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Just near the city of Brisbane there is a gem of a place called Victoria Park. Stunning gardens with a parkland ambience, dotted with ancient trees, a golf course and city views that make you pause in your tracks, means that you can lose yourself in the surrounds. An experienced and dedicated team brings your wedding dreams to life – no matter whether your style is casual or formal, contemporary or classic.  Add to that, menus that reflect the diversity and passions of the chefs (Iced VoVo dessert anyone?) and you have a wedding smorgasbord of a joy filled day, a gorgeous venue and surrounds and a wedding day that runs smoothly and is everything you hoped for and more. Let’s chat to one of the team, Sam, about all things weddings at Victoria Park.

Where is Victoria Park?

Victoria Park is located on the leafy north side of Brisbane in the suburb of Herston, and is only 2km from the city.

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Image by We Are Twine Wedding Photography

What is special about Victoria Park and its surrounds?

Victoria Park is a stunning all-in-one wedding destination that truly reflects the essence of Australian wedding luxury. The stunning natural beauty of our surrounding gardens and grounds, our free on-site parking, along with our close proximity to the city and all of its attractions makes Victoria Park the perfect yet convenient escape for your wedding.

How many wedding reception spaces are there for bridal couples to choose from?

Victoria Park has 5 unique wedding spaces. Each venue features exclusive outdoor terraces or decks, private bars, floor-to-ceiling windows that let in all the natural light and spectacular views of the Brisbane city skyline.

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Image by Victoria Park

Does this mean you hold multiple weddings at Victoria Park on the one day?

Yes we certainly can hold multiple weddings here at Victoria Park on the same day.

How do you ensure that each wedding remains unique and separate from the others, (so that couples and their guests are not aware of the other weddings)?

Firstly, the layout and design of Victoria Park means each wedding venue is its own separate space. Secondly, our very experienced and dedicated Events Team makes it their priority to ensure that each couple and their guests enjoy privacy and exclusivity for their wedding.

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Image by Victoria Park

Please describe the choices that couples have available to them for ceremony and reception?

When you hold your reception at Victoria Park, you can also choose to hold your ceremony on the adjoining terrace or deck of your venue. You will have exclusive access to bridal party photos on the golf course which boasts unique views of the city, ancient trees and other gorgeous natural backdrops. Whilst you are out getting photos as the sun sets and city starts to light up, we will host your guests on the terrace or deck of your respective room. They can enjoy canapes and beverages and even make use of our other on-site facilities, such as Putt Putt or the Driving Range for some good laughs before the big room reveal for your reception.

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Image by Victoria Park

What guest numbers can you cater for?

Victoria Park can cater for intimate weddings of 30 right up to extravagant cocktail receptions of 700.

Are they able to have the ceremony, post ceremony drinks and reception in different locations (on-site)?

Yes this is certainly possible and a wonderful way to provide your guests with the full Victoria Park experience.

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Image by Victoria Park

You have a wedding team at Victoria Park. Does the team offer styling as well as planning advice?

At Victoria Park our Wedding Sales Executive will look after you from your initial enquiry right through to confirming your wedding, helping ensure that we tailor your booking to best reflect your vision for the day. Your Event Planner will then introduce herself and look after you throughout the entire planning process – from floor plans, to the run sheet, guiding you with styling and providing those much needed gentle reminders for due dates of menu selection and guest numbers plus much more. We will introduce you to our partner suppliers who will look after you brilliantly for styling and all other elements. Together we will ensure your dream day comes true and that all you have to do is turn up on the day, look fabulous and have the time of your life!

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Image by Victoria Park

How does working as part of a team enhance your ideas and advice to couples?

Working as part of a team provides a collective of experience, knowledge and drive which in turn produces fresh ideas and a very supportive environment. This then translates very well into the quality of the service we provide of our couples.

When booking a wedding at Victoria Park, does the couple liaise with the same wedding planner through the whole wedding journey?

Yes you will be allocated the one Event Planner for your wedding. The only time this would change is if there are extenuating circumstances which in all honesty can happen, but this is where our amazing team step up and assist with the behind-the-scenes to ensure you are not overly impacted by any changes.

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Image by We Are Twine Wedding Photography

Are couples able to bring in their own suppliers e.g. florists, cake, styling etc?

At Victoria Park we work with some of the best suppliers in the business from stylists and cake makers, to photographers and celebrants and everyone in between, many of whom are award winning. We recommend these suppliers not only because of their talent but also because they know our venue so well and use that knowledge to help you even more. However, we know how unique every couple’s day is going to be so you are more than welcome to bring in your own suppliers and we look forward to meeting more industry talent.

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Image by We Are Twine Wedding Photography

Couples and guests remark on the food you offer. Would you please describe the style and ethos behind the food you serve?

Crafted by renowned Executive Chef Jason Peppler and his team, Victoria Park’s menu caters to all lifestyles and culture palates with many classic flavour profiles and relatable dishes appearing on the menu. Our latest menu features a fresh mix of herbs and vegetables grown in Victoria Park’s very own kitchen gardens as well as many ingredients sourced direct from farmers in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Cooroy and Sunshine Coast.

“Our ultimate goal is to craft a new menu each year that every guest can relate to. We want our clients to choose their menu with ease, trusting us to deliver honest and tasty dishes to their family, friends and colleagues” said Peppler.

While perusing Victoria Park’s 2018-19 menus, you’ll find new additions such as South American inspired dishes created by Victoria Park’s Columbian Chef who travelled extensively through the continent, tasty dumpling varieties made by their dumpling enthusiast husband and wife Chef duo, a few spice orientated dishes and sauces created by Mauritius Head Chef whose heritage gives him a great understanding of spices, and exciting new dessert flavours such as “Strawberries and Cream”, “Wagon Wheels” tart, and the “Iced VoVo” crafted by Executive Chef Jason Peppler.

What dishes does the chef particularly love this winter?

Nothing beats our Slow roasted lamb shoulder, thyme roasted chantenay carrots, tomato and rosemary roasting juices from our Share Table menu for a winter warmer at your reception.

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Image by Victoria Park

What décor ideas have you seen lately that other bridal couples might like to consider?

We are seeing a lot of personal touches that link aspects of the wedding to the couple and/or their family. For example a couple recently had miniature bottles of Olive Oil tied off with a sprig of rosemary for the guest’s bomboniere. They were an Italian family and the olive oil was actually from their family’s olive grove. Making those connections is certainly something we see a lot of here at Victoria Park.

Are you still seeing wedding décor that is all about generous flower arrangements and arches, and ceiling installations, or are you seeing other elements start to take over in importance?

There are still many stunning floral arrangements, arches and centerpieces. I don’t believe this trend will ever end as flowers are so beautiful and decorative. We are starting to see a lot of succulents and green centerpieces come through, much more minimalist and also reusable.

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Image by Kaitlin Maree Photography

New Years Eve must be a special time to hold a wedding. Is this a popular option for couples?

New Year’s Eve is an extremely special and memorable time to hold your wedding. The added excitement of an ‘old’ life ending and a ‘new’ one beginning lends itself perfectly to a wedding ceremony and reception. NYE weddings are popular at Victoria Park because on top of the usual incredible packages you also have a stunning display of fireworks at midnight on site. Talk about a spectacular celebration!

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Image by Victoria Park

What do you love about your job at Victoria Park?

Victoria Park is an extremely special place with so much to offer couples planning their dream wedding. I am thrilled that I can contribute to this and ‘work’ everyday doing what I absolutely love!

Thank you Sam for sharing Victoria Park’s story. How beautiful is this venue with so many places for spectacular photos, imaginative food and so many memories to be made. To find out more about Victoria Park visit the website.

Headshot by Victoria Park

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Winter Weddings in the Yarra Valley

The days are cooling down and Winter is just around the corner. Say goodbye to humidity and hello to crisp days with clear blue skies where everything smells fresh. We welcome back long sleeves, gloves, mulled wine, candlelit venues, drinking wine by the fire and celebrate having the perfect excuse to snuggle up with your partner.

While there is no question Spring and Summer are great seasons to get married and are a popular choice for many couples, Winter Weddings are beginning to make a come-back. It is no longer a time for hibernating and planning our special day, instead its time to take advantage of all the ‘cool’ benefits of holding your wedding in the cooler seasons of the year. Here are 3 top reasons why:

  1. VENUE AVAILABILITY

The truth is many brides have the perfect venue in mind the minute they are engaged and the fact is that many other brides will be vying for the same venue. So, if you are not flexible in your dates you may miss out on your dream venue and this can be a huge factor in stress when planning your wedding.

While Winter weddings are certainly becoming more popular, having your wedding in Winter means you are not always faced with the same issue when selecting your chosen venue. Availability is generally a lot more flexible outside of the more ‘popular seasons’ so if you do have a particular date you are looking to secure your wedding, chances are you will be lucky enough to secure it – don’t rest on your laurels though, the minute that ring is on your finger you should really start making calls!

It’s also important to make sure the venue you have your heart set on has a wet weather option that you will be happy with too, so if the unexpected happens it will do so without disappointment and you can enjoy the entire experience no matter what.

  1. AFFORDABILITY

If you are open to a Winter Wedding another benefit is that venues, being more readily available, can have special offers and discounts available to you that ordinarily would not apply. As do suppliers like photographers, celebrants and bands as it is not as busy a time for them which means you can get a lot more for your dollar and look at upgrading the wine list (at least for the bridal table), spend more on decorations for your wedding reception or even more money to put aside for your honeymoon.

It also means if you had your heart set on a destination wedding, however were thinking you may not be able to afford it, with more flights on sale during winter and accommodation and venue prices lower, you may find it is a more affordable option than you had originally thought.

Whichever option you choose the money you have saved is worth more in your wallet than the suppliers, so this is a great incentive to consider Winter for your special day.

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  1. EXTENDING THE GUEST LIST

Your wedding day is one of the best days of your life, so it makes sense that you want to have all your closest family and friends attend to celebrate with you on your special day. While many brides have difficulty in sticking to a budgeted number of guests, it can be disappointing to hear that loved ones may not be able to attend your wedding, especially if you choose a destination location, due to the cost of travel and accommodation.

Another benefit of having a Winter Wedding is that not only are venues more available, there is generally more availability for accommodation and flights which can lead to reduced pricing and cost for your guests attending the wedding. Most venues that also have accommodation onsite are also known to offer special package deals for guests attending the wedding. Flight pricing during winter for destination locations such as the Yarra Valley, can tend to be a lot more affordable too which means the wedding of your dreams can be experienced by the people in your life you really want there.

If the Yarra Valley is on your wedding wish list, your dream wedding can be realized at the Yarra Valley Lodge. Set on 1000 acres and picturesque natural landscape of the Yarra Ranges as your wedding backdrop, it is one of the most romantic wedding destinations for all seasons.

Yarra Valley Wedding Photo

Photography by Will Chao

Winter truly is a season you should consider for your Wedding. In addition to these great reasons think about the clear blue skies, less chance of rain, crisp fresh air and no humidity to effect make-up and hair and you will both look radiant in the winter sunshine!

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Ms Zebra Says: The Yarra Valley Lodge looks like such a gorgeous setting to embrace the cooler weather and natural landscape of its surrounds. A picturesque spot to say “I do”!

About Yarra Valley Lodge: Beautifully appointed and set at the foothills of the stunning Yarra Ranges, Yarra Valley Lodge is positioned in an area of outstanding natural beauty surrounded by superb manicured gardens and rolling green hills. Yarra Valley Lodge is a perfect destination for your wedding  – whether it be boutique and intimate or large cocktail celebrations – featuring magnificent reception venues with an idyllic natural backdrop all within a comfortable drive from Melbourne.

This week on Behind the Door, I’m very excited to be visiting with a florist I’ve long admired – Grace from Floretta. Floretta are well known in the Melbourne wedding industry as a florist with design at it’s heart. Over the past few years Grace and her team have been very busy creating bouquets, arrangements, installations and floral works of art for weddings all over Melbourne.

Grace has a background in graphic design and was working in a big design studio when her love of flowers started to become a serious obsession. “I was so excited to create arrangements for my own wedding” says Grace, “I used it as an excuse to start studying floristry and not long after that I booked my first job”.  Grace put her design skills to work and quickly discovered that she not only loved being a florist, but her clients (loved up couples!) loved her unique designs and creative ideas when it came to decorating their big day.

Image 3 by Oy Photography

Floretta started in a small studio space where Grace quickly found herself needing more room. “Once we started doing multiple weddings per weekend and hiring staff, it just became too tight” says Grace. “Everyone had to clear as they went and it limited how productive everyone could be”. Grace’s husband Gus also came on board and hand built frames for installations, their own flower stands and hanging pieces and he needed space for a workshop too.

Grace and Gus started a search of warehouses located nearby the flower market and found their dream warehouse space in Melbourne’s North. “It’s perfect because it’s ten minutes to the market and there’s so much room that we can fit an office, multiple workbenches, storage, cool room, workshop AND a big communal kitchen for breaks and staff lunches.”

With a background in design, of course Grace set to work designing the warehouse to not only suit their needs but to look beautiful as well. “We painted the floor and Gus built handmade work benches so each florist has plenty of their own space. We designed the kitchen and bathroom with modern industrial features like exposed copper pipes and big cement sinks”. I especially loved the long shelves of vases in every size, style and colour imaginable.

A busy time finds the space full of florists creating bouquets, arrangements and feature pieces under Grace’s watchful eye. All the while Gus carefully packs everything into their custom fitted vehicles, ready for delivery. Grace and Gus’s ten month old baby Rocco is also a regular visitor and no doubt will be the cutest little helper in a few years!

Image 8 by The White Tree 

I ask Grace what her favourite parts about running Floretta are and she tells me she loves the beginning and the end parts of the process. “I love initial meetings, being creative and coming up with a custom concept for each bride, but I also love seeing it all come together on the day. Having a last look and taking a few pictures is always a highlight”.

Images 1,2,4,5,6,7,9 by Gus Reyes

Ms Zebra Says: Not only do these photo’s look amazing, but Grace and her company Floretta do the most stunning installations! Their Weddings are next level – definitely someone to keep in mind if you’ve got impending nuptials!!!

About Amelia Waddell of Make Your Day Wedding Styling: I’m a wedding stylist and proud store owner who loves to chat weddings with everyone and anyone! I love to talk shop with other business owners (particularly over some chocolate cake!) and am the first to try and have a sticky beak behind the scenes of any event. My free time is spent ‘investigating’ new cafes, stores and events. Make Your Day Wedding Styling is my creative outlet and I love nothing more than that ten minutes just before the guests enter the wedding reception, it feels like a special sort of magic!