Our guest bride Kate introduced herself last month and this month she talks Polka Dot Bride readers through how she found her venue.
Photo by Ben McCarthy
“I looked at approximately every venue in town – either online or in person. Where possible, I’d get the venue info first, either from the website or by e-mail. Then I’d write it off immediately because it was too expensive.
There were a few that managed to scrape through though, so I visited those in person and checked out the room and the facilities. I was hoping for the ceremony and reception either at the same venue or very close to each other, as I don’t want to rent cars and don’t want to leave the interstate visitors in the lurch – unfortunately Canberra cabs don’t give the greatest service!
So the grand shortlist:
Rose Cottage – With wedding packages from about $25, this venue was seriously tempting! Cute room for the function (with a log fire if you’re chilly!) and as the name suggests, a bit of a rose garden. It’s far from central though and the highway was a bit more visible from the ceremony venue than I would have liked.
Olims Hotel – Olims had a gorgeous garden for the ceremony, unfortunately the reception room was not my kind of place. I’m sure it would be gorgeous if you decorated it a bit, but I’m hoping to keep the decorations simple.
Hotel Kurrajong – So nice! So very very nice. Really lovely. Unfortunately there’s a minimum of 80 guests and that’s at least 20 more than we’re expecting. Bummer.
University House – It’s basically a hotel for visiting academics, with the rooms arranged around a courtyard garden. With a koi pond all the way down one side of the courtyard. It has a kind of sweet retro vibe. Plus this ridiculously good restaurant at the site. And the reception room has got a lovely atmosphere, is kind of minimalist and would only need a little bit of decoration.
We chose University House, such an easy choice after all that searching! Their website doesn’t give a good indication so if you’re in Canberra, go check it out in person.
I’m planning to keep the decorations pretty low-key, there’s already a beautiful garden for the ceremony so we’ll just set some chairs out and maybe rose petals to indicate the aisle.
The reception room looks out on the garden, so I’d like to mirror that with some flowers on each of the tables. I’m collecting glass vases from op shops and garage sales, and plan to fill them with one type of flower in each (so no complicated arrangements to stress over).
Now that’s sorted, the main thing I’m focused on is bridesmaid dresses. I don’t want them to match, but it’s difficult to find non-matching but similar dresses without getting them made (which I’m avoiding because it’s so expensive!!)”
What tips do you have for Kate’s great bridesmaid dress search? How did you find your venue? How should Kate decorate a venue to keep in with her retro vibe she’s going for?