Weddings come in all shapes and sizes and are spearheaded by all types of couples. There are some brides that as soon as they were old enough to start thinking of marriage, had the entire thing planned, and lucky for them, the groom agrees. But what if you don’t have the dream wedding already dreamed up?
It can be a very confusing time for a couple, especially in North Queensland. There are a massive array of options available and sometimes it is extremely difficult to find what is really ‘you’.
This is normally the point when the Great Venue Hunt begins…
Some couples come to visit for a weekend, some a week, and some live here and are equally confused. Below are some recommendations of how to pick your perfect venue.
- Talk to each other, what do you see when you close your eyes and imagine your wedding. What type of feel does it give you? Is in indoors or outdoors? Is it relaxed in the rainforest, a beach party, or a beautifully decorated indoor space?
- Is there anything you really enjoy as a couple? Anything in particular that you collect? Maybe you love architecture and want to have crisp, clean lines. Possibly you have been collecting vintage nautical items. This can be a trigger to what type of wedding you really want.
- Visit a lot of options – It’s difficult, I know, but sometimes Google is the enemy. The internet makes most everything look fantastic. Go to places and see if you like the flow of the space. If you can’t imagine your day there, go to the next. If you are nervous of leaving an appointment early, just don’t book a site visit; walk around a venue and see what you think and then ask if someone is available to answer some more questions, if not, there is always email.
- Gather all of your information – When the venue hunting is done, get a cold glass of something an put your feet up. Have an honest talk with your other half and weigh up your options and then narrow down to the final list.
- Get your quotes – This is where the Wedding Planner can step in as well, she (me 🙂 ) can gather quotes on your behalf and consolidate the pros and cons of the venue. Don’t be afraid if it is still a long list, when you get some pricing back some may just be out due to your budget.
- Sit down and chat – yes, again – This is a big decision as it is the base for your big day and you want to make sure that you both are perfectly happy. But what to chat about you ask? Below are some points:
Where do you want your guests to stay? On site? Within walking distance? Or are you happy to put on transport? If accommodation is available on site, make sure that pricing is reasonable. You may love the venue an hour away from everything but if the rooms are $400 a night, your guests may be a little less excited. Towns are a great options, for example, Port Douglas and Palm Cove have tons of options on where to stay giving your guests the ability to choose. If you fall in the transport category, try and keep within 30 minutes of accommodation. Any longer than that gets tiring for your guests.
You want to make sure that the space you are selecting fits your ‘theme’ for the day. I know a number of brides who gag at the idea of a theme but honestly, if you want black tie you probably should stay away from a laid-back rainforest retreat. Check out the lighting, the carpets, and even the chairs that are on site.
Another benefit of the style is that, pending the decor, you may not need as many decorations. Some places are just naturally beautiful giving you the opportunity to use the money elsewhere in your budget.
There are some things that may be very important to you so ask the questions. Can you pay corkage and have BYO? Can you bring in outside catering? Are open flames OK on the table? And what about noise restrictions?
The small details are very important in making your decision and are not always laid out in black and white.
What’s on offer?
It is great to sit down and look at what the venues have to offer you as a client. For example, if you are getting married at a hotel, do they give you a discounted room rate? Sometimes places have great offers for new bookings so make sure to find out. Do make sure to read the fine print though.
Finding the perfect venue is the first major hurdle, after the selection is done you will feel like a massive weight is lifted off your shoulders. Sometimes it is a bit rough to pick the final location, but I promise you, the time you spent will be worth it in the end.