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bride and groom cutting their wedding cake on herman hill’s river bluff with locks of love fence in the background
Memories Lasting a Lifetime

How to Plan Your Outdoor Wedding at Hermann Hill

All weddings are magical, but outdoor weddings are exquisite! That’s why our creative coordinators have prepared our top tips for planning your outdoor wedding at Hermann Hill.

There’s something to be said about getting back to nature when it comes to saying, “I do.” Whether it’s basking in the glow of a gorgeous sunset or reveling in the calming presence of old-growth forests and rustic, sun-dappled vineyards, an outdoor wedding at Hermann Hill is simply breathtaking.

The stunning natural scenery of Missouri Wine Country is the perfect place for an intimate outdoor elopement, elegant micro wedding or large family-focused ceremony. Plus, at Hermann Hill, our outdoor venues are safe and comfortable for both you and your guests. Learn more about our tailored, all-inclusive elopement and wedding packages.

Our creative wedding coordinators have shared these excellent tips for planning a most memorable outdoor wedding celebration.

Our Tips on Planning Your Outdoor Wedding

1. Choose Your Outdoor Site

Hermann Hill offers sites that can be tailored to your needs. Choose from the stunning River Bluff, which accommodates up to 300 guests, or our charming gazebo, which can host up to 100 guests or be an intimate setting for just the two of you. Whether the outdoor wedding ceremony is high atop the rocky bluffs or nestled in the classic white gazebo, your wedding photos will be breathtaking.

2. Have a Backup Plan

A backup plan is always an important item on your outdoor wedding checklist. Regardless of your planning efforts, there’s no way to control Mother Nature should she decide to throw a temper tantrum on your special day. Prepare to tame that temptress by preparing a backup plan in case of hot, chilly or wet weather.

At Hermann Hill, we’ve got you “covered”! Our multiple venue options make it easy to accommodate quick changeovers up to an hour before the ceremony, from outdoors to indoors when necessary!

bride and groom holding hands with four bridesmaids lined up behind the bride

3. Plan Versatile Florals and Decorations

Design your florals and decorations to be adaptable to both outdoor and indoor options. This makes for a seamless transition if needed. Things to consider include bright sunlight, wind, and rain. Additionally, we recommend using seasonal florals as they are both cost-effective and the freshest and most vibrant options.

4. Include a Cocktail Hour

Providing a cocktail hour before the ceremony enhances your guests’ experience. Serve refreshing drinks and appetizers as they mingle in your outdoor setting. Margaritas are perfect for warmer days, while spiked cider or hot chocolate adds coziness to cooler fall days.

5. Distribute Party Favors

Offer guests practical and fun favors such as sunglasses, fans, and parasols for warmer days, cozy throw blankets and hand warmers for chilly days. These items can enhance the comfort and enjoyment of your outdoor celebration.

5. Provide Climate-Controlled Areas

If extreme weather is expected, ensure there is an indoor, climate-controlled space for guests to wait comfortably before the ceremony. It’s also important to inform your elderly guests and parents with little ones who are most affected by the heat.

6. Consider Photo Ops

Plan your ceremony and photo sessions around sunset to capture the golden hour for breathtaking outdoor photos. Sunsets over the River Bluff are absolutely stunning and provide amazing and beautiful memories.

In addition, if your location is part of a bald eagle flyway, remind your photographer and videographer to be on the lookout for these amazing shots.

7. Creating Ambiance with Beautiful Music

Have your musicians or DJ start playing music at least 20-30 minutes before the ceremony to create a welcoming atmosphere. Your choice of music sets the tone and enhances the enjoyment of your special day.

wedding table setting with white tablecloth, gold chargers, dark blue napkins, silverware, glassware, party favors, and decor

8. Try a Reverse Wedding for Summer Days

On hot summer days, consider reversing your wedding. Start by socializing with your guests during a cocktail hour, then host the dinner followed by the ceremony, and finish with a dance party. This unique approach keeps everyone comfortable and engaged.

9. Prioritize Guest Comfort

While you may dream of an outdoor wedding, ensure your guests are comfortable to maximize their enjoyment of you and your special day. If conditions are unsavory outdoors, move the ceremony indoors. Guests will appreciate your consideration, and you will be more relaxed and can still capture beautiful outdoor photos of just the two of you. That’s Midwestern hospitality at its finest — something we at Hermann Hill know quite a bit about!

10. Parking Considerations

Unlike most barn or open-field venues, Hermann Hill offers paved, well-lit areas for your and your guests’ safety. Handicap parking is also available to accommodate guests with mobility challenges.

Venues with parking on fields or lawns can be extremely challenging after heavy rains. After your reception comes to a close, the last thing you want is to have to rely on a local farm tractor and chains to pull out your guests’ cars — in the dark!

Additional Fun Ideas For An Outdoor Wedding

Here are a few more ideas our wedding planners would love to share as you plan your big day outdoors!

  • A BBQ wedding dinner may usually be associated with a Western or rustic theme—but it doesn’t have to!
  • We already mentioned a sunset wedding ceremony, but why not consider planning a sunrise ceremony? This is a beautiful way to celebrate an elopement!
  • If there will be a lull between the ceremony and the reception, why not include lawn games to give guests a source of entertainment? You could even plan an entire theme around it.
  • Add frozen cocktails, spiked hot cider or hot chocolate to the drink menu for a change of pace.
  • Dinner on the rocks is a lovely alternative for an outdoor reception, and Hermann Hill’s Celebration Point is the perfect place to share a meal.

The possibilities are endless and can always be customized to fit your style!

Your Wedding, Your Way!

Let our experienced wedding coordinators breathe life into your big-day plans! No idea is too far-fetched to make happen — we love helping you personalize your wedding. And at the end of the day, this is your wedding. We are simply here to make your dreams become a reality.

Contact us today to schedule a tour and speak with one of our wedding experts!

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