• Forward Events + Design

Wedding Venue: Going Raw


Quite possibly one of my favourite types of weddings to plan is one that takes place in a non-traditional style venue. A non-traditional venue is one that is not a banquet hall or hotel and could be anything from a park, to museum, or backyard - there are so many cool possibilities!

Usually you can rent a non-traditional venue at a cheaper rate than most traditional venues as they are rented as is and do not come with any items like chairs or tables. This means you will be looking at renting and bringing everything you need in. For someone like me, I love this option as it gives me an opportunity to really create a wedding that is injected with my style and allows me the freedom to truly do what I want without a bunch of restrictions. For some, this option may sound awesome but you need help from a seasoned planner who has done these types of events before to help you navigate through the process.

Before deciding on whether or not a non-traditional venue is for you, there are a few things to take into consideration as costs can get a little crazy if you aren’t careful…


This is a big one and the most important part of any wedding but especially for non-traditional venues. You will need to watch that you aren’t overspending and track all of your expenses. You will want to get detailed quotes from vendors and read through contracts carefully to ensure you aren’t missing any hidden fees.


If you love to scour online resources and draw inspiration from everyday life and the beautiful things around you, then this is a great option! A raw space enables you to get as creative as you want and hands on with the design, creating something that is truly indicative of your personal style. Another great thing about non-traditional venues is that you will have lots of time to set up and tear down.

We designed this beautiful backyard wedding inspired but the movie Dan in Real Life!


If you aren’t the type of person to blow your budget on one really expensive thing and know how to spread your money around, this could work perfectly for you. Navigating the design for a raw space is really about being able to mix elements to bring your vision to life that won’t cost you a fortune. For example, filling the space with flowers isn’t a cost savvy way of spending but thrifting and collecting an eclectic mix of bud vases and vessels to place at tables is a great way to add décor that won’t break the bank.


We have to get real here for a minute here! There is no way you can set up your entire wedding on your own. The good news is that most non-traditional venues will give you lots of time to set up on the day of or even the night or weekend before. You are going to want to assemble a team of your closest and best friends and family members to help you set everything up (if that option is available to you). Be sure to touch base with your bar and catering staff as well to ensure you are aware of exactly what their roles are in setting up and tearing down; you don’t want to pay them overtime so be sure to know exactly when they are being scheduled to start and stop working.


Is this option seeming overwhelming, but you still love the idea of a non-traditional venue? Say no more…we got your back! Hire a planner to help you with as much or as little as you need. Forward Events + Design has 3 different service options to help you execute the perfect non-traditional venue. Feeling like you got this but still need a little help? We also offer online virtual wedding planning that helps you navigate the wedding planning waters on your own. Get in touch today for a free consultation!