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Hi! My name is Andrew Hellmich from Impact Images.
When brides think of their wedding days and planning for their wedding day, rain is probably their biggest single fear. That’s the one thing that you cannot control but if you have a little bit of prior planning beforehand, everything should go fine and it shouldn’t be such an interruption.
In this short video I am going to give you 9 things to consider as far as planning for your outdoor ceremony.
Option 1 – Umbrellas
The first thing that I would be looking at organizing would be some umbrellas. You can source bring these yourself but, if you want them to all match and look fantastic in your photos, I would speak to your photographer first.
I know at Impact Images, both our studios in Newcastle and Erina Heights, the Central Coast Studio, we supply umbrellas for the whole bridal party. We have clear ones for the girls, black ones for the guys and they will look great in your photos.
If you don’t want to purchase these umbrellas yourself or your photographer doesn’t have them, speak to your car hire people – if you are having car hire. They will often have umbrellas. They may not all match but they should have some good-looking umbrellas that might work well with your wedding day.
So that’s my number one option. Car hire company or your wedding photographers should both have umbrellas available for you, especially if you have good photographers!
Option 2 – Marquee Hire
The next option would be marquee hire – I have seen them sheltering numbers of people from 50 up to 200, and you should be able to find any size between.
You won’t need sides and doorways – all you’ll require is basic marquee if it’s for your ceremony, just the roof and poles. It would normally be erected for you by the hire company. They will either set up the day before or the morning of your wedding.
If you don’t use the marquee because it happens not to rain – fantastic, that’s great! You can still use it for sun protection or to serve drinks, nibbles or canapés after the ceremony.
You should get use out of the marquee no matter the weather. You may have to get permission to set this up if you are on council land, which more than likely for an outdoor wedding. I suggest check with them and get the okay. It will usually be fine, the council just like to know about those sorts of things.
Option 3 – Reception Venue
If you have your heart set on having an outdoor ceremony, you need to look carefully at the reception venue that you picked for your wedding and check they have room for you and all your guests inside if it happens to be a wet day.
Some receptions places will say, “Yeah, yeah, we can fit you”, and then when it actually comes to the day, it’s just chock-a-block. There’s no room and they have some dingy little back room and it’s not as nice as you first thought that it was going to be, or the way the pitched it to you.
A little preparation and some questions and everything should be fine – make sure you see the space that is proposed for your ceremony in case of rain. You’ll find that some of the venues will have amazing spaces – just check. It’s a big thing to have your outdoor wedding, you need to have that back-up plan in place.
Option 4 – Hotel
Another option is a hotel. I know in all the areas we service, The Central Coast, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley Vineyards, there are plenty of hotel options. For example, we have the The Crowne Plaza in Terrigal, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. Talk to them and if you are looking for somewhere to stay at the night of your wedding and you know you’ve got a fancy hotel close by and they have large rooms, check to see if you can possibly make a temporary booking, book or put a hold on a room for the ceremony, just in case it happens to be raining on your wedding day.
They will usually have function rooms that may be available. You are probably not going to get the main room for your ceremony, especially if it’s a Saturday wedding in spring because it may be booked already. They may have some other space for you. They won’t like to turn you away if they know you could have one hundred guests buying drinks after your ceremony. They will try to accommodate you wherever they can, particularly if you are going to be staying there that night and you are bringing all those guests along.
Option 5 – Apartments
Again, if you are looking for somewhere to stay that night and you are looking at say, a set of apartments or some apartments for you and guests, they may just have a great space for your ceremony if it happens to rain.
Again, thinking about the locations I shoot – often at Terrigal on the Central Coast, we have the ‘Star of the Sea Apartments’ which are just stunning. These roomy apartments with unobstructed views of the ocean would be perfect for a small ceremony. Bob, who manages the facility, will go out of his way to make sure that your day is perfect. He’ll make sure that he finds something to accommodate you and your guests and the wedding will be perfect.
Option 6 – Winery
Wineries are fantastic! They will always have room. Well, most of them will have room for a wedding ceremony but depending on the time of the year, many will be booked in advance. Again, if it’s a Spring or Autumn wedding, it’s going to be busy, you’ll need to try and source a winery that does not have a booking and has room.
You will find a lot of them have barrel rooms and storage rooms, and some of those can look fantastic and will work really well for your ceremony.
Wineries can be found in more areas than the Hunter Valley Vineyards, even the Central Coast has a little winery, Fires Creek, that will accommodate a smaller wedding indoors as well.
Option 7 – Surf Clubs
Next on my list, I have surf clubs. I did a lot of weddings at surf clubs until a year ago. I do less now but there are more and more being built, renovated and refurbished and they look fantastic. These are the ones that usually get booked first for actual weddings – wedding receptions.
So if you are looking for a back-up option for your ceremony, I would seek out the slightly older surf clubs – the ones that haven’t been redone in recent years, and you are more likely to ‘get lucky’.
Again, you probably won’t be going there unless it is raining. So you want to try and look for somewhere that you don’t have to put too much of a deposit down and hopefully you can get hold of that room, if you do need it.
Option 8 – Local Halls
When I suggest this option to my couples they occasionally freak out because local halls have a bit of a dingy, ugly sort of connotation.
There are all sorts of local halls – community halls, Rotary halls. I know a local yacht club has a hall that backs right on to the water. There are some good-looking halls around – you just have to look or possibly get a little creative with your decorating. That goes without saying, but it can be a great option.
They aren’t going to cost very much. You can put a hold on it for a long time in advance and you can get down and dress it up in the morning of the wedding or send someone else down there to do that, if the weather is looking ominous on your wedding day.
Option 9 – House or Home
The last option I have is a house. You may know someone who has a fantastic house that backs on to a beach. It could be a large, modern, open-plan house. You may be surprised at how many people can comfortably fit into an area like that.
If you know someone who has a great house, one of your guests or family, you can suggest the idea to them – it might be an option. I am sure you will be up for some cleaning costs afterwards, but it’s still going to be better than being stuck on the beach in wet weather.
What about costs?
So that’s nine different options to consider. I’m sure you will find something in the list to suit you.
As far as prices go, umbrellas are obviously going to be the cheapest.
Marquee’s can get expensive depending on how big you require.
Reception venue – that should be no charge. They should include that option when making your booking.
With the hotel option, there will probably be some costs to hold it but again if you are going to be bringing a hundred guests there for drinks, that should be pretty minimal.
Apartments – possibly no charge. I know Bob will look after you at ‘Star of the Sea’ if you are planning a Central Coast wedding.
Winery – you will have to pay for. Talk with the local wineries in the same area you are planning on having your ceremony and see what you can come up with there.
They may have a payment plan where you have to pay some money and purchase a case or two of wines. At least you are walking away with some beautiful wines as well as the use of their space for you for your investment/insurance against the rain.
If you have a great winery picked out for your ceremony and didn’t happen to rain, I would still be going there for photos. You would have picked that location because you liked it – make the most of it.
Surf clubs, yes, you definitely will have some costs. You’ll have to check as far as drinks go at surf clubs. They do have some licensing rules. If you are not having drinks, I am sure that won’t be a problem and I don’t think you’d pay too much for a surf club an afternoon, particularly if you’re going to be out of there before the evening so they can run other functions after yours.
Local halls – they are pretty cheap. They’ll run from around $30-an-hour. You can book them well in advance and keep them on hold in case of bad weather. You will need to make some investment to dress up the halls.
House – if you know someone, I guess you are going to have cleaning fees, which may run into the hundreds, depending on how much dirt gets carried into the house.
Getting married is the main thing
I hope that helps. At the end of the day, after it’s all said and done, the main thing is that you guys are getting married. Don’t worry too much about the weather. Enjoy the day. Make sure you have some wet weather plans in place and remember, if you are smiling, you will get great photos, no matter the weather! Everyone will have a great time if you are.
Well, that’s it for me today. I hope you can stop by our website : impact-images.com.au. If you’re looking for lots more tips and advice , make sure you click on the ‘advice’ tab at the top of the page. I’d love to see you there, and remember, if you are looking for a wedding photographer on the Central Coast, Newcastle or the Hunter Valley, we’d love to talk to you about your plans and ideas.
All right, thanks for that. See you next time, bye!