Part One: Ocean Beaches & Arthur’s Seat National Park
The wild southern coast of the Mornington Peninsula is home to many famous ocean beaches and makes for a dramatic backdrop for your day. If you’re planning a beach wedding you’ll have to be mindful of tides, wind and access.
Or if a tranquil bush setting with draw dropping views of both the Bay and Bass Straight appeals, then Seawinds in the Arthur’s Seat National Park might be more to your taste. Although, as you may have guessed from the name, wind can be an issue here too.
Wired for Sound
If you are planning on having an outdoor wedding, be sure to check with your celebrant that their PA system is up to the task. They have to know more than how to just switch it on! They should plan to arrive at least an hour early to test the wind direction before any guests start arriving.
Not being able to hear a ceremony is one of the most common complaints regarding celebrants, which results in bored, unengaged, frustrated guests.
As a celebrant, my own PA is as good as it gets, has more than six hours portable battery life, is loud, cordless and can be easily moved into different positions to determine the best set up. It also sits on a stand, rather than on the ground which helps sounds carry and I always carry spare windsocks! This attention to detail in planning can make all the difference between an amazing ceremony and a forgettable one.
Rules VS Styling
On Pinterest anything is possible. On the Peninsula there are rules.
Shade Structures, marquees and large quantities of chairs are generally not permitted on ocean beaches or at Arthurs Seat and you’ll need the approval from the Ranger in Charge at Parks Victoria for pretty much anything you want to bring with you.
No surprises that confetti, rice and balloon releases are banned, but rose petals and bubbles are ok.
No domestic pets are allowed, so Bella the Labrador will have to sit this one out.
Parks Victoria suggest certain locations for a reason; they are accessible from car parks and have important facilities like toilets. You may be able to hold on for an hour or to, but Aunty Edna may not.
Sometimes areas are unavailable due to safety issues that may not be immediately apparent – like cliff erosion. Stick to the path people and choose an approved location.
As we all know, Australia has some unpleasant inhabitants and the Mornington Peninsula is no exception. Be mindful of snakes and spiders (maybe don’t drape over a fallen tree for a photo) and appreciative of kangaroos, wallabies and birdlife.
Bushfires Do Happen
If you view a site in early spring for a late summer wedding, bear in mind it will look different! There is no guarantee that there will even be grass on your big day. Try and view you location around the same time of year as your wedding to get an idea of what you can (hope to) expect.
Extreme weather is a real and present danger to you big day. High winds, total fire ban days and necessary controlled burns may mean your venue is closed. This occurs most frequently at Seawinds on Arthurs Seat.
Always have a real and viable alternative venue arranged in case your ceremony venue is inaccessible. A good celebrant will help you form an appropriate bushfire plan in advance.
Parks Victoria even suggests that, as you’re inviting a bunch of people into the bush or a national park, you may even want to consider getting public liability insurance to cover the ceremony, in case you have a particularly litigious group of family and friends!
But the only insurance that is mandatory is that your suppliers have adequate public liability insurance. Check with your celebrant! All celebrants should be insured for public liability (and professional indemnity and copyright insurance too). Don’t be afraid to ask to see your celebrant’s insurance schedule, they should be happy to provide it.
To book one of the Ocean Beaches listed in the graphic or an Arthur’s Seat location for your ceremony it currently costs;
Photography Only $121.30
How to Book Your Mornington Peninsula Wedding
Contact Parks Victoria