We talk to venue specialists Continental about their top five tips for choosing your perfect venue.
1. Choose a venue that reflects your theme
Think about the type of atmosphere you’d like to create – romantic and traditional? Contemporary and chic? Consider whether you crave a stunning scenic backdrop for photographs, cosy indoor spaces with open fires, a chic refurbished barn setting or a lush winery.
2. Ask yourself what your venue will mean to you
Do you want to get married in a place that holds special significance to you and your groom? If so, think about hiring a marquee on your parents’ back lawn, or perhaps beachfront at your family bach. Alternatively, if your beau proposed in a particularly spectacular (and also accessible!) spot, this is also a great venue option. Just be sure to hire vendors who can help you turn it into a functional and comforable wedding space – think marquees, ample seating and power, for instance.
3. Think about your guests’ needs
Keep in mind the number of people who you’re inviting to your wedding and what the guests’ general profile is, especially their age group. For example, if you’re inviting children, is there a family room available for feeding babies or quiet time – or if it a predominantly older group, find out whether everyone will be able to be seated comfortably for the duration of the reception, even when the dance floor is laid out.
4. It’s the little things
When you’re choosing your venue, think about suitability of size and flow for your guests, including eye-line during speeches, knowledgeable and helpful staff (which feeds into the atmosphere); good parking and easy access, particularly for older guests.
5. Do your homework for an at-home wedding
The great thing about a home wedding with a marquee is the fact that there is no venue fee, however keep in mind that what you save on venue hire, is most likely what you’ll spend on hiring a marquee.
The location you choose within your home space will be unique to you, as you can dictate where a marquee goes. A marquee can extend an existing room’s capacity or create a completely new one: we can transform a bare piece of land into a truly magical wedding venue. A home wedding can also bring a greater sense of family to your special day.
A level site helps – although we can work with mounds and slopes! Water access and power close to hand are also useful. Don’t expect caterers to use your kitchen either; it pays to allow room for a kitchen marquee. And always hire enough portaloos.
Established in 1965, Continental is a family owned and operated business. The business operates two main divisions – event catering and event equipment hire – as well as actively managing venues and two food outlets; The Bakery in Rangiora and Kingsford Kitchen, Southbrook, alongside a separate 100 percent gluten-free production kitchen that produces the ALFF (Allergy Free Foods), range of goods.
Continental is the exclusive caterer for Maddison’s Restaurant and Bar at the Heritage Hotel in Christchurch, Christchurch Gondola, Christchurch Tram and Newbery Lodge Function Centre. Continental is also the preferred caterer for International Antarctic Centre, Valley of Peace, Airforce Museum and several other venues throughout the South Island.