Country weddings continue to be a popular trend for couples across Australia. They can be bohemian luxe or romantic, held in your own backyard or on a cattle station. Here in the Northern Territory and all over the country, there are limitless venue and location options! In “Having A Country Wedding? Here’s How To Make The Most Of The Rural Space!” with Chanel Edwards from Territory Weddings we look at the best ways to utilise the space at your country wedding and the essential hire items you need at your location.

The wedding in the images used in this feature took place on the couple’s block of land in Humpty Doo, Darwin. The ceremony was surrounded by Turkey bush and Eucalyptus trees and was accessible by a hidden, winding trail behind the couple’s property. The reception took place 30m away and used many of the elements I recommended in this article. 

Choosing a venue that suits your needs and vision will help you determine how to best utilise the space. You may opt for a single venue to hold your ceremony and reception. Alternatively, you may choose to have your wedding at multiple locations. We will consider both options to help make the planning easier for you. We recommend designing your ceremony and reception layout based on the number of guests you expect will attend. Consider the comfort of guests in small spaces and whether there is enough space to move around without the risk of falling, and accessibility for all your guests and their abilities. For larger locations or venues, avoid setting the furniture too far apart and aim to create a cosy vibe so guests can move effortlessly between the different spaces.

Single Locations or Venue

One of the many benefits of having your wedding at a single location is the potential to use available furniture onsite. A single venue may have more than one space you can use for your ceremony and reception. You could save money on hire items by reducing the need to move furniture between multiple locations. Guests also benefit by not having to travel to numerous places.

Create your country wedding at a single venue with distinctive spaces. For ceremonies, find an attractive tree, appealing backdrop or area of the venue away from the reception area. For smaller spaces and guest numbers, use fewer rows of seating to give the impression of a bigger space than what is available. We recommend two rows of 4 or 5 chairs as a minimum. Opt for more rows of bench seating instead of chairs for wide open spaces to create a more cosy and intimate feel. This draws guests’ attention to what’s happening in front of them. Guests can also stand as long as there is a clear aisle for the wedding party to walk down.

Reception spaces are designed depending on the style of either cocktail or a more formal setting. For cocktail receptions, use lighting to manage the spread of guests in your space. For more open spaces, place furniture under well-lit areas and leave the lighting edges for your vendors, such as the band, bar van or catering. Dance floors are generally set in the middle of the reception space and can be a great starting point when deciding where to place the furniture.

More formal receptions are designed around table settings, ensuring most guests can see the couple and/or wedding party at the main table. Depending on the size of the space, dance floors are sometimes set directly in front of the main table and are multifunctional. Formalities often occur on the dance floor as it is the most visible place for guests to see.

Multiple Locations or Venues

You may have your hearts set on two locations that suit your country-themed wedding. Designing your ceremony and reception at different locations or venues requires careful intentional planning to ensure the styling ties together.

You can apply the above recommendations when planning your country wedding at multiple locations. Consider ways to tie both locations/venues together so the styling is similar and the mood feels the same. You can achieve this through colours, florals and similar style decorations used at both locations. Repurposing florals and furniture from your ceremony at your reception is also a great way to create a sense of continuity between locations.

Hire Items You Need At Your Venue

We’ve put together a list of essential items you need at a venue for your country wedding. Save this list, especially if you’re planning to have your country wedding at home or in a location with no access to furniture or amenities.

Essential items for your ceremony include:


You can choose to have a seat for all of your guests or a percentage of your guests. Generally, two rows of 10 seats (5 on each side of the aisle) as a guide. These seats can be reserved for mature guests while others would be happy to stand. With fewer rows of chairs, there is a possibility your photographer may struggle to capture a wide photo of the wedding party. I personally recommend at least 4 rows which equals 40 chairs. Your arbour should be no closer than 3m from the first row, so no one feels on top of each other. It also allows your photographer’s room to move around quickly.

NB: Consider any guests that may need more room if they use a wheelchair or require an area to sit comfortably.

Water For Guests

Water is essential on a hot day and particularly in locations that have warmer climates. Water bottles in half wine barrels or metal drink buckets suit a country theme wedding. You could also fill water dispensers with water and slices of citrus for a refreshing drink. Stylishly set on a rustic table or bar cart and placed under an umbrella, your guests will appreciate the thought as they excitedly wait for the ceremony to start. You might consider hiring a bar caravan to serve a range of beverages to your guests before and after the ceremony as an alternative to bottled water.

Essentials For Your Reception:

The furniture you need for your reception will depend on the style. We have made a list of the essentials to consider below:

Seating & Tables

Formal receptions are more straightforward as they are generally sit-down style. You will need chairs and tables regardless of the type of wedding. Rectangle tables are great and can be set in long rows to fit smaller and narrow. Round tables can fill a larger space and give guests better visibility no matter where they sit. Rectangle tables are versatile and can be set up to accommodate large numbers of guests in tighter spaces. Overall, you should aim for a minimum number of seats for 80% of your guests.


Once the sun goes down, lighting really sets the tone for the rest of the evening. Lighting also creates different moods depending on placement and brightness. Use bright lighting options over the dancefloor, bar, and other high-traffic areas. For a more subdued vibe in your relaxing locations, opt for soft and minimal lighting such as candles or a lesser amount of festoon/fairy lighting. Making use of natural styling elements is a handy way to set up lighting and utilises what you already have at hand, like stringing lighting in trees, handing lanterns from branches or setting up lights along fences. The perfect country addition to your reception.


If you plan to host your country wedding at a location without any amenities, don’t forget to include toilets for your guests. Couples underestimate the number of toilets needed. If you are serving alcohol, you may need more bathrooms than you think. People will use the facilities more often when consuming alcohol. During the planning stage of your wedding, you will need to know the number of toilets you will need to hire. To do this, you will need to answer three questions:

1. How many people will be attending your event?
2. How long will you need the portable toilets?
3. Is there alcohol involved?

As a general guide to how many toilets you require, see below:

● 30 people: 1 toilet.
● 50 – 60 people: 2 toilets.
● 60 – 80 people: 3 toilets
● Above 80 and 100 people: 4-6 toilets, including plenty of extra supplies to refill throughout the night!

Optional hire items could include:


There is a multitude of options for wedding arbours. You might choose a wooden arbour in various shapes for your country wedding. For something more unique, scout your venue/location for an interesting tree. The tree would offer incredible photo opportunities on its own, styled with flowing fabric or hanging tea light terrariums.


Have as many or as few flowers as you like for your country wedding. Florals and rustic furniture pieces add a romantic touch to your country wedding. Floral styling on your arbour or down the aisle will set the tone. You may be blessed with a location that already has seasonal plants or trees in bloom that you can incorporate into your ceremony. Alternatively, you could repurpose your flowers from the ceremony at the reception. Your arbour could be used as a photo backdrop for guests at the reception. A handy tip is to have empty vases in your reception area to place your bouquet throughout the night and add a beautiful touch to a gift table.


Wedding signage adds a beautiful aesthetic to your wedding. It’s also practical to lead your guests to different parts of your wedding celebrations. Styling your welcome sign or table seating sign as a focal point is a great way to utilise open space. Cleverly placed signage can also act as a partition between formal and informal spaces such as dining and comfortable seating areas.

Artificial Shade

If there is little shade, you may want to consider parasols, hand fans or umbrellas for guests to stand under. We know the gruelling Australian sun can make a celebration hard to endure, so once you’ve figured out what time of day you’ll be having your wedding, what season you’ll make it, and if you’ll need to think of some way to keep your guests out of the harsh sun.

About Territory Weddings: Chanel is an experienced wedding planner that doesn’t miss a beat. As someone who’s ultra detail-oriented, solutions-based and intentional, focused and caring, Chanel specialises in wedding planning, design and event management in Darwin and destination weddings across the Northern Territory and northern parts of Australia.