Outdoor, destination, and backyard: how to find your match in wedding reception venues #Reception Advice#Wedding 101#at home#backyard#destination wedding#outdoor#reception#wedding venues Updated Jun 5 2017 (Posted Sep 7 2015) Catherine Clark bijouxandbits Denver's Mile High Station If you're searching for a fabulous and affordable offbeat venue unicorn, you'll encounter a whole slew of options. We're going to talk about all the general categories of venues and which could be your awesome venue BFF. Whether it's built-in service staff or naturally lovely decor, here are some of the reasons to choose (or NOT choose) different venue types. New York's FEAST at Round Hill Outdoor wedding venues Related Post Help, my Google-fu is busted: How to turn Google into your wedding venue search engine I'm convinced if I could save some money if I could find a venue not typically usually used for weddings. I started on Google, of... Read more Variable price: you'll encounter a huge range of prices with outdoor venues. From more affordable city and county parks and summer camp venues to large resorts, prices can be all over the board. For some more offbeat (and potentially cheaper) choices, consider fairgrounds, farms, ranches, public gardens, or even farmer's markets. For smaller weddings, try vacation rentals. Natural decor: Ooh hey, built-in decor courtesy of Mother Nature. This is a big win in the price department. Lots of space: If you're inviting a lot of people, outdoor venues can usually accommodate a lot more than indoor venues. You can rock out your huge festival-style wedding without worrying too much about seating. Weather: Here's where things can get pretty dicey and limiting, depending on where you live. Be aware of weather conditions when booking an outdoor venue and have a backup plan for keeping guests dry and comfortable. Seattle's Urban Light Studios Hotel and banquet wedding venues Related Post Unique Chicago wedding venues coveted by Offbeat Bride readers We decided to start rounding up a vendor list sourced directly from our readers for a series of reader recommended vendor list posts. We're starting... Read more Built-in event coordinators: Venue-mandated coordinators can be a mixed bag. But you're usually getting a little help from someone who knows the facility and can help you narrow down your choices. Just be careful not to let them steamroll you with their more factory-style wedding production. Rentals: Hotels and banquet halls usually have rentals covered, which means you're not having to rent them externally. Just watch out for hidden costs when working out the details. This goes for all included elements: food, decor, sound systems, lighting, etc. Ease of accommodations: Hotels especially are convenient if only for the built-in hotel rooms. Nobody needs to grab a cab if they over-drink, and after-parties are a breeze to coordinate. Restrictive vendor lists: You may be stuck with a list of required vendors at a hotel or banquet hall. Be aware that you may end up not having a lot of lower-budget options. Alternately, if the venue is all-inclusive and has their own staff, you may save money just based on keeping it all in-house. Find out what your venue options offer before signing. Minnesota's Muffuletta at Shawn and Ani's wedding. Photo by Kelly Marie Trippler Restaurant wedding venues Related Post How do you transition from ceremony to reception when they're in the same space? I'm getting married at an art gallery. The ceremony and reception are going to be in the same space. In fact, I'm going to have... Read more Food match: The best reason of all, choosing your own favorite cuisine! You know exactly what type of food you'll be getting, and it may have some sentimental connections if you dined there before. Built-in service staff: No need to hire service staff when they already work there, right? Space limitations: One big reason restaurants are iffy for larger weddings is that they are usually the smallest space option. Look for restaurants with an outdoor courtyard to expand your horizons. Expense for renting out the place: Often restaurants will charge for the missing business, so if you don't fill the place up, you may end up paying for invisible people. For restaurant venues, it often makes sense to find a spot that matches your guest list pretty well, or consider renting out a special event room only. Mexico's Sueños Tulum eco-hotel Destination wedding venues Related Post Near or far? What to consider when choosing between a local or destination wedding So how does one simply “go shopping” for a wedding venue? We took a look at who we are, who are friends and family really... Read more It's a mini (or large) vacation: The obvious reason to have a destination wedding venue is the VACATION part. You'll have lots of time to spend with your guests, lots of fun activities to do, and you can spend a little time alone after everyone heads home. Expensive for guests: And then we have the obvious downside. If your wedding is small or you're eloping, this problem is far less of a concern. Planning a wedding weekend: Being in tour guide mode for a whole weekend can be a serious challenge. Here are some wedding weekend planning tips if you end up needing help. Destination planning: Planning from afar is an added hurdle since you're not seeing everything in person. All-inclusives can help with this by providing an event coordinator to help you source everything. Simone and Andrew's backyard wedding. Photo by The Pink Ray Gun At-home and backyard weddings Cost savings: At-home weddings and backyard weddings are some of our favorites for this reason. You can spend your money on much more fun stuff like decor, fashion, and FOOD. Fewer restrictions: You won't be beholden to mandatory vendor lists or decor limitations. Space limitations: You will, however, be limited in space. Unless you know someone with a huge farm or something, your own home may just not hold that many people. But you can always rent a tent and party it up outside. Rental expenses: Your home (or friend's/family's home) won't come with any built-in rentals, so you'll be on the hook to hire everything out including any kind of serving/cleaning services you want. It can get pricey, so budget for it if you go this route. Toronto's Little Log Wedding Chapel Non-typical wedding venues Here are some ideas of off-the-beaten track venues to consider: Schools: not just universities, but junior highs and high schools, vocational, music schools, dance studios, culinary schools, etc. Museums and art galleries Concert venues Dance studios and ballrooms Community centers Theaters and playhouses Libraries or city halls Renaissance fairgrounds, county fairgrounds, and other public event spaces Local attractions like caves, wildlife refuges, and awesomely weirder event venues Texas' Scarborough Renaissance Festival This post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides: Niagara's Little Log Wedding Chapel Urban Light Studios Mile High Station Sueños Tulum eco-hotel Scarborough Renaissance Festival FEAST at Round Hill Catherine Clark Catherine Clark loiters at her local library, makes art, watches movies en masse, plays video and tabletop games, poorly cooks healthy things, cuddles with her feline fur babies, and blogs at BijouxandBits.com. @enidjcoleslaw @bijouxandbits @bijouxandbits PREVIOUS 10 pairs of adorable custom-painted wedding shoes NEXT Skye & Evan's woodland Twin Peaks wedding Show/Hide comments [ 3 ] We loved getting married at a restaurant for all the reasons listed above! As soon as we started planning the wedding, my husband said he only cared about two details: having great music and AMAZING FOOD! So we settled on the Hyeholde in Pittsburgh, PA, a restaurant that looks like a castle. It made a lot of sense for us because I didn't have to rent a single thing. This saved me so much money and so much sanity. Throughout the planning process, I felt like a guest at the venue instead of a frazzled worker bee! So many things, like valet, linens, bathrooms, pretty lighting, etc., were already taken care of. Also, the service staff was AMAZING. They delivered drinks right to the dance floor! My guests were totally taken pampered all night. Here is our wedding if you want to see the place! http://offbeatbride.com/2015/07/rock-n-roll-wedding-pa Reply We're on the hunt for a venue, so this is a great resource. Thank you! I never even considered a restaurant as a wedding location…now I'll have to do some digging! I'd love to have outdoor wedding photos, although the brunch indoors, but knowing the unpredictable nature of Seattle weather, probably an indoor venue is safer. Reply Have you tried The Hitch? I found my venue in Portland last year on that website. The user interface was really easy to use and they seem to have a great selection of venues. https://thehitch.com Reply Join the conversation Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.