The Promise Gardens New York wedding event venue.

15 Tips for Finding The Perfect Outdoor Wedding Venue in Upstate New York

Congratulations on your engagement! You have decided on your forever partner, you may have decided on your ‘save the date’ and finally, you decided you want to get married outside, in the beautiful Adirondack mountains of Upstate New York! Best decision ever! (Besides finding your life partner of course). But now—how do you find the right Upstate New York outdoor wedding venue for you?

Take a look at some of our tips to make sure you find your perfect venue and that your outdoor wedding will flow effortlessly. 

1. Know Your Vibe or Theme for Your Wedding

Before you look at any outdoor wedding venues in Upstate New York, ask yourself: What kind of day and mood do I want to create for my wedding or elopement? Do you want it to be elegant and intimate? Do you want it to be a destination wedding and celebrate all weekend?  Having an idea of the day you want will help you on your search for the perfect venue.

Outdoor wedding ceremony venue in Upstate New York
Upstate New York outdoor wedding ceremony venue at The Promise Gardens, near Lake George

2. Put Together a Guestlist

It's important you have an idea of how many guests you will be inviting to your wedding. Some venues have guest limits, and you don't want to get your heart set on one to find out they can not accommodate your wedding. Will you be celebrating with under 100 of your close family and friends? Or will you be inviting lots of extended families and social circles? Will most of them be local or out of town? Guest count plays a large role in where you can fit comfortably and accommodations available near the venue.

Dancing at Lake George wedding venue

3. Know Your Budget

This connects to knowing your guest count. The more guests, the higher the cost. Your total number of guests has a significant effect on your budget.

Some say, “The more the merrier.” Personally, I enjoy spending more time with family and friends as opposed to the number of people there. It makes for a better guest experience and often a less stressful planning process. So, have an idea of your budget range before you start looking for venues. This will allow you to cut venues that don’t make sense financially.

Outdoor wedding reception venue in Upstate New York

4. Decide Must Haves for Your Venue 

While it may be possible for a wedding venue to have all the features you want, it's not likely. That's why it is important to know what's included so you are able to decide on what is a "must have."

Do you want a Cigar and Whiskey bar outside near a fire pit? Do you need room for a band? Do you want a romantic garden wedding with mountains as your backdrop? Do you want a rustic barn? Do you need to have a venue that is accessible for guests with mobility issues? Look for venues with stone pathways if possible—guests will be able to walk around the property, especially those in high heels!

Accessible outdoor wedding venue New York

5. Choose A Venue With Numerous Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

We know now more than ever, spacious rooms with safety precautions are everyone’s number one priority. We recommend finding a venue with multiple settings or areas. If everyone is jammed into one barn or canopy it can feel cramped, crowded and chaotic. Airflow and space are key!

Having multiple barn settings and a beautiful Dinner Canopy with sliding doors that can be opened for air in nice weather or closed during rainy or cool days is optimal. Find a property that you do not have to be confined to just one area. Think about numerous connected barns with airflow and space with lawns and gardens for private conversations without being too far from the party! 

Spacious outdoor barn wedding venue upstate New York

6. Are There Local Accommodations?

When choosing an outdoor wedding venue, especially in Upstate New York, you will want plenty of accommodations – including places to stay, things for guests to do on the weekend and after-party locations. 

You should consider if your venue is close to restaurants for your rehearsal dinner, breakfast recommendations for the morning after, and any fun activities to keep your party lively for the entire getaway weekend. Near The Promise Gardens, Lake George boasts numerous hotels, restaurants, and afterparty locations all in close proximity to your rooms on the lake. The Promise Gardens is a 15-minute car ride from Lake George which makes our property the perfect place for an all-weekend event.

Wedding venue near Lake George New York

7. Use Mother Nature to Your Advantage

One of the best things about Upstate New York is the views! Who wouldn’t want a wedding venue location where you can have a beautiful mountain backdrop but also be by the glistening water of a lake or river? Use the backdrop of the trees, flowers and mountains to decorate. In Upstate New York, the atmosphere and location are somewhat already set. You won’t need to spend large amounts of money to make your vision a reality. Mother Nature already did it for you!

Mountain view outdoor wedding venue New York

Another benefit of our space at The Promise Gardens is our immense amount of room to make our space your own. We have enough sections on our property to include a band, a fire pit area, a designated cigar section, a bar cart, a game area, photo opportunities and more! You should have enough space to make your vision a reality. 

8. Parking, Parking & More Parking

It may seem like a minuscule consideration, but it's so important when choosing your outdoor wedding venue that you have easily accessible parking not only for your guests but your vendors too. Make sure parking is easy to find and that there is enough space, so you can eliminate headaches and confusion the day of your wedding. You don’t need people calling you or your immediate family asking where to go or reporting that the designated parking is full.

9. Have a Backup Plan & Test It with Vendors

Unpredictable weather in Upstate New York happens, whether we want to admit it or not. When it does you need to a back-up plan with your vendors. Every vendor from your florist to your DJ all need to adjust quickly to the new plan. 

It never hurts to be prepared and not only to have a plan but practice it with everyone involved. Have a written plan communicated to everyone from vendors to your wedding party. This will make sure everyone is aware of what they are responsible for and where they need to go. Everyone feels prepared!

The Promise Gardens New York wedding venue
The Promise Gardens New York wedding venue

10. Comfort is Key!

Depending on the season of your outdoor wedding, make sure you think of heat and air conditioning as well. There is nothing worse than having an uncomfortable climate interrupting the ambiance of your big day. 

At The Promise Gardens, we have multiple barn settings to have your ceremony indoors if needed. Our location also has heaters, air conditioners and fans. Whether you are outside or under our canopies we have you covered (literally)!

11. Pavement on the Grounds

Choosing an outdoor wedding venue in Upstate New York can often come with challenges getting around for you and your guests. A small detail that you might not think of but makes a huge difference for you and your guests is having pavers, stones, or any kind of walkway that makes walking on the outdoor grounds easier. Neither you nor your guests want to worry about getting your shoes stuck in the grass or having uneven ground to walk through. 

The Promise Gardens New York wedding venue

At our property, we have gorgeous stamped concrete walkways wrapped with stunning gardens and paved paths even for our bistro tables and high tops. Nothing should feel out of place or wobbly and it’s details like this that will make your wedding even more memorable. 

12. Choose an Optimal Outdoor Month

Once you know the size of the party and your budget, decide the time of year you want to marry. Ask the immediate family if they have conflicts during this time. If possible, choose a month or even a season you want to marry, not a specific date. Many venues are booking Fridays and Sundays now which gives you more choices. The greater the flexibility you have, the more availability wedding venues will have. Most newly engaged couples start looking for a venue right away, so popular venues book a year to even two years in advance.

Choosing “The Perfect Month” is a personal preference. Spring and summer weddings in Upstate New York feature beautiful peonies, irises, and roses along with warm summer nights. September and October New York weddings are breathtaking with the hues of fall colors that surround you by the backdrop of the mountain. Nature at its finest! These are the perfect months if you want a classic fall wedding with the stunning leaf foliage in the scenery of your photographs. The weather is also perfect because it’s warm but you don't need heavy layers just yet! Imagine a fire pit with our specialty whiskey and cigar bar!

Fall outdoor wedding in Upstate New York

13. Decide If You Want Your Venue to be Secluded or “Downtown”

Something that is often forgotten but could be a make-or-break decision is accessibility. Is your venue in a heavily trafficked area? Do you want it to be quieter and more secluded? Is it handicap accessible? Is it easy to find in general? Or is it down a dirt road, around a winding bend and up and down roads and mountains?

We recommend considering a trolley or shuttle bus to get your guests to and from the wedding. That way you can have an after party planned in Lake George and drop guests off at the party or back to their hotels and everyone gets back safely! Whatever you may choose, make sure you consider how easily accessible it is to your vendors and guests. 

Wedding trolley New York
Bride on trolley in Upstate New York

14. Hire a Wedding Planner or Coordinator

If you are in love with a venue ask them for some of their favorites. Many venues will have a coordinator as part of their team!  A planner is like a gift from heaven when planning a destination wedding. They will guide you on every aspect of your planning. This is such a game changer especially if you are not familiar with the area. At The Promise Gardens we include a Venue Experience Coordinator to help you along the way. 

15. Ask What is Included in Your Venue Package

Don’t be shy - know what you are paying for. Especially with an outdoor wedding, you need to know what is your responsibility to provide and what the venue already supplies. You might assume things like lights and tables will be included, but you won't know for sure unless you ask.

In addition, do you want the caterer to be part of the venue package so that you do not have to worry about finding the perfect one? Many couples that are coming to Upstate NY do not want to have to worry about those kinds of decisions and do not want to have to bring a lot to the venue. They choose venues with the vibe they are looking for already.  Having the perfect caterer that fits the theme of the venue and can accommodate all parts of the property is extremely important as well. Maybe you want an extended cocktail hour out at the gardens, and a whiskey bar at the fire pit with leather seating. Or a musician outside during the ceremony and a band in the barn for dancing after dinner. All of these things are possible if you have the right venue and team.

New York wedding venue at night

Consider The Promise Gardens of the Adirondacks—The Best Outdoor Wedding Venue in Upstate New York

You spend all of this time searching for the perfect Upstate New York outdoor wedding venue for your wedding day. You want to be sure your venue and vendors can create the wedding you always dreamed of. Part of what makes The Promise Gardens so unique is all that it has to offer. Everything is already here for you— you just need to add special touches to make it your own.

Ready to learn more about all that the Promise Gardens has to offer? Contact us today for more information.

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