What Would They Know? Hayley Murnane of Showtime Events & Cargo Hall

by | Venue Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom

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With waterfront views, a history of waterfront dockside activity, and glorious original features  Showtime Events and Cargo Hall present something different to the Melbourne wedding venue scene. Bathed in lights reflected on the water, these urban spaces give you a hint of the gritty docklands history, but with a chic  industrial twist to add finesse to your wedding decor. Coupled with exciting menus to tempt a discerning palate, these venues offer a blank canvas to let your imagination run wild. Hayley lets us in on the secrets behind the wedding team extraordinaire and the reasons these iconic buildings are now such wonderful wedding venues.

Please explain to us where Showtime Events Centre and Cargo Hall are situated.

Location, location location! We are located on the Yarra River in South Wharf with the bright night sky and city skyline creating the perfect atmosphere to get any wedding celebration started!

What were these event spaces originally?

Our spaces were once iconic docking sheds, which have been transformed into the stunning venues we see today.

Image by LJM Photography

Is there a wedding and events team on hand to help organize a wedding?

There certainly is! We have a small but dedicated team of wedding producers who work with our wider family to help plan your special day. With their experience, they will help take your wedding from great to spectacular.

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Karinda, Darcy and Devin AKA our wedding extraordinaires:

A bit about Karinda

Karinda is our creative soul. If you need to collaborate on styles, decide on a theme or help with visualising how everything will come together then Karinda is your go to person. Karinda has been with Showtime and Cargo Hall for almost 4 years now and knows all the ins and outs of the venues.

A bit about Darcy

Darcy is our social butterfly who has all the great connections across the industry and it’s likely you’ll know someone who knows her if you don’t already. Darcy came to us from the National Trust where she ran their weddings focusing on ceremonies at venues such as Como House and Ripponlea Estate and is loved by all our newlyweds to be.

A bit about Devin

Devin is the newest star to the weddings team and has fitted in like she has been here forever. With her gentle nature she will bring a calming influence to your wedding plans. Having taken a break from weddings and being in the corporate world for the last few years she is very excited to be back in the wedding scene.

All the girls are super details oriented and take a consultative approach to planning your wedding. One of our big philosophies is ‘Every Details Matters’ and we go above and beyond to make sure we fulfill this.

Image by Yasitha Amarasinghe

How can bridal couples arrive at your venues?

Arrive in style with the option of your chauffeur driven car to drop you directly to one of our bridal suites or up the ante and go for our favourite… a glamorous boat arrival. If you want to go all out for the ultra-grand entrance then a helicopter is definitely the way to go.

Is there accommodation that can be arranged for guests nearby?

Given our premium location there are several well-known hotels close by including Crown Towers and Crown Metropol, The Hilton South Wharf, and The Langham, just to name a few. We can help point couples in the right direction to the perfect hotel.

Do you see any trends emerging for weddings in 2017/18?

Hampton’s chic styling seems to be popping up everywhere which would work so very well in Cargo with the natural light beaming through against the timber features and crisp lines. Minimal opulence is something that we can’t wait to see more of. Think dark moody tones such as emerald green or sapphire blue teamed with luxurious velvet furniture. Coincidently this would look stunning in Showtime!

 Showtime Events

What are some special features of Showtime Events?

No daggy carpet found here. Showtime offers a vibrant mix of the old industrial shed combined with our new modern stand out features including reclaimed wooden floor boards; unique back lit wall patterns and our stunning gold chandelier bar.

Image by Elleni Toumpas

Is there a bridal suite available to the bride and her attendants?

Of course! You have access to the suite all night and it’s the perfect space to use on arrival or if you need a moment of quiet among the celebrations. The true star of the show is however the main room which we reveal from the bridal suite when we open the curtains. It’s one of our favourite parts of the evening, seeing the newlyweds’ reaction for the first time and being totally in awe of the venue. Happy tears are common with the bride; it’s such a meaningful and rewarding moment for us.

Are there locations -inside or outside, for a wedding ceremony?

For a casual intimate ceremony our waterfront marquee is the way to go, or for something more formal and romantic our inside space could be just for you. We also have a detailed list of our trusted offsite ceremony locations nearby and can help point you in the right direction.

Image by Aparat Photography

Is the space big enough to be sectioned off for each part of the wedding day e.g. ceremony, cocktails, reception, dance floor.

We are lucky that Showtime is such a versatile space with no two weddings ever the same. Whether you have a wedding guest list of 120 or 2220 we can design a layout to suit. Utilise our riverside marquee for pre-dinner drinks and canapes before moving to the main reception room that can accommodate round tables, trestle tables or even a combination of both. Our dance floor area will entice guests to boogie the night away!

How many guests can be accommodated in this venue?

Our wedding packages are based on a minimum of 100 guests although we can cater to smaller weddings on application. 250 is our maximum and dependent on a few factors. Upon enquiring with us we will ask you a series of questions and tailor the perfect proposal for you.

Are we limited in how we are allowed to decorate this space?

Our motto is everything is possible and we will go to the ends of the earth to make something happen so our boundaries are very wide. This means we host some truly luxurious weddings but with the venues natural charm simple decorations look just as stunning. Hanging features are huge at the moment from floral creations to chandeliers, fairy lights and more. You can even take it up a notch with hanging centerpiece over every table or a suspended cake table or wishing well. Other options include champagne tower, pyrotechnics display, Whiskey bar, pamper station and more! If you can’t tell we are bursting with ideas to share with you. As these items can seem quite daunting to organise, your wedding producer is here to help guide you every step of the way.

Image by Studio 477

How would you describe the style of food that you offer?

Next level is the best way to describe our food. No standard function food found here! Our chefs spend countless hours prepping, chopping, cooking and carefully creating amazing dishes for each wedding– not to mention our in-famous Margarita Arancini Balls, they will have your guests’ taste buds in overdrive.

Can a bridal couple organise food stations or bars around the venue, rather than have food served while seated?

Absolutely; we have our standard seated and cocktail wedding packages but also specialise in a build your own. We are seeing a rise in the popularity of shared menus, elaborate antipasto tables, prawn and oyster stations, decedent dessert displays, ice cream carts and more, all of which we can cater for.

Image by LJM Photography

Are you able to help with organization of vendors such as flowers, music etc?

Of course, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t help with this. We have a list of dedicated reputable suppliers (we don’t take kickbacks to suggest them, it’s all on merit) that we can talk through with you. We work with them week in and out and can make recommendations based on the type of wedding you’re going for.

Are you able to offer us five tips to make the best use of this unique space?

  1. Lights, lights and more lights – Showtime is renowned for its unique lighting features with pin lights and custom wall decorations included in all our packages. These take the look of the venue from great to wow with the option to add fairy lights chandeliers and pendants for that show stopping look.
  2. Location – South Wharf offers some amazing photo opportunities, you can even duck out from your reception on the hour to capture the flames from Crown in the background.
  3. Grand entrance or exit – Why not have a car or motorbikes drive into the venue – Yes we have done this on many occasions…
  4. Boat arrival – With a dock straight outside the venue take advantage of our location again. Chilling on a boat with your partner in crime and bridal squad while enjoying some bubbles as you cruise into your celebrations sounds pretty good to us.
  5. We find it hard to say no – Nothing is impossible, if you have a crazy idea, talk to us about it and we’ll do our best to make it come to life

 Cargo Hall

How would you describe the ambiance of this venue? What are some of its unique features?

With an industrial luxe feel, Cargo Hall encompasses all that is Melburnian warehouse chic offering the ultimate blank canvas ready and waiting for your personal stamp. Boasting uninterrupted waterfront views, original timber floorboards, exposed beams and feature mezzanine level, this contemporary gem truly is a one-of-a-kind!

Image by Gus Reyes Photography

What sets Cargo Hall apart from other industrial style venues?

Not only does the venue look amazing, but our award winning food and service is a next level experience in itself. From interactive antipasto stations to sharing menus and dessert stations to die for, we can create your food vision that will exceed all expectations. We live to make your wedding day incredible, and the entire planning process truly stress free and unforgettable.

What are some exclusive features the bridal couple might make use of at Cargo Hall?

Our waterfront conservatory offers breathtaking views and the perfect location to start the night with drinks and canapes. If you fancy a boat arrival guests will see your grand entrance! Inside our unique timber feature wall makes the perfect backdrop for your bridal table or setting for your dance floor.

Image by Karinda Mathison

What are some fabulous wedding décor ideas you seen used here? How is it best decorated to make the most of the space?

With greenery crowned the Pantone colour of 2017, we are loving lush tropical foliage at the moment which bounces off all the raw timbers in the venue amazingly. We also can’t get enough of festoon and pendant lights, one of the most popular additions to the venue by far!

How many guests can be accommodated in this venue?

Cargo Hall is slightly smaller than Showtime with wedding packages based on a minimum of 80 guests and the maximum around the 200 mark depending on your wedding requirements.

How would you describe the food?

The same amazing Executive Chef who looks after Showtime is also in charge of Cargo Hall so quality is spot on as is the flavor and style. All our food is prepared with love made using only the freshest produce and cooked onsite meaning it does not come from a production kitchen or pre-made suppliers. Our kitchen team is currently busy creating new menus. Watch this space!

Image by Jenna Fahey White Photography

With food being so important at weddings now how do you ensure that the food you serve is a highlight of the event?

Love this question….While the way a wedding looks is super important, we feel too often this is the main focus for couples and the food and drinks is an afterthought. We take huge pride in our food and wish more people could know how amazing it is! We suggest you take the time to review potential food and beverage menus, look at photos and research past reviews. We believe food is just as important, if not more, than styling and at the end of the day it’s what you’re paying for in your wedding package.

What are some of the chef’s favourite dishes on the menu for the coming wedding season?

As mentioned our chefs are busy working on a new menu to die for, but we can’t go past our Thai Chicken Salad for entrée, Crunchy Macaroni & Cheese Blocks for something different on the side with mains, or our mini gelato cones that are always a huge hit, Yum!!

Do you offer wedding packages?

We sure do! We have standard offerings but as mentioned we specialise in a build your own package. This gives you as the couple the freedom of a tailor made wedding day if this is what you’re looking for.

Image by Beckon Media

What do you love about living and working in Melbourne?

The vibe of the coffee culture, drinking scene, endless laneways and eating spots! Diversity is everywhere and something new can be found at every turn! We feel so very fortunate to reside in the world’s most liveable city as voted 6 years running.

Thank you Hayley for sharing the story of Showtime Events and Cargo Hall. With a sense of history, industrial luxe decor and delicious food these two venues are perfect for your wedding day. To find out more about Showtime Events and Cargo Hall visit the website.

Headshot by LJM Photography.

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