Ideas for Cheap Outdoor Summer Weddings

by Krista Sheehan

During the warm spring and summer months, many couples opt for an outdoor wedding. Fortunately for them, they can easily customize outdoor weddings to fit any budget. Rather than hosting a traditional and extravagant outdoor wedding, consider an unconventional wedding idea. For example, you can easily turn your backyard into a beach paradise or barbecue party for a wedding. You can also use local parks to host a cheap outdoor summer wedding.

Backyard Barbecue

Make your wedding a casual affair by using a backyard barbecue theme. The bride should opt for a simple sundress, while the groom can wear a short-sleeved button-up shirt with khakis. Use the wedding invitation to inform guests of the casual dress code. Place several chairs and small tables around the yard. Extravagant decorations will be unnecessary. Line the yard with tiki torches; they serve as both decorations and a source of light. Serve grilled hot dogs, bratwurst, chicken and hamburgers. Allow guests to serve themselves at a buffet table with fresh fruits, salty snacks and deli salads. Dessert ideas include brownies, homemade cookies, apple pie, cupcakes or ice cream treats. If space allows, set up games such as badminton, horseshoes and bean bag toss in the backyard.

Beach Paradise

Create a beach paradise in your backyard for a cheap and romantic outdoor wedding. Set up round tables around the yard and cover them with ocean-blue tablecloths. Use hurricane vases filled with sand and seashells for centerpieces. Scatter smooth stones and pebbles around the centerpieces and on the cake table and buffet tables for extra decoration. Use candles and paper lanterns to light the area as the sun sets. Rather than hiring a DJ or live band, create your own music playlist on a computer or music player. Allow the air to fill with the sounds of soft music and mingling guests. Stick to your budget by forgoing an expensive wedding cake and instead opting for multiple tiers of cupcakes, which will also be easier for wedding guests to eat while socializing.

Play at a Park

Most parks and nature preserve areas will allow you to rent space on the grounds for a wedding. Contact the park’s administrative office for the park’s rules, regulations and associated fees. You might be able to bring tables, chairs and portable toilets into the area. If the park does not allow this, attempt to reserve a space close to park benches or picnic tables. Encourage wedding guests to enjoy the park’s amenities, such as playgrounds. Some parks do not allow visitors to serve alcohol on the grounds. In this case, serve punch and fruit-flavored sparkling water. Keep the food simple; this keeps the budget on track and allows guests to eat while standing. Food ideas include finger sandwiches, meat and vegetable kabobs and small snacks. After the wedding, invite close friends and family members back to your home for dessert and drinks.

Photo Credits

  • Laura Ford/Demand Media