May 15, 2019
By Brenda Jobe
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As a native Memphian, I can proudly say there are many beautiful outdoor wedding venues for brides and grooms to choose as the backdrop for their big day. Some venues are in Memphis while others are in nearby communities that don't require much driving. Below are 2 distinct categories of outside wedding locations that are both scenic and fun.

(1) Utilizing areas specific to Memphis can cover places from downtown hotel rooftops to landmarks only found in this fair city. Be sure to check out The Woodruff-Fontaine Home, Peabody Hotel roof, the Memphis Zoo (with 3-4 separate venues inside), the grounds at Brooks Museum of Art, the Ornamental Metal Museum and grounds, Lichterman Nature Center, Memphis Botanic Gardens, and The Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Each of these sites says "our wedding was held in Memphis" and offer visuals that range from eclectic to traditional.

(2) Select the look of the South by booking your wedding at converted mansions on expanded estates. Locations to be considered are Heartwood Hall (in Piperton), Savannah Woods (Collierville), Bonne Terre Country Inn (in Nesbit, MS), Carahills 1 (Collierville/Piperton), Hunt Phelan Home (on Beale St.), Davies Plantation's Hillwood (in Bartlett), and Woodland Hills. Choosing one of these locations is a subtle way of including local culture mixed with the charm of the South.

Many couples worry about an outdoor location because their event could be rained out. All of these venues have inside areas that can be accessed in the event of rain or unseasonably hot or cold temperatures. By choosing an outdoor wedding site from any of these suggestions, you will still have the freedom to hold receptions indoors as well as outdoors.

Making the most of the outdoors for a wedding takes good planning on the time of day as well as the season. I recently photographed an intimate wedding held at a park on a very chilly February afternoon. With only daffodills in bloom, the warmth of the couple mixed with a brooding skyscape made for beautiful photos. This is a perfect example of the venue enhancing the wedding site. But it also proves that the couple are still the main focus of any wedding.

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