Nothing says outdoor wedding like a gorgeous garden right? Well there may be plenty of gardens around, but finding one suitable for your reception venue may involve a little time in the research department. There is a lot to consider – wet weather suitability, access to the venue and even locality to water transport. Even though getting married outdoors does mean a public ceremony, couples are always eager to try to find a space as private as possible. So some expert tips and reviews on eastern suburbs wedding ceremonies from this Sydney wedding planner!
I love Vaucluse House. The gardens are immaculate, and the staff at Sydney Living Museums who manage the property really care and do provide you with some ceremony coordination in the lead up to the event and on the day of the event itself. A wedding planner is a great idea though for that additional peace of mind and planning vendors outside your ceremony. If you are having your wedding at Vaucluse Tearooms then a ceremony here is the obvious choice. The wonderful thing about Vaucluse House, it does have a wet weather back up option on the verandah of the house itself, and there is some outdoor furniture for your ceremony included in the hire fee. For couples not wanting to spend too much time on organising the ceremony component then this is a great feature of this venue. And P.S. there is plenty of free parking for your guests (which especially matters on a hot summer day).
Sydney Wedding Planner Tips on Vaucluse House…
The free and plentiful parking at this location and the proximity to Vaucluse House Tea Rooms makes this location a winner.
Nielson Park is a great spot, it’s right on the water at Shark Beach, and all in the middle of a national park. The best of both when it comes to photography. Unless you have a reception booked at Nielson Park Cafe & Restaurant (or you would be willing to consider booking some of their space as a a wet weather back up plan) then there really is no shelter in the national park suitable in rain. Because it is such a popular spot for swimming and picnics, it’s not a very private venue and the parking can be very tricky on a hot sunshine day. Having said that, the view from the look out point is a pretty fabulous one (and even makes for a great ceremony location for a small group). NSW National Parks arrange all the bookings within this area.
Sydney Wedding Planner Tips on Nielson Park…
Organising transportation (or forewarn guests on your invites regarding the tricky parking) should be a consideration in spring/summer Saturday weddings. Parking can be a nightmare.
The truly fabulous thing about Strickland House? This venue is FREE on a first come first served basis. There are far less people at these grounds compared to its neighbours, and there are little tracks depending on how adventurous you are, which will take you down to a rocky waterline for some beach type photography if you are in the mood. There are plenty of spots on the property which have wonderful views, and if it rains, the verandah of the house will provide some coverage depending on the size of your group. If you have a super small group there is also a little beach shelter to the side of the house which may be appropriate.
Sydney Wedding Planner Tips on Strickland House
Access to the grounds here can be a real pain. The front gates are often locked, unless you are very lucky. This means your bridal vehicle stops at the top of the street and the bridal party and their guests need to walk down a substantial slope (well in heels anyway) to get to the bottom. It also means suppliers may charge you additional to set up any outdoor ceremony equipment because it require a longer bump in to move in furniture off the street.
Blackburn gardens is a little pocket of lush green grass in Double Bay with restricted views. It’s a lovely space for a smaller wedding, but similar to Nielson Park there is a public bath area which is also located by the park. Lots of swimmers pass through the gardens on their way to the pools which is perhaps not what you want on your wedding day. It is also a popular place for kids birthday parties which can also add an unwanted dimension to your surroundings.
Sydney Wedding Planner tips on Blackburn Gardens
Parking can be a pain at this location as well especially on a hot summer day when everyone frequents the baths. It is also not within walking distance to Double Bay wharf (as many couples want to believe) if you are wanting to use water transport to nearby venues. There are other venues in the area better suited for larger groups because of the the challenges that this venue has with the size and popularity.
McKell Park would have to be the park in the eastern suburbs which we visit the most. The park is set off a quiet waterfront cul-de-sac in Darling Point, and the wharf right by the park makes it ideal for many wedding parties wanting to use water transport between the ceremony and the reception. McKell Park is a very popular park for locals, this includes hens parties, kids birthday parties and couples on romantic picnics. This is the only park that we ever seem to have difficulty with trying to set up a ceremony in a space that members of the public are using on the day of.
Sydney Wedding Planner tips on McKell Park
For peace of mind, it is really worth considering wedding planning and coordination services for this location. It’s also a great idea to keep two copies of your park permit. One to present to any member of the public that you need to move along if they are parked in the middle of your ceremony space, and the other one to place on the front gate so that people know that the space has been booked.
Robertson Park is the the park right by Dunbar House in Watsons Bay. Most people know it for the beautiful fig tree used as a backdrop in almost all ceremonies there. In my view Robertson Park would ever only be a consideration for a wedding at Dunbar House. Even if you were holding your reception at Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel, Dunbar House is always busy with so many events, the last thing you would want is a reception full of people looking down on to your ceremony unless you do plenty of reconnaissance in the lead up to the day. It is also a very popular park for the general public, this is not a space to get married in if you wanted seclusion.
Sydney Wedding Planner tips on Robertson Park
Robertson Park is great for a local wedding at Dunbar House, otherwise the pain of trying to park anywhere near this location on a sunny day in spring or summer can be very problematic. The fig tree does provide some coverage in very light rain for small groups, otherwise there are no back up options here at all.
You truly are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a location at Centennial Parklands for your wedding ceremony. Bookings are made directly with the parkland and signage is placed out on the day of the ceremony notifying other park goers that the space is reserved. It is an obvious choice for anyone having their reception at Centennial Parklands Dining (and unless you are considering a reception at CPD there aren’t any spaces suitable for wet weather except under the canopy of a huge tree in light rain).
Sydney Wedding Planner tips on Centennial Parklands
There is plenty of parking but traffic to these parts can be difficult when there are major fixtures on at the showground, SCG or Allianz stadium. Try to plan in advance as much as possible.
And if all else fails you can speak to us about one of our planning packages to get some help. You can also find some more information on outdoor ceremonies here: