Holding an Outdoor Wedding
by Jean Angus, 1 June 2002

Outdoor WeddingWhen planning a wedding, few couples consider the Great Outdoors as a possible venue for their big day. This is despite the fact that we live on a sunny island with plenty to offer in terms of greenery and nature. If you're game for an outdoor wedding, read on to see your options.

The first thing to consider is your guest list. Will you have guests with special needs? Unless most of your guests are outdoorsy people who worship the sun, bear in mind that elderly people and children will wilt if the heat is excessive, especially if you are planning an afternoon event. You will need to provide shelter for them. Alternatively, you can look for a place that offers a combination of indoors and outdoors. Possibilities are Burkill Hall at the Botanic Gardens and the Shangri-La Singapore's Garden Terrace.

For shelter, consider renting a marquee. Most hotels will set one up for you for a fee but if you are planning a beach wedding, you will need to find one yourself. There are different marquee styles to choose from. A century tent has one or more peaks with windowed sides. It can be air-conditioned and is suitable for a more formal do. A frame tent, as its name suggests, is supported by a frame and has no poles down the centre. Choose this if you plan to have an al fresco wedding in a picturesque location so your guests can enjoy the view while they feast. Of course, you can be absolutely gung-ho and not have a marquee at all, but this is not advisable in Singapore's volatile weather.

Having Plan B in mind when planning an outdoor wedding is crucial. If the weather does not hold up, what are you and your guests going to do? Many hotels usually have a backup space for you to use in case of emergencies, but if you are planning a wedding in a public place, you will have to make your own alternative arrangements. After all, no bride, groom or guest would want to be drenched in a downpour.

Where are some of the nicer outdoor wedding locations in Singapore? Apart from the Botanic Gardens and Shangri-La's Garden Terrace, Fort Canning and Alkaff Mansion offer plenty of lush greenery and beautiful photo opportunities. For a beach wedding, consider Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort or The Beaufort Singapore for their romantic sea views. If you would like an outdoor wedding in the city, try The Four Seasons' Windows East and West rooms for their roof-top balcony views of the city, or the Conrad International for a casual poolside event.

So, why limit yourself to a traditional banquet in a hotel ballroom or restaurant? Holding an al fresco wedding is a great way to celebrate the most important day of your life. Not only will you exchange vows amidst the beauty of Nature, your guests will probably remember your wedding more than if it were a run-of-the-mill sit-down affair. Plan your outdoor wedding today!

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