How to stage a large wedding in the Whitsundays

March 29, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Ideas & Inspiration,Whitsunday Wedding Planning

Large Weddings in the Whitsundays

A wedding away from home does not mean you have to keep it small – far from it! If you are planning a destination wedding but would like to have all your family and friends present as well, look no further than the Whitsundays.

Known for its tropical climate, pristine beaches and stunning scenery, the Whitsundays are one of Australia’s top weddings spots and can cater for the largest and grandest of weddings that you and your guests will never forget!

Following is our guide to things to look out for when planning a large wedding in the Whitsundays, as well as a list of venues that can accommodate bigger guest lists.

Villa Botanica can accommodate up to 100 guests for a cocktail style wedding. The huge 5 hectare estate means there is plenty of room for your guests to explore and spread out between the formalities of the ceremony and reception.


Large Outdoor Wedding Ceremony in the Whitsundays
Villa Botanica


Trusted 2IC

The first thing is to make sure you have a trusted ‘person on the ground’ as there will be things that need attending to there and then. While you will still make all the decisions, a second-in-charge is worth his or her weight in gold when planning a larger wedding.

Consider engaging a professional wedding planner or co-ordinator, who can not only assist with all the small details but can also point you in the direction of trusted local wedding suppliers. They can also be the go-to person on the day, making sure everything runs smoothly and leaving you and your guests free to enjoy everything you’ve dreamed about.

There are many venues in the Whitsundays that accommodate larger weddings but there are also smaller considerations that your wedding co-ordinator will be able to assist with, such as which venues also have accommodation for your guests (if required).

Daydream Island Weddings can accommodate up to 250 guests for your wedding and with their huge variety of resort accommodation options there is plenty of room for all of your guests to stay on island for the night.


Large Weddings in the Whitsundays
Iconic Bride Photography


Enjoy your guests!

The Whitsunday Islands are perfect for large weddings, as everything is within walking distance (or buggy ride). If you choose to marry on one of the islands, you will have access to a choice of ceremony locations and a range of different reception options, as well as a wide choice of accommodation.

This means you and your guests are all together with everything within easy reach, and you don’t have to worry about the logistics of getting them all from one location to the next!

There are also some fabulous mainland resorts that offer ceremony, reception and accommodation with the capacity for larger weddings, so you can simply relax and enjoy the company of your guests.

And of course, being the Whitsundays, there is an abundance of on-water activities, with Cruise Whitsundays one of the biggest operators, with boats capable of taking hundreds of passengers at a time out to the reef and islands.

Cruise Whitsundays operate Camira, a huge catamaran available for day tours and private charter, providing the perfect vessel to explore the Whitsundays with all of your guests.


Cruise Whitsundays Camira


Larger weddings should also factor in more time for the post-ceremony congratulations – the larger the guest list, the more time you should allow for everyone to spend a few moments with you and wish you well.

The same applies to photos. Group photos with your guests can be so much fun with live music, champagne or delicious tropical punch flowing, and canapes or platters. It’s another great opportunity for all your favourite people to bond with each other and have a great time, while you get some of the most important photos of the day.

There are a number of Churches in the Whitsundays that are large enough to accommodate your wedding ceremony if you have 100+ guests.


Large Weddings in the Whitsundays
Brooke Miles Photography.


Fantastic food

The Whitsundays really are blessed when it comes to food, with an abundance of fresh, local produce growing right on its doorstep, from juicy melons and mangoes to every kind of vegetable imaginable.

Fresh, locally-caught seafood is also a speciality and the Whitsunday region boasts top chefs to rival the capital cities of the world, who love nothing more than showing off the local gourmet offerings – all in a laid-back tropical atmosphere with the Coral Sea as a backdrop.

When planning a larger wedding, you might want to consider cocktail-style for more of a party atmosphere, buffet style for groups with varied appetites and tastes, or of course a la carte options will be available at your chosen venue.

Food and drink packages are a good option for bigger guest lists as they are a set price per person and many venues offer a range of packages to suit all budgets.

If you have found your perfect wedding venue but they don’t cater, talk to your co-ordinator about engaging one of the many excellent catering companies in the Whitsundays.

A cocktail wedding is the preferred choice for those who are planning a large wedding with 100+ guests as this style of wedding allows for more time to mingle with your multitude of guests and lends itself to a party atmosphere.


Large Cocktail Wedding in the Whitsundays


So speak with your wedding co-ordinator to discuss the many catering packages available, which have been especially created to offer value to larger parties and can be customised to your requirements. Ensure your catering package also includes the cutting of the cake or opt for the ever-popular cupcakes to avoid cake-serving charges.

The Marine Club Whitsundays is the ideal setting for a cocktail wedding in the Whitsundays. With manicured lawns and oceanfrontage the venue offers the perfect backdrop to style a simple yet elegant wedding.


Large Cocktail Wedding in the Whitsundays
Wenz Blew Photography.


Make a splash

The Whitsundays are naturally stunning, with expansive ocean views everywhere you turn, and Whitsunday decorators know how to make the most of nature’s gifts to deliver a wedding setting like no other.

The Whitsunday Sailing Club provides an expansive outdoor setting for large wedding receptions. The large undercover area ensures that all your guests stay dry in the event of adverse weather whilst still retaining an alfresco feel to the nights proceedings.


Large Cocktail Wedding in the Whitsundays
Brooke Miles Photography.


Bomboniere (favours) will need managing as well, and if you are travelling interstate, either go for something small and light or leave the purchase until you arrive in the Whitsundays and maybe add a tropical twist to your gifts. Your wedding co-ordinator and decorator can assist with favours and other details.

Seating plans for larger weddings can become quite a challenge so enlisting the help of a wedding coordinator who is familiar with your chosen venue can help alleviate the stress and ensure you make the most of your chosen space.


Large Weddings in the Whitsundays
Iconic Bride Photography.


Grand designs

If a grand cake is on your wish list, to go with your grand wedding, never fear, as the Whitsundays are home to several first class cakemakers who will create exactly what you are looking for and have it ready and waiting for you on your wedding day.


Large Cocktail Wedding in the Whitsundays
Iconic Bride Photography.


And last but not least, sound is an important factor with larger weddings, both at the ceremony and the reception. Check your venue has the necessary equipment to ensure every guest can hear the service and speeches. If not, your co-ordinator can recommend a local equipment hire company.

Silk lined marquees are available for hire and turn the outdoor area of The Whitsundays Marine Club into an all weather option for large weddings.


Large Cocktail Wedding in the Whitsundays
Brooke Miles Photography.


Large Cocktail Wedding in the Whitsundays
Iconic Bride Photogrpahy


Coral Sea Resort can accommodate up to 300 guests and have years of experience catering to larger wedding parties. Their on site catering and event planning team ensure that you can create an affordable wedding despite the big guest numbers.


Iconic Bride Photography.

The large grassed oceanfront lawn at The Whitsunday Marine Club provides the perfect setting for a large outdoor reception for both a cocktail or sit down wedding.


Large Weddings in the Whitsundays


Whitsunday Wedding Venue Capacity

Whitsunday venues that can accommodate larger weddings are listed below. The maximum capacity for cocktail-style weddings is given (sit-down dinners will be smaller).

Villa Botanica – 100
Peppers Airlie Beach – 120
Waterline On Shingley – 120
Whitsunday Marine Club – 120
Airlie Beach Hotel – 150
Daydream Island – 250
‘Lure’ at Abell Point Marina – 300
Coral Sea Resort – 300
The Palm House – 300


Browse Large Whitsunday Wedding Venues