How to Plan the Perfect Outdoor Wedding

27th Jun 2019

At the start of the year, we were thrilled to announce that our wedding ceremony license had been extended to include the front porch and temple overlooking the lake. In England, ceremonies must take place in a structure with a solid, permanent roof with a designated license. Birdsall House holds a ceremony license for these two ‘outdoor’ areas as well as seven staterooms. This is in addition to the Church within our grounds which is available for religious ceremonies.

Securing a venue that can give you the look and feel of an outdoor wedding ceremony can be hard to find. Advice on how to plan the perfect outdoor celebration can be even harder.

Let’s take a look at some top tips for couples wanting to make the most of the outdoors on their wedding day:

outdoor wedding temple with bride and groom

Photo Credit: Dominic Wright Photography

That ‘roof’ refers to the space above your heads and not your guests

The law in England can be confusing. Many people think “permanent roof” means outdoors is simply out of the question. But, as long as you and your partner are covered by the roof, your witnesses and guests can be outside. So in our two outdoor ceremony locations, you and your fiancé may say your vows under the temple. We’ll place chairs around it for your guests. Likewise, you may stand on the grand front porch with rows of chairs facing the stately home for guests to watch you say “I do”.

wedding car outside Birdsall Estate

Flexibility is key

While we are proud we can offer something so bespoke here, what’s really bespoke is the opportunity to then be flexible – this is Yorkshire, England after all! It’s a good idea to plan for less agreeable weather. Fortunately, here at Birdsall we have another seven state rooms licensed for ceremonies so we would work with you to plan an alternative should the weather go against us.

bride and groom exchanging rings at a Birdsall wedding ceremony

Photo Credit: Dominic Wright Photography

Outdoors does not mean you have to sacrifice style!

We work with a number of dedicated suppliers who will ensure the space is stunning and tailored to you. From choosing chairs that fit in with your taste to working with florists who know how to design bouquets that are resilient in the breeze, we can help you get the perfect look and take full advantage of the surrounding Yorkshire Wolds.

bride, groom and table at their outdoor wedding at Birdsall

Photo Credit: Natalie Hamilton Photography

Break up areas so your guests still mingle

Usually, basing your celebration outdoors means working with a bigger space. To stop guests from spreading out everywhere  consider how you can assign different parts of the grounds to different parts of the day. Just beside our stately home is a twelfth century monastery. So far, every couple has utilised this space differently – some used it as the area for post-ceremony drinks, others for photographs. At one event, comfortable outdoor furniture was placed on one of the lawns outside the front of the house for people to mingle in whereas for other events we’ve seen marquees used on the back lawn, overlooking the lake and this is where everyone spent the night dancing.

We work with the Yorkshire Bartender who has a number of options for mobile bars so you can run a bar inside or keep everything outdoors – they even have a converted Landrover you can use as a bar! The great thing about an outdoor wedding is the possibilities are endless. Just pay us a visit and start to think about where the different elements of your special day might work.

Callum Houston with The Yorkshire Explorer from Yorkshire Bartender

Callum Houston with The Yorkshire Explorer from Yorkshire Bartender

wedding couple with confetti

Photo Credit: Amy B Pics


Outdoor lighting is key. It looks stunning in photographs, creates the wow factor for guests arriving for the evening and helps to add style to your day. We also light up the house which keeps guests awestruck well into the night.

Birdsall outdoor wedding venue

Photo Credit: Inevision Photography

wedding breakfast table setting at Birdsall House

Choose a photographer who is prepared to get their wellies on

There’s no point having an outdoor wedding if you can’t take advantage of the location for your photos! Our country house overlooks the Yorkshire Wolds and is surrounded by manicured grounds and meadows. If you’ve got a photographer in mind, chat to them about how they might achieve different shots. We’ve seen photographers neck deep in the fields surrounding Birdsall to get the perfect picture! Use #yorkshireweddings on Instagram to find a photographer.

husband and wife embracing at Birdsall

Photo Credit: Amy B Pics

Talk to your venue

Most importantly of all, chat to your venue about exactly what you are looking for. If you’ve seen a space you’d like to use but you’re not sure how it can be done, say so. Here at Birdsall, our home is exclusively yours for your wedding. We also ensure the grounds can be taken full advantage of for your day. Get in touch if you’d like to chat with our wedding team about your special day.

grounds at Birdsall Estates

Posted in Wedding PlanningWeddings

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