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If you're in the midst of planning your wedding, I'm sure you can totally relate - no one truly understands until they start planning one, but weddings are a minefield. So many ins and outs, decisions to be made, tricks of the trade, things people think you just should know even if you don’t and the pressure to get it all completely perfect for your one special day! (Exhausted just reading this?)

I won’t kid you, weddings can be challenging, costly and all consuming, and as your wedding day looms closer, you will get to a point where you just have to whittle that shortlist down to one and make some serious decisions.

Once those big decisions are all made, you are free to enjoy engaged life with your fiancé and get ridiculously excited about your wedding day, because it will absolutely be, one of the most amazing days you will ever have.

Here’s some tips and tricks from the best in the biz to make a sometimes super stressful time, that little bit more manageable. In this post we cover two critical items to kick start the rest of the planning - the venue and the celebrant.



With Mark Wilson from Osteria

What are the top three things to consider when securing a reception venue?

Wet weather plan, proximity to accommodation and quality of the service.

What are the most popular menu selections for a wedding reception?

Shared style menus have become the mainstay. Alternate plate menus represent only 3% of our bookings now compared to more than 80% only 4 years ago.

What is an important item to consider that most couples overlook?

Food entertainment! The wedding dress, rings, make up all take precedence over the food budget yet every guest will judge the event on their own experience. Getting the food and entertainment right will ensure that your event is memorable for everyone.

Best tip for surviving the reception, all the way through to the end?

This is the best advice I can give…. Make sure that your guests have an amazing time and everything else sorts itself out. You will see everyone at best for only 2-3 minutes each and you will still need 3 hours to do that. At the end of it you will realize that you still didn’t spend enough time with everyone and they had all put in a great deal to be there for you on your wedding day. Put the effort into making sure that they have a great time and your wedding will be the best wedding that they have ever been to. They will not care about Instagram photos or facebook posts, value of the ring or wedding dress, they will care about how they felt at your wedding so make sure they feel awesome!!!

What makes the venue at Osteria so special?

We try and do things other venues don’t. With the owners still working in the business we are always listening to feedback to ensure that we are evolving with the market and delivering what brides want. I am sure we will be very different in another 12 months time with extensions into our back area on track and new lighting and bars planned.

Osteria Wedding Venue


With Marg Walgers from Amoret Ceremonies

How do couples know if they have found the right celebrant?

Couples will know if they have chosen the right celebrant if they have that immediate comfortable feel when they meet. Rapport, information provided and ease of communication all combine to tell you that this is someone you can work with and who you would like to be leading your wedding ceremony. Sadly many focus on price point only to be disappointed. Initial meetings whether face to face or electronic, yield so much towards establishing a good rapport between client and celebrant.

You should feel confident that your celebrant has an excellent grasp of the legal requirements and is up to date with current legislation. For weddings with more than 15 guests your celebrant must have a suitable PA system and have it elevated on a tripod. A good celebrant will enquire about your colour palette and level of formality to dress accordingly.

With regard to ceremony wording, a good celebrant should be able to work with you so that your ceremony reflects your style and the vibe you wish to create. They should invite your input and mutually decide on what is included in your ceremony. They must be open to your requests and suggestions. That said, many rely on the celebrant to provide ceremony inspiration so your celebrant must be able to provide this. Your celebrant should provide a first draft well before your ceremony to allow for editing.

What level of input can the couple have in the order and scripting of the ceremony?

Customer is always king! Your celebrant should never dictate what your ceremony includes but allow clients full autonomy on their selections. There are elements that are not negotiable in Australian wedding ceremonies. The Monitum, official words the celebrant must say; The Legal Vow, a one sentence vow usually followed by your personal vows; Signing of documents. Apart from these, clients can choose whatever they wish. Some clients come to a first meeting with lots of ideas while others have zero knowledge of possibilities. Most rely on the celebrant to prepare the ceremony wording. Your celebrant should provide clients ample opportunity to edit their ceremony wording.

How long in advance should couples book the celebrant?

In a nutshell, ASAP! Celebrants are usually booked 6-12 months in advance. Late bookings can always be offset by choosing mid week or mid day time slots if you want to book a certain celebrant that may have prior bookings.

On the day what happens if the ceremony goes a little off course?

A rehearsal is always a brilliant idea to avoid any unforseen issues popping up. However the inevitable often happens. The celebrant is often the only person who is privy to last minute wishes and arrives prior to the ceremony to oversee and ensure all is perfect. Should the ceremony go off course a little, which is rare, it's up to the celebrant to regroup and lead. It's imperative your celebrant has the confidence to take control and move forward.

Marg Walters Wedding Celebrant


Stay tuned for part two of the Ultimate Wedding Experience Guide where we'll go through handy tips for choosing what everyone is going to wear, including the all important bridal gown.


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