Thinking about celebrating your love in the great outdoors? It’s a fantastic idea – and it’ll certainly be a wedding you and your soulmate will remember forever.
Whether it be at the beach, on a farm, in a forest or in the desert – there’s nothing like the beautiful scent of fresh air, in the middle of nature, when saying “I do”.
Below, I’ve outlined a bunch of useful tips for planning the perfect outdoor wedding. Follow my handy guide, and you’ll be well on your way to absolutely nailing a ceremony that will touch the hearts of all your friends and family.
But, why have a wedding outside?
Trust me. There are countless reasons to have your special day without a roof over your head.
My favourite reason? You’ll get the best wedding photography money can buy. Some of the most memorable photos I’ve taken are all outside:
But there are so many other reasons besides amazing photography, such as:
- Having all the space you need to do whatever you want to do (i.e. dance!);
- Saving money on less decorations;
- It’ll be cheaper all round – rather than having an expensive venue, you can just have tents, huts or any outdoor covering that tickles your fancy;
- The creativity you can unleash will shows no bounds – literally! You could have your wedding on the top of a mountain if you wanted; and
- The emotions you’ll have will be unbelievable – the power of nature around you only amplifies the strong sentiments you’ll feel on your special day.
My tips for planning the perfect outdoor wedding
Here’s what you can do right now to prepare.
1. Find the right venue
You’re going to need to find the right outdoor venue that caters to all your individual needs – and when you’re out in the sun, you’ll have many.
I know that there are a whole range of amazing wedding venues in Melbourne (where I live) to choose from. For example:
- A garden wedding (think: Treasury Gardens, Wilson Botanic Park or the Alowyn Gardens). These tend to be at their absolute best at certain types of the year – it’ll depend on the season, the flowers grown, the trees planted and all that sort of thing. Ask to see photos of the venue before confirming a booking.
- A beach wedding (perhaps maybe Brighton, Elwood or Martha Cove Beach). You’re definitely going to want to pick the best season for this one. When planning the layout, I also suggesting placing the altar as close to the ocean as possible (but before any high tide mark)!
- An estate wedding (think Yarra Ranges Estate or Avalon Castle). These are rustic, historical and romantic venues – I also know some of the wine ranges in Melbourne offers absolutely stunning food, which you can eat across some of the country’s most dazzling vineyards.
When you find the right venue, keep in touch with the organisers every step in the way to make sure everything goes to plan.
Want to know more? You can also read my guide on choosing the perfect wedding venue for some extra handy information.
2. Keep your guests comfortable
While this is true for any wedding (indoor or outdoor), this is really important to emphasise for outdoor weddings.
Make sure bathrooms are close by (and guests aren’t running half a kilometre to get there). Make you get rid of pests and you have any backup issues in case there is uncomfortable weather (see below).
If you need some chilled water, fans or Aeroguard – make sure it’s all available. If your guests aren’t happy, chances are neither are you.
3. Sound check (and use a microphone)!
That’s the beautiful thing about being outside – wide open, beautiful spaces … but it’s loud. And people will be far away from you.
There’s no point in having a hilarious ‘best man’ speech or an embarrassing ‘when she was a teenager’ speech if nobody can hear the speaker talk.
Make sure you do a comprehensive sound check before all your guests arrive, so not a word of the ceremony is missed. And, please, use a microphone! Planning the perfect outdoor wedding won’t matter if nobody can hear you – the most important person at the whole event!
Also don’t forget – you might get loud.
If all your guests are partygoers, and everybody is going to scream and sing their lungs out (as what everyone a wedding should do), make sure you’re aware if there any sound rules in the local area. It would be a bummer if you all had to ‘be quiet’ by 10pm.
4. Remember the weather (and plan for the worst)
I cannot stress this enough.
Always know well in advance what the weather forecast is going to be for your wedding. Also look at statistics like the average rainfall in any particular month, to minimise the chance that your wedding will be ruined by poor weather.
Always have a plan for the worst. Nobody can predict the future (no matter how hard we try).
Make sure there’s shelter to rush to in case a thunderstorm appears out of nowhere.
Maybe you’ll need an indoor venue nearby – for instance, if you’re having a wedding on a beach, why not rent out the local surf life saving club to retreat to in case it starts to drizzle? No harm it that, and you can all still have a wonderful time.
Just check out this amazing story: this couple went ahead with their wedding, even when the government declared a cyclone (the worst to hit Darwin since 1974). Love really does ‘weather all storms’!
5. Wear the right outdoor-appropriate outfit
There’ll be wind, it might be humid and it may even get downright boiling. At the same time, it may get freezing cold. Whatever happens, make sure you wear the appropriate outdoor outfit.
This doesn’t just mean putting on a jumper or wearing a short dress. The outdoor climate will ultimately affect your hairstyle, attire and the products you use to make yourself looking schmick.
If you need to fly to get to your wedding, don’t check in your wedding dress. Take it in the aircraft cabin with you as carry-on. Just read this horror story of a lady in the United States who faced a bride’s worst nightmare when the airline lost her wedding dress!
6. Get creative
As I mentioned above, outdoor weddings are awesome because there’s so much room to get creative. Be spontaneous, be wild, be free!
A search online for some wedding ideas, and you’ll find that people are out there have got married in some pretty whacky places ranging from:
- up in the skies in a hot air balloon
- in a monster mud truck venue
- going bungee jumping and
- riding on a roller coaster!
You can really go all out when you decide to ditch the shelter and celebrate your love outside!
7. Get an amazing (and affordable) wedding photographer
What’s the point in having an amazing wedding outside if you don’t have photos to remember everything?
You’re going to want the best wedding photographer out there – one that offers affordable packages, is flexible, is incredibly communicative and can truly capture the essence of your love with a high-quality camera.
So don’t go too far, as that’s where I can help!
Planning your outdoor wedding in Melbourne?
If you’re looking to have your wedding in Victoria, get in touch with me at Nalia Weddings today.
I’m a passionate and (very) affordable wedding photographer in Melbourne that has a keen eye for what makes a wedding photo truly special.
I’ve taken outdoor photos at many beautifully inspiring weddings, and I’d love to photograph yours as well. We can discuss what I’ll do on the day and what packages I offer to ensure you get all my tips for planning the perfect outdoor wedding.
Have a look at my gallery and get in touch with me today – let’s capture the magic of your love together!