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Indoor Wedding Venue: Pros/Cons

You're getting ready to choose your venue and coming back to the age-old question: indoor or outdoor venue. Well, we think we have the best of both worlds at our unique New England Venue: Olio. Read on to hear our take on the reasons to choose an indoor venue like ours.


About me: I've been planning weddings for more than 10 years with other business Without A Hitch, and I have seen all the weather, from tornado warnings to lighting strikes to whipping wind. There was one tent venue which shall remain nameless in which staff literally had to sweep water off the dance floor as the rain poured in from the outside. The stuff of nightmares.


So here's our synopsis of why an INDOOR wedding venue always comes out on top, every time! Hint: it's not just weather.

Indoor wedding venue north of Boston, Massachusetts, New England
Jessie Felix

Noise

If you are trying to have an intimate and special wedding ceremony, outdoor noise can be distracting at best and even disruptive, particularly if the location is near a busy road or highway. A windy location can be hard to properly mic and guests will be frustrated if they can't hear. Indoor spaces allow guests to hear every word and feel close to you.


On the flip side, outdoor locations could be more challenging to contain your own music and mic, which tends to travel without walls. This means your entertainment may want to turn up the volume, although many outdoor venues have decibel limits or early end times due to the sound carrying to neighboring properties.


Some indoor venues have challenges spaces for sound too. At Olio, we are fortunate to have wood floors and wood ceilings, which soak up sound and result in a beautiful quality for bands and DJs. The building was originally built as a theater!



Wedding band at indoor venue north of Boston, Massachusetts, New England
Mariel O Photo

Inclement Weather

Oh, New England weather for wedding planning. It is the worst to try to predict what's going to happen. Unfortunately, this area does not have southern California's option of al fresco dining; even predicted sunshine can turn stormy at a moment's notice in New England.


Of course, indoor wedding venue couples do not have to worry about the rainy or snowy weather, or various plans A, B, and C, which is a huge relief.


If your outdoor venue has a rain plan option, make sure to find out what time you have to make "the call" since some venues require 24 hour notice to move indoors.

Bride with clear umbrella at indoor venue north of Boston, Massachusetts, New England
Amanda Macchia

Extreme Weather

Not to be an alarmist, but extreme weather is a real thing and (hello global warming) may be here to stay. Extreme cold and heat are just the beginning. In my decade working on weddings, we've had one tornado warning and at least a dozen close calls with thunder and lightning. Did you know that tents are unsafe during a lightning storm and must be evacuated? This is hugely disruptive, and can pose a major problem for weddings if is no indoor venue available.


Ask your outdoor venue what the plan is for extreme weather, particularly lightning.

Bride and groom inside venue on snowy day north of Boston, Massachusetts, New England
Brightly and Free

Humidity

No amount of hairspray can fight the beast that is New England humidity. What guest wants to sit down to a delicious, hot meal when they are sticky from head to toe? Keep your hair intact and your guests from dripping with an indoor venue.


Air conditioning is the best way to fight a humid day at an indoor wedding venue!

Bride and groom indoors at wedding venue north of Boston, Massachusetts, New England
Kellyann Smith Photography

Hot Dancing

No, I'm not talking about the dance moves that your cousin's date is ready to unleash. I'm talking about sweaty, sticky dancing. Even on the nicest temperature days, a steamy dance floor can get real slick, real quick. If you want to encourage folks to join you on the dance floor, it should be comfortable and fun.


Olio is fully air-conditioned and heated with new, powerful units for control no matter the weather.

Bride and groom dance at indoor wedding venue north of Boston, Massachusetts, New England
Vaysgant Weddings

Bugs

They are so tiny and so annoying! I'm talking about bugs: flies, gnats, ticks, mosquitos. Not the most appetizing visitors to your wedding, especially when guests are sitting to watch the ceremony or trying to eat a wonderful meal. These bugs carry diseases which, depending on the season, can be scary.


If you've selected an outdoor venue, make sure to provide plenty of bug spray for guests, especially after the sun sets.


Bride and groom walk down aisle at indoor venue north of Boston, Massachusetts, New England
Essential Photography

Air Quality

Canadian fires and big-city smog can make it challenging to gather guests in an outdoor space. These big events are unpredictable of course, so planning for an indoor wedding is a safe bet.


Indoor wedding venue ceremony with bride, groom
Ebersole Photo at Olio

Real Animals

Considering a wedding on an outdoor property that may have (real) animals in the area? Make sure to be prepared for potential uninvited guests who are interested in food scraps. Indoor venues are usually animal-free (fingers crossed).


Olio is dog-friendly and we permit couples' well-behaved dogs to be a part of their ceremony! Ask us for details.

Dog at indoor wedding venue north of Boston, Massachusetts, New England
Amanda Macchia

Photos

Everyone loves beautiful outdoor photos and we have plentiful options. The majority of our couples spend anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours exploring downtown with their photographer. Just check out all of our downtown Peabody tips and tricks. And in great news: in the case of inclement weather, our indoor space has the perfect gorgeous backdrop!


Outdoor wedding photo for indoor venue with bride and groom north of Boston
Mark Davidson

Indoor vs Outdoor Wedding Venue: Pro Tips

  • Outdoor spaces for weddings may offer limited power or require that power be brought in via a generator. If the latter, make sure to find the right space for a generator which can be noisy.

  • Some (not all) outdoor venues have "rustic" bathrooms, which may be portable or trailers. Ask your venue what the options are, particularly if the bathrooms are near the tent and could have a negative odor or noise. Make sure to check outdoor bathrooms for accessibility (ADA) for guests or vendors who made need this.

  • Many weddings have guests who smoke or vape, which can make an outdoor venue attractive. Make sure to consider whether that is a priority for you and, if so, we suggest designating a specific area for smokers. At Olio, we send smokers out our front door to Main Street.

  • For many couples, choosing an indoor venue is about control, not having to worry about the weather and being able to make a single plan and not a set of contingency plans.

Finally, one more note as you consider your options about having an outdoor venue with an indoor Plan B. I always urge couples to make sure that if they are going with an outdoor Plan A, that their second choice is still a wonderful option. I have seen so many brides, grooms, parents, and planners devastated on the wedding day as they have to make the rain call to move something inside. They likely chose this venue for the outdoor option, so just make sure that you LOVE the rain plan option too!


We are definitely not an unbiased party, but you can see we'll choose a well-equipped indoor venue any day in New England! We have the best of both worlds with all of the indoor amenities in a gorgeous space with fabulous outdoor photo opportunities.


Ready to see it for yourself? Book a tour!


xo,

Sarah Narcus

Owner, Olio

Sarah Narcus owner and entrepreneur weddings

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