My cousin Lindsey got married towards the end of the summer, in a beautiful outdoor wedding setting that was…in a word…perfect.

outdoor wedding ambience

I've always been obsessed with outdoor weddings. I love the casual romance, the simple decor that always seems to come together so sweetly in a natural setting.

Lindsey and Brandon's outdoor wedding

She worked tirelessly to bring together every little detail, and her effort paid off.

the boys playing at the outdoor wedding

The boys were overjoyed to have plenty of space to roam. Outdoor furniture was ripe for romping.

sweet outdoor wedding touches

If you can time it to avoid freezing, overheating or being eaten alive by bugs (all of which worked out impeccably for Lindsey and Brandon), an outdoor wedding provides the perfect backdrop for quaint country touches.

outdoor wedding fan

She created wedding program fans much like our own, an essential for outdoor weddings in the summer when you're not sure what the weather might throw your way.

Outdoor wedding seating cards

A cute trellis held seating instructions. It looks like tables six and eight may have gotten a little too rowdy along the way.

Mini mugs with chalk labels and chalk paint - perfect for an outdoor wedding takeaway if you can have a keg!

Speaking of rowdiness, the less-formal setting of outdoor weddings can lend really well to an open bar with a keg and serve-yourself cocktails. The bride and groom provided sweet little jars with chalk labels and chalk paint for everyone to make their own mugs as favors.

outdoor wedding lighting and ambience

My favorite part of all was the lighting. Abundant strings of lights and outdoor lamps came together to set a whimsical tone, with a portrait-perfect glow around every corner.

dancing at an outdoor wedding

Friends and family danced into the night, vibrant with energy as the sun fell and the moon rose above our light-dotted skyline.

Outdoor lighting: create a soft, romantic ambience with outdoor lamps

Her outdoor wedding actually inspired me to up my own game in terms of lighting around our property. I love sitting outside with Nate and the boys by a roaring bonfire, and we've slowly been upgrading our seating out on the porch. Next up, we're putting some string lights overhead and a complementing outdoor lamp for a homey touch. We work with Wayfair to furnish our house and they've given me a code to pass on to our lovely readers: WFLAMPS15 will score you 15% off lamps now through November 10th!

So, it's decision time. We're looking above at the Crawley candelabra, Blossom box lamp, Wildon hanging bowls or Wildon empire shade. Which one is your favorite?