Tips For Outdoor Weddings In Sydney 2022

Wedding Dress

In a year where we’ve seen a hotter than average start to the year, followed by one of the wettest Autumns on record, planning an outdoor wedding in Sydney can seem like tempting fate. Here are some tips to help you maximise success and handle the obstacles that may come your way. 

Forecast Your Weather

We’ve all attended weddings where we’ve sweated like hogs into our suits or melted our make-up with sweat. Likewise, we’ve all been to weddings that are so chilly you huddle for warmth and dab at your runny nose. Here are some factors to consider and some tactics to make the best of weather and environmental factors that are out of your control. 

Flooring:

Dirt can be difficult to navigate for a wedding. Whether muddy or dusty, you may encounter issues like stiletto heels sinking into the soil, and pram and wheelchair wheels may track mud across your venue or get bogged. If the bride has a dress with a train, this is something to consider planning logistically. If it is going to be dusty or muddy, it can be helpful to organise a system of rugs or path coverings, to protect shoes and clothes and to make the route accessible to all your guests.

Sand can be difficult for those who are not so sure on their feet (young, old, and champagne-affected alike). For those accessing with a cane, a walker, a wheelchair, or a pram, sand can be difficult terrain to traverse. If you’re having a sandy wedding, it might be helpful for you to organise a system of rugs or path coverings. 

Exposure:

If guests at your outdoor wedding are exposed to the elements, the more frail and very young will suffer most greatly under the effects of heat, wind, or humidity.  If your location tends to be windy (for example, at a lookout point), trees provide a natural barrier against the wind and sun. On the flip side, if your guests will be shaded by trees on a cold day, make sure you advise that they rug up to avoid getting chilled during your ceremony. 

If you can, organise a space where people can recover from the heat or cold. Having chilled water or hot beverages available is a good way to show hospitality. Umbrellas can be a godsend on a wet or windy day. Sand whipped into your face by the wind is awful, and an umbrella can hopefully bear the brunt of this.

Rain:

Rain is a risk any day of the year and planning for how much rain you are willing to tolerate on the day is important. It is essential to have a contingency plan if rain comes in too heavily and will come in great use to your vendors and venue managers, so they can know how to adapt on the day. 

Considering The Best Time Of The Year 

When considering a particular type of outdoor venue, it’s important to consider when in the year and what time of day would be most comfortable for a wedding. Factors affecting this include climate, the intensity of the sun (for example, scorching midday heat in the summer and chilly early sunsets in winter), dampness, and more. 

In a garden setting, it’s worth finding out if the garden has a big feature plant such as a jacaranda or wisteria. Timing your wedding to coincide with the flowering season could make this plant a key feature of your wedding and photography – and could save you some money on decorations. 

If you’re keen on a beachside wedding, it’s worth considering what time of day you are planning to be wed in this space. The location of the sun will dictate how hot or cold you and your guests could expect it to be, given the time of year. Beaches can be home to extreme heat, wind, and cold, so plan accordingly. 

If the native bush is where you’d like to marry, it’s helpful to consider if it’s been a very wet or very dry year or season in the lead-up to your big day. Be wary of dust, which will dirty shoes and the hems/trains of dresses, and be mindful of mud, which can bog down cars, wheelchairs, and prams. Without the coolness of sea breezes and the moisture of lush gardens, the bush can be a little stifling in the summer so plan with care. 

Outdoor Wedding Decorations

In an outdoor wedding, everything is scenery, but it’s important to create a focal point – a backdrop for your marriage. Framing the focal point sets a sense of occasion, as well as a stage to elevate the couple and celebrant. Examples of event decorations that fulfil this need include arches, plinths & pedestals, wedding backdrops, artfully arranged pillar candles in glass vases (both waxand LED), flower walls, and even decorations on a pre-existing feature of your venue, for e.g. a floral arrangement on a big tree trunk. 

Though flowers are the traditional means for decorating at a wedding, popular alternatives include artfully draped fabric, metallic tassel curtains, and hired plants. A lot of smaller decorations you can also choose to DIY, such as pastel pom pom paper decorations, and elegant helium balloons. You can also buy your own helium tanks to save a little extra cash. 

Outdoor Catering

The ambience of outdoor dining can truly be a beautiful thing. However, there are many things to take care of in order to realise this dining experience. Having a caterer who is experienced in working outdoors is ideal, as there are some challenges attached to not having easy access to power, as well as being out in the elements. How ‘formal’ you’d like your seating and dining arrangements to be is key. This can even help make decisions when it comes to everything from place card holders to charger plates and napkin rings.

If you’re planning to have a cake on display, try to plan so that it can survive the weather on the day. A strong cake stand that is large and stable enough for the size and weight of your cake is important. As a good rule of thumb, the bigger the cake, the closer it should be to the table, to keep the centre of gravity low.

Noise 

When scoping out your venue, try going on the day and time you’re planning to have your wedding. Listen out for sounds of traffic, aeroplanes, trains, and anything that might interrupt the mood you’re trying to set on the day.

Windy days can completely drown out anything the celebrant or happy couple might have to say. Rather than have your guests listen to muffled sound on a microphone, you might want to consider using a lapel mic, choosing a venue with a natural wind barrier (such as trees or a spot near a building), or design your decorations to also function as wind barriers (for example, a solid and stable wedding backdrop).

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