Friday, January 22, 2010

melbourne:: wedding venue - shopping

our only goal over this short trip to melbourne was to confirm our australian wedding venue (party #4). given that our wedding was only 8 months away, its about time we actually confirm a venue. plus my mom-zilla was breathing down my neck so we worked our butts off and short-listed a grand total of 8 venues to check out.. and since we wanted to get the hard work out of the way so we can spend christmas relaxing, we crammed all 8 appointments into three days (!!)

our prerequisites were:

1) not a boring hotel function room
2) not more than 30 mins from melbourne city
3) fuss-free and all in one venue
4) dancefloor!!!
5) not too shabby place but somewhere that'll not break the bank!

with our clipboard and checklist, we raided the following wedding venues in melbourne:

1) treasury

absolutely gorgeous! this was the first place we checked out and we were floored!! i lurrrved their little vintage bank tellers on both sides of the aisle. and their two level tall reception hall with a mezzanine overlooking the dancefloor!! it was right smack in the middle of town, next to daniel's office (which for some reason really appealed to him) and served super duper yummy food!!

our coordinator, nadia, was telling us about the new paintworks and when she told me the new colour was "deep aubergine", i was in love. i mean, whoever describes a colour so beautifully (instead of just saying "purple") has my heart. and she was delightful!! it remained one of our favorites and made it to top two eventually.

2) ormond hall

both of us had this feeling we were gonna get married here. it was an old concert hall, with a mezzanine level. (yes, i see a trend here..) the feel of the venue was old-school glam with beautiful worn parquetry floor that reminds me of ballet studios. its acoustics were performance-ready and it had a beautiful deep stage with curtains (love love!) so i could do this...

awww.. dancing cheek to cheek...

and it was home to tuesday night salsa parties and a super cool beer garden. both of which we totally approve of. but unfortunately, we were less impressed when we stepped into the space. we were getting married in winter and their lack of outdoor space meant we would have to get married in a bar. i mean i love beer but i don't really want my wedding pictures to be in a bar. the pricing was excellent but the menu was kinda weird. (think: lacquered duck, lombok and vegetable rice paper roll. im not very classy but urm.. i really have not clue what it is.)

and visually, while there is potential for something gorgeous, i didn't really think it could be done without us physically there. so we had a mug of beer and scratched this off the list.

3. melbourne yacht club

catered by one of the leading wedding caterers, we were quietly confident that their packages were comprehensive and all we needed! we rocked up bright and early to st. kilda and was welcomed by the pretty blue skies and a wonderful view!! the venue was nice and easy to work with but not wow. and given that we were planning on a winter wedding, all the blue skies in the world will go to nothing when the sun sets at 4pm and the wind is howling at you in the dead of the night.

4. quat quatta

i had high hopes for this place. their website was awesome and very glamourous! im obssessed with their black chandeliers, barouque mirrors and iron wrought candelabras! it's an old victorian house with character and our coordinator was super nice and on the ball. daniel loved the little corners around this house that would provide good photo ops and as for me, i was firmly glued onto the chaise lounge in the bridal suite. mum loved the fireplace and bar. and there was a little mezzanine level, more like a balcony which is super cute.. it was all very very pretty.

daniel & ma in the garden!!

but of course, they had to be one of the most espensive guys in our list AND to top it off, they didn't have our date available. but eventually after umm-ing and ahh-ing, chatting with my folks and consulting you guys here, we decided on this was THE place!! :) :) :) i really really dig chandeliers and real fireplaces.

i won't flood you with more images of the space but i thought this one picture is super cute. mum was a sweetheart. she chauffered us from place to place and patiently sat through all our questions. i don't think she had a good time cos we're such weird people. but each morning, she would drag us out of bed, make breakfast, load us into the car all sleepy-eyed, drop us at the doorstep (cos we'd always ALWAYS be late..), park the car and walk all the way back to us. *sigh* she's awesome!!

5. sails on the bay

recommended by daniel's friend, this place has superb food! and because of its proximity to the beach, its a great wedding venue in summer. our coordinator, tamara, who is great! was completely honest and told us that its not really a suitable space for our requirements and guest count. the view was super but once again in the dead of winter, we'd have a floor-to-ceiling view of darkness. not so sexy.

6. leonda by the yarra

this place is SUPER DUPER. i really love it. its a very well planned function space with capacity for 2 weddings in one evening. the options were plenty in terms of menu & decor and extremely affordable. the view of the yarra was amazing but it felt very serene and calm tucked away from the city.

i especially love how well planned the space is with bridal suites, colour coordinated carpet and completely professional coordinator that at one second knew exactly what we were asking for. i had to pick my jaw from the floor when she showed us the curtain that is drawn when the guests arrives so the bride can make her formal entrance without anyone seeing... i know im easily impressed but i mean WHO in the whole thinks of curtains! did i already mention that the bridal party arrives to the ceremony on a BOAT? 45 minute boat ride from the city!?

but daniel was slightly turned off because he didn't want to share a venue with someone else, and he felt like it hosts cookie-cutter weddings and that i'd be all green and pukey after a 45 min boat ride.

7. the point

this restaurant is a special one for the family. its where we celebrate every single milestone in life. promotions, birthdays, engagements.. so in theory it would be nice to celebrate our wedding here.

but it was not meant to be. the ceremony venue spot (see above) requires the guests (and bride) to walk through skinny plywoods (terrible for stilettos), concrete (again terrible for stilettos) and past the rubbish dump. not that sightly afterall. but we'll definitely come here to celebrate our wedding at some hahah... point (haha.. pun intended).

8. Comme

i loved this place but it was way too small for our crowd. and between having to choose our friends and a super chic modish venue, we chose our guests. so end of story.

we then celebrated the decision at the summer night market!! with international food and ice-cold beer!! but in all, we think we've covered our grounds pretty well. so no regrets!! and we were very proud to say that, we perfected the interviewing routine in 20 mins flat, we got through all our questions, took pictures and were good to go!! quite a feat considering our first appointment took us 1 hour 30 mins!! :) *pat on back*

then over christmas, daniel and i hung out with another soon-to-be wedded couple who have been venue-shopping. turns out the bride, who is SUPER enthusiastic, shops for the venue, shortlists them then brings the grooms to see so he is spared from 90% of the meetings!! dear daniel didn't utter a word but i could tell that he felt very cheated. *pat on his back*


  1. They all look really lovely, babe! Hope you'll have a memorable, wonderful wedding!

  2. i much rather be a wedding planner than a bride. this bride-nonsense is really tiring! :)
    haha if you are getting married in melbourne, i can hand over all my research and notes in a WHOLE stack to you! :)

  3. sails is beautiful! :)) what a shame with the weather :/

  4. YAY VENUE DONED!!!!!!!
    *thumbs' up*

  5. yayyy! :) venue and cake done!!!! :) *jumps*

  6. yeah!! their food is super yums too!
    its ok! if we have a vow renewal or baby party, we'll make sure its a summer one! :)

  7. yayyy we love it to!! hope you guys will have fun there!!!! its way tooo pretty!!! and its had FOUR real fireplaces! I love it!! i'll gush in person!!!
    but boy it was a pain! but i think its a fair payback for only having to visit our singapore venue ONCE for a site visit, confirmation and deposit all at one go...

  8. Hahahahaaha, I know! I can just be a pirate and look through your research here!
    Melbourne's unlikely for a wedding venue! Maybe more like a settling down option! Aiyah, I just wait for a bloody rock first lah. Talk so much...

  9. a million million things. but next up, dress.
    anyway, i admit im the type that always needs something to work on. so even if i settle everything now, im sure i'll find something else to fuss over! :)

  10. haha! :) you're too cute!! it'll come.. it'll come! :)
    did you drop hints already?? the type you like? the size and all?

  11. oh my.. i lurve the treasury... u lucky girl.. your options are amazing!

  12. me too!! im scared not picking the treasury will haunt us for life!!!
    i suspect not every bridezilla goes through so many venues to find THE one! :) did you go to many yourself?

  13. oh yes, you bet, we went to tons too... but our selection ain't half as interesting as yours given that its in SG...

  14. Hahaha, yeah, he'd asked a couple of questions and kept a tiffany booklet for reference... Hahaha! But I think we need to sort out which city we'll be in first before we take the next step? :)

  15. *shriek* okok!!! so exciting!! :) :) :) i love the part where he kept a tiffany book for reference!! :) off to a good start!! :)

  16. i guess then you'd know what i mean when i complain that its tiring!! hahaha!! :) actually SG has wonderful places too!!
    unfortunately, due to family constraints, we needed to pick somewhere less adventurous in singapore...

  17. what a pity right? we have that problem too.. so our reception is going to be in a typical hotel..
    But we managed to do our ROM at a really nice location. So i'm content :)

  18. oooh what kind of dress?? in what style??

  19. hahah is it going to be in melbourne?? :)

  20. haha.. my dream dress is a monique lhuillier.. very very unfriendly to the pockets.
    i also love dang's dresses heaps. she made my ROM dress (and they're super nice!!!) so i'll wait and see what my mum thinks..

  21. yeah! :) go check her out when its your turn!!
    their new place is Central! they're super nice!( tell them zhing sent you! :)

  22. ok~~
    will surely say im recommended by you! :)
    klkl was saying we can go source for wedding venues early next year and my eyes almost popped out! hes not really that initiated you see, so this took me by surprise.

  23. definitely! :) if you're planning on a typical hotel as a venue, its ok to shop 1 year in advance!! :)

  24. dunno if to get a hotel or a restaurant.
    it seems like even early 2011 is too early!

  25. hmm.. i think alright to start thinking at least! :) and good that he is initiating!! always easier and more fun to plan weddings/things in general with an enthusiastic husband!


leave me a little love note. xx