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Wedding Dress Inspiration For Outdoor Weddings - Our Top Dress Picks, Styling Advice & Planning Tips

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

Botanical detailed Abella Bridal Cilka wedding dress, a perfect choice for an outdoor wedding

Prepare for some serious dress, pretty ladies, as we’re about to reveal our top pick of gorgeous bridal dresses for outdoor weddings.

Fresh, informal and romantic, open-air wedding settings have long won over the hearts’ of couples who seek a natural and relaxed vibe for their big day celebrations. And given the choice of insanely beautiful outdoor wedding venues both in the UK and overseas, it’s easy to see why alfresco nuptials and receptions continue to top brides and grooms’ wish lists.

From ethereal woodland celebrations and classic country garden ‘I dos’ through to dreamy vineyard ceremonies and full-on festival tipi parties, the outdoor offering is pretty much limitless!

As such, we’re focusing our styling expertise on gowns perfect for such gorgeous open-air celebrations, with suggestions for all styles of brides and settings, plus some Pearls Of Wisdom key to bear in mind when planning your bright and breezy big day.

Botanical Beauty

Delicate leafy trails are a perfect match for outdoor ‘I dos’ offering gorgeous detailing without venturing into full floral territory. Some of our very favourites include Luna by Abella, a stunning princess ballgown with wandering vines across its glittering lace fabric and featuring an on-trend square neckline. For a more structured shape, we’d look to the incredible Tink gown by Rachel Rose with 3D botanical lace on the bodice giving way to a mermaid tulle skirt of dreams. Another slim-line, nature-inspired beauty is Wtoo’s Lucia, covered in spellbinding botanics top to toe and available with or without sleeves.

Little Pearl Picks: Tink by Rachel Rose, Luna by Abella Bridal, Lucia by Wtoo.

Perfect For: An ethereal woodland wedding.

Floral Fantasies

Soft & Subtle

Floral wedding dresses are the obvious go-to for those marrying outdoors, but be warned; there’s an abundance of blossoming beauties to choose from, ranging from those with dainty bud appliques to bold laser cut designs. At the softer end of the scale, we have the likes of Stella York’s 7177, a beautiful sheer-detailed dress with stunning vine-like patterns, lace appliques and soft glitter tulle fabric bringing all the romantic feels. Similarly, the enchanting Mila A-line gown by Abella Bridal and the Aliyah fit and flare dress by Willowby by Watters have delicate petals strewn throughout.

Little Pearl Picks: Mila by Abella Bridal, 7177 by Stella York, Aliyah by Willowby by Watters.

Perfect For: An elegant walled garden wedding.

Bold & Beautiful

If you want to turn up the petal power, look to dresses with bolder motifs that add dimension or drama. The incredible Chloe dress by Rachel Rose is a winning choice for brides craving a modern cut with its striking off-the-shoulder neckline and exquisite Hibiscus detailed lace, complete with a dash of shimmer. Abella Bridal’s Zara design offers another contemporary cut with a deep plunging neckline and multi-texture floral lace appliques. Alternatively, if you’re more about the boho botanical feels, Nala by Willowby by Watters is likely to steal your heart with its banded sleeves, sweeping train and floral Doutzen lace material.

Little Pearl Picks: Chloe by Rachel Rose, Zara by Abella Bridals, Nala by Willowby.

Perfect For: A laidback destination wedding.

Flirty Romance

Soft, feminine and flirty, this is one of our very favourite bridal looks for a relaxed outdoor wedding. First up on our top picks list is Cilka by Abella Bridal, featuring enchanting trailing florals across its divine corseted bodice, pretty ruffled off-shoulder straps and stunning mermaid skirt. For a more voluminous cut, we’d select botanical-embroidered Zazie by Wtoo and Maudie by Willowby by Watters, both breathtakingly beautiful with romantically draped sleeves and layers of dreamy tulle. Meanwhile, if searching for a flirty floral gown with classical influences, we’d suggest design 6814 by Stella York, a stunning sweet-heart necklined dress in fanciful French lace with a scalloped-edged train.

Little Pearl Picks: Zazie by Wtoo, Cilka by Abella Bridals, Maudie by Willowby by Watters, 6814 by Stella York

Perfect for: A chic rustic wedding.

Fairytale Feels

All-out fairytale pretty lends itself beautifully to charming outdoor wedding venues, from blossoming secret gardens and enchanting treehouses to captivating beachside settings. For those of you keen to make a statement, the phenomenal Cloud dress by Rachel Rose takes some beating with its illusion detailed embroidered bodice and princess style skirt of dreamy layered tulle. Sticking with ballgowns, Allure’s 3265F is a gorgeous, supportive cut for curvier brides featuring pretty garden blooms all along its bodice. Also working wonders on all women is the floral adorned 7012 dress by Stella York, which takes those whimsical feels to a whole new level in its gorgeous peachy hue!

Little Pearl Picks: 7012 by Stella York, Cloud by Rachel Rose, 3265F by Allure.

Perfect For: A pretty pavilion wedding.

Colour Queen

For those brave enough to stray away from a traditional ivory dress, inspiration for outdoor wedding attire can be found in the romantic hues of spring-summer blooms. Stella York has some glorious nature detailed designs in dreamy shades of pink, mocha and champagne, such as dresses 6933 and 6649. Alternative nude-tone beauties in our collections include Willowby’s sparkle-adorned Lunella, ideal for #Pearlsgirls wanting to up the glamour!

Little Pearl Picks: 6933 and 6649 by Stella York, Lunella by Willowby by Watters.

Perfect For: A dreamy country garden wedding.

Pared-Back Pretty

And finally, if in favour of a more demure, understated or polished alfresco big day look, we’d advise focusing on dresses in simple yet sophisticated fabrics with smaller sections of floral detailing. Our top picks would include Rachel Rose’s slinky Pearl gown teamed with detachable floral-detail sleeves, as well as Willowby’s Nesryne dress featuring a unique mix of clean crepe and illusion floral embroidery. Paring things right back, you may prefer to opt for a completely plain but beautifully regal gown like the 6758 design by Stella York, in rich Mikado fabric, and accessorise with a botanical detailed veil or fresh flower crown to bring in those lush nature feels.

Little Pearl Picks: Pearl by Rachel Rose, 6758 by Stell York, Nesryne by Willowby by Watters.

Perfect For: A regal manor house grounds wedding.

Top Tips For Outdoor Weddings

  • Always have a Plan B setting option or some form of shelter/cover in place to account for our unpredictable British weather.

  • Accessories-wise, nothing beats a pretty flower crown or fresh blooms placed in the hair, but otherwise, look to bridal headpieces, hair accessories and jewellery with botanical influences.

  • Be prepared for your dress to get dirty (but it can, of course, be professionally cleaned afterwards), your heels to sink into the ground (so have some flats, heel protectors or alternative more resilient footwear to hand in case needed), your veil to take off in the wind (perhaps forgo in place of a floral crown, statement headband or timeless tiara).

  • If going remote, don’t forget you will need water and electricity sources for catering, decor and entertainment, plus, of course, loos.

  • Consider a half-up,half-down or fully up bridal hairdo to avoid becoming too hot and flustered or totally windswept during your outdoor celebrations.

  • When it comes to theming, floral, and colour palette options, there are numerous ways in which you can go, whether inspired by the season and setting or influenced by current trends. One of the biggest outdoor wedding trends for 2022, according to experts, is ‘earthy nature-inspired palettes’ made up of soft nude tones with brighter pops of rust, amber and coral hues.


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