They say your venue choice is the first big-day decision you should make – but where do you start? We consulted Plume owner Clyde Cooper, who revealed his top tips for organising the wedding of your dreams.
How does a couple settle on the right venue?
The venue has to appeal as soon as you walk in – be sure that it has the wow factor! Observe how venue staff interact with you, and see how flexible they can be to your requirements. Most importantly, consider whether the quote falls within your budget and be sure you ask about any extra costs (delayed end times, venue cleaning, ceremony charges). If you’re not 100 per cent sure about the venue, then visit again, maybe at a different time of day. Make sure you eat a meal at the venue – perhaps stop in for dinner – to ensure the food, wine and service are great. Check overnight accommodation around the venue if you are going to need it (and make sure you book it in plenty of time!)
Do you recommend couples hold their ceremony and reception in the same spot? Why?
Yes. It makes so much more sense logistically to have the entire event in one place – if the ceremony is to be held outdoors, however, make very sure that there is a wet weather option available.
What is your favourite thing about vineyard weddings?
Vineyard weddings always provide a relaxed atmosphere, with indoor/outdoor flow making for a luxurious ambience. If you live in a town or city, they give you and your guests a chance for total escape – you see nature is its best, with no sign of the city’s busy atmosphere.
If a couple is selecting wines and has no idea where to start, what types of wines would you recommend and why?
It depends on the menu, the time of the year and the types of guests attending the wedding – we generally recommend a bubbly to go with pre-dinner canapés and a selection of one white and one red to complement dinner. Be sure to have ample beer available too. Of course, the cost has to suit the couples’ budget – if any guests want a particular type of wine that you haven’t provided, they could always approach the bar to set up their own tab.
If a couple wants to have a cocktail reception, what are three ‘musts’?
- Even though you’re only serving canapés, make sure they’re substantial enough for the amount of alcohol you are serving.
- Be sure to have plenty of appealing non-alcoholic options available.
- Although cocktail receptions are great for encouraging guests to mix and mingle, make sure there’s plenty of seating – standing for hours on end will only tire your guests and could see them leaving early!
What do you love most about catering weddings?
The bond that we form with couples and the relationship built throughout the planning process. The wedding itself signifies the end of that bond, but then come anniversaries and christenings – impressed couples and their wedding guests keep coming back, and it’s wonderful when we get the chance to see these families grow together!