Soon you’re going to be married, and you’re probably occupied day and night with big decisions about the big day. Writing vows, hiring decorators, deciding on dresses and tuxedos, sending invitations…there’s so much to think about when planning a wedding that it can make your head spin. One of the most important considerations is your venue. Do you want to have a large wedding, or a smaller and more intimate ceremony? Are you set on getting married in a church, or are you open to other possibilities? Outdoor weddings are becoming popular for many, but if you’re considering this route be sure to understand the pros and cons.

Getting married outdoors gives you almost limitless options for your surroundings. You could hold a ceremony on the beach, or in your own backyard. Getting married in a garden or against the backdrop of a local landmark can be wonderful as well. You can have a beautiful wedding ceremony almost anywhere, and it is often cheaper than reserving a church or other indoor space. Many outdoor spaces are completely free, and allow you to make your wedding as large as you want without worrying about space. All of this can make for a beautiful and memorable wedding.

An outdoor marriage also has the benefit of making your wedding pictures look nicer. Natural light creates the most beautiful photographs, so your photographer will have a much easier time capturing and preserving your treasured memories. Your photos will also be truly unique–the outdoor setting makes a great backdrop for beautiful one of a kind photographs. Many people spend a fortune on flowers, lighting, and other decorations to make indoor spaces look natural and beautiful. You can let Mother Nature do the work for you by holding your wedding outside.

Of course it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when you decide to get married outside–literally. The weather can be unpredictable, and because most weddings dates are set months in advance, you may not have any real way of knowing weather your wedding day will be sunny and beautiful, overcast and dreary, or rainy and miserable. Rain can ruin an outdoor wedding like nothing else, and there aren’t many ways to work around it aside from setting up canopies and bringing umbrellas.

Getting married outside may also limit your possibilities for the wedding date itself. Unless you’re planning a ceremony at a sunny estate in southern California, you will likely be limited to the spring months for your outdoor wedding. If this range of dates doesn’t work for you, an indoor wedding might suit you much better. An outdoor marriage in autumn or winter will range from inconvenient to impossible in most locations. Think about whether or not this will work for you.

Overall, outdoor marriages can be fantastic and memorable, but they are not right for everyone. Consider the pros and cons and come to a decision about the wedding that will be best for you.