Ceremony & Reception
The obvious first question you need to ask yourself is how many venues do you want to host YOUR celebrations? Will both your ceremony and reception be at the same place or would you prefer a church ceremony with the evening party on the beach or in a rustic setting.
An obvious point, yes but knowing if you're going with 1 or 2 locations will help begin your search for the best Wedding Venues Cairns has to offer.
Popular Cairns & Port Douglas Wedding Venues will be booked up to 2 years in advance, and peak season dates will be gone before you get a chance to say yes, so narrow down dates early on in discussions.
Try not to get too fixated on exact dates, this will help your search dramatically without the risk to miss out on your dream wedding venue unless of course, you are looking 3+ years in advance.
Pencil your date
If you need to tie in with a church Ceremony then you should probably pencil in two or three possible dates until you are certain that your ceremony can take place on the date that you want and that everyone is available.
Most Cairns Wedding venues will hold a date until they have other interests but some may require a deposit even to do that.
Ask whether you can change your date if you have paid a deposit and if the deposit is non-refundable should you change your mind completely.
Some venues are very relaxed and let you decorate the space as you choose while others have strict rules about what can and cannot be done.
Some other questions you might ask are: Can I use real candle flame? Do I need a power supply for outdoor lighting? Most companies can help you out with this, so don't be afraid to ask!
Most of us will assume exclusivity means exactly that, the only guests at the wedding venue will be the ones you invited but make sure the venue's definition matches your expectations. Exclusive use of the terrace could of course mean the surrounding gardens could be filled with hotel guests. Consider those factors if you have in mind a private and intimate celebration.
Does the property allow multiple events on the same day? A large hotel may have more than one wedding on a Saturday and you might not wish to share. If other weddings are taking place, how will the on-property staff handle multiple events?
The same with your wedding ceremony's location, do you have to say I do before a certain time before the next bride and groom come in.
Wet Weather Plan
If you plan to get married on the beach outside reception then you will need a carefully crafted plan for bad weather. Some Cairns Wedding venues will always have a marquee in place for the season which makes it easy to move under cover, others will use a function or undercover terrace. Discuss all the alternatives and at what point prior to the event the decision would be made to move indoors to allow time for set up and decoration.
Don't forget about transportation when it comes to your Port Douglas wedding venue and how your guests arrive/depart is important to keep in mind during your planning. Is a shuttle available at the property and local accommodations for your guests? Do you offer valet parking? If not, can we bring in our own service for this? Is there a designated parking area for guests and vendors?
Every venue has minimums when it comes to food and beverage regardless of the guest count so make sure you know that these are as well as what the service charge and tax will be so that you understand how many guests should attend the wedding to meet that minimum. Some of Cairns Wedding Venues offer a free room hire if you meet their minimum guests' dinner count. Ask about that too.
Be honest with your potential Cairns Wedding venues, say things like my family really like to celebrate with a few beers. You don’t want your guests frustrated in a massive queue waiting too long, good Port Douglas wedding venues will consider your numbers and will have everything under control but any information you can give them will help your day run more smoothly.
If you fancy cocktails ask the venue if they have a qualified bartender that will be able to manage a fair amount of Manhattans on the night.
Limited Mobility Guests
Discuss options for guests with a disability or elderly relatives with limited mobility. It is a legal requirement for public venues to provide disabled access but the natural constraints of terrain and the restrictions of an outdoor rustic Cairns Wedding Venues or beach reception may make this challenging despite the legislation in place.
Point of Contact
Ask your venue if they have a dedicated Wedding or Events Manager, will you be liaising with just one person throughout the planning? This can make life a lot easier for both parties. Is this person there on the day to oversee the smooth running of the reception?
Ask whether there are any other restrictions you should be aware of. If you are in a very old or unusual property, there may be restrictions, for instance on the use of candles or constraints on the type of decoration you can use and how they are attached if the building is listed. If you have a specific idea or theme for the reception, you should discuss this fully before paying your deposit.
Go through very carefully an itemised list of exactly what is included in the cost of their wedding package. Most Port Douglas and Cairns wedding venues will include tables, chairs, glasses, and crockery as standard but some need to hire in and will add a separate charge for this to your bill so always double-check.
Your ceremony and reception are the part of the wedding day your guests will remember for years to come and the time when you can share the celebration of your marriage with your family and friends so choose carefully your Cairns Wedding Venue!!