Ideas & Advice

Outdoor weddings? 12 expert tips for a successful celebration!

From dress codes to decorations, these expert wedding planners share tips on putting together a successful outdoor wedding celebration.

photo: Farrah & Matthew's outdoor wedding at Villa Cahaya, Bali, from Female Bride Vol.14

Dress up, dress down

“Whether it's beach chic or summer formal, state your dress code in your invitation card, so guests won't turn up too casual. For men, think beach shirts and khakis - no jeans - with sandals and moccasins. For women, a sundress or maxi dress with sandals would be perfect. The key is to keep the look simple and appropriate (read: nothing too skimpy.)” - Liyi Wee, Ode to Joy Wedding Concepts.



"Brides should consider keeping things uncomplicated. For instance, flowers can be a more stylish fashion accessory than diamonds at an outdoor venue.” - Caroline Tan-Reed, The Wedding Stylist


Keep your guests cool

If yours is a garden wedding, think of ways to beat the heat. Also offer fans and cooling refreshments with a little local flavour, like ice kacang or chendol, and kacang puteh, curry puffs and Nonya kueh (these are easy to eat!). And how about homemade marmalade or even chilli paste as favours?” - Wenxin Zhang, The Wedding Stylist


photo: Farrah & Matthew's outdoor wedding at Villa Cahaya, Bali, from Female Bride Vol.14

Choosing the right spot

"Check out hotels with superb beachfronts like Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa. Or 1-Twenty Six at East Coast Park for a romantic sunset beach wedding. As for destination beachfronts, Bali, Maldives, Koh Samui and even Danang, Vietnam, have beautiful settings.” - Liyi Wee


When to celebrate

“Have your festivities between 9am and 11am, when the sun is not so high, or around 6pm - the best time for photography.” - Michelle Poh, The Red Dates

photo: Vivi & Yoga 's outdoor wedding at the gorgeous Soori Bali, from Female Brides Vol.14

Prevent wedding crashers

"Prevent uninvited guests on the beach from crashing the wedding with potted plants and signs to indicate a private event.” - Michelle Poh.

“Most reputable resorts or hotels will be able to assist with signs and cordoning off a section. You may also request for service staff to tactfully turn away curious onlookers.” - Liyi Wee.


Pick a park

"Many of the parks on the island make lovely outdoor locations for receptions or ceremonies. Check with the National Parks Board (Nparks) at 1800-471-7300. Note that you will need to seek their approval at least 14 days before your event." - Liyi Wee


Please stand up

“If yours is a small wedding, consider having your families and guests stand up for the entire service at your side after you've both taken your places. Afterwards, take advantage of the smaller size to do some serious mixing and mingling.” - Caroline Tan-Reed



photo: Jo & Josh's outdoor wedding at Puri Mas Resort at Lombok, Indonesia, from Female Brides Vol. 14

Be heard

"You may want to think of including a sound system in your plans to celebrate outdoors. You'll need it when you exchange your vows, speak to guests and even for playing music." - Michelle Poh

“Most venues will be able to provide a portable system for their outdoor locations. Just make sure the speakers are strategically placed so guests will be able to hear you clearly.” - Liyi Wee


Choose sun-friendly blooms

If you’re having an outdoor reception, our experts suggest decorating with flowers that will survive the heat such as calla lilies, sunflowers, gerberas, baby breath, lilies, roses, eustomas and orchids.


photo: Lilies and green ferns as table runners for Emma & Nathan's outdoor wedding 

Smell the roses!

“If yours is a sunset affair, scented candles or great-smelling blooms like roses or lilies are romantic. Or try your favourite potpourri in bowls and follow through that theme by presenting guests with potpourri favours.” - Caroline Tan-Reed


Take shelter from the rain

"If your outdoor venue has no sheltered space, you may want to think about hiring a tent or a marquee. Look for sturdy tents with thick, weighted sides that won't flip over in a thunderstorm. You can also have carpet flooring and transparent rain curtains on standby so your guests won't slip or get soaked to the skin." - Liyi Wee



Photo: Vivi & Yoga 's outdoor wedding at the gorgeous Soori Bali, from Female Brides Vol.14

"Opt for marquees with clear sheets that can be rolled down at the sides during wet weather, or consider a see-through, air-conditioned tent so guests can still experience the beauty of the outdoors without the heat”.