So, you have a special celebration coming up. It might be an engagement, wedding, christening, significant birthday, corporate party or celebration and you are looking for a venue. But where do you start and what questions do you need to ask?
Before you even begin to look at venues you need to think about how you want your event to run and what you want to achieve from your day. Is this going to be formal or informal; lunch, evening or all day/night; special theme, styling and how you want it to look. Once you have this in the back of your mind you are ready to roll.
“Sure” …you say, “but I don’t know what I want yet”?
Don’t let this deter you from making a start. You will find that as you go along and talk to venues and vendors your ideas will start to fall into place and then, all of a sudden, you will know!
For a wedding celebration, a good time to make your decision is 12 months out or longer if you have the time. This generally ensures your choice of venue and date. You should also make decisions about photographer/videographer and celebrant at the same time. For other types of events 3 months is usually enough time. If you can’t get your choice of venue on a Saturday, consider a week-day wedding or event as sometimes vendors offer discounts mid-week. You can always ask!
Sad but true, very few of us have unlimited funds to spend and you will be looking to find the best value for your dollar, without having to lose out on any of the style that will make your event uniquely yours. Special celebrations can sometimes be expensive, so once you have nutted out a budget… “Oops, where do I start with my budget, I have absolutely no clue”?
Targeting weddings particularly here, the Australian Bureau of Statistics no longer keeps track of average wedding expenses but if you can believe the Easy Weddings 2015 survey, the average is somewhere between mid $20,000 to mid $30,000. Having said this, it is my personal belief that wedding costs can be managed to be kept within a realistic budget that you set. “Define realistic” you say! A realistic event budget may need to be the subject of another article. To get you started here is a link to an online budget tracker from True Bride, an Australian site that you might find useful.
Recommendations from family and friends are usually the way to go but also consider dear old Google…your best research friend. Stalk venue websites, Facebook and Instagram pages and read reviews…after all there might just be a new venue in town that you hadn’t heard of that will win your heart.
Once you have your budget the next step is to contact venues that fit the style you have in mind and ask them for a price list of inclusions or a list of their packages and arrange an appointment to visit your short list of venues. A good idea is to visit around the month and time you plan to celebrate. Particularly useful if you are planning an outdoor celebration, so you can see what the gardens will look like.
Chose a venue that aligns with the vision of your celebration and fits within your budget… “well almost!”. A venue that you feel confident with and believe will offer you ‘above and beyond’ service on the day. You won’t be disappointed and your celebration will be one you and your guests will be talking about for many years to come.
In The Grove, Bundaberg
Tel: (07) 4155-9098
Mob: 0412 752 892