When you’re shopping around for the perfect wedding venues, you might fall in love with the scenery or architecture and only gloss over the venue’s contract terms. Later down the road, in the planning stages—or worse, on the day of the wedding—you’re shocked to discover that the venue has severe restrictions on what you can or cannot do. Have a read: Who’s in Charge? Seven Common Restrictions Imposed by Melbourne Wedding Venues.
SEVEN COMMON RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY MELBOURNE WEDDING VENUES
When you first contact a wedding venue, ask them to send
- Their sample contracts
- A list of included services and equipment
- An official list of venue rules and restrictions
- A list of all fees, deposits, and penalties
Look closely at all the documents. You can ask the venue’s agent to sign documents verifying any of the above.
Our Melbourne wedding musicians have performed at hundreds of venues. Here are some common restrictions they—or their wedding couples—have experienced:
Must Use Approved or In-House Vendors
Many vendors require their brides to choose from a limited list of approved Melbourne wedding vendors. This is usually because they want to ensure that their facilities aren’t damaged by photography or videography equipment, caterers aren’t mishandling their kitchen areas, and wedding singers aren’t breaking any noise volume rules.
Might you be stuck with wedding entertainment focused on Polish polka? Is their in-house photographer a third cousin with an outdated camera and a dream to break into the wedding industry?
Restrictions on your choice of wedding singers, caterers, photographers, and florists can put a whole different spin than what you intended for your special day, and if your “assigned” wedding planner isn’t on point with your dream wedding, the value of spectacular sunsets, swan-dotted ponds, or stunning modern architecture will make up for your disappointment.
Lack of DDA Accessibility
Some restrictions aren’t “rules” so much as they are features inherent in the facilities or outdoor grounds. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) has prompted many venues to follow guidelines to facilitate easy access by those with mobility challenges, but lawn or beach ceremonies might leave out some of your cherished guests.
When you’re shopping for a Melbourne wedding venue, be sure to look for necessary ramps, lifts, and DDA compliant toilets. Inspect the grounds from the perspective of guests using mobility devices, and check with the venue manager to find out if any issues or obstacles can be temporarily (or permanently) mitigated.
No Supplemental Bathroom Facilities
Speaking of toilets, will there be enough for your guests? Lack of appropriate facilities can damper the day for your guests, forcing them to miss wedding highlights while they’re standing in line for the loo.
Ask your wedding vendor which toilet facilities will be available for your event, and who is to manage supplies and cleaning on your wedding day.
Are you allowed to hire portable toilet services? Are there placement restrictions?
Be sure, if you do rent portable toilets, that you have the rental company bring at least one suitable for guests with mobility equipment.
No Tossing of Flower Petals, Birdseed, or Rice
Everyone knows how bad dried rice is for wildlife, and many venues don’t trust that winged wildlife will clean up scattered bird seed before vermin show up for a free meal.
Even rose petals are time-consuming to clean up, especially if they dry up before groundskeepers arrive. Wilted flower petals may be a “falling hazard” due to their slipperiness and therefore frowned upon by venue insurance policies.
No Open Flames
Fireworks and sparklers are out of the question, but what about the romantic atmosphere created by candles, tiki torches, or small contained fire pits? If any of these are indeed allowed, be prepared to pay an additional deposit before you plan your candle-lit wedding or beach BBQ.
No Loud Music
Congratulations! You’ve booked your favourite wedding band! Melbourne venues, particularly those in residential areas, often have decibel limits for wedding entertainment. Find out exactly what these limits are, who is responsible for measuring them, and if the venue provides a properly-calibrated decibel meter.
Some venues have decibel restrictions only after a particular hour, or on certain days. Don’t be scared off by over-generalised reviews or marketing materials until you’ve confirmed the rules with the venue manager.
If you decide to go with a noise-restricted venue, be sure you inform your wedding singers.
Set End Time
Who determines when the party’s over? We like to think it’s the last remaining uncle, who’s quite off his face, is the one to close down the festivities in the wee hours of the morn. Your venue manager may beg to differ, and insist that not only are wedding entertainment is silent by a particular time, but everyone has cleared out and cleaned up when the venue-imposed curfew arrives.
You’re a bride, not Cinderella; make sure curfews are clearly defined.
You’re the Boss
No matter where you throw your wedding, make sure you’re not conceding more than is necessary. We all have to compromise now and again while planning our weddings, but whether your big day is staged at a Melbourne beach resort or a modern art gallery, you deserve to call the shots. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for friendlier terms; the worst an agent can say is “no”…so you can say “yes” surrounded by happy guests while being serenaded by your wedding singer into the early hours of your first full day as bride and groom.