Choosing my wedding venue

by | Inspired Plans, Weddings



I recently became engaged to the love of my life Jay and am in the early stages of planning my wedding, something I have been dreaming about and looking forward to for years.  I am loving every second of the planning process and I can’t wait to finally marry my best friend.

My engagement ring

After Jay proposed, we started planning our wedding straight away. The first thing I did was put together a wedding folder (I’m a teacher – I like to be organised!) with sections like the venue, dress, photography, checklists and so on. I printed out and included images of decorations, dresses, hairstyles, suits, flowers, cakes and everything that I liked so I could clearly see what style I was leaning towards. The problem was – there was very little I didn’t like! I hadn’t found our wedding style yet, which made the first step – finding a venue, a bit tricky.

We didn’t want a long engagement so we chose October 2013, about a year from the proposal. With Jay working interstate, it fell upon me to arrange viewings, schedule meetings and look at venues. I felt like this was the most important part of the planning process – once I had a venue, the rest would fall into place. I was feeling the pressure of time as well, as many places I enquired at were already taking bookings for 2014, and there are only so many Saturdays in October!

I was focused on finding a venue that ticked all the boxes: price, availability, a venue that was all in one (this was important to us so we could spend as much time as possible with our guests), and I knew that Jay and I wanted an outdoor ceremony and sit-down dinner for the reception, with space to dance into the night. I looked at restaurants, wineries, gardens, traditional reception venues and even museums. I tried to get a taste of lots of different styles – modern, vintage, country, city, traditional, quirky – before deciding on Emu Bottom Homestead in Sunbury. I first heard of it here on Polka Dot Bride (which has been a huge source of inspiration for me) and I was drawn to its rustic yet elegant charm and simplicity. Emu Bottom Homestead has a beautiful green lawn with amazing views, and the homestead itself has white painted walls so it is a blank canvas for us to make it our own. It had so much potential and when I found out it had October 12th available, it felt like a sign. I can see myself there as a bride, walking towards my future husband with all our loved ones gathered around. And for me, that was what clinched it. I liked all the other venues, but this one really felt like ‘us’.

Emu Bottom Homestead dining room

Emu Bottom Homestead lawn

Once the venue was sorted, it gave me an idea of what I wanted for other elements of the wedding. I’m going for a vintage, handmade feel with a few touches that will make it very ‘us’. I now not only have a venue, but an amazingly talented photographer (Tigs Macallan, also discovered on Polka Dot Bride!) and have put a deposit down on my perfect dress (which will be revealed in due time!). Everything seemed a lot easier once I had that venue locked in as it determined our wedding style. And now that all the big ticket bookings are under control, I am taking a step back and enjoying the planning process. I’m looking forward to making invitations and handmade decorations, looking at flowers and cakes and all the other pieces that come together to make the perfect day. All these things will come in time, and I’m so happy and excited for all that awaits.

Ms Gingham says: We’re so excited to follow your journey from planning to the big day Teagan!! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences so far with us!

Teagan says: “I am 26 years old and teach English to high school students. I live in Melbourne and I divide my spare time between marking essays, planning classes, researching wedding ideas and gazing at my sparkly engagement ring, which I am still not used to seeing on my finger! Now that I am finally engaged I feel like a lot of things are falling into place in my life – it’s a very good place to be. “

  • Ms Paisley says:
    November 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Love to hear that our readers are pairing up with the fantastic vendors showcased on this site 🙂

  • Cee.Bee says:
    November 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    As I read this, it sounded exactly like my story – engaged recently, picking a venue, and booking it in October 2013! You are super organized though, I work in Events and I haven’t had time to look for a dress yet! Good luck with the rest 🙂 x

    • Teagan says:
      November 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks Cee.Bee! I wasn’t planning on having my dress chosen so early but my mum was down so we decided to go shopping. I wanted to go with her and I don’t see her very often so I jumped at the chance to have her there! Can’t wait to get measurements done early next year, so exciting!

  • Donna says:
    November 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Teagan, Twas lovely reading your story, even more so because my daughter Gemma is getting married At Emu Bottom the month after you! Am sure we will all have an amazing day.

  • Melissa says:
    November 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Hey Teagan…you now have a celebrant too! And I am also on Polka Dot Bride. 🙂

    It was so great to meet you both and I cant wait to do your wedding at Emu Bottom, I love it there.

    M x

    • Polka Dot Bride says:
      November 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Oh I am feeling the love! This feels like a polka dot wedding! Can’t wait to read more !!

      • Teagan says:
        November 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm

        And having our wedding on the site would be amazing and an honour!

    • Teagan says:
      November 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      Yay! Super excited to have you as our celebrant. Can’t wait to start drafting the ceremony!

  • Polka Dot Bride Blog Weekly Roundup | Polka Dot Bride says:
    November 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

    […] River Bush Engagment Shoot 3.Real Bride Reflects ~ Inspired Words – Liz 4.Bride To Be Writes ~ Choosing My Wedding Venue 5.Real Wedding ~ Sally and Andrew’s Vintage Style Noosa Wedding On The Beach 6. Bride’s […]



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