Deciding between an indoor or outdoor wedding is one of the first and sometimes hardest decisions you’ll have to make in the wedding planning process. Both are amazing in their own way, but there are obviously some challenges to consider too. We’re sharing some of the key things to consider to help you figure out if an indoor wedding, outdoor wedding, or a combination of the two is the right choice for you! And, fortunately for you, many of our Lake Tahoe wedding venues offer both indoor and outdoor options for the ceremony and/or the reception, so you’ll have plenty of great options to consider. 

Decor

  • Outdoor weddings allow you to take full advantage of the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe. When you’re surrounded by towering mountains and crystal clear waters on the beach at Lake Tahoe Cruises & Zephyr Cove Resort, a lot of extra decor really isn’t necessary. 
  • Indoor weddings can require more planning and budgeting when it comes to decor. However, if you’re going for a specific theme or overall look at your wedding, sometimes the right venue can play into that perfectly. For example, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe has a two-story-tall guitar and other memorabilia that is perfect for music-loving couples who want to add a little rock ‘n roll flair to their big day.  Valhalla Historic Estate has a gorgeous stone fireplace and wood floors that bring an added warmth and rustic charm to any wedding. 

Environmental control

  • When you have an indoor wedding and reception, you have control over the temperature and don’t have to plan for weather, bugs, or other wildlife. Some couples prefer not to have to worry about these external factors at all. 
  • Outdoor weddings or receptions require you to accommodate for sometimes unpredictable Lake Tahoe weather and adjust to the seasons. We recommend that couples hosting an outdoor wedding  have a Plan B shelter and provide any outdoor necessities (sunscreen, bug spray, blankets, umbrellas, etc.) for guests. Your venue may even have some of these on-hand already!  

Available amenities

  • Venues that provide indoor locations likely already have electricity, internet access, lighting, plumbing, and other important necessities that you may need on your big day. 
  • Outdoor receptions may not have as many amenities readily available. That may require you to budget extra to rent things like porta-potties and invest in creative alternatives, like candles and battery-powered lights. Every venue is a little different, so make sure you ask them what’s included. 

Capacity 

  • Properties that offer outdoor space for weddings or receptions naturally allow for additional capacity and increased flexibility since there’s abundant room for people to spread out and social distance. Outdoor spaces have definitely become an increasingly popular option thanks to COVID-19. 
  • If you’re planning an indoor wedding, you may have to adjust your guest list to accommodate for capacity limitations. However, that may not be a problem if you want to keep things small and intimate or you’re operating on a tight budget

Entertainment & Things To Do

Regardless if your wedding or reception is indoors or outdoors, offering your guests opportunities for entertainment during their stay is always a plus.  Thankfully, Lake Tahoe offers a plethora of fun activities to do both indoors and outdoors, no matter what time of year you’re getting married! 

  • If you are focused on the outdoors, consider adding some fun outdoor activities. For example, guests can play fun yard games (like mini-golf at The Ridge Tahoe) and take leisurely strolls during the warmer months or enjoy snowshoes and sleigh rides for memorable winter wedding fun!  
  • If you choose to stay indoors for your wedding or reception, there’s plenty to do too! In addition to all the electrical and AV equipment you’ll need for a live band, DJ, or video during the ceremony and reception, you can try your luck at slots and table games at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe or kick back at The Landing Resort & Spa amazing on-site spa after the celebrations are over.

Photographs & Video

  • Venues with outdoor wedding locations provide plenty of natural light and beautiful scenery that makes for gorgeous photos you’ll cherish for years to come. Lake Tahoe wedding photographers and videographers are always coming up with stunning photos that truly capture the couple and the gorgeous views that make Tahoe so special. 
  • Indoor settings can pose a little more of a challenge for photos, but nothing an experienced photographer can’t handle. Many of the wedding venues in South Tahoe feature large windows for plenty of natural light. Plus, some of those unique features we mentioned before (like the guitar and stone fireplace) look amazing in photos! 

The Best of Both Worlds

When it comes to picking an indoor or outdoor venue, you really can’t go wrong — especially in Tahoe. It really comes down to what matters most to you and how you see your day going. 

Our wedding venues here in Lake Tahoe have a mix of both great indoor and outdoor spaces to accommodate your needs and provide flexibility throughout your big day. That’s why a lot of couples opt to compromise by hosting the ceremony outdoors and the reception indoors, or vice versa. This allows you to take advantage of the stunning outdoor scenery, readily-available indoor amenities, and all the unique features and amenities the venue has to offer.  

With world-class venues and some of the most picturesque scenery in the world, we promise whatever you decide will be absolutely perfect.