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51 Tips on How to choose a Wedding Reception Venue

While almost every aspect of a wedding is optional, from the dress to the flowers to the wedding cake, one thing is required: a wedding venue. Friends and family need a place to celebrate.

Not every venue is ideal. You can choose from a stunning barn, an elegant ballroom, a cosy restaurant, or a quiet stretch of beach.  We asked wedding planners for their best venue-finding tips.

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    Vogue Ballroom: Wedding & Reception Venue in Melbourne

    Vogue Ballroom is an iconic wedding & reception venue in Melbourne's South-East. Vogue Ballroom's capacity ranges from 100 to 370 along with its award-winning cuisine, expertise, renowned service, and attention to detail it's no surprise Vogue is known as one of Melbourne’s best wedding & reception venues.

    Contact today at (03) 9802 2477 to schedule a tour at 399 Blackburn Rd, Burwood East VIC 3151!

    Are you married, or do you have a sneaking suspicion that you will be in the near future? Huzzah! Congrats. You are about to have an absolutely incredible day—possibly even the best day of your entire life.

    Weddings are awesome. When else do you get the chance to throw a huge party for all of your closest friends and family members, dance the night away, and celebrate life to the fullest? 

    And this is all in celebration of the fact that you've joined forces with the most incredible individual you're familiar with! It has to be the greatest win-win situation that has ever existed. But. And it pains us to say this, but we have to mention a but.

    Finding the location where all of these celebrations are going to take place can be an extremely challenging endeavour. We have made the decision to compile some tried-and-true advice in order to assist you in locating and selecting the perfect location for your wedding.

    wedding on beach

    What is most important factor while selecting a wedding venue in Melbourne?

    You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with; now it's time to choose the location where you'll celebrate your love and commitment to each other: the wedding venue! 

    The venue will serve as the backdrop for your photographs, as well as the location for your first meal as a married couple, dancing the night away, and ultimately one of the most important aspects of the wedding planning process. 

    Finding the ideal venue should be a fun experience for both you and your fiancé, so here are FIVE things to think about when making your decision.

    Size & how many people are invited to your wedding?

    Size can refer to a variety of things, but one of the most important considerations when choosing a wedding venue is the number of guests. The number of people a venue can accommodate for your ideal ceremony, reception, or both will influence how many people you invite to share your special day with you and your future spouse.

    Have a budget in mind before you start touring or selecting your wedding venue, and stick to it. If you fall in love with a space but discover that the maximum number of people they can accommodate is less than that, you'll have to make some difficult choices: a different venue or making cuts to your guest list, both of which can cause a lot of stress. You don't need a written guest list to choose a venue, but you should have a good idea of who will be invited.

    Keep in mind that this is your big day when choosing who to invite. Don't feel obligated to invite your one-semester college roommate or that second cousin who never shows up at family gatherings. Finally, the location you choose should be able to accommodate those who adore you both and are eager to witness you take the next step in your relationship.

    Is the venue suited to your guest numbers?

    Because capacity constraints can make or break a venue, you should finalise your guest list before beginning your venue search. 

    Vines of the Yarra Valley and Ivy Ballroom by Merivale in Sydney are two of our favourite venues.

    Style of Service

    When it comes to size, your reception's service style is also something to consider. Depending on the service style, many venues have different capacities. When hosting a cocktail reception with hors d'oeuvres and drinks, the capacity is usually higher than when hosting a full seated dinner reception. 

    When visiting a venue, enquire about both numbers, as well as what the space is known for and examples of configurations for both service styles.

    brighton beach wedding

    Wedding location, accommodations & where do you want to get married?

    Another thing to consider when choosing a venue is the location and accommodations. You will almost certainly have family and friends visiting from out of town who will require lodging prior to your wedding. Both you and your guests value convenience and accessibility, so think about it when making your decision.

    First and foremost, you'll need to narrow down your wedding venue. Are you planning a chic inner-city wedding at a contemporary venue? Or do you prefer a rustic winery setting in the countryside?

    You can begin your venue search once you've decided on a specific location and theme for your wedding. 

    Try to define where you want to get married

    Do you want to have a destination wedding? We can't say we blame you. Many couples are planning their weddings and giving the wedding thing a good nudge over the next few days.

    You make the venue search much easier for yourself by narrowing down the regions where you'd be happy to get married. 

    Consider things like lodging availability, how far your guests are willing to travel, and how much it will cost. 

    Check the tourism website for major events that may result in a shortage of visitor beds, and try to avoid those dates.

    Just keep in mind that the farther away you are, the smaller the pool of local wedding vendors (celebrants, bands, florists, and so on) from which to choose. 

    However, the majority of our incredible wedding vendors will gladly travel to you, so it's not a problem.

    Also, check out the following articles:

    55+ Top Wedding & Reception Venues in Yarra Valley [2022] 

    20+ Best Wedding Reception Venues in Ballarat [2022] 

    10+ Best Wedding Venues in Geelong Victoria [2022]

    20 Secrets to a Fun Wedding Reception 

    What wedding venue means?

    The venue for an event or activity is the place where it will happen.

    How do I set up a cheap wedding?
     
    Here are seven ways to keep wedding costs down and help you stay on budget!
    1. Limit your guest list. ...
    2. Host the ceremony or reception at home or outside. ...
    3. Ask friends and family to exchange skills for presents. ...
    4. Do-it-yourself whenever possible. ...
    5. Use a dummy wedding cake. ...
    6. Time your wedding wisely. ...
    7. Scout out vendors.
     

    What is a wedding reception and ceremony?

    The purpose of each event—the wedding ceremony, the wedding reception—is what sets them apart from one another in the most significant way. The purpose of the wedding ceremony is to formally and legally marry the couple in front of their family and friends. On the other hand, the party that is thrown in order to celebrate the couple's marriage is referred to as the wedding reception.

    Where are weddings usually held?

    This varies for legally binding weddings depending on the laws of the country in which the couple will be getting married. In most cases, the ceremonies will take place on the grounds of the hotel or villa in which you are staying, the town hall, the beach, or another location in the immediate area.

    What is the difference between ceremony and reception at a wedding?

    The purpose of each event—the wedding ceremony, the wedding reception—is what sets them apart from one another in the most significant way. The purpose of the wedding ceremony is to formally and legally marry the couple in front of their family and friends. On the other hand, the party that is thrown in order to celebrate the couple's marriage is referred to as the wedding reception.

    Vogue Ballroom: Wedding & Reception Venue in Melbourne

    Vogue Ballroom: Wedding & Reception Venue in Melbourne

    Our ballroom can accommodate up to 270 guests, so you’ll have plenty of space to celebrate with your loved ones. Plus, we have all the amenities you need for a flawless event – from catering to audio/visual equipment. Imagine walking down the aisle beneath our grand chandelier, then dancing the night away in one of Melbourne’s most beautiful ballrooms. We guarantee you and your guests will love Vogue Ballroom!

    Contact us today on (03) 9802 2477 to schedule a tour – we can’t wait to show you around!

    Try to define where you want to get married

    You make the venue search much easier for yourself by narrowing down the regions where you'd be happy to get married. 

    Consider things like lodging availability, how far your guests are willing to travel, and how much it will cost. Check the tourism website for major events that may result in a shortage of visitor beds, and try to avoid those dates.

    Just keep in mind that the further away from civilisation you are, the smaller the pool of local wedding vendors (such as wedding celebrants, wedding bands & musicians, wedding florists, and so on) you will have to choose from.

    How far in advance do you need to book your venue?

    This is yet another crucial factor to consider when selecting a wedding venue, and it's something you'll want to do as soon as possible because many venues book up one to two years in advance. 

    If you have your heart set on a particular location, contact them as soon as possible to enquire about their availability.

    If your prefered venue is not available on your wedding date and you are dead set on having your wedding ceremony or reception there, you may need to reschedule or start looking for a new venue.

    Is there accommodation nearby for your wedding guests?

    Take into account whether your reception venue offers overnight accommodation for guests travelling from overseas or interstate, or if there are hotels nearby.

    Why not hold your wedding at a five-star hotel for a seamless and stress-free experience? You'll have dedicated in-house wedding coordinators and bespoke menus created by the hotel's chefs in addition to the on-site accommodations. 

    Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour and Pier One Sydney Harbour are two of our favourite hotel wedding venues.

    Talk to a Planner First

    Yes, before you even begin looking at available spots. According to Alliey Kline-Weichelt, lead planner and CEO of Alley & Co. in Green Bay, Wisconsin, "Wedding Planners are much more familiar with the capabilities of a space, the layout, as well as the time and items you'll need to really transform it." 

    Your planner will be aware of any creative ways to make it stand out from the crowd, as well as any peculiarities of the location that may make it challenging to realise your vision.

    Choose a Venue That Aligns With Your Vision

    According to Kait Costanti, co-owner and creative director of Bash in Bozeman, Montana, "This might seem obvious, but seek out venues that fit the aesthetic you have in mind." 

    "If you want to have a contemporary wedding, you should look into renting out art galleries, restaurants with good design, or warehouse spaces. On the other hand, an outdoor wedding that takes place in a natural setting, such as a park, backyard, or ranch, is well suited for weddings that incorporate more natural elements. 

    If you want your wedding to feel more connected to the location, it's important to select a location that not only complements your theme but also enhances it.

    Does the wedding venue reflect your style?

    Your wedding will be a day to remember for the rest of your life, and the wedding venue you choose should reflect your distinct style and personality. It's crucial to consider what makes you feel authentic as a couple and then design a space that reflects that.

    Are you having trouble finding a wedding venue that matches your personality? Contact us today on (03) 9802 2477 to schedule a tour of Vogue Ballroom at 399 Blackburn Rd, Burwood East VIC 3151!

    What’s your wedding venue budget?

    Sorry to bring up the dreaded wedding budget, but it's something you'll need to consider before deciding on your wedding venue. Decide how much you're willing to spend before approaching venues to avoid the frustrations of falling in love with a wedding venue that's out of your price range.

    Another suggestion is to clarify with the venue manager what is included in the hire fee and what else will be required to create your ideal wedding reception. Will chairs and tables be provided? Is there any extra styling included in the hire price? By asking these questions ahead of time, you can avoid being surprised by unexpected costs!

    Remember Your Budget

    Because venues with in-house catering (like hotels) will charge a price-per-plate, it's more than just how much renting the space will cost," says Kline-Weichelt. "Decor and floral design will raise the price as well." Determine your total budget as well as the approximate cost of executing your design. 

    If adding that to the cost of renting the space blows your budget out of the water, you'll need to either scale back your design or look for more affordable locations. "Break down your overall budget by category, prioritising more funds for vendors who are a higher priority," Olsen continues. 

    It's an uphill battle to stay within your budget when you still have a dozen other people to hire if you choose your venue first and then realise it's more than you should have allocated."

    Set a tentative wedding budget

    The type of venue you choose will most likely be determined by your budget. 

    We use the word 'tentative' because, as women who have previously gone through the wedding planning process, we know that, despite our best intentions, wedding budgets tend to stretch. 

    Budget blowout appears to be a contagious disease that affects 98 percent of couples, including ourselves.

    Regardless, it's worth deciding how much you're willing to spend on a venue and sticking to it. Keep in mind what's included when choosing a venue – do you still need to rent tables and chairs? 

    Extra restrooms? Don't be surprised by hidden costs; ask the venue owner or manager what additional items must be brought to the venue to get an accurate estimate of the actual hire price.

    Remember That Budget!

    "It's more than just the cost of renting the space," says Kline-Weichelt, because venues with in-house catering (such as hotels) will charge by the plate. "Decor and floral design will raise the price as well." Determine your total budget as well as the approximate cost of executing your design. 

    If adding that to the cost of renting the space blows your budget out of the water, you'll need to either scale back your design or look for more affordable locations. Olsen continues, "Break down your overall budget by category, allocating more funds to higher-priority vendors. 

    If you choose your venue first and then realise it costs more than you anticipated, staying within your budget becomes an uphill battle when you still have a dozen other people to hire."

    Does the venue offer in-house catering?

    Whether you're planning a formal multi-course seated dinner or a more casual sharing-style feast, you'll want to know if the venue provides in-house catering. 

    If so, can they offer you menu options that fit your budget, number of guests, and any dietary restrictions? If not, do they have a list of local caterers that they recommend?

    What will they provide when it comes to furniture and styling?

    Don't assume that everything you see in the pictures is included when choosing your venue.

    While most venues will provide chairs and tables, cutlery, crockery, glassware, linens, and table & wedding decorations may incur additional costs.

    And, because not all venues will provide these items, be sure to enquire about what is included and what you will need to obtain on your own.

    Does the venue have any noise restrictions?

    This may not seem like a big deal when it comes to picking a wedding venue, but if you want to dance the night away with your friends and family, you'll need a place with reasonable noise restrictions.

    Before deciding on a venue, find out what noise restrictions they have in place and when the reception must end.

    Use Google creatively

    Entering a region name plus the word 'wedding' into Google (e.g. 'Melbourne + wedding') is a trick we use to find difficult-to-find wedding venues. 

    Then, using Google images, look up previous weddings in the area. Often, this will lead you to local wedding photographer's blogs, which will feature celebrations held in unique locations that you might not have discovered through a simple Google search.

    Have you found a wedding venue that you like? Allow your inner social media stalker to run wild. Look up other weddings held at that venue on the internet; often, these will lead to the wedding photographer's blog. 

    Look through the photos to see if there are any with a wedding hashtag that you can stalk on Instagram (often couples will chalk it onto a sign that ends up in the wedding photos). You'll get a closer look at the venue through the eyes of a visitor this way.

    Get pinning

    Have hundreds of pre-planned, amazing ideas ready to implement and know exactly how you want your big day to look? We didn't either.

    Create a 'Wedding Planning' board on Pinterest (set it to private if you prefer) and start looking for ideas. You'll probably come across some cool venues along the way that will help you define the type of venue you want. 

    Listen to your subconscious and look for venues that fit these categories if you find yourself pinning hundreds of pictures of ocean-view ceremonies or barn-style receptions. While you're at it, find and follow us on Pinterest.

    Ask local wedding vendors for their advice

    Why not ask some of the local wedding vendors if you know where you want to get married but are having trouble finding the right venue? After all, they've worked at a variety of local wedding venues and may be able to recommend a few that you haven't yet discovered.

    Be clear on what’s flexible at the venue

    If you have your heart set on a specific caterer for your wedding, there's probably no point in visiting a venue that only works with that company. Find out what's flexible before scheduling a viewing. 

    Is it possible for you to choose your own vendors? Can you style the venue space yourself? Is it possible to bring your own alcohol or must you purchase it from the vendor? 

    These are all things to think about when selecting a venue.

    Prepare for your viewing

    You'll probably visit a few different venues before deciding on 'the one.' We recommend getting a little prepared before you go to avoid them all becoming one big blur. 

    The most important tip we can give is to take photos at the viewing; we wouldn't trust our memories to remember all of the unique and beautiful features of each venue.

    Are there backup options in case of unpredictable weather?

    If you're planning an outdoor ceremony or reception, make sure to enquire about your venue's wet weather options. 

    While most venues have other rooms or covered spaces that can be used in the event of inclement weather, you may need to arrange for a marquee or other form of backup yourself in some cases.

    Vines of the Yarra Valley in the beautiful Yarra Valley is a stunning wedding venue that offers both indoor and outdoor options for your ceremony and reception.

    Vogue Ballroom: Wedding & Reception Venue in Melbourne

    Vogue Ballroom: Wedding & Reception Venue in Melbourne

    Planning your dream wedding and reception? Look no further! Our ballroom is the perfect place to celebrate your special day. We offer elegant décor and a range of packages to suit every budget. Plus, our experienced team will take care of everything so you can relax and enjoy your big day.

    Contact today at (03) 9802 2477 to schedule a tour at 399 Blackburn Rd, Burwood East VIC 3151!

    Conclusion

    The venue will be the backdrop for your photos, first meal as a married couple, and dancing the night away. It's one of the most important aspects of wedding planning.

    Here are FIVE things to consider when choosing a venue for your wedding. The venue will be the setting for your wedding photos, your first meal as a married couple, your wedding reception, and ultimately one of the most important aspects of the wedding planning process. What's most important when choosing a Melbourne wedding venue? Before touring wedding venues, set a budget.

    The venue's capacity will determine how many guests you can invite to your ceremony, reception, or both. Finalize your guest list before starting your venue search.

    After choosing a location and theme, you can start venue hunting. Consider lodging availability, guests' travel willingness, and costs. Try to avoid major events that may cause a shortage of visitor beds by checking the tourism website.

    The pool of local wedding vendors available to you decreases with distance. Plan a modern inner-city wedding. Our favourite hotel wedding venues are Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour and Pier One Sydney Harbour.

    Consider whether your reception venue offers overnight accommodations for out-of-town guests or nearby hotels. Decide how much you're willing to spend before approaching wedding venues to avoid disappointment.

    Estimate your total budget and design costs. If that plus rent blows your budget, you'll need to scale back your design or look for cheaper locations.

    Ask the venue manager what's included in the rental fee and what else you'll need to create your ideal wedding reception. Don't assume everything in a venue's photos is included. Check the venue's noise restrictions and reception end time.

    We use Google to find hard-to-find wedding venues (e.g., 'Melbourne + wedding'). Check Instagram for wedding hashtags at the venue.

    If you want to get married but can't find a venue, ask local wedding vendors. Are there weather backup plans? Can you bring your own alcohol or must it be purchased?

    Can you decorate yourself? Before scheduling a viewing, ask what's flexible. Vines of the Yarra Valley offers indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception options in the Yarra Valley.

    1. Not every venue is ideal.
    2. Have a budget in mind before you start touring or selecting your wedding venue, and stick to it.
    3. You don't need a written guest list to choose a venue, but you should have a good idea of who will be invited.
    4. Keep in mind that this is your big day when choosing who to invite.
    5. Style of service. When it comes to size, your reception's service style is also something to consider.
    6. Depending on the service style, many venues have different capacities.
    7. Another thing to consider when choosing a venue is the location and accommodations.
    8. First and foremost, you'll need to narrow down your wedding venues.
    9. Try to define where you want to get married. Do you want to have a destination wedding?
    10. You make the venue search much easier for yourself by narrowing down the regions where you'd be happy to get married.
    11. Consider things like lodging availability, how far your guests are willing to travel, and how much it will cost.
    12. Consider things like lodging availability, how far your guests are willing to travel, and how much it will cost.
    13. How far in advance do you need to book your venue? 
    14. If your prefered venue is not available on your wedding date and you are dead set on having your wedding ceremony or reception there, you may need to reschedule or start looking for a new venue.
    15. Talk to a Planner First. Yes, before you even begin looking at available spots.
    16. Choose a venue that aligns with your vision. 
    17. If you want your wedding to feel more connected to the location, it's important to select a location that not only complements your theme but also enhances it.
    18. Does the venue reflect your style? Your wedding will be a day to remember for the rest of your life, and the wedding venue you choose should reflect your distinct style and personality.
    19. It's crucial to consider what makes you feel authentic as a couple and then design a space that reflects that.
    20. How much you're willing to spend before approaching venues to avoid the frustrations of falling in love with a wedding venue that's out of your price range.
    21. Clarify with the venue manager what is included in the hire fee and what else will be required to create your ideal wedding reception.
    22. Determine your total budget as well as the approximate cost of executing your design.
    23. If adding that to the cost of renting the space blows your budget out of the water, you'll need to either scale back your design or look for more affordable locations. "
    24. Set a tentative budget. The type of venue you choose will most likely be determined by your budget.
    25. Regardless, it's worth deciding how much you're willing to spend on a venue and sticking to it.
    26. Remember Your Budget!" It's more than just the cost of renting the space," says Kline-Weichelt, because venues with in-house catering (such as hotels) will charge by the plate. "
    27. Decor and floral design will raise the price as well."
    28. Determine your total budget as well as the approximate cost of executing your design.
    29. If adding that to the cost of renting the space blows your budget out of the water, you'll need to either scale back your design or look for more affordable locations.
    30. If you choose your venue first and then realise it costs more than you anticipated, staying within your budget becomes an uphill battle when you still have a dozen other people to hire.
    31. "Does the venue offer in-house catering? 
    32. And, because not all venues will provide these items, be sure to enquire about what is included and what you will need to obtain on your own.
    33. Does the venue have any noise restrictions? This may not seem like a big deal when it comes to picking a wedding venue, but if you want to dance the night away with your friends and family, you'll need a place with reasonable noise restrictions.
    34. Before deciding on a venue, find out what noise restrictions they have in place and when the reception must end.
    35. Then, using Google images, look up previous weddings in the area.
    36. Allow your inner social media stalker to run wild.
    37. Look up other weddings held at that venue on the internet; often, these will lead to the wedding photographer's blog.
    38. Create a 'Wedding Planning' board on Pinterest (set it to private if you prefer) and start looking for ideas.
    39. Ask local wedding vendors for their advice. Why not ask some of the local wedding vendors if you know where you want to get married but are having trouble finding the right venue?
    40. Be clear on what's flexible at the venue. If you have your heart set on a specific caterer for your wedding, there's probably no point in visiting a venue that only works with that company.
    41. Find out what's flexible before scheduling a viewing.
    42. Is it possible for you to choose your own vendors?
    43. Can you style the venue space yourself?
    44. Prepare for your viewing. You'll probably visit a few different venues before deciding on 'the one.'
    45. Finalize your guest list before starting your venue search.
    46. After choosing a location and theme, you can start venue hunting.
    47. Consider lodging availability, guests' travel willingness, and costs.
    48. Plan a modern inner-city wedding.
    49. Estimate your total budget and design costs.
    50. Check the venue's noise restrictions and reception end time.
    51. If you want to get married but can't find a venue, ask local wedding vendors.

    Citations

    “10 Tips To Help You Find And Choose A Wedding Venue - Wedshed.” Wedshed, www.wedshed.com.au, 16 Jan. 2020.

    “Here’s How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Venue.” Brides, www.brides.com, 30 Sept. 2020.

    “10 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Venue | Easy Weddings.” Easy Weddings, www.easyweddings.com.au, 1 Sept. 2021.

    “FIVE Things to Consider When Selecting Your Wedding Venue.” Forever Bride, foreverbride.com, 10 Jan.

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