Getting married is a pretty big deal for all of us and it is understandable why you want your wedding to be amazing. There are so many things to consider, the dress, the shoes, the wedding reception venue but arguably the most important part of the day is your wedding ceremony as that is the part that makes it all legal and real!
But how do you go about selecting the perfect Sydney wedding ceremony venue? There are so many factors to consider and so many details that need to be taken into account. I have been a Sydney Wedding Photographer for over 9 years and I have seen more than 300 weddings across Sydney, so I guess I’m rather qualified to give you some insight into this very topic!
Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect wedding ceremony venue for a truly memorable day.
Wedding Ceremony Location compared to your wedding reception venue
The location of your wedding ceremony venue will determine several things- the ease of transportation, the types of photos you get, and even the overall vibe of the event. Consider your geographical area and how accessible the venue is for guests traveling from different distances, as well as what kind of wedding photography locations are nearby.
Ask yourself the question “Is the wedding ceremony spot close to my wedding reception venue?” If it is in the same location, that is the most ideal scenario as that creates a lot less traveling for your guests and of course you and your bridal party. The less time you have to travel, the more time you get to spend time with the people you love and that is a win in my books!
If it is not in the same location, then you have to think about logistics on how far it is between the wedding ceremony to the wedding reception and factor that into your wedding day timeline.
Often this is the hardest part of planning a wedding and I’ve already solved that problem for you by writing a really handy blog post that helps you plan your perfect wedding day timeline 7 Tips to make your wedding timeline Easy so do check it out!
Does it reflect what style you are looking for?
Most ceremony venues have their own distinct style from rustic barns to classic ballroom halls. As you look through potential venues, keep in mind what kind of atmosphere you want for your big day. Do you want something cozy with natural elements or something grand and luxurious? Be sure to take into consideration both form and functionality when making this choice- after all, a small wedding may not fit in large hall while certain formalities may not work in an outdoor space either.
If you are wanting a church wedding for religious reasons, then you would have to locate a suitable church to accommodate your size of wedding.
If you’re looking for a romantic outdoor ceremony, find a spot with plenty of lovely trees or mountains in view. If an indoor event is more your style, make sure there’s enough room for all your guests to move around comfortably.
There are a lot of amazing wedding venues that allow you to just hire out their space just for your wedding ceremony, so do check with their wedding coordinator if this is possible. It might cost a little more than if you were to have your wedding reception in the same place, but if you have your heart set on the aesthetics and style then it is still a great choice in my opinion.
Does it work for your guest count?
This is a very important consideration as your wedding ceremony venue has to fit all of your best people in the same place. I would suggest researching on their website first and foremost before putting it on your shortlist to personally visit.
Most ceremony locations are often outdoor and it has no limits on how many people it can accommodate, however if it is indoors then there are often restrictions due to the space.
Is it at the same venue as your wedding reception?
If the answer is “Yes” then I think you are onto a winner! This is in my opinion as a Sydney Wedding Photographer the most ideal for everyone, guests and all including your wedding vendor team.
Having your wedding ceremony and reception in the same location is a god send in my books as it eliminates all the stress involved in traveling, getting into your car, hopping out of your car, parking, locating where you need to be and all of that stressful stuff.
Once you arrive at the location, you park your car once and that is it. Stress free and amazing!
Is there a wet weather backup in case of bad weather?
Ah yes, the all important question “what if it rains during your wedding ceremony is always something you cannot control even if you try your hardest to do so!
If you have decided to have an outdoor wedding ceremony, then a wet-weather backup is a really good idea as you never know what will happen on your wedding day in terms of weather.
Chances are you will not need a wet weather backup, as has the case with my clients most of the time but in 2022 I had 7 weddings that year that needed to go plan B.
My advice as a wedding photographer is, find out whether your ceremony venue has a wet weather backup plan in place for when it does rain, if it costs any extra and if it is aesthetically pleasing of course!
Some Sydney wedding ceremony venues look amazing indoors and provide both a Plan A and Plan B, so do consider some of those options too. I have come across several wedding ceremony venues that are both beautiful indoors and keeps everyone dry, some of these include the NSW State Library, Beta Events, or the Palm House in the Royal Botanic Garden.
Does it fit your budget?
This is also a very important consideration as weddings in Sydney are a little expensive depending on the wedding venue you do choose, but there are plenty of cost effective choices such as a local council run park in a nice location such as Cabarita Park , Captain Waterhouse Reserve in Kirribilli or the Arc of Pines in Sydney Olympic Park for under $1000 to hire for the day.
I personally had my wedding at the Rotunda at Cabarita Park, it was a really nice semi private space with a nice big oak tree providing a nice bit of shade and the Rotunda also served as a wet weather backup in case of nasty weather. But thankfully, we did not need our plan B!
All we had to do was hire the chairs and decorations and that was easy when we had Abbey from Lovesick Weddings help us with the wedding ceremony hire.
What does it provide?
When choosing a venue, don’t forget to check out what amenities they provide- especially if they offer any type of additional services such chairs, ceremony decorations and other styling elements. Make sure these services fit within your budget and also check if they provide any discounts or packages that can help bring down costs further. It can also be helpful to ask if they offer any special promotions throughout the year that could make booking more affordable for you and your guests!
Finally, make sure that pets are allowed if that is important for you or your guests!
Choosing the perfect wedding ceremony venue can seem like an overwhelming task but it doesn’t have to be! By keeping these tips in mind- location, style, amenities- you’ll be one step closer towards having a memorable event that will truly reflect who you are as a couple!
I hope you like my 7 Best Tips on How to Choose your Perfect Wedding Ceremony Venue.
So take some time now and start researching potential venues -you never know which one might be the one! Good luck!
Over the years I’ve seen some pretty amazing all in one wedding ceremony and reception venues in Sydney and I too wrote a pretty comprehensive blog post on the Best 23 All in One Wedding Ceremony and Reception Venues in Sydney so if you need help finding yours then do check it out!