Ask a close friend or relative to keep an eye on your home, removing items from the letterbox and maybe watering your plants. They might even stock your fridge for your return from your honeymoon!
The type of reception venue you choose will depend on whether you are getting married in a chapel, registry office or in one of the many approved venues and areas licensed for civil weddings.
Your next considerations could be whether it suits the style or theme of your wedding; its proximity to your church or registry office; the number of guests you wish to invite; and finally, but most importantly, your budget. You may have in mind the kind of affair you would like, but if it's not financially possible, forget it. It really isn't worth the worry.
Whether you decide to hold your reception in a resort or hotel, a heritage listed home, a hall, a restaurant or on an inlet or river cruise, you must book well in advance, especially if it's to be on a Saturday in the autumn. If you have your heart set on a particular venue but the Saturday is booked, consider a weekday or Sunday Wedding; it could work out considerably cheaper too.
Make sure your chosen venue suits all your requirements: car parking, storage areas, special arrangements for small children, and wheelchair access. Plus, find out how late they can serve drinks and play music. You may also need an attractive location for photographs, particularly if one was not available at your chapel or registry office.
Wherever you choose, always check exactly what's included in the price. If it's a "package deal" with other services included, such as flowers and entertainment, are you committed to use those services or will it be flexible to your needs? Are there additional costs such as service charges, GST, or corkage charges if you buy your own wines? Always confirm your booking and the date to settle the bill in writing with as much detail as possible and get a receipt for deposits. It is a good idea to ask someone to visit the venue on the morning of your wedding to check that all your arrangements have been carried out.
Resorts and Hotels
Resorts and Hotels are the most popular choice as there is usually a wedding coordinator to help arrange your day. Most hotels offer wedding packages that include food, drinks and a master of ceremonies, plus a room for the bride and groom to freshen up in. Many hotels also offer discounted accommodation rates for you or your guests. It may also have a bridal suite included in the price. Keeping in mind the number of guests, your budget, and any other requirements, make a short list of possible venues, check the availability on your wedding date and have a meal at each to judge the quality of food and the service you receive. When you have made your choice, meet with the wedding coordinator and discuss menu options. If possible, sample food and house wines. Confirm all the details in writing and get a receipt for your deposit. In the run-up to your wedding keep your wedding coordinator fully informed about the numbers of guests and any special dietary needs.
Restaurants — Function Rooms — Inlet & River Boats
Even the plainest of settings can be made festive with flower and balloon decorations, pretty table arrangements and the right lighting. Hire charges will depend on the length of time required and the services included. Check that any inclusive catering services will be suitable to your needs. If not, how flexible are the arrangements? Are there any restrictions on music and decorations? What are the bar facilities? Is there a dance floor? Do they have public liability insurance?
Marquees are the perfect solution if you want to hold your reception at home, or if your chosen venue has limited indoor space. Marquees come in various sizes and in two types — the traditional pole that needs a grass site, and a frame structure that can be sited on any surface. Your marquee company can provide a dance floor, carpets, furniture, equipment hire, and porta-loos. Some will also arrange catering and decorations.
Your Reception at Home
Don't underestimate the amount of time and preparation involved — help from friends and relatives will be essential. Your home will be a hive of activity on the morning of the wedding and chances are there will be people popping in upsetting even the best-laid plans. Recruit someone to tidy up the place after you have left and to have the kettle boiling when you return. The average home will accommodate a maximum of 50 people; even so, you may need to think about moving furniture and borrowing chairs and crockery from neighbours or even hiring some equipment.
- Decide the theme/style of your wedding and any special requirements.
- Draw up your guest list(s) so you know the numbers to accommodate.
- Have a meal at your chosen resort or hotel to check food and standard of service.
- Do you want exclusive use of the venue?
- Book as soon as possible.
- Determine what's included in any package deals
- Confirm all details in writing and get receipts for deposits.
- Inform the venue on final catering numbers a month before the wedding.
South Pacific Bridal Cairns
The Most Beautiful Chapels in the World
This company has exclusivity to arguably the finest wedding chapels in Australia; their premier chapel is the sensational purpose built chapel right on the beach at the acclaimed Angsana Resort and Spa Palm Cove. They also have a chapel in Cairns city the Hilton Blue Horizon on the harbour front which is opened in late 2007. Another wonderful option is the Cairns Highland chapel which is situated in the authentic historical village of Yungaburra.
These chapels can simply be hired or alternately they are very proud to have a range of specialist wedding coordinators who will orchestrate your entire wedding day. With their affiliated international company they also have access to some of the most beautiful wedding chapels internationally.
Peppers Beach Club & Spa Palm Cove
Peppers Beach Club & Spa Palm Cove offer the best of the best — spectacular and accessible destination complemented by exceptional 5 star resort facilities, perfect for your Dream Wedding. Boasting a range of beautifully appointed accommodation including spa rooms, 1 and 2 bedroom suites and luxurious penthouses which caters for everyone, matched with an indulgent day spa for pampering, the best way to unwind before your special day.
Choose to have your ceremony by the pool or by the beach, all the trimmings can be arranged through the hotel to ensure you have all the details covered without the stress.
Imagine dining under the stars or in the privacy of your own banquet room with all your closest family & friends by your side to help you celebrate your first meal as husband and wife. You can choose from a formal 3 course dinner to a casual cocktail party with all your favourite beverages to toast in celebration. Our venue creates a warm and casual environment amongst a beautiful location; everyone will remember your special day with a smile!
Reef House & Spa
The Sebel Reef House & Spa is the ideal venue for your wedding, reception or honeymoon — after all it has been voted "one of the most romantic places in the world". They have a variety of venues, menus and packages to suit your individual needs. Put your mind at ease; the dedicated team will create an unforgettable day of romance and celebration!
The resort is a photographer's dream — rambling bougainvillea, beautiful melaleuca trees, three picturesque pools and of course the calm tropical waters of Palm Cove. For a wedding reception of up to 40 people, we suggest the Poolside Café as a venue.
The Poolside Café is an intimate area that can be offered to you exclusively, free of charge (minimum of 20 people).
The Reef House restaurant is also available for groups of up to 100 people. Exclusive use is available with a minimum spend of $7000 on food and beverage from December to July and a minimum spend of $7700 for August to November (high season).
Please note that there are noise restrictions and time limitations if booking a private Reception venue in both the Poolside Café and Reef House Restaurant.
Wedding Images © Posh Photography www.poshphotos.com.au