As the weather starts to warm up, we are all entranced by romantic ideas of watching the sunset on the beach, eating dinner in the backyard under the stars and beautiful picnics in lush gardens. Or are you the type of person who prefers a roof over your head to sand between your toes?
Whether you are an indoor or an outdoor couple when it comes to your wedding ceremony and reception venues, here are a few tips to help you overcome some challenges which come with the territory of each.
Indoor Challenge: You could be anywhere.
Solution: Beware of choosing a wedding venue that is a repurposed windowless conference room. Instead look for an indoor wedding venue that has large windows all the guests will have a view from, unique architectural features or interesting artworks and sculptures.
Outdoor Challenge: You can’t plan the weather.
Solution: Let’s address this one right away, if you want an outdoor wedding, you’re going to have to have a contingency plan in case of rain; whether that’s a marquee with sides that can be rolled down or a nearby pavilion space we have rainy days in November just like we do in June.
Indoor Challenge: There’s a lot to decorate.
Solution: An indoor wedding venue starts out as a big empty space which can be daunting, not to mention expensive, to transform into your dream wedding wonderland. Therefore, ask about the inclusions in your venue’s package, many will include chair covers, centrepieces and some lighting.
Outdoor Challenge: Limited options.
Solution: You may have your heart set on a garden or beach wedding, but you can’t just choose a patch of lawn and pitch a marquee. That’s why when I’m planning and catering an outdoor wedding, I offer a number of locations which have the approved permits and allowances for weddings. I also work with suppliers who are comfortable with the different logistics of working outdoors, and I use tested and proven menus which I can rely on in an outdoor setting so your guests won’t feel like they’re eating camp-side food.
Indoor Challenge: Maximum capacity.
Solution: Unlike the great outdoors, the great indoors is limited by its four walls, so make sure the first thing you ask any potential wedding venue is their capacity, making sure that includes a head bridal table and a dance floor.
Outdoor Challenge: Access.
Solution: At an outdoor wedding you’re creating the space, so make sure you think about things like signage for ceremony, reception, toilets and parking. Also make sure there are easy access pathways and well-lit parking.
Indoor Challenge: Lighting.
Solution: Indoor photography can be impacted by low light, as well as by overly fluorescent lighting. Make sure you ask to see examples of your photographer’s indoor wedding work to check their experience with your venue.
Outdoor Challenge: Unwanted guests.
Solution: At an outdoor wedding you might attract a few looky-lous you didn’t invite, not to mention the local wildlife. All you need to do is have clearly marked out spaces for your wedding events and this will avoid people wandering through you event uninvited. To work in harmony with the wildlife, I always make sure my staff takes special care with their ingredients and waste disposal at an outdoor wedding, to leave the space as we found it. Citronella candles can provide lighting and atmosphere as well as warding off bugs, as well as a few small roll on bug repellents on each table.
Both indoor and outdoor weddings are beautiful ways to express your personality and build a memorable celebration, and there’s no reason you and I can’t overcome any challenges with any space you choose.
Until next time,
Cindy Westphalen owns and operates award winning South Australian based catering company, Cindy's Classic Gourmet.