PHOTO: Her World Brides June – August 2015, shot at The Lawn at Raffles Hotel Singapore
So we have hot, humid and now, hazy, weather – not exactly ideal for outdoor weddings and celebrations. But when the skies are blue and the air is clear and breezy, our tropical climate is actually quite ideal for outdoor events – if you hold them in the late afternoon.
If you plan on having a unique celebration, there are many outdoor and al fresco spaces in Singapore for cosy receptions and dinners; for grand banquets, it’s best to stick to the sir-conditioned hotel or restaurant venues. (See also: indoor spaces that offer breathtaking outdoor views and outdoor cafes for pretty garden weddings).
Most of the hotels that offer alfresco areas for weddings, as well as cafes and restaurants, would be able to handle the nitty gritty details for you. You can also hire a wedding planner to handle the planning and logistics instead. But if you’re planning the event yourself, or would like to know what to look out for when planning an outdoor wedding, bear these tips in mind:
Unless you plan to have your wedding in your own backyard (if you have one), you would probably still have to set aside part of your budget for the rental of the outdoor venue; it may not cost as much as a hotel function room but the cost of doing the place up will still incur a hefty sum.
If you are not having your celebrations at an alfresco cafe or restaurant, then you will need to factor in costs for a generator (for electricity supply), catering services, tables, chairs, lighting (if you’re having your event at dusk/ night) and movers to help and the setting up and removal of items at the end of your event. See also: different budget tips for different weddings such as destination celebrations and banquets.
Check for restrictions
If you’re booking a space at any of our public parks, gardens and beaches, there will be timing restrictions on when and how long you can hold your event there. You can always check with the booking officer at NParks (1800-471-7300) on what the restrictions are, and arrange your event to be held at the approved hours.
There will also be other restrictions for public spaces that are open to weddings: it could be on the number of guests allowed or the kind of items you can bring for the wedding.
Planning the space
Even with an alfresco cafe, it’s always best to plan a ‘route’ to direct your guests to the right spot. You can have cute signs to direct traffic to the ceremony spot or dining area, or create ‘paths’ with flowers petals and place strategic floral arrangements and candles jars to define the route for your guests. When planning the ‘route’ always check the surrounding area to ensure it’s pretty and scenic.
Pretty and Sturdy
From the flowers to the structural set-ups for your decor, make sure your decorations can endure the weather and strong breezes. It’s best to use sturdy blooms and foliage that won’t wilt easily and can last for hours outdoors. If there are plans to erect some structures, make sure they are grounded well with a base that is heavy enough to prevent the structures from toppling over when there are strong winds. See also: tips to note if you’re looking to DIY your flowers.
If you are planning to string decorations overhead (paper lanterns, fairy lights, ribbons or floral garlands), make sure they are tacked strongly to the structures. See also: affordable decor you can find on Carousell.
The Right Food
Check with your caterers on the best menu to have for an outdoor event; there are certain foods that will not last being left in the open and heat for a long time. If you’re planning your own menu, and planning to cook for your own event, do some research online for the best foods to have. See also: yummy and pretty edible favours guests will love.
Time of the Year
If your wedding is being held in the third quarter of the year, just remember to avoid the hazy weather months. Be mindful of the monsoon periods as well; the wet weather months are usually at the end of the year.
Always check with the weatherman on what the weather will be like a week before the wedding. And always have a standby plan – you could erect a marquee for wet weather, or have your outdoor event near a cafe and restaurant with available shelter. An ideal time for outdoor events would be the cooler period towards the year-end and the beginning of the year.
Besides giant fans, you can also have spray bottles of cooling water/ hydrating moisturisers. Have an ice box with wet towels on hand and distribute them to guests when it gets too humid and hot. If you are having an event in the early afternoon, have a stack of paper umbrellas to provide cool shelter for your guests.
When having an outdoor wedding, look for a venue that has private restrooms or clean toilets for the wedding entourage and guests alike. If not, you’ll have to consider hiring portable toilets. One to consider, is the luxury portable toilet from Porta Pumper, where you’ll find a mirror and liquid hand soap, a time-release air freshener, and more.
Mind the Pests
Our tropical weather tends to attract lots of pests! Keep them clear with insect repellent coils placed around your event site, and have tiny bottles of insect repellent spray available for every guest. You could also hire a few standing fans to ‘blow’ these insects away.
Or you can always include natural plants like rosemary, mint and thyme into your floral arrangements and decorations. These natural pesticides will repel insects from your venue.
For an evening event, use citronella candles for the same result. Just remember to place the candles in tall glass vases to prevent the flame from being easily snuffed out by breezes.
Always recce the outdoor site at least two weeks before the event. Check if there are any stray dogs lingering around the place, or if there are any rat burrows nearby. You can also have an insect terminator to go through the area a week before the event.
Our top outdoor picks:
- Alkaff Mansion Ristorante
- Burkill Hall at Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Ce La Vi
- Faber Peak Singapore
- Fort Canning Park
- Hort Park
- One Rochester
- Sky Garden
- The Lawn at Raffles Hotel Singapore
- The Rocks at Shangri-la’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa Singapore
- Upper & Lower Peirce Reservoir
- W Lawn at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove