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Whether you’re a super-handy DIY princess crafty with the glue-gun, or you’d just like to turn up on the day and have nothing to worry about but standing up in those shoes, your level of involvement will determine which location is the best fit for your wedding. And as the reception is likely to take up the largest chunk of your budget, it is worth putting in a little more effort to find the perfect place.
VINEYARDS AND WINERIES
Outdoors under the grape arbour, surrounded by acres of vines: what’s not to like? This is a weather-dependent venue with a sensible footwear sidebar – make sure you have a rainy-day alternative.
HOTELS, RESORTS, AND EVENT CENTRES
Everything is taken care of, all you have to do is arrive, unpack and be pampered. Sooo nice that you’ll need to remember to replace the dressing gown with the wedding dress. Just kidding!
CHURCH HALLS AND SPORTS CLUBS
Ideal for the person who knows how to make the most of a fairly stark space, this is a good option for an inexpensive cheerful family-friendly occasion to share with your favourite team.
GARDENS, PARKS, GAZEBOS
Consult an almanac and plan for best blooming season, so the photos are filled with flowers and green leaves.
A friend has a marvellous backyard/mansion/boat? About time it was blessed with your nuptials.
• Get a rough idea of how many people you will be hosting and check venue capacity and whether there are other bookings at the same time (in a large complex at a popular time of year this is a chance), you don’t want a Hells Angels reunion to monopolise the lamingtons.
• Be clear on your budget, and be realistic about whether you are botanic gardens or a five-star hotel.
• Research, research, research: go online, ask friends and ring around suppliers to get some ideas. Enquire about costs and availability and go visit the space. It might look glorious in the photos, but you just might not get the right vibe once you’re there.
• Check that it meets your planned style and theme, a bouncy castle won’t lend itself to chic and modern, nor a superformal venue to relaxed beachy feel.
À la carte, buffet, finger food, or food trucks? The menu will depend on your choice of venue. À la carte and buffet are best for a formal traditional ceremony.