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When I helped my best friend plan her summer outdoor wedding, there were many "plan B's" that had to be put into place, just in case of rain. Her budget was mid-range, but I learned a lot about planning for a good-sized wedding on a budget in the middle of thunderstorm season. We looked at several locations and venues, and we got lots of great information about outdoor weddings and locations around our area.

Outdoor Wedding Venue Ideas

There are many ideas for an outdoor wedding venue that cover all of the bases as far as your budget is concerned. For a smaller budget, start with your local parks. Ask about renting a location by the lake or a spot at the foot of a mountain. Be sure you have a wonderful view in the background or a place that overlooks nature. A beautiful home with a great backyard, whether it is yours or a friend's, is a great and inexpensive place to have your wedding. It is usually best for a smaller wedding, so you will all be able to fit inside the house if the weather is bad. The beach is also a great place to have a wedding ceremony, and you can tell your guests that they don't even need to wear shoes! Some resorts offer wedding packages, so there is a large range as far as budgets for beach wedding ideas.

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If your budget is a bit larger, look into the grounds of a resort or hotel with beautiful scenery. There may be options for moving indoors if need be. This will also provide a place for wedding guests and the bridal party to stay overnight if necessary. Some larger farms provide a great place to have outdoor weddings as well. There are some great ideas for farm weddings if you want something more casual or "country," and there is usually a place to go indoors, such as a cool renovated barn. If your budget is completely over the top, check into a destination wedding on a tropical island or on top of a mountain. There are resorts that can offer packages if your budget isn't an issue.

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Tips for Saving Money

When you get married can affect the price that you'll end up paying. Saturdays are obviously the most popular days to get married. Consider saying your I-do's on a Sunday afternoon or a Friday night: It may cost you less for a venue. The time of day matters as well. Morning weddings may not give the bridal party as much time to get ready, but they can cost a bit less. If you can do it, plan for a wedding brunch or lunch instead of a dinner for your guests. This will save you a pretty penny as well.

Where you get married can also save you some money. There are some less-known places to have your reception that will not cost as much. Smaller B&Bs will not cost the same to rent as a resort or hotel. They can also offer a more picturesque location for an intimate wedding. Public parks, museums, and art galleries are also wonderful places to have your reception that don't cost as much. Instead of heading to the largest city in your area, have your wedding in a smaller town outside of the metropolis. Usually, you can find better rates in less populated areas.

Backup Plans

Whenever you plan an outdoor wedding, it is best that you always have a backup plan in place. You never know when a summer thunderstorm will roll in or if you'll have to deal with a light summer shower. Try to find a venue within your budget that will allow you to go indoors or put up shelter for your guests, or else provide umbrellas for your guests, if possible. Check on renting a tent just in case it will be needed. It is better to be safe than sorry.

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