Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Wedding Ceremony in South East QLD

full wedding ceremony video examples

Planning a wedding ceremony in Southeast Queensland can be overwhelming, but don’t worry! You’re in good hands. As a wedding videographer, I’ve seen it all. From the most extravagant ceremonies to the most intimate ones, I’ve captured them all on camera, and through my eyes you can watch a full wedding ceremony from incredible venues.

From selecting the ideal time and season to exploring unique local venues and adding your own touches like writing personal vows, we’ve got you covered. Discover the vibrance of the Gold Coast and the pristine nature of the Sunshine Coast as we showcase stunning venues such as the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Rainforest Gardens, and the ever-popular Maleny Manor.

Looking for some real inspiration? You can watch complete wedding ceremony examples I’ve captured from start to finish. You’ll see all of the important moments from the much-anticipated bride’s entrance, the groom’s reaction, the vows, the ring exchange, and of course the kiss.

So let’s dive in.

Alysia and Cameron’s wedding ceremony in the Tiffanys Maleny chapel

How Do You Plan a Wedding Ceremony Step by Step?

Planning a wedding ceremony can be a daunting task, but with some guidance and preparation, it can also be a rewarding and memorable experience. The first step is to decide on the type and style of your ceremony, such as traditional, religious, secular, formal, casual, or anything in between. This will affect the choice of your venue, officiant, music, readings, vows, and rituals. You can research online, read books, or consult with your family and friends to get some inspiration and ideas for your ceremony.

The next step is to choose your venue and celebrant, depending on the type and style of your ceremony. Some venues may have restrictions on the size, duration, or decor of your ceremony, so make sure you check with them before booking. Some celebrants may have requirements or preferences for the content and format of your ceremony, so make sure you communicate with them and agree on the details.

The third step is to plan the order and content of your ceremony. A typical wedding ceremony consists of several parts, such as the processional, the welcome, the introduction, the exchange of vows and rings, the pronouncement, the kiss, and the recessional. However, you can customize and personalize your ceremony to reflect your personality and relationship.

You can choose the music, readings, vows, and rituals that suit your taste and theme. You can also write your own vows or ask your officiant to help you craft them. You can also involve your family and friends in your ceremony by asking them to be part of your wedding party, to give readings, to perform music, or to witness your marriage.

The final step is to rehearse and prepare for your ceremony. Before your wedding day, you should rehearse your ceremony with your officiant and wedding party, to make sure everyone knows their roles and cues. You should also prepare the items you need for your ceremony, such as your rings, flowers, candles, or any other props.

You should also check the weather forecast and have a backup plan in case of rain or other unforeseen circumstances. On your wedding day, you should arrive early, relax, and enjoy your special moment with your partner and loved ones.

Elizabeth and Ben marry in the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove wedding chapel

What is involved in a wedding ceremony?

In Australia, a civil wedding ceremony is conducted by a celebrant who is authorised by the government to perform marriages. The ceremony usually begins with an introduction by the celebrant and a welcome by the celebrant. The celebrant will include the legal requirements of marriage in Australia.

Every couple must follow certain legal requirements to ensure their marriage is recognised under Australian law. Celebrant Liz Pforr, from Yes I Will Marry You, explains:

“During the ceremony, there are legal passages, ‘the Monitum’ that is required to be said by the celebrant and one sentence from each person in the marriage for their legal vows ahead of any personalised vows or special promises the couple may want to say to one another.” 

Couples may exchange traditional or personalised vows to suit their preferences. In the ceremony video above you’ll see Elizabeth and Ben say their own, handwritten wedding vows which will give you a glimpse into who they are as a couple and their journey together so far.

A bride says her wedding vows at a ceremony on the Gold Coast.

After the vows, the couple traditionally exchange rings which symbolize their commitment to each other.

The celebrant will ask the couple to sign the official marriage documents, as well as any additional documents required by the state or territory.

planning a wedding ceremony

Witnesses will also be required to sign the documents as Liz clarifies:

“The couple needs to have two witnesses over the age of 18 who will sign the documentation and listen to their vows.  Traditionally, they are the best man and maid of honour but these can be anyone special to the couple and it is a great opportunity to involve others in the ceremony. Parents, siblings, or one of the groomsmen, for example.”

The ceremony concludes with the celebrant announcing that the couple is now legally married and inviting them to share a kiss.

Civil wedding ceremonies in Australia are relatively simple and can be customised to suit the couple’s preferences. Using a celebrant allows you to have a personalised ceremony that’s heartfelt and memorable for everyone.

A bride and groom share their first kiss to conclude their wedding ceremony.

How long should a wedding ceremony be?

This comes down to personal preference. In the ceremony video above you can see Elizabeth and Ben’s ceremony was just over 30 minutes in length which Gold Coast celebrant Tarnya Bennett thinks is the maximum amount of time for a civil marriage ceremony.

“I personally keep mine at 30 minutes max including the signing of documents. I find you can really hold everyone’s attention and have them fully engaged up to the 20-minute mark and having the couple stand up there for 20 minutes as well is enough for them!”

Celebrant Clarah Luxford agrees that 30 minutes is enough time to fit into a couple’s wedding day schedule saying “I advise my couples to plan for a 5-minute aisle walk which includes the wedding party walking the aisle, then 20 minutes for the ceremony, and 5 minutes to sign the marriage register and walk back down the aisle.”

Venue: Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort
Celebrant: Melissa Price
Photography: Lynn & Justin

Joyce and Luca’s outdoor ceremony at Rainforest Gardens in Mt Cotton

What are the benefits of having an outdoor ceremony?

The obvious first benefit is being surrounded by the natural beauty of an outdoor setting. Gardens, beaches, or vineyards often have natural beauty that can provide a stunning backdrop for a wedding ceremony. Couples may choose to take advantage of this scenery to create a memorable and picturesque wedding like Joyce and Luca’s at Rainforest Gardens in Mount Cotton Queensland.

Unique Atmosphere: Outdoor wedding ceremonies often have a unique and relaxed atmosphere that can make the event feel more intimate and personal. The natural surroundings can create a calming and peaceful environment that helps guests feel more connected to the couple and the moment.

More Space: Outdoor settings can often accommodate larger guest lists and offer more space for guests to move around, take photos, and enjoy the celebration. This can be especially helpful for couples who have many family members and friends to invite.

Seasonal Opportunities: Depending on the location and time of year, outdoor wedding ceremonies can take advantage of seasonal opportunities such as blooming flowers and fall foliage, adding to the beauty and uniqueness of the occasion.

It’s important that if you plan on having an outdoor wedding ceremony to have a backup just in case of rain.

Photo: Mario Colli Photography
Celebrant: Venita Manning
Ceremony and Reception: Rainforest Gardens in Mount Cotton, Queensland

Kristy and Liam wed at Maleny Manor on the Sunshine Coast

What is the best time of the year to have a wedding ceremony in Queensland?

Generally speaking, the most popular time of the year to get married in Queensland is Spring. With the weather starting to warm up, flowers are beginning to bloom and it’s typically the driest time of the year.

But what is the BEST time? Well that largely depends on personal preferences and the specific location within Queensland. However, there are a few factors to consider when choosing a time for your wedding:

  1. Weather: Queensland generally experiences a subtropical climate with warm temperatures and high humidity. The summer months (December to February) can be quite hot and humid, with occasional rainfall and the possibility of tropical storms. Spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) offer pleasant temperatures, lower humidity, and less rainfall. These seasons are often favoured for outdoor weddings.

  2. Seasonal Highlights: Consider the seasonal highlights that Queensland has to offer. For instance, if you’re interested in lush green landscapes and blooming flowers, the spring months would be ideal. If you prefer milder temperatures for outdoor activities or stunning autumn foliage, then autumn would be a good choice.

  3. Peak Season and Costs: Queensland’s peak tourist season generally occurs during the Australian summer holidays (December to January) and the Easter period. This means that venues and services may be more expensive and harder to secure during these times. If you’re looking to minimize costs or have more flexibility with availability, you might consider choosing a date outside of the peak tourist season.

  4. Local Events and Festivals: Keep an eye out for any major local events or festivals that may coincide with your desired wedding date. These events can impact accommodation availability, traffic, and overall logistics for your wedding.

Ultimately, it’s important to weigh these factors against your personal preferences and priorities. Consult with your partner, consider the vision you have for your wedding, and take into account the specific location within Queensland to determine the best time for your ceremony.

Venue: Maleny Manor on the Sunshine Coast
Photo: Ben and Hope Photography

Nakita and Paul’s garden ceremony from Osteria

When is the best time of day to have a wedding ceremony in Queensland?

Again this is mainly down to personal preference, but here are a few considerations to help you choose the ideal time:

  1. Outdoor or Indoor Venue: If you’re planning an outdoor wedding ceremony, it’s generally recommended to schedule it during the cooler parts of the day. Morning ceremonies (around 10:00 AM) or late afternoon ceremonies (around 4:00 PM) are often preferred as they offer milder temperatures and softer lighting. This allows for a more comfortable experience for both the couple and the guests. If you’ve chosen an indoor venue, the time of day is more flexible, but you may still want to consider natural lighting and the flow of the day’s events.

  2. Lighting and Photography: Lighting plays a crucial role in capturing beautiful photographs and setting the mood for your ceremony. The “golden hour,” which occurs shortly after sunrise and before sunset, offers soft, warm, and flattering lighting for outdoor ceremonies. Photographers often recommend scheduling ceremonies during this time to make the most of the natural light.

  3. Temperature and Comfort: Queensland’s climate can be quite warm and humid, particularly during the summer months. To ensure the comfort of your guests, it’s advisable to avoid scheduling your ceremony during the hottest part of the day, which is usually around midday. Opting for morning or late afternoon ceremonies can provide more pleasant temperatures and reduce the risk of discomfort due to heat.

  4. Reception Timing: Consider how the timing of your ceremony aligns with the rest of your wedding day schedule. If you plan to have a reception immediately following the ceremony, ensure there is enough time for travel, photoshoots, and any necessary preparations. Coordinating the ceremony time with the reception can help create a seamless flow for your entire day.
planning a wedding ceremony

Ultimately, the best time of day for planning a wedding ceremony in Queensland will depend on your specific preferences. Consulting with your wedding planner, photographer, and venue coordinator can provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

Venue – Osteria is Casuarina, New South Wales

Other FAQs

The recommended timeline for planning a wedding ceremony is typically 12-18 months in advance. This allows ample time to secure your preferred venue, hire vendors, and arrange other important details.

The order of events for a wedding ceremony can vary depending on the couple’s preferences and religious or cultural traditions. However, a traditional ceremony typically includes the following elements:

  • Processional
  • Welcome and opening remarks
  • Readings
  • Exchange of vows
  • Ring exchange
  • Unity ceremony (optional)
  • Pronouncement of marriage
  • Recessional

There are many ways to personalize a wedding ceremony to reflect the couple’s personalities and love story. Some ideas include:

  • Writing personal vows
  • Incorporating meaningful readings or music
  • Including a unity ceremony or other symbolic rituals
  • Choosing a unique location or venue

When choosing a wedding ceremony venue, consider the following factors:

  • Guest count
  • Budget
  • Location
  • Style and ambiance
  • Availability

Essential vendors for a wedding ceremony typically include:

  • Officiant
  • Wedding planner (optional)
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Musician or DJ
  • Florist

There are many ways to find and book vendors for your wedding ceremony. Some options include:

  • Online wedding vendor directories
  • Recommendations from friends and family
  • Attending wedding expos
  • Contacting vendors directly

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