This is your opportunity to spoil your guests by wining and dining them and putting on a party of a lifetime! To ensure the reception is nothing short of fantastic start planning now!
Decide on style
There are as many different styles of reception as there are hours in the day. Your style will depend on:
- The number of guests
- The atmosphere you want to create
- The number of formailities
- Type of food
- Time of day and serving style"¨- Sunset wedding followed by pre-dinner cocktails?"¨- Formal sit-down dinner and dancing?"¨- Buffet or informal dinner?"¨- Breakfast?"¨- Brunch?"¨- Lunch cocktail party? "¨- Afternoon tea?
- The venue you choose will follow from these decisions.
Choosing the perfect venue
You need to find a venue that expresses your individuality and has the atmosphere you believe best suits your style. Some of your options include:
- Four- and five-star hotels
- Function centres
- Sporting venues
- Historic buildings
- Cultural venues
- National Parks
- And even the zoo
Before you choose:
- Ask friends and family for suggestions
- Get recommendations from wedding professionals
- Flick through Modern Wedding magazine
- Check out some of our venues online
- Save venues to your scrapbook
- Visit their websites
- Call the Function Coordinator and ask for a wedding kit
- Make a shortlist
Always make an appointment before going to visit a venue. The venue operator should give you a tour, show you menus and tell you about different packages."¨After you have made your appointment go through our venue checklist and ensure that your possible venue makes the cut.
If your venue is providing the catering for your reception, ensure that their caterers can meet your needs. Ask a few questions before you sign the hire contract:
- What sort of functions do they cater - cocktail dos, formal a la carte dinners, exotic cuisines, dinner dances?
- Are there minimum and maximum numbers for catering?
- What are their per head costs?
- Can you sample the dishes on the menu beforehand?
- How much say can you have over menus, ingredients, presentation and service?
- Can you get references from previous clients re the catering?
- Will they allow you to come in and look at a function room set up for a dinner or party similar in style to your own?
- Can they also provide dinnerware, glassware, table linen, and table decorations?
- Do they provide the serving staff and their uniforms?
- Are they able to accommodate themed food, presentation?
- Can you organise your own floral arrangements?
Hosting your party outdoors makes sense if the weather's warm and you have a lot of guests. But you can't just set up a party anywhere. You need to consider a number of factors:
- Site facilities - are there toilets, shelters, play areas, walkways?
- Can guests park nearby, or is there easy access to taxis or public transport?
- Is the site easy to find/get to?
- Are there any restrictions with respect to maximum numbers, opening and closing times, fire, or erecting staging, marquees and lights?
- Are there noise restrictions?
- Is the site safe and child-friendly?
- Are the grounds reasonably level?
- Are there any biting or food-grabbing animals in evidence (e.g. bull ants, seagulls, emus, kookaburras)?
- Does the site have good disabled access and facilities?
The fine print
Once you decide on a venue,
- Get all the details of the package in writing - signed, witnessed and dated.
- Include overtime rates, inclusions and exclusions, restrictions, special conditions, cancellation fees and conditions, and the payment schedule.
You've chosen well and negotiated a great package. Now that your reception space is perfect, you can start planning!