I can hear the bells…
Picking the spot to say ‘I do’ is often the first, largest, and most expensive decision you’ll need to make when planning your wedding. The allure of an outdoor venue is growing for fiancés across Australia, and it’s easy to understand why – with such beautiful scenery all over the country, boundless warm, sunny days, and such a variety of landscapes to choose from for your special day.
That said, it can be difficult to narrow down your options to one setting when they all look so perfect. So we’ve written a list of inspiration for the different types of places you could get married, as well as a consideration of the sorts of couples they might be best suited for.
Read down our list of outdoor wedding venue choices that are perfect for an Australian ceremony, to help you find your dream setting.
The classic, timeless, beach wedding. It conjures up images of billowing sheets, walking barefoot down a sandy aisle to the gentle sound of lapping waves. And where could be a more perfect place to host a beach wedding than on the glistening sands of Australia? With cliff backdrops and sapphire seas to set the scene, it’s one of the most romantic ways to tie the knot. However, you might need to hold onto your veil, as sea breezes can be a little stronger than further inland, and you can never truly guarantee the weather.
If you hire a wedding marquee, you’ll still be able to experience all the natural beauty around you, but still be sheltered from the elements, including shade from the sun.
Sometimes you can give the wedding planners a day off, and all you need is the stunning beauty of your surroundings to create the perfect décor for your wedding. Heading into the bushland is an impressive way to honour the land that we walk on, and a true homage to Australian culture. You’ll find bush wedding venues in national parks, or in retreat style off-the-beaten track locations. Many of these more remote destinations offer accommodation for your guests, so your wedding could even turn into a whole weekend immersed in nature. However, if you’re planning something a little more rugged, just make sure that your ceremony is respectful towards indigenous land owners.
If you have your heart set on a traditional church wedding ceremony, there are two ways you can make your religious setting something really special. If you’re after a big blow-out, look into converted chapels or even ancient cathedrals. You’ll be saying your vows where thousands of others have done the very same thing, and have a whole hall filled with the people you love watching as you do so. Or, if you’re looking for something smaller, stone and brick churches that have been untouched for hundreds of years in remote places with only a few pews inside them will create a sacred, intimate atmosphere. Pick a location that is significant to you and your partner, and your love story will be engraved into the walls of the church for evermore.
There’s something so classy about wooden beam ceilings and fairy lights trailing the surrounding foliage. Your wedding will feel like the ultimate escapist dream if you drive deep into the countryside, somewhere with sweeping views over hills or deep in the woodland. If you want the fairytale aesthetic, having your evening reception in a converted barn or stable will create that enchanting feel. Or, you could opt for something more modern to contrast with your surroundings like a sleek, glass roof building, to continue the feeling of being outside, and feel as though you’re in a magical wonderland after dark.
In any season, a botanical garden is going to offer you an incredible environment that will delight all your guests. In the winter you’ll be walking amongst icy lakes and frosted trees, in the spring and summer you’ll be dazzled in the brightest colours from the world’s most exotic flora, and in the autumn you’ll have the rich palletes of gold and orange to frame your special day. Botanic gardens in big cities such as Melbourne or Sydney normally have viewpoints of the skyline, so this one is a great outdoor setting if you’re after some real show-stopper photos of you and your new hubby or wife in front of the city that may have given birth to your love-story, or may be the start of your new life together.
Australia is famous all over the world for its fantastic quality of wines, and the vineyards they grow on tend to be equally as magnificent. Wait until spring and summer and you’ll have trailing green vines as far as the eye can see. In the autumn months, those lazy hours of sun in the afternoon will turn everything golden. Of course, getting married on a vineyard guarantees expert wine and often locally sourced food, so if hosting a grand sit-down meal is a high priority for you, this outdoor venue can tick off more than one box on your dream-wedding criteria.
For the animal lovers out there, a zoo is a great place to get hitched – especially for those looking for a wedding that isn’t quite as formal as some of the above suggestions. You may be able to access some interactive experiences on your wedding day, such as feeding a giraffe or having photos in your wedding attire with a monkey, which will surely make for an eye catching sight. It is worth keeping in mind that although many zoos can cater for weddings, they are not designed for them – so think about whether walking across uneven ground or farm like smells from the animal enclosures would bother you on your big day.
Perhaps you and your fiancé spent a first date at an art gallery or museum, or it’s somewhere you bonded over and have always considered a special place for the two of you. Being surrounded by some of the world’s most famous works of art, almost always housed in beautiful works of architecture in their own right, is a unique way of hosting a wedding. In years to come when you’re wandering the galleries with all the other tourists, you and your partner will have the secret knowledge that this is where you started the next chapter of your lives together, with the artworks you pass keeping the secret with you.
Planning a wedding is a long and complex process, but picking the right venue should be a fun way to get you excited for it all. So, set the stage for one of the most magical days of your life, and before you know it you’ll be walking down the aisle in one of these fantastic outdoor settings.