booking your wedding venue

contributed by Quality Hotel Lighthouse

Where to start?

There are so many different ideas, concepts and themes when it comes to planning your wedding reception that it can be overwhelming.  No longer is it a simple case of picking the most popular venue in your home town. Today we are bombarded with options such as “Destination Weddings”, “Popup Weddings”, “Elopement”, “Surprise Weddings”, “Home Weddings” and the list goes on.

Selecting a venue should be high on your “To Do List” when you first start planning your wedding. Particularly if you are planning a Saturday wedding in the peak season months of October-April here in the South West.  You might want to consider a weekday or winter wedding date as many venues offer discounted rates for these options.

But how do you decide what you want and where you want to go?

Think about the logistics!

This is an important factor when you start planning your wedding.  Ask yourself, how many guests do you think you will have?  Are your family and friends scattered all over Australia or even overseas?  This will help you decide on where you want to get married and what venues can accommodate your numbers, particularly if you think you will have over 100 guests.  You do not need final numbers but an idea will help you gauge many things when planning, particularly your budget.

Do you want to get married close to home? Will you need to have accommodation options for many of your guests?  Remember people won’t want to travel large distances from the reception venue to where they are staying if they are consuming alcohol and there is not a plentiful supply of taxis.

The idea of setting up a marquee at home or on a property, at first may seem like a good budget choice but make sure you factor in all the additional costs you will incur which may include: generators, table hire, chair hire, cutlery and crockery hire, catering tents, glasses, portable toilets. Consider who will set up the marquee, tables, chairs and when can this be done? Who packs up and cleans up after the wedding is over? You will also be responsible for obtaining an event Liquor License and check if you have adequate insurance coverage.

Planning a wedding at a winery is very popular but make sure you know when you can get access to the venue for your decorators and other suppliers as most of our wonderful wineries will be open for lunch service on a weekend and you will need to take this into consideration. You may also need to consider the added costs of bus hire to take people back to their accommodation.

When looking at venues it can be very beneficial to have an idea of the style of and feel of the wedding you are wanting to achieve.  If you are after a simple, minimalistic feel, you probably won’t want to look at a venue that exudes country charm.  If your budget is tight, you may want to consider paying a little extra in room hire for a newer venue, rather than needing to spend lots of extra dollars on decorating to dress up a “footy club house” into a romantic wedding wonderland.

There are many styles and ideas for wedding venues and “Pinterest” is a great resource, but don’t try to do every idea you see at once, sometimes focusing on one or two great ideas will make them more of a feature and create a better overall feel.  Be mindful of the venue you have chosen, they may have restrictions on what you can and can’t do at their venue.  Ask questions about any decorating, noise or guest restrictions when you are considering the venue.  How flexible is your venue, will they develop tailored packages, do they cater for smaller numbers?  Ask to see photos of past weddings to give you an idea of how the venue looks when fully decorated in different styles.

When looking for a venue, it is important to sit with the Wedding Coordinator and ask lots of questions.  How long have they been working at the venue? How much experience have they had? How many weddings has the venue held? Will they be at the venue on the day? These people will be responsible for your special day and you need to feel comfortable with them and trust them to run your event.  Trust is very important, trust their experience and advice, after all, they have organised more weddings than you and they know what works and what doesn’t especially at their venue.

With a wealth of wedding experience from the General Manager to the Floor Supervisors, the Quality Hotel Lighthouse can answer all your questions and give lots of great advice to help you plan one of the most important days for you and your partner.