Your big day is really all about love, and the commitment you’re making. But you and your guests will spend the majority of your time at the wedding reception, so it needs to be warm, welcoming and unforgettable.
Below: Photography Dean Raphael Ceremony + Reception Venue Summergrove Estate
Start by choosing a venue that appeals to you. Your venue should be a palette, but a beautiful one at that. Ensure that the colour scheme and décor will go with your chosen theme and planned decorations. Before you start draping, covering and lighting, take a look at the beauty of the existing space, and consider whether you need to go to all that trouble. If you’re able to find a great venue that suits your style and has an elegant, natural ambiance, stylish décor and great views, then you may not need to do much to make it sparkle!
Below: Wedding Photographer Underatreehouse Photography / Reception Venue The Box On The Water
The best venues will employ an event or wedding coordinator who’ll be able to answer all your questions and let you know what’s possible and what’s not. Some things to consider when selecting your venue are: How formal is your wedding going to be? Does the venue provide a suitable level of formality? How many people are you inviting? Will the venue be able to cater for that many? And most importantly, fit that many people in? Is it an easily accessible location? Is there nearby parking? What time of day are you getting married? And does this affect what the venue will look like? Does the venue offer the same ambiance and features in both winter and summer? Or is it more suited to one season? What’s the style of the venue? Is it traditional? Modern? Quirky? Does it fit in with your planned theme and personal style?
Image below: Jack and Jem Photography / ReceptionVenue: The Loft, Doltone House Jones Bay Wharf
The second most important thing, and the thing that is most often remembered, long after the event, is the food. Gone are the days of the standard alternate service entrée and main, followed by a simple chocolate mud wedding cake with ice cream. Your wedding reception is the celebration of a lifetime, and it should be a representation of you as a couple, the things you love, your favourite food, wine and places.
Below: Black Tie Catering
While there are still the basics to consider, like à la carte (meaning ‘by the menu’), buffet or banquet or cocktail, there are myriad options within each of these styles so you can personalise a celebration to suit you and your guests. If you’d like to get them mingling and talking straight away, serve cocktail style entrée and appetisers with champagne on arrival, before they’re seated for the rest of the meal. If you’re a foodie with an appetite for indulgence, then indulge your guests too: Rather than alternate service, or a two option à la carte menu, give them three options. That way, they really feel like they have a choice.
Below: Bursaria Fine Foods
If you’d prefer to get people up and moving around, as well as provide some entertainment, arrange for a risotto station, oyster and champagne bar, or even a fajita and marguerita bar, if Mexican takes your fancy. The key thing to remember is if you can imagine it, a talented venue or caterer is likely to find a way to make it happen. And when it’s time for something sweet, you can either offer an à la carte dessert selection, or try cocktail style dessert canapés for something different.
Candy and cake buffets are becoming very popular, and a gelato bar is sure to refresh your guests for the dance floor. Alternatively, you could encourage conversation with some dessert platters served at each table. They’ll soon be making the rounds, and delicious treats are sure to invite enthusiastic discussions and laughter. And after all, what you’re really hoping for is that your guests enjoy themselves!