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  • Writer's pictureLydia Mattern

Indoor or Outdoor Wedding Venue: Which is Right for You?

By: Lydia Mattern

When you think of your wedding day, what comes to mind?

Are you standing at the altar of the church your family has attended for years? Or are you feeling the breeze across your face as you say your vows in a meadow surrounded by wildflowers?

Is your style elegant and romantic, achieved in a high-end, indoor wedding venue? Or is your rustic, boho-chic wedding achieved nestled in towering redwood trees?

When you begin to plan your wedding, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether you will have an indoor or outdoor wedding so you can choose your venue accordingly.

For some, the decision may be easy--they know exactly where they want to have it. For others, deciding between an indoor or outdoor venue may take more time and consideration.

That is where we can help. At Epic Thyme, we have planned hundreds of both indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions. While both provide unique elements, there are definitely aspects to consider to make the best choice for you and your guests.

Indoor Wedding Venue

Indoor wedding venues come in all shapes and sizes. From church sanctuaries to hotel banquet halls to rustic barns and high-end country clubs, there is a variety of choices. For smaller weddings, couples may even choose to have their wedding at their home or private estate.

Regardless of the type of indoor wedding venue you choose, knowing the pros and cons will help you decide if an indoor wedding is the direction you want to go for your special day.

Indoor Wedding Venue Pros:


Indoor wedding venues offer a more controlled environment, especially when it comes to the weather. With heating and cooling elements usually built into the space, you won’t have to worry about your guests being too hot or cold or getting caught in a rainstorm.

Even if the weather turns on you, with an indoor wedding venue, you will be “safe” and will not need a backup plan.


Indoor wedding venues have packages that include necessities such as tables and chairs, lighting, a dance floor, restrooms, and adequate space for wedding vendors. While it may not allow for as much creative freedom, an all-inclusive indoor wedding venue will likely save you time and money by using the structural features and vendors readily available.


With the climate-controlled space an indoor venue offers, you can stress-less because there are likely to be fewer surprises. Weather won’t be an issue--your wedding cake won’t melt in the sun and bugs won’t find their way into your guests’ drinks.

And you probably won’t need a “Plan B” in place because “Plan A” is pretty fool-proof.

Indoor Wedding Venue Cons:

Less Creative Control

With an all-inclusive space, you will have less control over design and styling. While you can definitely still turn the indoor space into the wedding of your dreams, certain elements, such as artificial lighting, paint color, and flooring, will not change.

Although, an experienced wedding planner with design expertise, such as Epic Thyme, can work with these permanent features and incorporate them into your wedding design.

Limited Space

When choosing an indoor wedding venue, space is often limited to the room or rooms included in your package. It is important to consider the size of your guest list to ensure everything and everyone will feel comfortable in the space provided.

With limited indoor space, you may consider finding a venue with options for indoor-outdoor flow, but we’ll talk more about that in a moment.

Outdoor Wedding Venue

There is peace of mind that comes with indoor wedding venues. If you are hoping to ensure a smooth wedding day experience and want to avoid any surprises, an indoor space may be right for you.

If, on the other hand, you and your fiancé are an adventurous couple, enjoy “going with the flow,” and don’t mind needing a “Plan B,” an outdoor wedding venue may provide you with the flexibility and freedom you desire for your wedding.

Outdoor Wedding Venue Pros:

More Creative Control

With an outdoor wedding venue, the world is your oyster. There are a variety of options for outdoor weddings, some that come with structure--like venues specifically designed for outdoor weddings--and others that provide complete creative control.

With an outdoor venue, your wedding vibe doesn’t have to go with the vibe of a hotel or country club, and you can choose every detail from the table settings to the light fixtures to ensure you achieve the atmosphere you want on your special day.

Breathtaking Views

With breathtaking views, natural lighting, and scenic backdrops, there are so many beautiful outdoor wedding venue options to be the setting of your wedding. Whether you are looking out over the beautiful Lake Tahoe or find yourself surrounded by towering redwood trees, there is something uniquely special about getting married in the great outdoors. Plus, it makes for spectacular wedding photos.

Spacious Setting

Outdoor wedding venues can provide a more spacious setting for you, your wedding guests, and your vendors. While you may need to get a permit to have your celebration in certain outdoor locations, such as national parks or private beaches, this won’t stop you from breathing in the fresh air and good times all day and night long.

Outdoor Wedding Venue Cons:

Unpredictable Weather

All those amazing outdoor wedding venue pros we just talked about can easily get disrupted by unpredictable weather. Mother Nature is beautiful, but she doesn’t follow anyone’s rules for what she can or cannot do on a certain day.

Because of this, it is vital to have a “Plan B” if you choose an outdoor wedding venue. Whether that includes having a tent available in case of a rainstorm or unique cooling elements in place for a hot summer day, it is important to find creative ways to keep your guests comfortable through inclement weather.

Increased Cost

If you choose a random field or mountaintop for your wedding, you likely aren’t going to find any restrooms, electrical outlets, or tables and chairs nearby. Because of this, your wedding planner will need to partner with outside wedding vendors to acquire all the necessary equipment to make your wedding day come together, which can become costly. Fortunately, at Epic Thyme, we know all the best ones and can help you book them at the best price!

Can’t Decide Between Indoor or Outdoor? Have Both!

If you’ve made it this far and still are not sure whether to choose an indoor or outdoor wedding venue, we have a solution for you: choose both! Epic Thyme knows venues that have it all.

1. Look into wedding venues that offer both indoor and outdoor spaces. This way you can keep the food inside in the climate-controlled environment but take breathtaking wedding photos outdoors.

2. Have an outdoor wedding ceremony with an indoor reception or vice versa. With this option, you get the best of both worlds. You get to say “I do” with the ocean or mountains as your backdrop and then dance the night away inside where there is air conditioning.

3. Choose an outdoor setting with wedding tents. If you want the pros of an outdoor wedding with protection from the elements, consider having a tented wedding. This provides structure and protection for your guests with the flexibility of being outdoors.

Have the Perfect Indoor or Outdoor Wedding in Lake Tahoe

If you are planning your indoor or outdoor wedding in Lake Tahoe, we are here to provide recommendations for planning and design.

At Epic Thyme, we know the potential issues for both types of wedding venues and have solutions in place to ensure your wedding day goes as smoothly as possible.

Contact us today for indoor and outdoor Lake Tahoe wedding recommendations, and let’s start planning your celebration today!

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