A couple kisses after getting married at their outdoor ceremony.

5 Important Questions and Answers about Outdoor Wedding Venues

Planning your wedding is an exciting time in your life. It’s the day you have dreamed about and want to go perfectly. You’ve always had your heart set on an outdoor ceremony but are fearful because of unpredictable weather. What happens if it rains? A tent will take away from the natural beauty of an outdoor wedding, and you don’t want to be soaking wet in your wedding attire.

Imagine, instead, choosing an outdoor wedding venue that allows you to take in the natural scenery of the outdoors but gives you an equally beautiful indoor location in the event of rain. When you book with Melhorn Manor, an upscale wedding venue located in beautiful Mount Joy, PA, this dream can be a reality. Our picturesque outdoor areas, including a gazebo, fountain, and pond, are the perfect place to hold an outdoor wedding ceremony, with a plan B location of one of our three stunning indoor locations in inclement weather.

Learn more about hosting an outdoor wedding, and then schedule a tour to view the outdoor and indoor locations for your special day at Melhorn Manor.

1. Why Should I Have an Outdoor Ceremony or Cocktail Hour?

If you close your eyes and imagine your perfect wedding day, what do you see around you? If it’s a picturesque barn and farmhouse wedding venue with stunning backdrops, an outdoor wedding may be right for you. There are a host of benefits of having a beautiful wedding outside, including:

  • Natural Beauty: With clear blue skies, beautiful trees, mountains, and water features in the background, very few places are more beautiful than the great outdoors. At Melhorn Manor, outdoor ceremonies can also take place against our historic barn, giving you and your guests an authentic and natural wedding experience.
  • Less Décor: Since Mother Nature has already decorated the outdoors for you, there’s little you need to add to make the day yours. Perhaps you’d like some flowers to line the aisle or a table up front with a memorial candle on it. Beyond these items, there’s not much more that needs to be done to make an outdoor wedding venue picture-perfect. As a bonus, you’ll save money on the décor line item of your wedding budget with an outdoor wedding!
  • Extra Space: Some event spaces have limited capacity and can make your guests feel crushed together and uncomfortable. With an outdoor wedding venue in Lancaster County, PA, like Melhorn Manor, there is plenty of room outside for up to 300 guests, where everyone has extra breathing room. Plus, if kids get a little impatient, their parents can take them to the back of the ceremony location to calm them down but still be able to enjoy the ceremony.
  • Natural Lighting: When taking pictures of your big day, there is nothing better than the natural lighting from the sun. This lighting can make for fantastic pictures, particularly if the day is partly cloudy. Try scheduling your ceremony at the golden hour – the last hour of sunset for the day – for extraordinary lighting.

These memories will last a lifetime, and you’ll look back at these pictures for years to come. Make sure they’re perfect by booking an outdoor wedding at Melhorn Manor.

2. What Do You Do if It Rains at Your Outdoor Wedding?

An indoor ceremony at the Tobacco Barn of Melhorn Manor

Brides and grooms everywhere have faced this dilemma. No one can predict the weather accurately, especially when booking your wedding months or years in advance. You have a few options if it rains on your wedding day. Having a backup location off-site, putting up a tent (which could still get wet depending on the severity of the weather), or booking an outdoor wedding venue with additional indoor space, like Melhorn Manor, as a backup plan are all options.

We have stunning locations for weddings both outside and inside. If it rains on your wedding day, your ceremony could easily be moved inside one of our barns. The Equestrian Barn has two fully climate-controlled ceremony locations from which to choose. You could also have your wedding in the Tobacco Barn with its authentic stone wall or the Corn Barn with stunning original wood beams.

But don’t worry, you won’t be sharing your wedding day with farm animals! While Melhorn Manor used to be a fully functioning farm, it has been since renovated for use for special events like yours.

3. What Month Is Best for an Outdoor Wedding in Pennsylvania?

Typically, the best months for weddings are just when the seasons start to change. May and June are perfect spring/summer months when the weather is not too hot, and the grass and trees are green. September and early October are also perfect fall months for an outdoor wedding in Pennsylvania, where you can use the stunning beauty of the changing leaves to add to your outdoor wedding décor.

4. What Is the Best Time of Day for an Outdoor Wedding?

The best time of day for an outdoor wedding is late in the afternoon, between 3:30 PM and 7:00 PM. As we mentioned, if you want to take advantage of the “golden hour” for pictures, consider having your ceremony closer to when the sun sets.

You don’t want to leave your wedding reception to take pictures just because the lighting is nice. But if you schedule your ceremony just right, you can take advantage of that beautiful natural light.

Additionally, for the warmer months of the year, having the wedding after the hottest part of the day will make you, your wedding party, and your guests more comfortable.

5. How Do I Keep My Wedding Guests Comfortable at My Outdoor Wedding?

Besides scheduling the wedding ceremony for later in the day, there are other things you can do to make your wedding guests more comfortable. When it’s warm out, have buckets of ice-cold water bottles on hand to give your guests. Consider printing your wedding program on fans that guests can use to cool themselves during the ceremony. You may also consider giving out travel-size sunscreen to help protect your guests.

Consider a hot chocolate bar for cooler months when guests arrive or at cocktail hour. You may also want to provide warm blankets for guests to cozy under while watching your ceremony. In addition, if it’s windy that day and you’re wearing a veil, secure it tightly so that it doesn’t fly off in the middle of your ceremony!

Fall in Love with Our Outdoor Wedding Venue

If having a wedding outside has always been your dream, make it happen right here in Lancaster, PA, at our outdoor wedding venue. We have the space available if you need a backup plan in case it rains, and we have beautiful backdrops for photos. With plenty of catering options and all the benefits of an outdoor wedding, you won’t regret choosing us for your farmhouse wedding venue.