If your heart is set on a luxury wedding but you’re unsure of where to begin planning, why not start with the venue? After all, it’s the location of the occasion that will influence everything from the event’s styling and the number of guests in attendance, to the type of gown you select. Pamela Hale investigates how selecting the right venue can help your dream wedding become a reality.
Image Credit: ATEIA Photography & Video
In today’s day and age, social media reigns supreme, and with every wedding having its own hashtag and a multitude of images shared so publicly, hosting a truly luxurious occasion is something many couples aspire to when planning their wedding. Regardless of whether you’re interested in hosting a small and intimate affair, or your dream wedding is an extravagantly large-scale event, the rise of the luxe wedding is influencing every aspect of wedding planning and design.
First Things First
When it comes to selecting a venue for your wedding, the options are endless. First and foremost, where you intend to hold your ceremony will dictate your reception options, and whether you may require two separate locations.
For instance, if you’re interested in the classic opulence of a church wedding, complete with hundreds of guests and a cathedral-length veil, it would be hard to go past the truly magnificent Melbourne icon, St Paul’s Cathedral. If you’re selecting a venue of this nature however, your reception will need to be held at a secondary location.
There are certainly select city locations, such as the Abbotsford Convent, which are optimised to offer a stunning church ceremony and reception services. However, many churches won’t contain the facilities necessary to host a truly luxurious post-ceremony celebration. Luckily, Melbourne is replete with beautiful venues that are easily accessible and offer options for wedding receptions to suit any and every style. Not to mention, there is always the option to eschew tradition and host your wedding in a less expected venue.
While selecting a venue that is either local to you, or within a central part of the city, may seem like the obvious choice, a typical church wedding can also be elevated through the careful selection of a more unique locale. There are many all-inclusive options located a mere hour from Melbourne’s CBD, such as the stunning Stones of the Yarra Valley, which provide the opportunity to host a spectacular church wedding in a distinct location, with everything from your pre-wedding dinner to on-site accommodation, and everything in between, catered to.
Selecting a venue that can host your event, from pre-ceremony preparations right through to the reception, proves an excellent choice for an especially lavish occasion. Maintaining a singular location allows for cohesion to be achieved effortlessly, and will also resonate beautifully in your wedding photography and videography. In this situation, you can also take style inspiration from the locale, whether it be coast or country, church or estate. Everything from colour palettes and gown styles to table settings, floral arrangements and menus can be intertwined with the venue functioning as your central thematic influence.
The Thing About Themes
There are key styling elements that are worth focusing on to create an air of effortless opulence around your event; one significant consideration when it comes to styling a luxurious event is that ‘luxury’ needn’t be the only theme. Luxe weddings can easily adopt an additional theme, whether it be a rustic vineyard event, a glamourous vintage theme, or a modern minimalist affair by the coast. The way you choose to style your event and the attention that is paid to luxurious details will elevate the theme, creating the ultimate opulent occasion.
The ideal wedding location will also bring its own character. A stunning heritage-listed venue such as the Abbotsford Convent, for instance, lends itself to a vintage theme with moody florals and a myriad of candles. In comparison, a seaside locale, such as the serene Portsea Hotel, which boasts spectacular panoramic ocean views would suit a crisp, clean colour palette featuring plenty of white. White florals with hints of greenery, white table settings, and crystal accessories with silver accents for candleholders, vases and glassware would create a sense of effortless elegance in such a space.
Regardless, if the venue is carefully selected, and you take its innate aesthetics into account, adorning it in a suitably luxurious fashion should be unproblematic. Regardless of the style of your event, incorporating stunning and theme-befitting floral arrangements will always add a sense of luxury.
Roses are of course the obvious choice when it comes to wedding florals, but working with a talented florist will result in unique and polarising arrangements that will leave your guests in awe. Natives can also result in wonderful arrangements and are especially befitting to weddings held on country estates or vineyards.
Maintaining an overarching sense of cohesion is also crucial to creating a seamless look of luxury; by coordinating elements such as florals, a sense of uniformity will be afforded to your event, resulting in an effortless sophistication. Factor in the cohesion of everything from table arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres, to any decoration that may appear on your cake. Your styling can even be elevated further by infusing the colour palette employed in the florals into other styling aspects, such as the groom’s pocket square, the table settings, or wedding cake.
Successfully creating an atmosphere of opulence will be heavily dependent on setting the right mood; music and lighting are crucial factors that will impact the way your guests feel within the space.
Soft, romantic candlelight is an ideal addition to any style of wedding; not only will it imbue the space with warmth, but it will also result in particularly flattering photographs. Likewise, there is a certain lavishness that comes with live music. Regardless of whether you select a string quartet or a live band, the presence of live performers and the quality of the music is well worth the expense, and has the potential to be equally as flexible as a DJ with careful selection.
While it’s all well and good to put together a beautiful-looking event, the experience of your big day is just as important. Ensure that the atmosphere is relaxed, the drinks are flowing, and the food is delicious; when it comes to creating a truly luxurious wedding, the little things make all the difference.