Outdoor Wedding vs Indoor Wedding: The Pros And Cons of Each

By The Sanctuary On Penn

It’s fun to dream about all the different possibilities for your wedding, but there will come a time where you’ll need to make some big decisions. One of the most important of those decisions is where your wedding will actually take place. 

There are tons of amazing outdoor and indoor venues to choose from, but are you stuck trying to narrow your choices? Don’t worry, because we are here to help! Here the pros and cons of both outdoor and indoor weddings to help you make the right decision for you. 

Outdoor Wedding vs Indoor: Outdoor Wedding Pros

Incredible Photos

outdoor wedding vs indoor

When it comes to your wedding pictures, nothing beats the natural lighting. Whether you’re catching the first morning rays or you’re having a sunset ceremony, your photos are guaranteed to look gorgeous. 

Apart from natural lighting, nature always serves as a great backdrop for photos. You can’t just mimic the natural beauty of a field of flowers or a mountaintop. 

More Space

outdoor wedding vs indoor

A ballroom or other indoor wedding venues usually have more space constraints. If you’re planning an intimate wedding, this should be fine. But if you’re planning a larger, more elaborate wedding, having an outdoor venue might be the better option for you. 

Easier Décor

outside ceremony

As previously  mentioned, it doesn’t get better than nature when it comes to backdrops and lighting. That said, you’re not going to have to spend as much money on décor!

An outdoor venue serves as both setting and adornment. But if you do have some ideas of your own, again, an outdoor venue comes with a lot of space. So you can really go to town

on all of your dream concepts. 

Outdoor Wedding Vs. Indoor: Outdoor Wedding Cons

Nature Is Unpredictable

outdoor wedding

With an outdoor wedding, your venue isn’t always guaranteed. With any kind of extreme wedding conditions, your dream venue unfortunately flies out the window. 

Outdoor weddings usually require a backup plan, and that costs both extra time and money to plan. It’s important to keep all of this in mind when budgeting. 

Difficult Reservations

waiting list

Many outdoor wedding venues have an off-season. In other words, they might not be available year round, which means they are harder to reserve. It’s likely that demands will be high, especially for more popular venues

If you know exactly what outdoor wedding venue you want, it’s important to stay on top of planning and book the venue far in advance. 


outdoor wedding vs indoor

With an outdoor wedding venue, Mother Nature is a guest whether you like it or not, and that means bugs. Bugs on the flower arrangements, bugs near the food, bugs on the guests. 

If you don’t mind the smell of bug spray (or if you and your spouse happen to be bug scientists), then absolutely go for it. Otherwise, consider how much having a few mosquitos would hinder the festivities. 

Outdoor Wedding vs. Indoor: Indoor Wedding Pros


indoor wedding

The good thing about an indoor wedding is that the weather likely won’t change your wedding plans completely. The venue will likely stay gorgeous and just how you planned it through rain or shine. 

Fewer Logistics

outdoor wedding vs indoor

Indoor wedding venues often have all inclusive packages to make the planning process easier. Essentially, you’ll find all your vendors in one place (flowers, DJ, caterer, etc).

Of course, if you have a certain vendor in mind, the venue can probably comply. But not having to organize several names and contracts certainly takes some stress off. 

Air Conditioning

outdoor wedding vs indoor

Depending on your wedding’s dress code, there’s a high chance that people may get hot in their fancy garments. You can probably have a few fans outdoors, but that’s nothing compared to air conditioning indoors. 

AC isn’t just ideal for staying cool, it’ll keep your food and desserts fresh too. That’s the power of climate control! 

Outdoor Wedding Vs. Indoor: Indoor Wedding Cons

Décor Costs

fancy wedding decor

Many indoor venues already come with certain decorations, but you’ll likely want to spruce up the room to match your theme and vibe. Unfortunately, that comes at a cost. 

If your dream venue happens to be indoors, just keep in mind you may have to budget for décor to get the exact vision that you want. 

More Rules

wedding rules

If you’re in a more controlled environment, that also comes with more outside control Indoor weddings come with many more rules and restrictions. 

Read your wedding contract carefully (and have someone else read over it too) to really understand what you’re getting from the venue. 

Harder Photography

Professional wedding photographer in black shirt and with shoulder straps holding cameras like a guns against the green garden

There are some inherent challenges to photography when it comes to indoor venues. With the smaller space, your photographer might have to jump through more hoops to get the perfect shot, and the flash might disturb some guests.

Also, indoor and outdoor photography are a totally different deal. Look for a photographer who works well indoors and with artificial lighting. 

Ultimately, it’s best to weigh whether the pros of a venue outweigh its cons. If you truly feel like you’re torn, then you can always compromise with an indoor ceremony and an outdoor reception, or vice versa. 
You can certainly consult with your wedding planner, but at the end of the day, trust your gut. The perfect venue will speak to you!