One thing many Canberrans share is a love for the seasonality of our city.
We have it all—dry, hot summers, rainy, green springs, vibrant, crisp autumns and sunny, frosty winters. However, while they’re all stunning in their own way, Canberra’s distinct seasons can wreak havoc on event planning, especially when it comes to the high stakes of a wedding day.
So, what should you keep in mind when you sit down to pick a date for the big day? We asked Michael Bower of Weddings of Canberra for a professional opinion on the pros and cons of Canberra seasons.
One of the most popular times to get hitched, spring in Canberra is alive with blossoms and fresh green growth, however, this can come with its own challenges namely that everyone else wants to get wed then too.
“It sounds a bit obvious but there’s nothing worse than having your heart set on a particular venue, only to find out it’s booked solid for the next three years,” says Michael.
“Since so many weddings from 2020 had to be rescheduled, venues are now facing increased demand for 2023 and 2024 weddings. The more flexible you can be, the more likely even a popular wedding venue will be able to squeeze you in.
“Consider a weekday or a Sunday wedding. Not only are you more likely to snag your dream venue, but you’ll also save money since most venues and wedding vendors offer better rates for weekdays!”
And as for spring weddings held outdoors, Michael has some sage advice: “Keep in mind if someone from the bridal party—especially you or your significant other—suffers from hay fever, allergies or even asthma. All you need is a freshly mown lawn nearby and a stiff breeze and the ceremony could descend into a sneeze-fest.”
“Make sure affected guests are prepared with tissues and antihistamines and inhalers if necessary.”
Another popular month for weddings, summer has its own issues when it comes to the great outdoors—namely, heat.
While the last few summers have been plagued by La Niña downpours, this summer (and those beyond) are set to be regular Canberra scorchers.
“Be prepared to book or buy air-conditioners and fans in bulk for outdoor events,” says Michael. “Have cold water ready for the ceremony and shade for guests where possible. No one wants to have sweated through their glad rags by the time the reception rolls around—especially the people getting married!”
Hot summer nights mean the perfect temperature for an outdoor reception to kick on into the wee hours too. However, there are things to keep in mind here, too.
“If you and your partner are keen to hire a live band for your wedding, check if your preferred venue can accommodate live music and whether there are any noise restrictions in place,” advises Michael.
“And if you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, consider friends or family with mobility issues, since uneven terrain can pose difficulties for some.”
An option that all but ensures stunning wedding photos, autumn in Canberra is often warm and mild, however, there can be a higher chance of rain from March to May, which is important to factor into logistics.
“If you’re looking at rural or remote venue options make sure you take into consideration transportation and access, particularly for guests who don’t drive,” says Michael. “If there are unsealed roads, have a back-up plan in case heavy rainfall happens prior to the wedding and guests need to be ferried in a bus or four-wheel drive.”
Canberra is lucky to experience more than its fair share of sunshine during winter, with plenty of crisp blue skies, so it’s not uncommon for couples to opt for a winter wedding—it can also be kinder on the overall budget too, given it’s a less obvious choice.
Naturally, avoiding the cold will be your biggest concern for a winter wedding (although that just means you’ll have more encouragement to warm up on the dancefloor!) with indoor venues booking up fast. If opting for on an outdoor setting, Michael says a marquee might be a solution.
“We’ve all experienced one of those bone-chilling, wet weather days in Canberra, right? Your marquee should have sides which can be fastened and secured, flooring which can be installed if wet weather is predicted, and some outdoor heaters to keep your guests warm and cosy. And most importantly—have a backup plan.”