If you are searching the net for a celebrant then you are most likely also considering a location for your ceremony. When choosing a location I would encourage you to begin by thinking about where it is you like to go that you feel the most comfortable and relaxed. The place you are thinking of might be a particular park or garden, or a particular river, beach or part of the coast. Perhaps it’s where you both met, or where you enjoyed holidaying as a child.

More and more people are choosing to hold their ceremony outdoors, and although there are the physical elements to consider with an outdoor ceremony, an outdoor event is a more flexible option because you have control over everything else.

Photo supplied courtesy of Ken Stepnell and Tourism Victoria

An outdoor ceremony means you can choose a personally meaningful location from a virtually unlimited range of location options, and in case you didn’t already know, the Geelong Otway region boasts a sparkling treasure trove of resort towns including Ocean Grove, Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale, Barwon Heads, Torquay, Anglesea, Lorne and Apollo Bay. As a backdrop to your ceremony why not consider one of the region’s top surf beaches, breathtaking coastal landscapes or lush green rainforests.

Of course the place you are thinking of might be as simple as your own backyard, which might be a place where you can create a celebration that more uniquely expresses what you and your family are all about. A place as familiar as a back yard can be very comfortable and may lead to a more relaxed and less stressful day.

If you are looking for an outdoor location then explore this region through one of the following tourism sites, and follow links to specific locations as well as to nearby accommodation and reception venues.

Geelong Otway Tourism Inc.

Anglesea Online

Queenscliff Tourist Information Centre

Your Local Wedding Guide

Trip Advisor - Geelong Hotel Deals

Hotels Combined - Geelong Hotels

Great Ocean Road Accommodation

Great Ocean Road Accommodation - Apartments and Cottages


Oakdene Restaurant

Official Great Ocean Road Website

The Rose - Torquay

Wedding Venues Geelong

"at The Heads" Restaurant

Photo supplied courtesy of James Lauritz and Tourism Victoria


Many people these days are opting for simplicity, but if you’re going the full monty then your things-to-do list may include web searches for services like cake decorating, photography, flowers, catering, stationery and even limo hire.  And of course there’s the bridal gown and formal hire.  If this is what you have in mind then here are a couple of links to sites that will open up a world of links to other sites to help you on your way.

Your Local Wedding Guide

The Geelong Bride


Consider the availability of adequate parking nearby, and perhaps organise to have somebody arrive early to reserve parking spaces where you want them for the wedding cars.

Check out any walk that needs to be done from the car park to the ceremony location.  Consider footwear and whether any older or disabled guests can manage the distance and terrain safely and reasonably comfortably.  Perhaps go barefoot if you are on the beach, or have slip on sandals ready (certainly better than attempting sand in high heels).

Consider seating options for any frail or infirmed guests.

If your ceremony is in a public place remember to book the location with the local council.  This will ensure you don’t turn up to your beach ceremony to find there is a surf carnival in full swing, or to the gardens to find there is a flower show or a cultural festival.

Identify the most photogenic view at the location you have chosen, and plan the placement of your party and guests to ensure that the most attractive view is the backdrop for photos of you that are taken during the ceremony.

Consider where the sun will be at the time you plan to have your ceremony.  Position the party and guests to ensure nobody is looking, or taking photos, directly into a late afternoon sun.  Remember to consider daylight savings.

If you are getting married outdoors keep the rings in their cases until they are exchanged during the ceremony.  The last thing you want to have happen is to have your guests scrambling around in the sand looking for a ring that has been dropped (it has happened).

Embrace the unpredictable nature of an outdoor ceremony, as it is often the unexpected things that happen that relax people and make the event more fun and memorable (perhaps not the loss of a ring). 

If your ceremony is on a beach it’s vital to check the tide times very carefully.  Avoid very narrow beaches, as a storm at sea or strong winds can push waves further up the sand than you might ordinarily expect.

Photo supplied courtesy of Peter Dunphy and Tourism Victoria

Very windy locations, particularly on a beach, can produce problems with veils, paper work, table cloths and sound systems.  Try to select a beach location that is sheltered on the windward side by a cliff or headland.

In a nutshell, wherever you hold your ceremony the most important things to remember are:

Take a moment with your partner or family to observe and soak in the moment during your ceremony and celebrations.

Try not to get too caught up in the details.   After all, you are marrying the partner of your dreams and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.  So roll with it!