So this is something many couples planning an outdoor wedding grapple with – do we have it outdoors, or do we hold it inside a marquee?
Far from wanting to add to the confusion about which option is best for you, we thought it would be useful to list the pros and cons of each option, as there are bound to points you may not yet have even thought of. Hopefully being able to see the benefits and drawbacks of each listed out will help you determine which one you plan to go for.
· Depending where you choose, a garden can be a cheap or even free venue.
· You can get a really picturesque setting.
· There’s plenty of natural light.
· An outside garden provides a great backdrop for your photos.
· Guests can easily mingle in the outdoors (provided it is big enough for your number of guests).
· Gardens lend themselves to an abundance of activities with which to entertain guests, such as bocce, lawns bowls, croquet, mini golf, giant chess and so on.
· The is something spectacular about dancing and dining under the stars.
· You can put up all sorts of gorgeous lighting in the trees and around the garden.
· Obviously you’re open to the elements, so weather can make or break the day.
· As well as the weather, you’ll have to contend with the wildlife – like birds, bugs and ants.
· The ground can be muddy if it rains lots before or during the day.
· There may be difficulties getting power, or preparing food and drinks in the garden.
· Your guests could be forced to walk a long way to get to a bathroom.
· Women in high heels can find themselves sinking into, or causing damage to, soft lawns.
· Guests can get lost if the garden is large or has a complicated layout.
· You need to have tables and chairs set up on the ground. This can be difficult if the surface is not flat and you'll be limited to particular furniture/decorations that will not get damaged by the elements.
· You also have to think about all the set up equipment and what could happen to it if it gets wet or damaged in the elements. Not that many companies will cover this type of damage so you may be paying for your wedding twice!
· You’ll stay dry should the heavens open!
· A marquee provides guests with a definitive venue in which to mingle and you with a definitive space to decorate.
· Marquees can be easier to decorate than open areas, in terms of securing decorations and hanging lights. There are some terrific companies that can organise every aspect of the marquee set up.
· You can enclose the space to keep out bugs, birds and drafts.
· The size of demountable marquees varies greatly, allowing you more scope to choose the amount of space you want when compared to an indoor venue or a fixed outdoor area.
· You can put down temporary flooring to avoid damaging lawns and ensuring tables are level.
· You can always bring the garden inside with indoor trees, plants and stunning floral arrangements if you want to create an outdoor garden effect. It is also possible to have marquees with clear roofing so you can dine under the stars in safety!
· There is a large cost involved in setting up a marquee. The exact figure would depend upon how intricate or involved you'd like the marquee (such as flooring, roofing or draping).
· Marquees can’t be used in certain types of weather, such as strong winds.
· Some venues don’t allow marquees to be erected so you'll need to search for one that is suitable and has the correct permits.
· A marquee may not necessarily stop the ground becoming muddy if it rains. You'll have to pay extra to have a floor installed.
· Marquees block part of the view, negating some of the point of having a picturesque location.
· You will need to include lighting and power into both your costs and logistics.
After reviewing the pros and cons, it is our opinion that you could do both! Why not have a marquee set up for your dining (have some gorgeous indoor trees and hanging plants) and then have your dancefloor and activities in the gorgeous gardens?
If you are desperate to dine amongst the tree, however, we highly recommend that you have an indoor space available (or a spot to set up a marquee) that can take you grab last minute. We can't stress how important it is to make sure you have a back up option. If the heaven's open up, you don't want your guests getting drenched or having to find a last minute pub for your wedding celebrations!
There are some terrific spots in Sydney to put up a marquee and still have the benefit of their gorgeous lawns. Consider the Bennelong Lawn, Fleet Steps or Rose Garden spots in the Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney for your marquee and garden party combined! There are also terrific companies that can help you set up your marquee, including South Coast Hire or Event Marquees.