Tips to Plan Your Outdoor Wedding Reception

Every couple wants their wedding day to be memorable and is looking for ways to plan a wedding that is different from everything they’ve seen before. Opting for an outdoor wedding reception could be that brilliant idea that will make the day you tie the knot one of a kind.

How to Plan an Outdoor Wedding

Reasons to consider outdoor wedding ideas are numerous: flexibility to choose any wedding theme, increased space, feeling more comfortable, saving costs, and benefiting from the positive effects of spending time outdoors. Moreover, currently there is one extra advantage of an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception – being able to comply with social distancing regulations required during the Covid-19 pandemic, without compromising on the number of guests.

An upcoming summer outdoor wedding will still have to observe some strict regulations but many couples will find that venturing outdoors is better than having a highly restricted indoor wedding or postponing their wedding to an unknown date.

What regulations you will need to follow

There are multiple changes and updates from the Australian Government for each state, and all these rules and regulations can change at any time because of the uncertainty of the 2021 Covid pandemic. When planning your big day and looking for suitable wedding locations, you need to consider the following aspects:

  • Canapé service is not permitted in all states and you will have to serve each guest separately. You cannot have shared plates or family-style catering even for your outside wedding reception and you may be allowed only sit-down service.
  • The maximum number of people allowed at a table is generally ten, but regulations can differ from state to state.
  • Recommendations are to seat guests with people from their household or family if possible.
  • Table styling may differ during the Covid-19 outbreak, with some venues not permitting cutlery and glassware on tables in order to minimise risk – ask your destination wedding venue before making styling decisions.
  • Singing, group singing, and wind instruments can spread the virus when a performer is infected, so if you want to include these options with your ceremony, the performers will need to be placed at least 3 metres away from your guests.
  • Dancing is still possible in some states, but you will need to look for places such as Whitsunday wedding venues that have a dance floor with enough space. Unfortunately, rituals or traditions such as throwing the bouquet need to be modified or eliminated.
  • You need to provide the names and contact numbers of all of your guests and vendors.

If you are considering an Airlie Beach wedding, you need to follow Queensland Covid-19 regulations, such as:

  • A maximum of 100 guests can attend a wedding from the 3rd of July 2020;
  • Social distancing is mandatory and guests who are unwell should not attend;
  • You need to store securely the contact details of people attending your wedding for 56 days in case you need to provide such information to public health officers;
  • The couple getting married is allowed to dance with each other and/or their parents;
  • You can only have a sit-down reception with individual plates served.

Please note these rules and regulations are subject to change at any time with the uncertainty of COVID-19.

Tips, tricks & ideas for planning an outdoor wedding reception

Couples getting married in 2021 and the next year may have to cope with some extra difficulties in their wedding planning, but venues are adaptable and the current situation should not spoil the fun of preparing for one of the most important events in your life. We think you should still look forward to the big day and keep on focusing on outdoor wedding reception ideas like you would have normally done:

Find the right outdoor wedding reception venue

Many Australian couples are lately opting for Airlie beach wedding ideas, since there are literally dozens of venues you can choose from if you decide to get married in the Whitsundays. One of the best options is Villa Botanica, the most beautiful and luxurious Whitsunday wedding venues, with breathtaking ocean views and top service.

Keep in touch with guests through a wedding website

Online communication methods are preferred not only due to social distancing requirements but also because they are very convenient. Choose a wedding website service that will allow you to communicate wedding details to all your guests without wasting time on emails and chat messages.

Keep guests comfortable

An outdoor wedding reception comes with multiple advantages but also with some possible issues such as uncomfortable weather and upsetting insects. If you opt for a summer outdoor wedding, consider providing parasols, hand fans, chilled water, and insect repellents – these minor details can make all the difference for your guests!

Use a microphone for the ceremony

An outdoor wedding ceremony has different acoustics compared to an indoor traditional one, plus that you also need to maintain a certain distance from your guests – using a simple but reliable sound system is a must.

Check sound ordinances

Whether you choose a destination wedding venue or opt for more local wedding locations, throwing a party outdoors can disturb neighbours. Some venues have strict sound ordinances and you will need to plan your day based on the latest hour you are allowed to make loud noise – usually 11 p.m.

Weather can be unpredictable

Even if you have an Airlie beach wedding and chances of good weather are extremely high, you still need to have a plan B in mind. Make sure you love your alternate plan so you can remain positive in case unpredicted weather affects your original plan. Very important – find out if you are allowed to set up your rental items on wet ground or under threat of rain.

Adapt your fashion choices

Getting married in a tropical climate and having an outside wedding reception means you will have to consider your fashion and beauty choices carefully because factors like wind, humidity, and heat may affect your attire, hairstyle, and products. Fortunately nowadays there are plenty of solutions even if dancing can make you sweat or the ocean breeze is a bit too powerful. Extra tip: while travelling to your destination wedding venue by plane never check your wedding dress and take it with you in the cabin even if you have to fold it.

Use your creativity

Outdoor wedding receptions are preferred because they allow for more creativity, requires less decor, allow you to be more spontaneous, and the amount of outdoor wedding ideas are endless. The logistics are very important, but so are the creative elements – make use of the natural environment to create an event that stands out from the crowd. Suggestions such as amazing lighting techniques, incorporating lawn games, releasing butterflies or doves, or even including your pets in your wedding are just a snippet of ideas for outdoor wedding receptions. A quick internet search will reveal countless outdoor wedding ideas – you just need to choose your favourite ones and check with your venue if your ideas are compatible with the setting and facilities provided.


The perfect outdoors ceremony and reception can be created for you at the beautifully boutique Villa Botanica, Whitsundays. Villa Botanica situated by the Coral Sea is a unique and exclusive location for the perfect outdoor wedding reception and ceremony. Reasons to invest in the wedding of your dreams by booking an Airlie beach wedding at Villa Botanica include:

  • Being surrounded by the gorgeous natural Whitsundays environment;
  • Getting married in a tropical garden setting perfectly complemented by antique, Balinese-inspired architecture;
  • Five-star food and drinks;
  • In-house, meticulous professional wedding planning and boutique wedding-night accommodation;
  • Complimentary transport to deliver your guests safely to local accommodation;
  • Expansive 30m long veranda with views overlooking the sea;
  • Having the 5 acres of the estate just for you to enjoy for the day as Villa Botanica hosts only one event at a time;
  • All-inclusive wedding packages available, so you don’t need to worry about a thing!
  • Exclusive discounts at recommended Airlie Beach accommodation providers for your guests.

If you want to achieve the perfect outdoor wedding ceremony and outdoor wedding reception contact Villa Botanica today and let us start designing the perfect wedding for you!

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