Fineline Photography

A wedding and lifestyle photographer with a love of romantic imagery and beautiful scenery.

Wedding Tips Series: Venues

Larissa Warren2 Comments

So we have started this wedding tips series on our blog, this week we want tocover wedding venues and hope that you are able to take away some good advice from these two!

Our thanks to both Chelsea Routhan from Monaco Resort in Nelson, Paula Bevege from Erskine in Wellington, and Justine from Boomrock in Wellington for their time in responding to the questions.

Don't forget if you have any other queries about weddings, leave a comment!

1. Can you tell us what important decisions need to be made before looking atvenues for our wedding? 


Monaco Resort
Chelsea: 

"Beforelooking at venues for a wedding, it is important to have an idea of what youroverall budget will be, and what is important to both of you as a couple.Things such as what type of wedding you would like, how accessiblethe venue is from the ceremony location, how far away isaccommodation, and how much work you want to put in on the day for setupand cleanup is also important."


Erskine Chapel
Paula: 

"Have a realistic idea ofyour guest numbers as this effects the venue you can choose.The other big thing is yourBUDGET. You need to choose a venue that works within your budget.The last thing is the date. Areyou tied to a specific date? Lots of venue are booked up to 18months inadvance."

 Boomrock
Justine:


I think it’s really important for the couple to decide what exactly they want and how they imagine their day rather than finding a venue and trying to fit the day around the venue.  Ideally a rough estimate on expected numbers is required to ensure the venue you pick can accommodate your guests. In addition think about your own personalities and how you can bring a part of both of you to your day ie in the menu selection, style/formality etc.  Some venues have restrictions on these things and you may not want to compromise on your wants and desires to fit with the venue. 












2. Is the decor of the venue something that is included in the overall price?Generally how flexible are wedding venues when it comes to decor? 

Rooms inside Monaco Resort
Chelsea:
"It depends entirely on the venue as to whatit included in the overall price. Gather all of theinformation from the venues as to what is included and what isn't, beforemaking a decision. Most venues are flexible with what decor you would like, butoften this comes at an additional cost. I recommend asking the venue whatsetup they can do for you, and whether this is included in the price. If avenue can arrange the venue setup for you, such as putting on chaircovers, arranging centrepieces, putting out name places and favours, andarranging decorations, this saves a lot of stress and can allow you to relaxand enjoy your special day."

Around Erskine

Paula: "Being a wedding stylist, I feel the venues décor needsto reflect the style of your wedding. You need to choose a venue that workswith the look and feel of your wedding. At Erskine we are lucky to have astunning architecture and surrounding’s so only very simple decorating isrequired. Most venues do not include decorating in their price as brides alwayswant to personalise their wedding and have their own decorating ideas. Venueswill always be more than accommodating and helpful with your decorating as longas it is within  health and safety guide lines (and realistic).

Boomrock Landsacpe


Justine:
"We are very Flexible on all possible questions at Boomrock and décor is definitely one of them.  We have a very seasonal, informal native New Zealand set up which includes gorgeous Totara Tables, native plants like Toi toi and Flax and a rustic feel to the venue which suits the location – this set up is included in the overall price, however many of our couples organise their own flowers, theming and style."




3. What are the advantages/disadvantages of having an in house caterer? Whenvisiting venues with in house caterers, do we get to taste the food and howflexible will they be with the menu?  


Monaco Resort
Chelsea: "Havingan in house caterer is a huge bonus in that all arrangements can be made at theone source and the caterers will be familiar with the layout of thevenue, kitchen and its capabilities.They will no doubt be able to offeryou advice as to which menu would suit your needs, and as to timings that wouldwork the best. If you have some specific menu requests, discuss this with thevenue, as often they will be flexible with what they can do for you. Adisadvantage is that sometimes you may be able to find an outside catererthat is cheaper. It is important that you see what the venue can offerregarding catering, including menu options and prices, and whethercutlery, crockery, glassware, tablecloths, napkins, and serving staff areincluded, before you confirm a booking. A large number of in housecaterers will not offer menu tastings, but some do."  



Table setting detail at Erskine
 Paula: "At Erskine wehave a list of preferred caterers for our clients to choose from. We feel thisworks perfectly as the bride and groom get to work the caterer they feelcomfortable with and fits within their budget. A great idea is to go and seeother weddings set up, a good time is early afternoon before the guests arrive.This gives you a feel for the room and can see the caterers at work and tastethe food. Some caterers will organise a tasting for you, this can be a greatdinner party idea for the bridal party or your parents.(you will need to payfor this) It is always great to have your own ideas about the food, but listento your caterer, they have years of experience and want to do a good job foryou."

Detail at Boomrock
Justine:
"We have a fulltime resident chef Mark Hartstonge.  He is amazing and has a real talent for selecting the best of local produce and seasonal products.  He is very flexible and will meet the couple and design the menu they have in mind.  Unlike a restaurant you can’t just visit anytime to taste the food, but we do have open days once a month where couples can come along at a reduced price for a day of delicious food and fine wine and sample Marks food." 


4. What should weexpect to pay?  



Table detail at Monaco
 Chelsea:
"Venue hire can rangedrastically, and can be dependant on the location, the outlook, thequality of the venue, and what the venue hire includes. Venue hirecan range from hundreds of dollars through to several thousanddollars. Make sure you check if the venue hire includes GST, as this can have asignificant effect on the total cost, and can help you in your comparisonsbetween different venues.


Erskine

Paula:
"Mmmm….. thisdepends on the venue, at Erskine you could expect to pay between for $60.00 -$120.00 per head for food staff and Hirage. (not including the venue fee)





Boomrock



Justine:
"These days weddings range in price quite considerably depending on the style and format of your day ie a lunch wedding can be very different in costs compared to a wedding ceremony on site with dancing to the wee small hours.  Most weddings will spend anywhere from $120-$200 per person."




5. Is thereusually a payment schedule? Typically what kind of deposits are required?  

Monaco Resort
Chelsea:
"Again, this varies between venues. Somevenues require just a nominal deposit, eg. half of the venue hire or a setdollar value. Others require the full venue hire on deposit, and payment forfood and beverages (if applicable) several weeks prior to the wedding. In themajority of cases, the final bill must be settled at the end of the event, orthe following day. Ask about the terms and conditions for the venue, and makesure you read them thoroughly."

Erskine

Paula:
"Most venues require a half deposit to confirmand the balance due 2 weeks before your wedding. They also may ask for a refundablebond to cover any possible damage."


Boomrock
Justine:


We require a $500 deposit to secure a date and then a 50% deposit 3 months before the wedding (excluding beverages) with the final invoice payable 7 days following the wedding.


 

6. Anything else majorly important we haven't thought of?


Justine:


"It so important to know you are in safe and capable hands to ensure this day runs without a hitch and that you walk away with only amazing memories.  Sometimes the cheapest option is not the best and may not actually work out much different in costs to the bottom line.  If your budget allows it choose the most reputable venue around even if it means reducing guest numbers.  A wedding celebration should be a gathering of close family and friends and sometimes it’s easy for the guest list to extend well beyond this because of feelings of duty or obligation – a venue with limitations on numbers can be a good thing at the end of the day."  


Chelsea: 
Have a good look around, it is easy to seephotos venues and find information online, but actually seeing the venuereally helps. If you are planning your wedding from afar, ask friends and orfamily members to arrange a viewing of the venue on your behalf. Also, try andfind testimonials from people who have had a wedding at the venuerecently.If the wedding venue also offers an outdoor ceremony option,ensure you discuss what would happen in the event of rain on your wedding day. Being well informed from the beginning will significantly assist youduring your wedding planning, and will prevent any nasty surprises during theplanning process.