If you are tying the knot in the summer months, then there is nothing quite like getting married outdoors. Whether it’s on a beautiful lawn, a beach or somewhere wild and gorgeous.
Of course, we live in a part of the world that does not guarantee good weather any time of year, let alone during summer. But does that mean you have to miss out on saying ‘I do’ in the fresh air? It certainly doesn’t!
Hallmark Hotels are renowned for hosting and helping plan some of the loveliest weddings this country has ever seen, and we know a thing or two about al fresco ceremonies!
Here are our tips and thoughts on having an outdoor wedding, defying the weather forecast and having the best day of your life in the open air.
The legal bit
Firstly, it’s important to know the law in the UK when it comes to getting married outdoors.
In England and Wales, you can currently legally get married outside, provided you are solemnised under a fixed structure which is licensed. This can mean gazebos, arbours, pavilions, and other such roofed structure, but they must hold a license.
In Scotland, you can get married pretty much anywhere you like, provided you have a licensed registrar, minister, pastor or celebrant to complete the marriage.
The good news is, the law could be about to change! Following the release of the budget at the end of 2018, a review of wedding venues sought to lift restrictions of outdoor wedding venues in a bid to help cut wedding costs. This means that in the near future, couples should be able to choose their perfect wedding location and shouldn’t need a permanent roof to validate those vows!
In the meantime, let’s look at the kinds of outdoor weddings we can put together for you at Hallmark Hotels, so that you can get a good idea of how to plan an al fresco wedding day.
Say I do in a Sculpted Courtyard or Terraced Garden
Picture an elegant courtyard garden adorned with stunning sculptures, secret archways, and lush foliage.
You can have your guests seated in rows looking towards one of these archways or roofed sculpture, where you and your beloved can gaze at each other throughout your ceremony, while all the while feeling the sun on your backs and a scented breeze on your faces. It’s the perfect scene.
At Warrington, we have a sculpted courtyard which is licensed for al fresco ceremonies, along with an indoor wedding suite covered in fairy lights – perfect for an evening reception!
The courtyard provides privacy for a picture-perfect post-ceremony photoshoot. You could even enjoy a BBQ reception for a lovely casual celebration in the open air. The best part of this amazing wedding venue is the team of wizard wedding planners. They are friendly, experienced and have the contacts of every top local supplier in the business, so every last detail is taken care of! Just read the Hallmark Hotel Warrington wedding brochure to find out more.
At Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen, the Grade II listed brick and stucco hotel is a magnificent setting for an al fresco wedding, with a backdrop of sculptures, marble arches and an unforgettable four-storey staircase complete with ornate iron balustrade.
In the elegant Italian terraced gardens, your ceremony can be as intimate as you like and your reception the party of the century, with the help of one of our six stunning banqueting suites.
Chester is a special historic city that oozes charm but remains a bustling metropolis. So, this wedding venue is the perfect oasis in the heart of the city.
Guests will be blown away by the award-winning food and theatrical décor, and the happy couple will be wowed by the awesome honeymoon suite with its enormous bath and four poster bed.
If this sounds like the wedding of your dreams, then explore the Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen wedding brochure for more information.
Celebrate the Scandinavian way in a Tipi
This innovative venue choice will keep your guests talking for years to come. It’s the perfect choice if you want to have your wedding party outside but without the risk of it being ruined by the weather.
At Hallmark Hotel Hull, you can choose to host your wedding celebration in one of these lovely tipis, against the stunning backdrop of the Humber bridge! Can you picture a more magical fairy tale? It also adds a real uniqueness to your wedding.
These quirky Scandinavian tipis add real character to your celebration and can be ordered as single, double and triple tent setups, depending on your requirements.
This is a truly charming way to host your party after the perfect ceremony inside in one of our gorgeous licensed wedding rooms. And if it rains or gets a bit chilly, you’ll be safely sheltered and cocooned in a chic, well-designed tent with an incredible view behind you, where you can dance till you drop!
Find out more about Boutipi weddings at Hallmark Hotel Hull.
Tie the Knot in an English Country Garden
When you think of a perfect English summer wedding, you probably picture a gorgeous manor house nestled in acres of landscaped gardens, a croquet lawn, dozens of colourful hats and impeccably dressed staff serving bubbly, right?
At Hallmark Hotel Stourport Manor, you can marry in one of the gorgeous licensed suites inside this picturesque country house hotel or you can say ‘I do’ under the sparkling bandstand in the gardens.
You could then hold an evening barbecue on our beautiful outdoor patio for your reception. The possibilities are endless.
If you are planning your wedding nearer the capital, then nestled in Bedfordshire, we have Hallmark Hotel Flitwick Manor. A gorgeous 17th century mansion which comes complete with a quintessentially English croquet lawn.
Have your perfect English summer wedding here, where you can hold your ceremony in one of our 3 licensed suites followed by a reception in the gardens under our fabulously elegant marquee. That way you can enjoy a traditional country wedding, embrace the outdoors as well as have access to historic indoor spaces should the weather not cooperate.
You can also hold your ceremony under our stunning licensed bandstand in the Lawn Weddings Pavilion at Hallmark Hotel London Chigwell Prince Regent amongst sweeping lawns and blossom trees.
Or, say ‘I do’ in our very own 1930s chapel at this boutique hotel, set in a listed Georgian mansion, and then hold an outdoor reception so you can enjoy the night air whilst having bubbly and canapes with your nearest and dearest.
Get married by the sea
Finally, what could be more perfect than a sea view and a sea breeze whilst you say your vows of forever? If you choose Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton situated right on the glorious south coast, inches from Bournemouth’s stretch of award-winning sandy beaches, you can enjoy an al fresco civil ceremony under our Sea View Gazebo.
The gardens are private, so you can have the space as your own for you and your guests. Get married surrounded by palm trees and with a breath-taking panoramic view of the sea; you’d think you were getting married in the Mediterranean!
Check out Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton wedding brochure for more information on suites, packages and accommodation for your big day.
We hope we have provided some inspiration on planning your perfect outdoor wedding. Take a look at our list of Hallmark Hotel wedding venues so you can find your nearest venue and start planning your happily ever after.