Outdoor Chapel

During one of our first “wedding related” conversations, Mr. Poodle and I decided to get married in California. We didn’t need to to put too much thought into it, it was one of those things that came naturally. Every single one of Mr. Poodle’s family get-togethers take place on “the ranch”. So, he asked me if I wanted to have the wedding there. I thought it was a good idea because we wouldn’t need reservations, we can use it for as long as we want, and we can be as loud as we want. Plus, it’s free!

After we chose our setting I started the search for ideas and inspiration to transform the ranch into our dream wedding venue. I already shared the fact that the ranch does not have a classic wooden barn, so it won’t be as easy as stringing lights and making the magic happen. There will be a lot of work involved. Luckilly, Mr. Poodle’s family is happily willing to help us as much as they can! Yay!

When Mrs. Frenchie showed us this amazing venue, I wished we could build a place like this, but we needed to be real: even if we had the money, we could not build that *just* for our wedding!


{ Image Source }

BUT, we could build something similar. Our own chapel!

Mr. Poodle’s dad is a contractor, so he’s collecting materials to build our very own version of this amazing outdoor chapel. smile018 How cool is that?




{ Image Source }

The first time I saw these pictures (probably the same week we talked wedding), I fell in love with them! I emailed pictures to Mr. Poodle and my FMIL, hoping they would like the idea so we could make it. I then waited patiently (okay, I was biting my nails) until they wrote back saying they would love to try our own version! smile018


{ Image Source }

I really think all the hard work ahead will be justified if we get one cute picture of the “grand entrance” like this one. I’m obsessed with this project, as the “outdoor chapel” was actually my first wedding-related dream! *blushing*

Then, another item that crossed my mind was… HAY! – On the ranch there are no animals, so there is no need for hay, but I again emailed my FMIL to show her my inspiration pictures. And again, she supported my newfound love for hay!


{ Image Source }

I love the idea of using hay, but we definitely need to be careful, because in the above wedding pictures I showed you, the contrast between the white chairs and the old wood is what I loved the most. So, I need to redesign the 3D model I have made for our chapel so it doesn’t look like an overload of old wood and hay.

How cool would it be to have a hay couch with different colored pillows on top?


{ Image Source }

So, I’m sold on the hay idea! There will be no chairs at our ceremony… just hay!  Then I started thinking about not having chairs at all, like in these next wedding pictures:



{ Image Source }

I am still not sure whether we should go completely chair-less, or maybe just ahve chairs for the reception. I’ve never sat on a “hay” seat, so I don’t really know if they’re comfortable enough to sit on for a long time or not.  I know the ceremony will not be long enough for people to get uncomfortable sitting there, and I’m planning on covering the hay so people won’t get their clothes dirty. But the reception will be longer, so it’s a whole different situation.

Have you been to a wedding with non-conventional seating? How were your experiences? Have you ever sat on a hay bale for an extended period of time? Woudl you recommend it?


Mrs. Poodle

Santiago, Chile/San Bernardino, CA
Wedding Date:
January 2010

Related Posts

Add a comment


  1. Member
    tea 2406 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:54 am

    you make dresses, clay flowers and your ffil makes chapels?! you guys are amazing. seriously.

    and i officially have a crush on your wedding. i am so loving your ideas!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Kat, Guest @ 2:46 am

    I’m going to be the party pooper here. It is pretty, but only if I didn’t actually have to sit on it. I don’t care how much plastic and blankets you put down, getting dressed up and then having to sit on a bale of hay or straw sounds awful. Not to mention allergies and smells etc. It just sounds TERRIBLY impractical. I’m all for cute details and atmosphere. It just seems contradictory and less than hospitable to say, well the ceremony won’t last _that_ long, so I’m sure my guests won’t mind sitting on bales of hay (read between the lines–so that my pictures will be cute). Do you really want your guests to be pre-occupied with the piece of straw that is sticking them in the butt instead of paying attention to your ceremony?? Stick with the white chairs.

  3. Member
    Ruby Slippers 509 posts, Busy bee @ 10:14 am

    Building your own chapel? Oh man, you have to stop it with the fab ideas now! Your wedding is going to be AMAZING.

  4. Member
    krissycake 4160 posts, Honey bee @ 10:56 am

    those benches are totally beautiful! and those outdoor chapel images are breathtaking =)

  5. Member
    RAllise 498 posts, Helper bee @ 11:02 am

    The building of the outdoor chapel is wonderful, so inspirational. I love the hay benches but also agree with the others, they make me nervous but I only say this because I’m allergic to it. Maybe covered properly and used for just the ceremony would be a great way to incorporate & you would have some fabulous photos. Maybe you can use other rustic chairs for the dinner, I’m sure any elderly would appreciate the back support. It’s a great look.

  6. Member
    KMSull 6442 posts, Bee Keeper @ 3:03 pm

    LOVE this idea, but like other people have said, I worry about allergies!

  7. Member
    Irishker03 619 posts, Busy bee @ 5:50 pm

    poodle! These are gorgeous inspiration photos. Hoe could one not be in love with this setting!

  8. Member
    msgiraffe 4248 posts, Honey bee @ 8:16 pm

    that outdoor area is amazing!

  9. Member
    msbuttons 5014 posts, Bee Keeper @ 9:10 pm

    The inspiration photos are just awesome! The hay bales are just so whimsical and rustic. I definitely think it would be essential to put either blankets or pillows down for guests to sit on…every time I’ve sat on hay bales for more than 2 minutes, it has been kind of picky/itchy/etc!

  10. Member
    s4012843 5 posts, Newbee @ 3:11 am

    We are using hay in our drinks area. We are going to arrange bales into sort of half squares so that people can sit down if they want rather than standing the whole time (I can’t stand for long, I get a sore back). I would have loved to have couches – but they just aren’t in the budget! We are going to cover them with a heap of white tablecloths and sheets, but I’m still trying to figure out how to stop them being prickly, I was thinking of putting a piece of high density foam (like yoga matt foam) under the cloth on top of the bale, but not sure how much that would cost yet . . . Good luck with your ideas, love the inspiration shots!

  11. Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:22 pm

    OMG so jealous! I cannot wait to see how chapel and hay work out! THAT IS AWESOME!!!

  12. Member
    RecessionistaBride 5018 posts, Bee Keeper @ 6:53 pm

    The first photo of the outdoor chapel is STUNNING! It actually looks like the chapel from Julie Coopers wedding in the final season of the OC lol. *Drool* The hay bales are a really good idea, but I second a pp & say check to see if anyone has hay allergies or else plan to have some benadryl on hand :)

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Digging for Gold | Weddingbee, Guest @ 3:18 pm

    [...] first thing on our list was to pick out our ceremony location. From the moment we decided the kind of chapel we wanted, we discussed different locations, keeping in mind how our guest will be getting there, [...]

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Building the Poodle Chapel - Part 1 | Weddingbee, Guest @ 3:57 pm

    [...] am not going to lie, for this particular project I haven’t being as involved as I would like to be. Do you know [...]

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    DIY Wedding Altars « Save the Date Products & Wedding Planning Resources for Every Bride, Guest @ 8:04 am

    [...] This couple didn’t stop with the altar…. the groom’s father built them an entire chapel.  With the gorgeous backdrop, this ceremony set up is breathtaking.  Seriously stunning!!  via Weddingbee [...]

add a comment

Find Amazing Vendors