Many couples now days are choosing to have their wedding outdoors. Be it that they prefer not to go down the whole religious route or for whatever personal reasons. But planning a ceremony outdoors does add extra planning and often expense to the day of the wedding. When you marry in a place of worship, you usually need to give some sort of donation to both the venue and the officiant. You may then use many of the things that already exist in the facility often free of charge. For example, the in house PA system, pedestals for the florist, seating for your guests and your musicians, and even decorations for your pew ends. When you’re getting married outdoors, there are a host of things that will require planning and budget. Want the breakdown?
Book your public space.
You will be responsible for booking your public space, usually with the local authority (this may be for example the national parks or local council). Normally this means filling out a form and paying a fee. Some public reserves are free of charge, but you may still need to complete paperwork. Usually you are able to book a public space in a 3 hour window. This allows you a short amount of set up time, and a short amount of pack up time. Just be mindful, don’t assume you will be able to set up any earlier then the amount you specify. Popular spaces often take back to back bookings, and you may find yourself wanting to set up during the middle of a wedding ceremony. Don’t forget to give your wedding planner or coordination a copy of your confirmed booking sheet from the governing body. If you find yourself needing help with coordination for your public space, our short day coordination packages are perfect for just this.
Book your civil marriage celebrant.
The fee that a celebrant commands often far outweighs the donation you will have to make to a religious celebrant. For a good (and experienced!) celebrant, expect to pay at least $650 and upwards. Celebrants in demand can charge up to $700.00 plus. Your celebrant will lodge all your paperwork and prepare the ceremony (with your input), which should all be included in the fee.
Book your wet weather contingency.
If your public space doesn’t have any back up options (rotundas or other form of shelter), book a backup plan and don’t leave it to the last minute. The most fool proof option is to book a function room at a nearby hotel to the reception area (or even the hotel you are getting ready at). You could even ask your reception venue if you can host the ceremony there instead. But be prepared and set some money aside to avoid any anxiety. Talk to us about our Rainy Day Protection Program if you want complete comfort with your back up plan, we also have our Rainy Day Back Up Plans available for purchase
There is usually some governance on what your outdoor hire can entail. It’s always a good idea to check the fine print on your venue hire contract. Many public spaces only allow you a limited number of chairs (gardens are notorious for this). At a minimum you should consider hiring chairs for your guests, a signing table and chair (some celebrants bring their own). An aisle runner too is a great idea, it’s practical for your gown and your heels. And last but not least, just a simple easel with signage letting your guests know that they are in the right place – with your names and the date. Of course there are countless ways in which you can decorate your space, always depending on your budget. We can arrange your outdoor hire for you or styling your space, please contact us to find out more.
Many couples more commonly prefer to use the celebrants PA system to plug their iPod into for their ceremony music. If budget allows though, always consider live musicians for your ceremony. Not only does it make your ceremonial space more intimate and add more ambience to the day, but if you are having photos after the ceremony, or post ceremony drinks and champagne service, then it pays to have live musicians who can supply entertainment. Using the PA from a celebrant who needs to leave your ceremony straight after you marry will not be that useful to you!
It pays to be organised when it comes to your outdoor ceremony. If you decide that it all becomes too much work (and money – because let’s face it, it’s not always the cheaper option), then perhaps having the wedding outside isn’t right for you. Don’t cut corners though, planning all these things ahead, will save you so much anxiety in the lead up to the wedding day. Talk to us today about your outdoor wedding hire, we’d be delighted to give you free advice along with your hire booking which is the peace of mind that you really deserve.