The Anatomy of an Outdoor Wedding

SC Bridal Showcase marquee set up Every time I turn around I have another gorgeous outdoor wedding submission in my inbox. Seriously, I can barely do a few spins in my desk chair without that welcome ‘ding’ of a new email with a tipi alongside a caravan bar, next to the drinks station, sidling up to the lawn games… I miss that dizzy feeling, but on a high note, I feel like we’ve gotten to a point in Sunshine Coast wedding land where it’s just clicked. This is what we’re here for, friends. 

If there’s one place on earth that was born for hosting an outdoor wedding, it’s here on the Sunshine Coast. Over recent years, we have witnessed what was admittedly a great formula for outdoor weddings evolve into what I would now say is beyond a doubt the perfect recipe for a fun, pretty and personalised outdoor wedding. So let’s talk about… 

The Anatomy of an Outdoor Wedding 

Below, friends, is everything you could possibly need for a successful outdoor wedding here on the Sunshine Coast, which as previously mentioned is pretty much the perfect place to have such a celebration. 

The Setting

In our neck of the woods you’ve got, well, woods – or at least private properties in secluded country settings with some trees. You have expansive open spaces in the hinterland overlooking the Glass House Mountains. You have outdoor areas attached to fine dining restaurants, and even beach locations where you can walk out onto sand and dip your toes in the water between dances. 

A Marquee

There are now so many great styles of marquees, which can add to the character of a wedding and essentially create your own custom venue from scratch. I mean, how great is that – if you can’t find a venue that ticks all your boxes, you can just whip up your own!

From small tipis that accommodate small weddings of 50 people or less to huge structures with space for hundreds of guests, a dance floor, separate rooms and a place for the band – there really isn’t anything off limits. You can go for the traditional white marquee with walls, a clear marquee so you can still sit under the stars while protected, or a nomadic tent or tipi. 


Many of the places you can have a marquee wedding are the kinds of places where seclusion is on your side and allows for you to party all night. DJs and live bands to get bums off seats, or chill sessions with an acoustic duo or a more elegant option of a string quartet or pianist are all reasonable options for a marquee wedding. 

Other entertainment for an outdoor weddings to bring in the element of fun are lawn games, photo booths, even jumping castles! 

Food and Drink

Of course this is a very important part of all of all weddings, and with an outdoor wedding this can present some limitations, however it also opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Catering companies tend to offer much more flexibility in choosing your menu. Depending on the space you have to work with, you can also hire food trucks and caravan bars. Some catering companies also offer services where you can BYO your beverages, and simply hire their bar staff, so you get the full bar experience without the hefty price tag. 


While more of an optional element, onsite accommodation would be particularly handy after all that night-long celebrating and BYO bar! 


When you’re in the great outdoors, it’s lovely to add to the natural setting with some botanical pieces of art and decoration. Floral chandeliers are one of my favourite ways to adorn your tipi or marquee. 


This is where it gets really fun. Twinking fairy lights lining the ceiling of a clear marquee is positively dreamy, while Chinese lanterns add an unparalleled sense of festivity, and for the hipsters and tres chic among us, strung festoon lighting adds plenty of on-trend character. 

Bridal Show Jan 2016_289

This Sunday get yourself down to the Sunshine Coast Bridal Showcase, where you will find an entire section dedicated to showcasing your options when it comes to outdoor weddings. 

Four different kinds of marquees and three ceremony areas will be set up completely for you to experience. To help you really get the feel for a great outdoor wedding, live musical entertainment will be playing throughout the day with something for everyone’s tastes from an acoustic duo to a string quartet.  Wedding Green bands

Love Note Music, Backroom Vegas Wedding Band and Offenbach Strings will be alternately performing at the Showcase on Sunday. A wedding trail map and gig guide will be available to all Showcase attendees. 

Showcase _ TBT


Hi, I’m Sally, Founder and Editor of The Bride’s Tree. Over the past 13 years I’ve written thousands of articles about all things wedding from tips and trends to etiquette and ideas. On this blog I bring you the best of Sunshine Coast and Brisbane weddings.