Which comes first, the dress or the venue?
You may laugh now, however both deserve the same amount of consideration (and may have similar waiting times, not to ring any alarm bells!)
First things first: let’s talk about the budget… It's not the most attractive word when thinking about your dream day, but it is a reality (harsh but fair). That magic number may be really helpful in narrowing down your options and keeping any major debt at bay. When you factor in all the added extras, an indoor venue will potentially attract higher costs than an outdoor venue but will be your one-stop shop and provide more of the must-haves for your special day. Let's break this down even further...
First Option: Indoor Locations
For your wedding ceremony, you want everything perfect right!? Picture this… you have just had your makeup and hair done, you have your gorgeous dress on, shoes are feeling good and you are ready to shine. You walk up a long hallway, through a whimsical doorway adorned with flower garlands of your choosing and all eyes are on you. Once you have said ‘I do’ and officially married that person of your dreams, it’s now time to party. The fuss and effort have been taken out of the story for you, with the use of a function room at a glamorous hotel or function centre. They will have tables and chairs, and all the rest of the bells and whistles set up and ready to go… all you need to do is have your say on some styling. Things to consider are picking out some crisp tablecloths, sturdy napkins and some gorgeous foliage arrangements (eucalyptus garlands are an absolute must at the moment). Sounds pretty easy right!?
This option may be the right one for you, or you may want a little more say in the ‘vibe’ of your special day. A few questions to ask yourself…
Is the space aligned with your own personal style?
Is the colour of the room what you pictured your tones to be?
What is the capacity of the room and does that mean you need to cull from your rapidly growing list?
All good things to consider. If you are wanting a bit more of a ‘DIY’ style of wedding, we suggest you read on...
Second Option: Outdoor Locations
Think relaxed sandy beaches, lush leafy parks, dramatic mountains, bubbling brooks, secluded waterfalls, rugged headlands, your cousins' farm! The list goes on, and the options are so exciting you may feel spoiled for choice, but again there are many many factors to consider.
Number one being of course, the weather. No amount of prayer, bribery or helping old ladies across the road will impact mother nature's plans for your special day. Even historical weather charts seem redundant in the age of climate change.
Weather aside, you should plan to put your best foot forward on the day (but also make sure you have a wet weather option). And by best we mean you can plan the aesthetics of your wedding to be EXACTLY how you want it... For example, your classic white chairs positioned perfectly on the grassy aisle, the archway framed by the bluest sky, the natural colours of the season speckled throughout your backdrop. We are talking… Full Creative Control!
Then there is the benefit of hire fees (if applicable) being significantly less (depending on your LGA). But again you may come up against a long waitlist for popular seasons when everyone is vying for that same day as you.
Next, let’s talk about costs. An outdoor wedding can go one of two ways when it comes to equipment. Seeing as you will need to bring in all the elements traditionally supplied by an existing events space, this can add up quickly (think chairs, tables, lighting, power, toilets, umbrellas, decorations, cutlery, plates, glassware… the list goes on) Or, this is where you can save money, when you loop in those special friends (who didn't quite make the bridal party but would still love an important role) to help in the setup.
Third Option: Best Of Both Worlds
If you are fortunate enough to have a cousin with a picture-perfect farm and who liked your Secret Santa last year, perhaps asking them about a hybrid of the two is the ultimate solution.
A marquee erected in a suitable spot that is intended as weather insurance. Access to power through veeery long extension cords. Privacy to keep out those passersby who can't help but stop and end up in the background of your wedding photos. No limitation on start & finish times. The flexibility to bring in your own caterer and choose your wine. As we mentioned before... Full Creative Control!
The variables of Indoor vs Outdoor go on and on and on. We suggest you carve out some time with your Bride or Groom to be, pour a glass of wine and get out the old notepad and pen. It’s time to weigh up your priorities, budget and start to map out the foundations of your special day.
Best of luck.