wedding venues

  • How To Plan The Perfect Outdoor Wedding On A Budget

    Budget concerns can be one of the most prominent sources of disagreement for a couple in the process of planning their wedding. The couple may have different ideas about what type of wedding they want and also about what they can afford. It is important for the couple to discuss financial constraints before the wedding planning goes too far.

    The first tip for setting a budget and sticking to it is to have a conversation regarding finances well before the wedding planning starts in earnest. It is important that everyone involved in the decision making process of the wedding understand just how much money is available to be spent on the wedding.

    Dressing appropriately for the conditions is also important if you plan to have an outdoor wedding. For example a strapless gown made of a lightweight fabric would not be appropriate for a fall or winter wedding if the temperatures are usually low at these times of the year. Likewise a dress with long sleeves and a high neck would not be appropriate for a summertime wedding in a warm climate. You will want to be comfortable on your wedding day so dress according to the weather.

    Another tip for having an outdoor wedding is to plan your wedding for a time of year that is unlikely to have inclement weather. It’s important to give yourself the best possible chance of having good weather for your wedding. Try studying the weather history in the area that you plan to have your wedding and choose a time that has a relatively low chance of snow or rain.

    In setting up for your outdoor wedding, one important tip is to set up the area where the ceremony will be held in a way that keeps the sun at the guests’ backs. For example, for a morning wedding, you will want to position the seating so that the guests are facing to the west. This is important because the sun rises in the east and having the guests facing to the east would result in the guests having to squint into the sun.

    If you choose a summertime wedding in a warm climate, be sure to have plenty of drinks available for your guests. You might want to consider having refreshing beverages such as water and juices available throughout the ceremony and reception to prevent guests from dehydrating.

    One of the most problematic aspects of an outdoor wedding is the acoustics. Guests at an outdoor wedding are often unable to hear the proceedings. Additionally, if a wedding video is made, it often is unable to pick up the words of the officiant or the couple reciting their vows. For this reason, you may wish to utilize a public address system during the ceremony to ensure that all guests are able to hear the ceremony.

    If you have a lot of out of town guests who will be attending your outdoor wedding, you may want to prepare a package to mail to them detailing the weather expectations for your wedding date so that they can prepare for the trip. Although the past can be a good indication of what type of weather to expect, you might also want to consider sending your out of town guests a weather prediction update a few days prior to your wedding in case the meteorologists are predicting unseasonable weather.

    Another tip for sticking to your wedding budget is to not view the budget as restrictive. If instead of thinking about the things that you can’t afford, you focus on how you can make your wedding and reception truly unique you will be inspired to create a fabulous and memorable wedding despite your budget constraints.

    Still another tip for sticking to your wedding budget is to shop around and comparison shop for services. A limousine company may come highly recommended but if they are not in your price range, don’t be afraid to let them know why you are going to have to choose another company and you may be surprised at how soon they are willing to give you a different offer.

    One final tip for having an outdoor wedding is to try to provide your guests with as much shade as possible. You can do this by either providing a large tent or canopy for your guests or by choosing a setting with a number of large trees and planning your wedding for a time and date that would ensure an abundance of shade in the area.

    Taking a few precautions and planning wisely will ensure that your outdoor wedding is a success. It is important to make a few adjustments to your usual planning and making provisions that will keep you and your guests comfortable throughout the ceremony and the reception.

  • How To Find The Best Caterer For Your Wedding

    The caterer has a very important role in your wedding. Therefore, you should take extra care in hiring the right caterer for you wedding day. Just like hiring any other vendor, you have to make your selection based on facts not feelings.

    The caterer may be an individual or a business. Even if the caterer is an individual, she still has to operate as a business. The caterer cannot legally cook at home and serve the food at your event. It is illegal for a caterer to use an unlicensed kitchen to prepare food.

    The caterer you hire should be experienced not only in catering events, but catering weddings. During your interview process, you should ask about the kind of events they have catered.

    Ask about the size of the events, how many guests they catered for. Ask if they had to deal with any emergencies or unexpected events. To learn about how they deal with emergencies may help you understand their level of professionalism.

    You should never hire the first caterer you meet. It may be tempting to hire the first caterer, especially, if you hit it off really well. It is in you benefit to meet with several caterers before you make your final decision.

    You must check references before you make your decision. If a caterer does not have any references, walk. You don’t want anything to do with a caterer that offers no references.

    References are important, but they do not provide an absolute protection. You may be able to visit the caterer’s kitchen, so you can see their operation in action. A visit can help you examine their organization and cleanliness.

    Caterers get booked well in advance, so hire one early. You should have a caterer lined up no less than 6 months prior to your reception. If you can find one a year before your event is even better. The more time you leave yourself to hire a caterer the more chance you give yourself to hire the right caterer.

    Once you have made a decision, it is time to put it all in writing. You should insist on a written contract. The contract should include the details of the menu, the date of the event, what is and is not included.

  • How To Look Good In Wedding Photographs

    The dress was beautiful, you got through the ceremony and reception without a hitch, but just when you thought your wedding was perfect, your pictures come back and you look awful. What can you do to make sure that your photos are as beautiful as the memories you have?

    Never scrimp on your photographer. Nobody’s going to remember if your bouquets had daisies or rare, exotic orchids. But years from now, your great grand children will be looking at your wedding album. They’re not just souvenirs, they’re heirlooms. Spend on them.

    Avoid complicated hairstyles and veils. You’ll be walking around, too busy talking to guests to check the mirror. You don’t want your veil hanging to the side, or your bangs plastered to your face. Keep it simple and elegant. If you want a dramatic veil for your walk down the aisle, look for a style that allows you to detach part of it, leaving you with something less cumbersome at the reception.

    Buy or make a small clutch bag or pouch that matches your gown. It should carry blotting paper, pressed powder, lipstick and blush. Ask your maid of honor to keep it handy for you.

    Wear waterproof mascara. You will cry a lot. It’s guaranteed. Black mascara will run and leave unflattering raccoon eyes.

    Don’t wear heavy powder eyeshadow. Again, you will cry. You will also sweat from walking around in heavy makeup, a thick gown, and hundreds of guests milling around you. Powder smears and cakes, and ends up under your eyes.

    Don’t wear sheer lipstick. You’ll eat it off. Or if you do, wear a matte or semi-matte base and apply the sheer lipstick as a top coat. Be sure to blot well, or it’ll end up around your mouth or on your teeth.

    Don’t wear heavy shimmery makeup – unless it’s applied by a professional makeup artist. It doesn’t photograph well under less than perfect lighting conditions. If you do, apply only on the eyes.

    Bridal makeup should be soft and romantic, not harsh. Natural pinks are most flattering, and really make you look like a “blushing bride”.

    Avoid hard-edged contouring and dramatic browns – unless blended well and kept close to the eyeline. Even lipsticks should stick to the pinks and brownish pinks. Bright reds look too harsh worn against a white dress.

    You’ll need good foundation that lasts long but doesn’t cake. The trick is to apply moisturizer first and let it “set”. This will prime your skin. Apply a matte or cream foundation, then concealer. Dust powder foundation with a brush.

    Take good photographs right after the ceremony, when everyone’s make up is still intact. You should have solo shots, couple shots, and group photos with your entourage, friends, family members.

    Ask for a few black and white photographs. They always have a soft, romantic feel.

    If you’ll be having outdoor photographs, light is most flattering in the morning and at dusk. Avoid any outdoor shots from 11 am to 2 pm; everyone will just be squinting.

  • How To Find A Cheap Las Vegas Wedding Chapel

    So you’ve decided to get married in Las Vegas but you’re not sure how to find a cheap Las Vegas Wedding chapel? Thanks to the power of the internet, researching Las Vegas wedding chapels is a lot easier than it used to be.

    What sort of wedding ceremony do you want? You can have a drive thru wedding starting at approximately $80. Or you can have a simple (and cheap) wedding chapel ceremony. There are so many wedding chapels in Las Vegas you’re spoilt for choice!

    Why not go to a search engine and type in the phrase “Las Vegas wedding chapel” or “cheap Las Vegas wedding chapel” without the quotation marks. Have a good look at the top 30 results. Visit the websites of any wedding chapels and make a note of what they offer for the price. If they have a 1-800 number and you want to ask them a question, call them (so you save money on long distance phone calls).

    After completing this process, you should have a good idea of exactly what you can get for the amount of money you want to spend. If you’re not satisfied with your results, then try a different search engine. Don’t forget, a Nevada wedding license costs $55 and you have to factor that into the cost of the wedding ceremony.

    Another way you can find a cheap Las Vegas wedding chapel is to go to the online yellow pages and look up the listings for Las Vegas wedding chapels. However, in most cases there will only be a simple listing for the wedding chapels with an ordinary phone number.

    There are plenty of online Las Vegas discussion boards. Go to a search engine and type in “Las Vegas discussion board” and then post your question about trying to find a cheap Las Vegas wedding chapel.

    If you follow the suggestions above you should be able to find a cheap wedding chapel that you’re happy with. But your wedding day is a day to remember and sometimes it’s advisable to spend a little more on the wedding ceremony to ensure that you’re happy with it.

    Trying to save a few dollars too much could mean the difference between a happy wedding day and a not so happy day if the wedding chapel you choose solely on the basis of cost turns out to be a mistake.

  • What You Need To Know If Your Dog Is On Your Guest List

    Bride and Groom Posing with their white samoyed dog at wedding.

    Inviting your family members to your wedding may seem like a given, but there’s one furry member of the family that is becoming more popular to be included on the guest list—your dog!

    If you’re thinking about including your four legged friend in your ceremony, keep reading to learn more about the things to make note of before the big day!

    Be sure to check with your venue in advance to see if they allow dogs. As having your dog play a part in your big day is becoming more common, some venues don’t allow animals. If this may be a make or break for you, ensure to ask this question when initially reaching out to the venue.

    If the venue allows animals and it isn’t written into the contract, or they are making a special exception, ensure to have them write out an addendum when booking that they are allowing you to have your dog on site. 

    Talk with your photographer before your wedding day in regards to having your dog attend (or be part of) the ceremony. The last thing you want to do is surprise your photographer when your dog shows up during photos as your photographer will want to work this into their shot list and timeline! As long as you notify them ahead of time, you can give them time to prepare and be ready to snap the planned—and sometimes unpredictable—moments that come with owning a pet!

    Think about your pet’s temperament when you are considering having them as part of your wedding day. It’s also a good idea to think about your guests. Does your dog not do well with strangers or children (if children will be attending?) Does your dog get easily stressed out in a new environment? For their sanity and yours, it’s probably for the best to have your pet sit this celebration out.

    Determine a “point person” who will be in charge of caring for the animal. We also recommend that this person is either someone who isn’t in your bridal party and/or someone that isn’t attending the wedding. Because most venues require that the animal be picked up and removed from the premises after the ceremony has concluded, having someone who can take them home after you are announced as newlyweds will reduce yours and their stress.

    If the dog is participating in the ceremony—like as the ring bearer—ensure the dog is on a leash (even if they are well behaved) and you have a dedicated person who will either be walking them down the aisle (this can be a member of the bridal party if you so choose) or someone who they can be handed off to once they reach the top.

    Your dog is one of the closest members of your family so it only makes sense to want to include them in your big day. Keep these tips in mind if you are considering having your pet attend and we guarantee that everyone will have a tail waggin’ good time!

  • Wedding Venues in the Sunshine Coast

    The Chapel Montville

    This is a gorgeous venue with breathtaking views of the Sunshine Coast from the Hinterland to the ocean!
    You’ll fall in love with the immaculate work within the Chapel itself – the stonework, the imported glass from Belgium and the stunning entrance making endless photo opportunities for the couple. Also, this venue has to offer great ceremony and reception spaces for all tastes.

    Weddings at Tiffany’s

    The great location is what makes this venue magical: you’ll find gorgeous views of Sunshine Coast Hinterland that delivers amazing couple photos any time of the day!
    Also, the convenience of having accommodation close by is one of the reasons why couples love and recommend it.

    Pier 33

    Some couples need a backup wet weather plan, and this venue has it ready for you!
    This is a stunning venue where the blue sea meets the sky. Their two story, iconic building is perfect for all weddings giving flexibility to our clients for all occasions and layouts.

    Spicers Clovelly Estate

    It is a french inspired wedding venue with amazing always talked about food! A great view from the reception and garden styled ceremony location provides stunning pictures for the wedding. Last but not least, on-site accommodation and another venue under the same hat down the road makes this venue one of our favourites!

    Flaxton Gardens

    Credit: Ben Connolly Photography

    The elegant feel of the place will make your wedding like a fairy tale one. It has stunning views and the convenience of onsite accommodation that sleeps 8 guests. Also, offers an exquisite dining menu and great photo opportunities!

    Stefanie is our wedding planner in the Sunshine Coast. She also works regularly with wedding clients in the Gold Coast, Brisbane and other parts of Queensland. Travel costs will be quoted at the time of quoting. Darling Don’t Panic offers wedding planning, styling and on the day services in this area. Get pricing and check dates at our Get A Quote page to find out more.

  • South Coast and Southern Highlands Venues

    Seacliff House

    Image supplied by the venue. Styling and florals: Piccolo & Poppi and Heart and Timber
    Photo: Alanah Taylor Photography

    Where the coast meets the country with a stunning landscape surrounded by nature.

    This venue is a blank canvas space to fit any styling brief which gives our couples imagination to fly and it can be adapted to suit all weather conditions. It also provides a wonderful onsite accommodation and easy access for guests.

    Big plus for adventurous palates: BYO catering and beverage

    Jaspers Berry

    Image provided by the venue

    This historical boutique country house is a perfectly maintained property with manicured gardens, onsite accommodation and onsite private bridal salon for the bride squad to utilise for the duration of their stay.

    It also allows for BYO beverages.

    Photo: EasyWeddings

    Bendooley Estate

    This beautiful modern vineyard has multiple event spaces with picturesque landscapes and onsite ceremony facilities suitable for all weather conditions.
    If you’re looking bespoke reception packages, this will be a great option for your wedding.

    Hopewood House

    Photographer Wes Nel

    This flawless multi-space venue is everything you’re hoping to find for a luxurious experience (including accommodation!). It not only offers onsite caretakers but also a beautiful fine dine catering.

    Headlands Austinmer Beach

    Image provided by the venue

    This modern event space has breathtaking 180-degree pacific ocean views offering a coastal chic feeling with multiple ceremony locations within walking distance of the venue.
    It also offers onsite accommodation and 5-star catering.

    Amber is our wedding planner in the Southern Highlands and South Coast regions. Darling Don’t Panic offers wedding planning, styling and on the day services in this area. Get pricing and check dates at our Get A Quote page to find out more.

  • Wedding Venues in NSW North Coast

    Elizabeth Blyth, our wedding planner from NSW North Coast shared with some of her favourite venues in Newcastle and the Northern end of NSW

    The Greenhouse Eatery

    An exceptional team of hospitality professionals run your day with commitment and attention to detail at The Greenhouse.

    The venue is a one-stop shop with ceremony, photo locations/pre-dinner garden area and reception space all in one. It is situated on the renowned Pacific Dunes golf course so if you are looking for stunning manicured greens, lush bushland and water views, this is your place.

    48 Watt St

    This is a unique and fantastic venue in the heart of Newcastle city – the converted church oozes charm (think, vaulted ceilings and stain glass!). Celebrate your marriage, make the most of the covered atrium space and enjoy your reception in the white hall.

    Stanley Park

    Image provided by the venue

    A gorgeous waterfront property with accommodation on site! The whole place screams historic charm. Get married under the iconic tree or overlooking the water, make the most of manicured grounds and water views for your photos and pre-dinner on a recently converted barn for reception.  Lots of flexibility in design and catering!


    Its Rick Steins new hotel. Its a revamp of an old 60s fave hotel in Port Stephens and they have just opened, so starting weddings soon. Right on the water- bloody beautiful, all guests can stay on-site. The food is insanely good especially if you are a seafood lover.

    Merewether Surfhouse

    Image provided by the venue

    This is an iconic beachfront venue. Floor to ceiling glass take it the rolling waves of Merewether Beach and the stunning Newcastle coastline. With a variety of spaces to suit various sized events, make the most of this venue in summer when the days are long and the views go on and on and on… A modern and professional venue for all events.

  • Some of our fave wedding venues in regional Victoria

    Top Photo: Whites & Woods

    Katie Zac, our wedding planner who services Mornington Peninsula, Bendigo and Daylesford let us in on a few little secrets – 5 of her favourite wedding venues.

    If you’re planning a wedding in Mornington Peninsula, Bendigo or Daylesford you might want to check out her hand-picked list and insight!

    brighton beach,new york

    The Baths, Sorrento

    Where the sun meets the sea. This venue is so breathtaking, with its large glass windows and the back drop of the water and all the small boats docked nearby behind it reminds me of an island wedding.

    The option of arriving on boat is one of the very awesome perks to this venue. It has its own jetty where the bride and groom can arrive and then celebrate their wedding with their first dance on the sand with their own spotlight. And when the sun is setting there would be no photo more romantic.

    The Epicurean, Red Hill

    Rustic Elegance. Not only do you get some of the best food at the Epicurean, you get an incredible venue.

    There’s a room full of wine barrels adorning one entire wall that makes for the perfect rustic photo backdrop.

    You can host your ceremony here as well as your celebration after.
    And once again you can’t go past good food and the epicurean serves an abundance of the best wedding venue food in a family style matter, cause lets face it, everyone becomes family on the day of a wedding.

    Lake House, Daylesford

    The picturesque views of the Lake house are just breathtaking. It has a somewhat country charm to it and a few rooms to cater to a wedding of any size and style.

    A wedding here only needs an emphasis on nature and local blooms to lift it to a magical space. And of course can’t go past the amazing award winning food at the Lake House.

    The Burrow, Hepburn Springs

    I’m a sucker for boho rustic weddings and the Burrow is the perfect event space to host one at. The gorgeous forest that the Burrow is in is full of gigantic oak trees, untouched spaces and nearby waterfalls that make for simplistic yet stunning photos with nature.

    Bendigo Town Hall, Bendigo

    The heart of Bendigo is only fitting to host an event where two hearts combine. It is such a grand wedding venue that brings a sophistication along with old time royalty to any event hosted here.

    Katie is our wedding planner in the Mornington Peninsula, Bendigo and Daylesford areas of Regional Victoria, although she’s regularly traveling for clients across Victoria. Travel costs will be advised with quotes. Darling Don’t Panic offers wedding planning, styling and on the day services in this area. Get pricing and check dates at our Get A Quote page to find out more.