoration Ideas Photo Credit // Unsplash

If you’re planning on hosting your wedding next to the surf and sand, there are a ton of ways that you can tie your beach-theme into your wedding decoration, including:

  • Line the aisle with shells. If your walk down the aisle is taking place on the sand, using seashells to frame the aisle can be a fun, casual way to frame your wedding aisle (instead of a traditional aisle runner). If you wanted to make it more personal, you could even spend time the day before the wedding with your partner or wedding party gathering the shells directly from the beach where you’re getting married.

  • Decorate with fans. Placing a bamboo or paper fan on each seat will not only add visual interest to your ceremony space, but your guests can use them to shield their eyes from the sun or to fan themselves if they get too warm.

  • Make “message in a bottle” wedding centerpieces. Fill glass bottles with sand and other beach items (such as shells or sea glass), wrap the bottles with ribbon that matches your wedding color palette, and place them on the tables as centerpieces for your wedding reception. You could also have guests write messages on slips of paper and put them in the bottles for you and your partner to have as keepsakes after your wedding day.

Outdoor Wedding Decoration Ideas for a Backyard Wedding

A backyard can be one of the most charming, personal, and cozy places to host your wedding. If you’re doing a backyard wedding, there is a ton of potential for personalized outdoor wedding decorations, including:

  • String lights. String lights can completely transform a backyard, making the space seem more cozy, inviting, elegant, or vibrant (depending on what type of lighting you use). If you have access to an outlet, stringing lights across the backyard, either from tree to tree or from one side of a fence to another can be a great way to add ambiance to your ceremony and wedding reception.

  • A flower arch. If the backyard where you’re hosting your wedding is landscaped with plenty of flowers, you can play off that natural beauty with an eye-catching floral arch made of greenery and flowers that match your wedding colors. Not only will the decor blend well with the natural surroundings, but it can also create a stunning backdrop for your wedding vows.

Outdoor Wedding Decoration Ideas for a Vineyard Wedding

Outdoor Wedding Decoration Ideas Photo Credit // Unsplash

If you’re getting married on a vineyard, chances are, you’re all about the rustic style. And lucky for you, there are plenty of outdoor wedding decoration ideas to fit in with your rustic vineyard theme, including:

  • Wine barrels. Vineyards are all about wine—so why not incorporate wine barrels directly into your decor? Wooden wine barrels add both visual interest and extra functionality to your space. You can use the barrels in place of cocktail tables, to display wedding photos, and/or for your dessert station or card box—the possibilities are endless!
  • Wine bottles. Again, if you’re getting married at a vineyard, you might as well embrace the wine theme! Wine bottles can make for great decor; for example, you can fill empty wine bottles with fairy lights and use them in place of candles, or use wine bottles as vases for your flowers (wine bottle vases can be especially effective and rustic with autumn seasonal flowers).

Outdoor Wedding Decoration Ideas for a Forest Wedding

If you’re getting married in the forest, the trees surrounding the reception and ceremony site offer a host of decoration opportunities, including:

  • Hang personal photos from the trees. If you want to lend a personal touch to your forest wedding, try hanging photos of you and your partner on the trees nearest to where your guests enter the ceremony space (this is a great opportunity to show off your engagement photos).
  • Hang paper lanterns. Hanging paper lanterns from the trees in different sizes and colors not only adds visual interest, but also provides soft lighting if you’re getting married in a shaded area (or later in the day when the sun goes down).
  • Hang wedding bunting between trees. Hanging wedding bunting from one tree to another can create a type of “bunting ceiling” that adds visual interest to the space. Plus, wedding bunting is so versatile that you can match it to any wedding style (for example, if you’re going for a romantic look, you could use lace bunting—and if you wanted something more fun and festive, you could use bunting in different colored fabrics).

Decorate Your Outdoor Space in a Way That Feels True to You

These outdoor wedding decoration ideas are a great starting point. Whether you’re getting married at the beach or the forest, in your backyard or at a stunning vineyard, the most important thing is that you choose wedding decorations that feel true to you, your partner, and your vision for your wedding. Happy decorating!