If there’s one place that makes you want to be invited to a destination wedding it’s Villa Botanica. Set right on the water overlooking the Coral Sea, Villa Botanica has acres of lush private gardens and even a secluded beach. It’s renowned for magical Whitsundays weddings, with five-star food and drink options, a super efficient team to plan every single detail and luxurious wedding night accommodation. Today we’re chatting to Breanna Hinschen, a wedding planner at the venue, about this impressive place and how it came to be, why it’s so popular for destination weddings and how everywhere you look, there’s a photo opp because this place is absolutely breathtaking!
Where exactly is Villa Botanica situated?
Villa Botanica is located on Botanica Drive in Woodwark which is a short 20 minute drive from Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays. Most of the guests stay in Airlie Beach and the bus brings them out to the venue. It is very private and secluded for the wedding day. The best part is you can have a relaxing holiday in the beautiful Whitsundays while you are here!
Tell us about the grounds…
The previous owners built Villa Botanica based on their love of the Balinese style. No detail was left unconsidered and no expense was spared. Imported marble floors, hand-carved antique furniture, beautifully ornate teak and merbau wood detailing are just some of the features that make Villa a truly unique estate. Most of Villa Botanica was imported from Indonesia and came over in 26 shipping containers! It is five acres of absolute beauty and our couples get to experience so many different parts of it.
Why do you think bridal couples are drawn to Villa Botanica?
Obviously the Balinese theme and beauty of the venue itself but they love that it’s a big enough venue for 100, but all the guests can get around to each location in a short walk. The fact that the venue is private and once you have hired it for your wedding it is yours and yours only for the day!
Images: Playback Studios and Stories With Mel
What’s the process of booking in a wedding at Villa Botanica?
It’s super easy! Craig is our client services rep and he usually does an over the phone/online sales tour with the couple and explains the packages and prices. Our website also has a great 3D virtual tour of the venue for those couples that can’t actually make it for a guided tour onsite.
Do couples get their own wedding planner?
Couples are assigned their own planner, yes. However, if something was to come up, our systems are centralised so that any planner could take over if anything were to happen. That being said, usually the planners are with them the whole planning process up until the wedding day.
You’re known for your beautiful destination weddings. How do you make sure these run smoothly when the bridal couple isn’t locally based?
Majority of our weddings are destination weddings. The couple do not have to be locally based as our systems run like a well oiled machine. We have created a system which we affectionately call POPPY. Our system allows our couples to log in and make selections for their wedding day, which is a great guide for them. We also conduct routine “catch ups” with our couples which we chat over the phone regularly and email back and forth for any questions etc.
Images: Stories With Mel
What location options are there for ceremonies?
Our beautiful pavilion is to die for! The aisle is every girl’s dream and the main reason our venue is so popular. The views just put the icing the cake, overlooking the pristine bays of the Whitsundays.
What are the most popular spots to take wedding photos at Villa Botanica?
Everywhere you turn is a new photo location! The whole venue itself is pretty spectacular so it would be hard to take a bad photo anywhere. Our most popular locations for photos would be The Cactarium, Mast Beach, Elephant Doors, Pond Room, The Rainforest, The Seadeck, The Black Rocks and the Aisle and Pavillion (of course). Honestly too many to choose from!
Are there different options for receptions too?
Yes there sure is! We offer two different locations which are both incredible.
The first is on our Verandah which overlooks the ocean under a beautiful set of fairy lights which is magical on its own, but once it is all set up with the table’s and décor it is just something else.
The second option is The Seadeck. Which is pretty self explanatory but it’s just a beautiful setting overlooking the ocean under the stars which is perfect on those clear nights. Complete with festoon lighting and your table settings it is just a treat!
Tell us about the menu! How much input do couples have?
Don’t even get me started on the incredible food that comes out of that kitchen! All of our catering is done by Aquava Boutique Catering who are pretty much part of the furniture here. They have many different options to choose from and are great when catering for diets as well.
What’s your favourite item on the menu?
Ohh where do I start! I am definitely a sweet tooth so their Belgian Chocolate Torte is definitely a mouth watering favourite. Sticky pork belly comes in as a close second!
Do you work with specific suppliers and/or can couples user their own?
Most things they have choice from. E.g cake makers, florists etc but our decorators are pretty much part of the furniture as well. That being said they offer so many options that couples are usually overwhelmed where to start. There is plenty of choice!
Image: Love & Other Photography
You also offer wedding night accommodation. Can you describe what the accommodation is like?
The bridal suites are just stunning! The honeymoon suite is luxurious, including four poster king size bed, private seaside verandah, indoor and outdoor bathrooms and a kitchen. The outdoor Balinese bathtub is every couples favourite part of the honeymoon suites.
What about guests who want to stay locally?
We give our guests a list of some recommended locations to help with their choices and we also offer 10% off at these locations. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to even start when looking at accommodation locations. Wherever they decide to stay, we offer free bus transfers for all of the guests.
Favourite or most memorable wedding you’ve held at Villa Botanica in the last year?
This is a super hard one as I love all of our weddings and you spend so long talking to your couples that you get to know them all separately and their personalities.
Funny memory from last month though, I had a bride who was just lovely and she insisted at the end of the day that I go and get a photo with her in the photobooth. Once we got in the photobooth we realised the countdown started to happen and I just looked at her and asked her what pose are we going to do? In a panic she picked me up and now I have this hilarious photo on my board at work of the bride in this beautiful dress with the wedding planner in her arms! What a laugh!
Images : Love & Other Photography
What kinds of trends and themes have you been noticing at weddings held there?
A new trend that is becoming quite popular is no bridal party table! Couples are finding that they prefer to sit amongst their guests and opt to have rounds or rectangles with no bridal party table. Or no bridal party at all and just the bride and the groom. This is becoming more frequent too.
What do you love most about your job?
The best part about my job is seeing the couple on the wedding day having a good time! It is so great to see after all the months of planning between the couple and I, it all finally come together and they are so happy with the results. My job is so rewarding!
Thank you Breanna for inviting us into the world of Villa Botanica! What a gorgeous location to tie the knot, and the service you and your team provide is absolutely outstanding. If you’d like to find out more about Villa Botanica and their amazing services, head on over to the Villa Botanica website or check them out on the Polka Dot Directory.