Outdoor weddings in New Zealand are extremely prominent and with good reason. Just look at the stunning scenery we have on offer! At TopKata, we love working with you to showcase your space and the backdrop, so here’s our 8 tips to consider for your outdoor wedding.

Sarah Joy Photography

Sarah Joy Photography

The Space

If you don’t have a large enough section at home, try council parks, reserves, scout camps, holiday homes, friends houses or a paddock. Don’t forget to mention you’re using it for a wedding! You could also search backyardweddings.co.nz and wedshed.com.au

.Remember that the outdoor space is just as important as the indoor. As the evening goes on, not everyone is going to want to be on the dancefloor all night, so having a chill out area (complete with outdoor fire, bar, seating etc) can really create the atmosphere.

Emily Roper Clipic Photography

Emily Roper Clipic Photography

Styling and Decoration

Marquees and Teepees come in multiple sizes so you want to make sure you have enough space for everyone, but to ensure it doesn’t seem empty, contain the area using objects such as chairs, plants and decorations.

You will also need to consider things like lighting and electricity. Festoons, Fairy Lights, Uplighting and more. There are so many options to really add atmosphere to the space. Go crazy and think outside the box!

Food and Drink

People love food and drink ... they’re like sheep and will head to where it is! So if you have spaces that you want to direct people to, try serving food and drink there. A great way to keep people out of the reception space until it’s time for dinner.

Heather Liddell Photographer

Heather Liddell Photographer


This is the event industry term for using the same space or item twice. This can be a great way to make the most of the venue or items you’ve hired, but it can also be expensive and time consuming. You have to consider who is going to set things up and make the changes? How long will it take? Is it worth the stress?

Sometimes it’s easier for peace of mind to hire two lots of benches or chairs than it is to carry them between two spaces.

Casey Moore

Casey Moore

The Weather

Always always have a Plan B. We all know the weather can be unpredictable, so just ensure you have a rain plan. This can be as simple as hiring a slightly larger marquee, or umbrellas, so you’ll have peace of mind.

Extra cover is not only a good option for rain, but also for a stifling hot day!


Portaloos aren’t the sexiest, but you can make them more homely with something as simple as a gazebo out the front. Use it to create a powder room, with a mirror and all those little bits and bobs needed throughout the night. Your guests will love you for it! It can also create a nice area while waiting in line – and a dry waiting space if it’s raining.

Speaking of homely, if you’re having the wedding at home, consider closing off your house if you don’t need it. If one person goes inside, more will follow, and the last thing you want is your party split between your venue and your house.



For those sober drivers and people not catching buses, you’ll need a carpark. For the sake of your photos, make sure this is well away from the wedding area! There’s nothing worse than having to photoshop out your mates beat up 1980 honda civic!

Logann West

Logann West

When it comes to comparing venues, a marquee or teepee wedding can seem more expensive. The cost to hire is usually more than venue hire. However you do get some real benefits! Take into account that you can do what you like to style the space – it’s only limited by your imagination. You will also likely have the space for few days, allowing the party to last longer! The biggest cost saving, however, is byo. Food and alcohol are usually the largest expense at a wedding, and being able to do whatever suits you, can save you in the long run.

If you’re not sure where to start, talk to us. This is what we do, and what we love, so we’re always happy to chat about how a teepee can work with your space and make your outdoor wedding dreams a reality.

[ Written by Sarah of Topkata, Tents for Events ]