What Would They Know? Fiona Scanlon of Metropolis Events

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


Polka Dot Bride

If you’re a bridal couple with a leaning towards the modern and elegant with the wow factor of brass, marble and New York style loft windows thrown in, then Metropolis Events might just be the perfect venue for your wedding. Overlooking the city with its myriad twinkling lights, the venue itself boasts stylish and chic decor that allows your wedding to be the star. Lush floral pieces or more simple arrangements look equally beautiful in this venue and taking advantage of the bar areas and outdoor terrace on warm summer evenings adds another dimension to your event. With style at its heart, the team at Metropolis Events have thought of everything to ensure your wedding day is just as you dreamed it would be. Fiona joins us to share the story of this chic ‘very Melbourne’ city venue.

Where is Metropolis Events situated, that makes it such a special place?

Metropolis is located on a private floor at the top of the popular Southgate precinct right on the banks of the Yarra, overlooking the CBD. Its prime location and stunning views are certainly one of the biggest draw cards to the venue. With 9 metre high floor to ceiling windows, its views stretch from the Melbourne Aquarium on the left to Arts Centre and MCG on the right. You can’t get more Melbourne than that! Combined with the stunning modern interiors and a 17 metre high dome ceiling, Metropolis is one of the most unique venues in Melbourne.


Image by Blumenthal Photography

Please describe some of the outstanding features of Metropolis Events, and the areas guests may take advantage of?

Two of most prominent features in the venue are the Aviary and Panorama bars. The dramatic overhead installation above the Panorama Bar backed by New York loft style windows looking out to the Arts Centre, boasts a black marble counter top and brass, back-lit finishes. For smaller events, this bar is used for the pre-dinner drinks area and upon arriving into the space, wide eyed guests are given an impressive welcome and a taste of what’s to come. By night, the Panorama Bar gives the feel of a classy Upper East Side bar where the who’s who come to drink.

The smaller Aviary Bar takes on a different look whilst maintaining the gold finishes and dramatic yet elegant look. Completely covered in brass, this chic feature bar is framed by an antique finished mirror ceiling and walls with luxurious banquette seating opposite, creating a space where guests can mingle and relax before moving through for dinner.

The outdoor terrace is another big drawcard to the venue with uninterrupted views over the city and space for up to 80 guests. The terrace is an extension of the Aviary Room where guests can soak up the sun during pre-dinner drinks or taken in the city vibe later in the night. Access to this area is also possible directly from the Panorama Room, enabling guests later in the night to enjoy a drink and admire the night city sky line. The all weather terrace features retractable awnings providing an ideal outdoor area any time of the year.

Images by Fiona Scanlon

Please describe the style of the interior décor?

The venue is often described as New York loft meets Arts Deco elegance and yet whilst its colour palette and brass accents may resemble a chic 1920’s Manhattan venue, the styling has been extensively thought out to ensure Metropolis maintains a modern look that ties in its place in the city, as seen in the addition of our plush teal lounge furniture and padded grey fabric dining chairs.

One of the biggest benefits of the décor is that couples don’t need to do any extensive styling if they don’t wish. Simple table decorations and stylishly produced table stationery are often all that’s needed to create a beautiful understated setting. Conversely, with soaring ceilings providing a sense of grandeur, couples may choose hanging floral or chandelier installations to sit high about their guests or bridal table and decorate tables with lush tall centre pieces to give the room additional points of interest.

How can bridal couples take advantage of your location and unique features such as your balcony?

The venue’s location is ideal – just a stone’s throw from the CBD, close to public transport and car parking underneath the precinct, it couldn’t be more convenient and accessible to guests, not to mention just a hop, skip and jump away from both the Alexandra and Botanical Gardens which each offer stunning garden ceremony locations. Guests can grab a quick bite or warm up with a pre-reception cocktail at one of many bars and restaurants along the water in between the ceremony and reception and for those travelling to attend the wedding, Quay West Suites and the Langham Melbourne are right next door.

Image by Blumenthal Photography

How can you assist couples to plan their wedding? Are you able to provide a partial or a full wedding planning service depending on need?

Each couple who hold their wedding at Metropolis are looked after from start to finish by a dedicated wedding event manager. We work with our couples closely during the planning stages and offer as much guidance and assistance as needed which extends where needed into styling, stationery, wedding cakes and entertainment. Our team has an extensive list of long standing wedding partners who are very well respected in the industry and come highly recommended. Couples are welcome to come and view the venue or make appointments to bring in stylist and florists as much as they need to ensure they’re confident and comfortable with their choices and their visions are coming together.

Do you feel that there is a ‘Melbourne style’ of wedding – and how is that executed at Metropolis Events?

One of the main drawcards of the venue is certainly its views which immediately give couples and their guests a sense of “Melbourne”. For couples who are looking for a city venue or who love Melbourne, they can’t go past Metropolis Events.

Image by Blumenthal Photography

What new drinks ideas are you seeing being served at weddings?

Cocktails are still very popular however many of our clients are now upgrading to include a French Champagne in their package or adding a premium vodka or scotch. Our feature whiskey bars are extremely popular and add an element of theatre to the night, with our barman chipping ice from a large ice block and pouring guests one of our premium whiskey selections. The whiskey bars are a great choice for later in the night, usually when main meal service and formalities have concluded and when the focus of the night moves to the entertainment and socialising.

Is the couple able to plan a signature cocktail to serve at the reception?

Whilst we certainly allow clients to arrange a signature cocktail we still find old favourites such as espresso martinis and Caprioskas just as popular as ever. Caprioskas are a great choice for weddings in the Spring and Summer months to serve on arrival whereas espresso martinis are a hit year round and most commonly served as a late night cocktail.

Does the chef work closely with the couple to plan the menu?

Metropolis Events offers a variety of menu options such as cocktail style, traditional plated dinners or shared style dining. Whilst we release seasonal menus biannually, our wedding planners and head chef do often work with clients to tailor a particular style of cuisine or perhaps just tweak our current season dishes to best accommodate the couples’ preferences. We pride ourselves on being flexible and always try to accommodate a couples’ menu requirements where possible to ensure their vision for the day can be met.

Image by Blumenthal Photography

Are you able to suggest wine matches for the menu chosen? Do you suggest mainly local wines?

Our weddings team can certainly guide couples on their choices and make suggestions as to which wines will complement their menu selections.

Metropolis Events offers an extensive wine list and our beverage package selections are of an extremely high standard. Couples and their families often comment at how good a quality the selections are and appreciate the flexibility offered in each beverage package to swap out different varieties. Our wines are carefully chosen and whilst we do offer mainly local and interstate selections, we also feature some crisp Italian Proseccos and French Champagnes as well as a rich Tuscan Chianti.

 Image by Fiona Scanlon

Is the bridal couple able to hold their ceremony in one area and move to another for their reception?
For weddings of up to 200-220, couples can take advantage of our onsite ceremony packages held in the Aviary Room. With floor to ceiling windows and views out over the Melbourne city skyline, the Aviary Room offers a beautiful Metropolitan back drop for the exchanging of vows and “I Do’s”. With such a prime, central location, couples are also able to capture their wedding photographs close by in a variety of settings from gardens to city rooftops whilst guests enjoy some extended pre-dinner drinks and canapes at the venue.

Ceremony packages include a two hour venue hire (including guest arrivals), non-alcoholic refreshments on arrival, 50 guest chairs, a signing table and chairs for the bride & groom and an audio visual package complete with a state of the art in-house sound system and head set microphone for their celebrant.

What other facilities do you offer the bride and groom?

The venue boasts two bridal suites, both luxuriously appointed and feature full length mirrors with a basin vanity and various amenities should couples or bridal party members need to freshen up. We also have a dedicated bridal attendant who greets the bridal party on arrival and settles them into their suite with drinks and canapes, assists the girls with their bouquets, gets the bridal party members ready for their introductions and of course, attends to the bridal table during the night. The attendant is almost like a personal butler to the Bridal Party for the night which adds a nice touch to the night.

Image by Technical Events

Are the floor plans flexible – for example for a smaller wedding?

The venue can accommodate a variety size weddings of up to 320 guests for a seated reception dinner however we do accommodate smaller celebrations for around 100 to 150 guests quite often which can be lovely and intimate and work just as well within the space. Dependent on guest numbers, we host pre-dinner drinks in one of two areas and with various drapes and curtains and a retractable wall dividing the Aviary and Panorama rooms, we can easily manipulate the space to accommodate various size groups.

We offer lots of flexibility with the floor plan and layout too enabling couples to choose from round or long tables, or a mix of both, depending on their guest numbers. The dance floor is a floating black polished parquetry floor and can be moved to various locations in the space to accommodate different looks and feels.

Do you have any special offers running right now?

We currently have a short lead Spring-Summer special available for new bookings held prior to 1st April 2018. It’s a saving of over $20 per person off our regular 2017-18 packages and what’s more, we also provide a night’s accommodation at the Langham Melbourne for the Bride & Groom on their wedding night. It’s fantastic value for money and we have some selected dates still available.

When a wedding comes together and is about to start, do you take a moment – and what are the thoughts that cross your mind?

Before the couple arrive there are usually 100 things running around in my head as I go through mental check lists of what needs to be done, or cross checking that items have been put in the right places or set out just as they wanted. It can be a period of high stress at times but it’s so important to get it right.

It’s not often I have a moment to stop and take everything in on the day of a wedding but there are times for example when a couple are waiting to be introduced to their guests that I will have a laugh with them about something funny that happened earlier that day, or they take me through the experience and the emotions of their ceremony.

Image by Blumenthal Photography

What do you love about your career?

By far the most rewarding aspect of my career is getting to know each couple so closely and developing such a strong relationship over the duration of their planning journey. It’s such an exciting time and to be part of the day and see the couple so happy is something I really value. As a wedding planner, you really do get to know each couple so well and I’ve certainly gained some lifelong friends as a result. To be a part of someone’s wedding day and share in the experience with them is such an honour.

What do you love about living and working in Melbourne?

I love the vibe and the atmosphere in Melbourne and it’s such a beautiful city. We’re a laid back, social city and no matter what time of year there is always something happening; be it a festival or major sporting event. Our dining scene and night life is amazing with the city littered with hidden hot spots, often found off narrow laneways. I wouldn’t live anywhere else!

Thank you Fiona for sharing your story.  We think that the way Metropolis Events looks after the bridal party is a real winner – from arrival to departure you’re sure to feel cared for. To find out more about Metropolis Events visit the website.

Headshot courtesy of Fiona Scanlon.



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