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An Outdoor Wedding in April?

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I live in Nashville, TN, which, for the record, can be quite unpredictable when it comes to the weather.  Now, I feel a bit ahead of the game with an amateur Meteorologist for a fiancé, but there still remains the potential of being rained out and thus, the concern that comes coupled with it.

Cameron and I both want to have an outdoor wedding.  We are youth leaders at our church and spend many hours a week within the walls of the church, which we love.  When we picture exchanging vows and celebrating the beginning of the rest of our lives, it is out in the open.

I have spent weeks upon weeks researching venues in Nashville that can facilitate our rather large guest list and not break the bank.  I confess, when I first determined my budget, I had no idea how large our guest list would be, but that is for another post.  When your budget is only $6000, paying $1500 just to set up chairs is hard to justify.

So, as a result, Cameron and I began investigating alternative locations.  There was no shortage of options, but again, for every option, there was an equal and opposite condition.   It seemed like every option came with a condition that sought to punch a hole in my dreams.

One location we considered was Bowie Nature Park.  They have a beautiful outdoor classroom that can be rented for $75 for the day.  The catch: It only holds 100 people and allows no food or drink inside the classroom.  Sad days…it was really pretty.

I know the easy answer is rent a tent , but once you add on staking fees and permits, that pesky little price continues to climb up.  So, now, we are exploring (and may just have settled on) having it in beautiful Edwin Warner Park.  We can rent a shelter that, with a little gussying up, will be awesome and cost less than $30.  The surrounding park area is beautiful and lush and promises to serve as a great backdrop for our event.

For the record, we do have a backup indoor venue that can be used if necessary, so we’re not just flying blind.  I’ll keep you posted as plans unfold.

But I’m curious, are we crazy—any advice from those who have had an outdoor wedding in the heart of spring?


is a bride blogger who got married in 2013. You can read her wedding planning posts here.