With all the surrounding natural beauty (and all the friendly, laidback natives), falling in love with Australia (and/or one of its citizens) is the easiest thing in the world. And an Australian wedding is perhaps the best way to celebrate your love of both.
One of the hardest tasks on a wedding to-do list is picking out the venue. Should you celebrate your reception in a hotel? On a resort? The Sydney Opera House, even?
Since June has always been designated as the wedding month, today’s article presents tips on how you can make this very chore a whole lot easier and fun, to boot:
1. Create a list of priority criteria for your ideal wedding venue.
This list will make it easier for you to narrow down your options to a handful, so you can actually visit all of them for an ocular inspection. Some of the things you may want to consider as criteria for the venue are:
Your venue should be able to hold all of your guests comfortably.
Some brides prefer the venue to be suitable for both the wedding ceremony and the reception. Filipina brides may do well to remember that the Catholic Church requires all weddings to be solemnized in a church, so booking a different venue for the reception would be necessary if you are Catholic.
c.) Catering arrangements.
Would you prefer to have the catering done in-house, or is there a specific restaurant or company that you would like to provide your wedding day menu? Some venues have an approved list of caterers while some require that you also source food from their own kitchens.
So, if you want to have balut on your wedding day (much luck on that, by the way), you may find it advisable to go for venues that are more flexible with their catering arrangements.
To make things easier for everyone, pick out a wedding venue that’s accessible to your guests. Unless many of them are on the Fortune 500 list (or you happen to be on it and you’re footing the transportation bill), you may want to shy away from picking a venue that can only be accessed by plane.
2. Weigh the pros and cons of the different kinds of venues on your list.
No doubt, you have quite a few hotels, function centers, gardens/beaches, and perhaps even a historic venue or two in mind. Each one, of course, will present its own set of opportunities and challenges:
a.) Four or five-star hotels often have good, central locations.
They also easily allow for accommodating guests from out of town or the odd bridesmaid or groomsman who gets too drunk on the eve of the ceremony to drive home. Opulent hotels are also a default option for brides who like to have quite a bit of luxury in their surroundings since the ambience, service levels, and food are carefully curated. However, some bridal parties might prefer a more exciting or a more affordable venue.
b.) Function centers. .
These venues can handle just about any quantity, be it 20 or 200. They are also equipped with well-tended gardens or backgrounds for photography purposes, and you can even opt to have the wedding ceremony and the reception in the same place.
If you do opt for function centers, check with the manager first if there are some wedding details you prefer to handle on your own, such as the cake or the flowers. Some venues may require that you source much of the wedding paraphernalia from them, so make sure you are on the same page when it comes to this before you finalize anything.
Perhaps the cheapest option on this list, halls are a blank canvas with which only your imagination is the limit. This might be daunting to some brides who prefer things to be more structured, but it’s a great option for those who want to have more of a free hand in creating the space for their venue. Do note that you will certainly need to bring in your own caterer and that they will also need to bring their own equipment to carry out the service for your wedding feast.
d.) Historic or Cultural venues.
I bet you didn’t know that you can get married at the Sydney Opera House. (To be fair, I didn’t know that either until I did the research for this article.) This option has the most “wow” factor if you want to go all out to impress your guests (or if you just want some kick-a** wedding photos), but you may have to chip in a bit (okay, a lot) more to pay for the venue.
3. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of venues, arrange ocular inspections for all of them.
In the same way that you wouldn’t choose a bride or a groom sight unseen, you shouldn’t pick a venue based solely on how it looks in the brochure.
Take your hubby-to-be along with you, and have a look around. Check if the place has lots of natural lighting or if there are any tricky conditions that may make things difficult for your photographer. How can you tell if a place has good lighting? Take a few selfies together, and see if you guys look Kardashian-worthy in them. The easier it is for you guys to do that, the better it will be for your photographer (and for your resulting wedding photos).
You should also get a feel of the place. See if the in-house decor matches the theme you want, and most importantly, if you can imagine yourself getting married in there.