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!


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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?




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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


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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!


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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?


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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:



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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
One Month to Bliss
Dress Distress
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  1. frenchbulldog Bee
    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!!!

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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, […]

  4. 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 […]

  5. 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 […]

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