Apart from the obvious availability and a tick of approval between you and your fiance, there's lots of factors which come into play when choosing a venue for your special day. These are my top questions to make sure you have a wedding that offers the best possible options for you as the future newlyweds, your guests and the vendors working behind the scenes to make it all happen. There are so many more beautiful venues than just those pictured in below, but these are a few great locations in Central Queensland.
Pictured: Paradise Lagoons, Rockhampton.
WILL IT ACCOMMODATE YOUR GUEST LIST?
Nailing down a guest list is probably the most painful part of wedding planning, but it's vital to have an estimate of numbers early so you avoid disappointment later. Some venues require a minimum number of guests so won't be suitable for more intimate affairs, whilst others may have a maximum capacity depending on their available space. There's nothing worse than a uncomfortably cramped reception room and it's easy to underestimate the number of people you want to invite (as well as the extras your family will want to add!), so this is a critical conversation to have early on.
Pictured: Kanangra Heights, Yeppoon.
WHAT FACILITIES DOES IT HAVE?
As far as convenience goes for both you and your guests, the more of your wedding you can host in one location the better. Having your preparations, ceremony and reception within walking or a short driving distance means less time lost to travel, a less complicated schedule and ultimately more time spent with the people you love most. It's also important to consider your guests' transport and accommodation options, particularly if you are holding a remote/destination wedding or have family and friends who will be travelling to attend.
Pictured: Henderson Park, Rockhampton.
DOES IT SUIT YOUR DESIRED THEME?
As someone who sees a lot of people tie the knot, the couples who choose to create a wedding that really represents them always stand out. It's easy to get carried away saving inspiration photos with Pinterest at our fingertips, but staying true to yourselves as a couple is just as important. Whether you've grown up beside the ocean or on a cattle station in the country, pick a venue that fits the vision you have in mind and allows you to put a little piece of yourselves into the space.
Pictured: St Aubins Village, Rockhampton.
IS THERE A PLAN IF THE WEATHER ISN'T SUITABLE?
I hate to bring it up, but every couple planning to hold part of their wedding outdoors needs a backup in case the weather ends up raining, freezing cold or boiling hot. Can you use an alternate space or perhaps convert your wedding reception to the ceremony space and vice versa? Do you have staff or people willing to pitch in and make this happen if needed? Of course, photography is also a big part of your wedding day so ask ask your photographer what they would suggest in case it rains - the options might include using undercover areas at the venue if available, finding a sheltered location nearby or arming yourselves with umbrellas and embracing the weather.
Pictured: Botanical Gardens, Rockhampton.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE?
As with everything, cost is always a factor. Keep in mind how much is included in your venue hire fee, as a blank space may be cheaper to hire than an all-inclusive venue but the added decorating (think tables, chairs, linens, dinnerware, cutlery, centerpieces - the list goes on...) and catering costs can be more expensive than you think. If you're having an outdoor reception, hiring a shelter such as a marquee/teepee is also a major consideration (and this probably means you'll also need to hire lighting and flooring on top of the base price). Every venue will have different standards for set up, hire times and pack down too so make sure to factor this in to your decision.
Pictured: The Villa on the Beach, Yeppoon.