How To Find The Right Wedding Venue For You

Article Collaborators : Inlighten Photography Vincent Lai Photography Milstones Photography Sydney

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Collaborators Inlighten Photography Vincent Lai Photography Milstones Photography Sydney

Wondering where to begin when it comes to choosing your ideal wedding ceremony and reception venue? Alexandra Lazcano explores the many options available

Outdoor vs indoor

Out in the sunshine or under cover is yet another decision brides need to make. Do you want to bask in the sunshine of a warm spring day as you marry or are you just as happy to walk down the aisle of a church or reception hall? It all depends on you as a couple and how you envisage your wedding.

Naturally, the biggest risk in having an outdoor wedding is the weather. “As a planner, I practise ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’, which means every outdoor wedding I plan and coordinate, I treat as indoor and have an undercover option
in case the weather turns for the worst,” says Lee Cass, lead wedding planner of Lenore K. “Of course, hiring a marquee is an added cost but if the ceremony and guests absolutely cannot squeeze into the reception venue, then every dollar spent is worth a million dollars in dry feet and happiness.”


Seventy-five percent of the weddings Lee plans are outdoor ceremonies. “I find the organisational process between outdoors and indoors similar — both require tables, chairs, staff to set up, preparation and organisation. Logistics differ slightly when a venue is just a shed — instead of having everything available on site, you must coordinate and hire everything to be set up, including Portaloos!” Lee says. “It can definitely be lots of extra work and coordination if you hire everything, but it may not necessarily cost extra, as the venue hire is very reasonable in comparison to a hotel, for example, and there is great cost savings when it comes to self-catering and beverages.”


All-in-one vs two different locations

Are you planning on having your ceremony at one location and the reception at another? An alternative option that many couples consider is choosing one location to play host to both the ceremony and reception. 

“For those couples who are after a religious ceremony or a desired location, such as a beach or a specifi c park or garden, they may need to have separate ceremony and reception venues. However, couples who are happy to have a celebrant or a religious leader who doesn’t need to marry them inside a place of worship may enjoy having their reception and ceremony at the same venue. It really depends on the couple,” says Riley Veldekis of Eventful Elegance. 

A single venue may be easier for you and your guests and this could save you money in terms of car hire. Some venues also offer couples a discounted rate if the couple is planning on having both the ceremony and reception there.

However, if two different venues allow the couple to have the wedding they really want, the bride and groom to-be should not compromise their wedding ideal.


Religious vs civil ceremony and reception

What about religion? What part will it play in your wedding preparation? According to Fiona Dean-Dundas of Couture Wedding Planning, about 50 percent of brides still opt for a traditional religious ceremony at a place of worship, while the other 50 percent choose to read their vows at a non-denominational ceremony.

Of course, this depends on the couple’s spiritual beliefs and cultural background. Riley Veldekis of Eventful Elegance has worked with brides who have had three different ceremonies, each one for a cultural and religious background their family is associated with. “For the whole of March, I’ve had church weddings but for the rest of the year, I have had a lot of civil ceremonies,” says Fiona. “It really comes down to cost and if the couple or their families are religious.”

Both religious and civil ceremonies have their advantages and disadvantages. “Churches are already weather-proof and are often in beautiful locations. The disadvantage is that if you are not a regular member of a church, it can be challenging to fi nd one,” explains Fiona. Flexibility is the big plus if you are having your wedding at a non-religious location. The celebrant can offer you a more unique ceremony tailored to your personalities and give you more locations to choose from, and these could possibly be used for both your ceremony and reception.

If you choose, you may opt to get married at a non-religious location and incorporate some religious traditions to show your respect for your families’ wishes.

Marquee vs established venue

Are you tired of visiting the same venue wedding after wedding? Perhaps you’re considering trying something a little different such as a marquee wedding.

While it all depends on what you want as a couple, Riley Veldekis of Eventful Elegance says most brides still prefer an established venue because of the cost-effective nature of the venue’s packages. “While having a marquee can be very beautiful, it can also be very expensive due to all the extras involved.”

If you are thinking of a marquee wedding, you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner to organise the details of the reception as most marquees do not come with tables and chairs. You will need to hire these on top of the linens, cutlery, crockery and, of course, catering. Established venues make this task a lot simpler as the cost of the venue will often include the tables, chairs, linen, cutlery, crockery as well as a selection of meals for your guests. 

However, don’t let that deter you from your dream marquee wedding. With the right wedding planner, you may find a perfect deal with a supplier and have a romantic reception at a location that will make your wedding one to remember.

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