Whether it’s on one of Lake Erie’s sandy beaches, or on a sprawling lakefront lawn, a waterfront wedding on the shore of Lake Erie is a beautiful thing.

 After all, what better backdrop to say “I do” than a big, blue sparkling lake?

 Outdoor weddings on the water are becoming increasingly popular, and more and more outdoor wedding venues are popping up to meet the demands.

 Many public parks now offer outdoor weddings, as well as bed and breakfasts and restaurants. Backyard waterfront weddings are also a great option if a couple lives on the water or has a friend or relative with lakefront property.

 Cleveland Ohio’s Wendy Park, is one waterfront facility that’s gaining popularity with couples who want a waterfront wedding.

 Debbie Greenwaldt, special events manager for the 22-acre county owned park, says most weddings at the park are less formal than traditional indoor weddings. She says couples have the option of getting married on the beach, or on the lawn.

 “We charge a site fee based on the number of people,” she says, adding that the fee ranges from $250 -$500.

 Couples can rent a tent, or choose to have their wedding in the open air.

 “We advise that they rent a tent, but it’s up to them,” she says.

 She points out that on a nice day even couples who rent a tent, can give their guests the option of enjoying the open air.

 “We put picnic tables between the lake and tent so people can sit outside and be closer to the lake,” she says.

 According to Greenwaldt, most weddings at the park occur on Saturday evenings. She says that even when the weather is hot, there’s usually a lake breeze.

 “It’s such a great location,” she says.

  Not for worry warts

 Despite their popularity, and the great variety of Lake Erie wedding locations, outdoor waterfront weddings are not for everyone.

 An outdoor wedding generally takes more planning than an indoor wedding, and it can be just as expensive – sometimes costing even more.

 And because brides and grooms are at the mercy of the elements, they’re also a bigger risk. Mother Nature can be glorious, but she is often unpredictable – and unkind. She won’t hesitate to offer up a deluge during the most delightful of days.

 For that reason, outdoor weddings are not for worry warts. Wedding planning can be stressful enough, without having to worry about the weather.

 “Some people are all depressed if it rains. If you are going to be disappointed, plan it inside,” says Cheryl Gilbert, owner of Windsor, Ontario’s Tent Palace, a company that offers event tent rentals.

 Sometimes a great view of the lake is all you need.