Posted March 13, 2012 by Pierre Mardaga in Marriage

Guide for arranging a Marriage Reception for Success


Your marriage reception will be great simply because all your relatives and buddies will be there to offer you their congratulations, gifts and best wishes for the future. To make it a notable occasion, you’ll need to plan it brilliantly.

The marriage reception is one of the biggest parties you will ever hold. It is an opportunity to show them all how much you appreciate them by spoiling them with laughs and entertainment in a location that’s special. Here’s some advice to be sure this party will be nothing short of fantastic? The answer’s planning, planning and more planning.


There are as a few different sorts of receptions, it depends on how many guests you want to invite and the atmosphere you would like to create. Will it be full of rituals or just relaxed and fun? What type of food do you enjoy most? Would you like to have a sunset wedding followed by pre-dinner cocktails, a formalised sit-down dinner and dancing? How about a buffet, informal dinner, breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or cocktail party? The time of day and the venue you select will follow from these calls.

FINDING The Perfect Venue

Sydney’s brides and bridegrooms have a lot to make a choice from when talking about wedding reception locales. Finding one that expresses your uniqueness and has the atmosphere you believe best suits your style. There are four- and five-star hotels, function centres, clubs, diners, sporting venues, historical buildings, halls, cultural places, studios, museums, State Parks, beautiful gardens, beaches, yachts, marquees, vineyards, backyards and even the zoo.

Menus will vary from one place to the other, some boast culinary pleasures fit for a royal feast and for others you will need to organize your own caterers and/or party hire.

Do an inventory of those that appear interesting, check out their sites, call the Function Coordinator and ask them to send you a wedding kit. As fast as this is done, you may be able to make a shortlist of venues that are worth visiting.

Make an appointment before going to go and visit a venue. The locale operator will show you around, the menus menus and tell you about different options.


Talk of your concepts, style and numbers with location operators to discover if the reception you have in mind is possible.

Wherever possible ask to see videos and images of previous weddings held at the venue. Ask for client references.

Talk to them about any special requirements you have, for example disalbled access needs , specialist equipment, staging or lighting, surprising performances, an ear1y or intricate set -up, or particular parking wishes.

Learn if there are restrictions – opening times, sound levels, smoking, consumption of alcohol, under-age or kid patrons, parking, access for set

up, outdoor lighting and/or certain types of performance or equipment. Make sure the location has all of the proper licenses, permits and insurance. Ask for an in depth costing on the package, including special conditions, cancellation costs and overtime charges.

If you hire a preferred locale, book well ahead, as these venues in prime locations have a tendency to get employed out well in advance, especially for significant dates.


If the locale is looking after the catering, ensure that their caterers can meet your needs. Pose questions before signing the hire contract: What type of functions do they cater – cocktails, a la carte, exotic cuisines.

How many will they cater for?

What is the per head costs?

Can you try the dishes on the menu beforehand?

Are you able to make suggestions for your choice of menu?

Can you to come in and take a look at a function room set up for a dinner or party alike in style to your own?

Are they able to also provide dinnerware, glassware, table linen, and table decorations?

Will they have serving staff and their uniforms?

Do they do themed food, presentation?

Are you able to organize your own flower displays?

Also make sure that all those who will be working for you on the night are catered for, such as you wedding photographer, videographer, MC, band, DJ. To make certain your wedding photographer and videographer do not miss a minute it is best to have them in the same rom as you are in. There might be some sudden moments that must be captured.

Outside Venues

Having an outside party works if the weather’s warm and there are plenty of guests. But you need to think about a. Number of factors:

Site facilities – are there toilets, shelters, walkways?

Is there parking and access to taxis or public transport?

Are there limitations with number of guests, opening and closing times, fire, or erecting marquees and lights?

Noise restrictions?

Is the site child-friendly and safe?

Is the ground satisfactorily level?

Is there wildlife that will eat the food (e.g. Bull ants, seagulls, emus, kookaburras)?

Is there disabled access and facilities?

Venue facilities?

It is much easier to plan if the place for your reception has everything in the way of facilities, furnishings, kit and services. Just ask the location operators if they have or can provide the following:

a trattoria, lounges, bars;

kitchen, toilets, cloakroom;

audiovisual facilities;

seating and dining facilities;

specialist lighting;

first aid facilities;

disabled access;

onsite guest parking.

PM Photo has shot over 1000 weddings and can offer you first hand advice on many aspects of your marriage. Call us on 0414 645 075 for full information about wedding receptions.

Pierre Mardaga