There is something wonderful about planning your own wedding and seeing it come to life from a Pinterest board to the big day. However, not surprisingly, there are also a great deal of things to consider: the style and scope of your wedding, the costs – in terms of your time and your bank account; how flexible you are in relation to both of these things; as well as the large tablespoon of stress that is part and parcel of event management.
I recently shared a wine with a newly-engaged girlfriend to talk about wedding plans. The big day was scheduled for late the following year and she wanted to set up a giant tipi – large enough for well over 100 attendees – on the coastline outside of Lorne, Victoria. It sounded fabulous and my first thought was “ooh I can’t wait for this wedding”. The second, however, was that she hadn’t come to me to bathe in collective excitement and she certainly hadn’t come to me not for me just to agree with her, she wanted some practical and professional advice on whether the idea could work within her budget.
After asking her a bunch of questions about the big day and talking through a mental checklist of the often-unforeseen things to consider when planning an event (as well as indulging in a few more wines), my friend began to understand the intricacies of an ‘offsite’ – that is anywhere not in an actual venue – wedding. The not-so-sexy part of wedding planning. The logistics.
So for those sassy ladies wishing for an outdoor wedding in a remote location, I offer the following:
– Marquees, Tipis or any other structure can be exxy just in the hire cost alone. I would allow between $10k – $30k depending on what size and type you are after.
– If you are hiring a marquee from a CBD company and plan to place it in a location more than a few hours’ drive away, you will be paying (on top of your hire cost) the cost for transport. If you want to go with a big city supplier, you might be looking at a two to three-day hire period, depending on the size of the structure and the time – and personnel – it would take to put it up and pull it down (eg: install the day before the wedding, pull down the day after the wedding). Consider looking at regional marquee company’s closer to your venue. The structures may not be the same quality, but it is a significant cost saving. Styling can do a lot for you here!
– Keep in mind that you cannot set up anything under the marquee until it is fully in place, which might impact the timing of your bump in (aka set up or load in) schedule if you are hiring additional things – like furniture, lighting, sound, florals etc. – all of which will need time to pretty up the space beneath the marquee.
– Do you need flooring or additional walls? If so, these may cost extra. Make sure you have a conversation with your suppliers about exactly what comes with the structure as part of the hire cost. Shop around and compare your quotes!
– Is the ground level nice and flat where you plan to pop the marquee? If not, additional weights/legs may be required. Just a note: if you are hoping for a marquee on a beach, the pegs need to be a LOT longer and sand testing is generally required to make sure the beautiful marquee doesn’t blow away! #disaster
Image via Splendid Days Boutique Marquee Hire
– Is there space for parking at the site?
– Can guests get easily to and from the site if you were to arrange a bus to drop-off and pick-up? Often, the bus will need to make a few runs to transport the older guests first, followed by the young’uns.
– Are there toilets onsite? Or will you need to bring in loos for the occasion – trust me, this can be a make or break element of what should be a glorious and stress-free night.
– Is there access to power at the site? If there’s not, you will need to arrange for generators. Always try to get a ‘silenced generator’ as there is nothing worse than mechanical sounds during the speeches!
– If you are looking at bringing in lighting, a DJ booth, a photo booth etc., then make sure you ask your AV supplier how much power they are going to need to ensure you get the right sized generator. You might even be able to arrange this with them: the less suppliers = the less transport costs = more money for the honeymoon.
– Is the catering coming from the CBD or a regional company? Again, you will have the transport costs to think of. Regional catering companies are often cheaper than larger metro catering companies, use local produce and are just as good.
You can also consider doing the food and drink yourself! Although you will need to consider how you will clean the site, remove the rubbish/trash and recycle all of the empty wine bottles – I suggest paying a few of your friends’ little brothers to lend a hand with this part.
The above is not designed to cause disheartenment, rather to inspire you to take on the challenge with the knowledge that with a little time, attention to detail and possibly some yoga (followed by some wine) when things get tricky – anyone can event manage their own wedding day. Good luck!
About Caz Pringle: Caz has been in the Event Management industry for the last decade, producing events for the likes of Rolex, Revlon, New Balance, Jeep, The Australian Open, Peroni and Alfa Romeo. After running her own events company for three years, she now lives in Antalya, Turkey with her husband where she remotely works as a copywriter and digital content producer and teaches Boxing and Yoga. She also writes the blog www.shecanpunch.com about boxing and women’s empowerment, you can follow it on Insta @SheCanPunch.
Image of Event Producer and author of this post, Caz Pringle. Image supplied by Caz Pringle.