People choose ceremony locations for a range of reasons – perhaps the place has a special significance for the bride and groom, perhaps it’s on a deck they’ve built together or it’s is a location with lots of natural beauty which will be great for atmosphere and photos. The location of the wedding ceremony will have a bearing on the type of ceremony you are planning, the number of people you invite and the setting up of your ceremony.
We are so lucky in Australia that the outdoor locations we can draw on, are almost limitless and breathtakingly beautiful – ceremonies can be held in parks, vineyards, gardens, by lakes, fountains or outdoor sculptures, on farms, beaches and in family back yards. Very often outdoor public spaces are free or have very little cost and must simply be booked with the local municipality. Outdoor venues which are part of an all in one venue where your reception will be held are great because people do not have to drive and kill time between venues.
With luck and good timing the weather holds for most outdoor ceremonies. However it is essential to have a ‘Plan B’ – another location in case of rain. If your ceremony is in the middle of summer, think about shade for yourselves and your guests. Your bridal party and guests will love you for it. Check out whether the outdoor location you are considering is prone to windy days at that time of the day or year. Nothing plays havoc with carefully crafted hairdos, veils and even wedding certificates more than wind.
Homes, halls, restaurants and hotels can all provide lovely ceremony settings where you can be sure of the temperature and you can decorate without danger from the wind or elements. Many outdoor venues have an alternative space co-located if Plan B is needed.
Churches, temples and mosques themselves are beautiful venues for religious weddings. If you look around it is possible to find non-religious ‘chapels’ in which the bride can walk down the aisle and guests can be seated in a traditional seating plan. Hotels and restaurants may enable you to do this too. On occasions the location may be determined by other factors, for example a hospital bedside wedding because of illness.
You may be opting for a really different location like a hot air balloon, on board a ship or in a plane. Your Australian registered civil celebrant can solemnise these marriages provided they are in Australian territory, airspace or waters.
The couple pictured above chose to marry on the shores of Lake Tuggeranong in Canberra because the location was at the edge of the Tuggeranong College grounds. Fifteen years earlier Tomo from Japan and Jiawen from China had met there as exchange students. I’ve always loved this couple’s story.