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Indoor v. Outdoor Weddings

Gray Door Photography

Indoor

Pros

  • No weather issues – we’ve all been there. If you’ve been a guest or a vendor at an outdoor wedding, you pray and hope that the weather will hold up for just long enough. You hope that there’s a decent rain plan but often times there isn’t! If you have your wedding indoors you can automatically breathe a sigh of relief because the only thing the weather will tamper with is your outdoor photography shots.
  • Temperature control – Personally, I’ve coordinated summer outdoor weddings where the bride and groom (and everyone else) were miserable. It was so terrible that at one point the couple just said “stop the photography, we’re going inside because we can’t take it anymore!” In an indoor facility, you can ask the staff to crank that A/C so you and your guests can party the night away without worrying about overheating.
  • Décor options – Indoor venues make it much easier for you to decorate the space in whatever way you’d like. You can hang drapery, lighting, greenery, etc. from every surface or high ceiling of the facility and create something uniquely yours.

Cons

  • Space limitations – Clearly, if you have an indoor event you will be restricted in some ways to the layout and space provided by the facility. If you’re planning on having a larger wedding it may be a good idea to look for a space that has a more open floor plan for your guests to move about.
  • More logistical planning – With more space limitations, you will need to strategize about timing of each part of your wedding and ensure that your guests know where to go and when. We highly recommend that you work with your wedding coordinator, DJ, and officiant on this! If you plan in advance and rely on your vendors, your day will run smoothly and be enjoyable.

Outdoor

Pros

  • Atmosphere – Admittedly, there is something so beautiful about an outdoor ceremony! If the weather is just right – not too hot, a slight breeze – then the atmosphere is set for a gorgeous ceremony and enjoyable reception.
  • Large, beautiful space – Outdoor locations grant you more space to mill about. Additionally, if you’ve chosen a location with water or forest views you won’t need to decorate because nature is your backdrop! Simpler is better with outdoor weddings.

Cons

  • Pricey rentals – Most people believe having outdoor weddings is cheaper. However, you have to take into account the rentals required for these events. If your location doesn’t have an indoor facility then you need to rent a large tent, dance floor, tables, and chairs. These large rentals can be quite pricey and time consuming to set up and tear down.
  • Restrooms – Most outdoor venues will have indoor restrooms. However, they may be small and be a considerable distance away from the event site.
  • Elements of nature – Other than weather, you also have to think about the bug issue. You may need to provide bug spray for your guests or use bug repellant plants and candles for décor.

Best of Both Worlds

An ideal venue has a little bit of both to offer in which you can plan on the ceremony being outside but use the indoor space as a back-up plan. At The Historic Post Office, we have an outdoor gated lot that can serve as wedding party parking or a ceremony or cocktail hour location. (And to let you in on a little secret, this space will be receiving some improvements in the coming months!) We are also directly across from Mill Point Park  and a short drive from Fort Monroe that includes two outdoor ceremony sites. So if you’re torn on what type of venue to choose, choose one that has both!

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