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Canberra & Region Wedding Venues

By Jazz - 5 February 2008 54

Some time ago i came up with a loose theory that weddings are more for women than men. Its something girls dream of from childhood while young boys are more interested in playing sport or the playstation.

The last couple of weeks have done nothing to disprove my theory as i have (including my sister) 4 female friends getting married and going through the planning stages for their weddings. One of my workmates even joked that she needed a cost centre to book her wedding planning against whilst sitting amongst a pile of ‘Bride’ and ‘Modern Wedding’ magazines.

One of the biggest areas of angst almost invariably seems to be the wedding venue as it sets the scene for that perfect vision to be built upon. Even there price and expectation vary hugely. One magazine had the wedding priced at $200,000 for the bride and groom and their 14 guests, but then not everyone wants to fly everything up to the Kimberly in WA to get married, and realistically, at that price not everyone can afford to. I’m sure that closer to home there are some great, and probably not so great venues.

For those who have had, or been to a wedding in or around Canberra, tell us about your experience, for good or bad.

What’s Your opinion?


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Canberra & Region Wedding Venues
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Observing 4:19 pm 07 Feb 08

Referring to the tripling or quadrupling of price when the word ‘wedding’ is mentioned, don’t accept any inflated price as a given necessity of wedding costs. Definitely shop around. If they pull that price hike on you, tell them that this is the amount you are willing to pay and if not, go somewhere else. My wedding had lots of the trimmings at a final cost of only a few thousand. That’s because I went to wholesalers, found stores who are willing to price beat other stores, or if it came down to it and they don’t want to budge from their ridiculous and unwarranted price boosting, then just walk off and do it yourself.

I found a photographer who was better than the crazy professionals who charge upwards of $4,500 for things you don’t need. I found wholesale flowers at one third the cost of any price a florist quoted. For venues, there are plenty of halls around Canberra in lovely locations so you can shop around for that too. The Brassey I found charged way too much for their food which was I thought was ordinary, from my experience attending two of my friends’ weddings there. The standard options are not necessarily the best ones.

Simply put, too many people are accepting the high prices and shrugging them off. It only gives the stores more reason to keep up their shonky pricing for the next customers. Stand up to it.

Holden Caulfield 12:09 am 07 Feb 08

@Nemo: But this is my point, it’s not a church. Is it? There doesn’t appear to be any reference to multi denomination or anything like that. The only reference to anything church related is that it’s called a Chapel. Yeah, the building looks great, the surrounds perfectly suitable for a wedding, but if your partner insists on a church wedding on what grounds does this building qualify?

Sorry for keeping on about this. Especially as I’ve probably got it all wrong?! 😛

staria 10:54 pm 06 Feb 08

It surely is big business nowadays, but I think the weddings that are made to be more personal are the most enjoyable in the end. Then again I’ve found that in some cases $$ = easy… Hard to balance sometimes!

Nemo 10:19 pm 06 Feb 08

Holden, I dislike religion, my partner refuses to get married anywhere but in a church – that location is the perfect compromise for us… and besides it’s just a beautiful building.

aelliso 8:25 pm 06 Feb 08

Had a service at St Andrews Presby, by parliament house, great service, very picturesque church inside and out. Reception at Woden CSCC was actually very nice. We had the “top of the cross? room, which included a balcony, bar, dance floor, mens and womens toilets, and the whole night was well staffed. Functions manager was very helpful and gave references for other services required, food was also surprisingly very good.

chaton 6:03 pm 06 Feb 08

Staria – I completely agree but it truly is hard to keep the price down isn’t it. Good luck.

staria 5:47 pm 06 Feb 08

And just to double post, I am so pissed off when prices suddenly triple when the “W” word gets mentioned… I’d been warned, but it’s just ridiculous! Be prepared to shop around and to focus on the important things that are meaningful to you, not just because it’s a wedding day.

staria 5:44 pm 06 Feb 08

Well, I think it all comes down to the question of why people get married. I’m doing it to celebrate our relationship with my family and friends and have a big party :o) I was horrified when I saw an article the other day which stated that the “average” wedding costs $28,000! Mine is going to be nowhere even half that! Fancy cars – nup. Weird food that no one wants to eat – nup. 17 tier cake – nup. Designer wedding gown – nup. Beautiful outdoor ceremony (fingers crossed!) with my nearest and dearest and a party afterwards – yep!
I’ve actually had a really hard time planning this wedding, I have never pictured myself getting married so I have not had it sorted out at all. If it wasn’t for my partner going and getting it all started we’d be in trackies at commonwealth park! I feel for any girl whose partner doesn’t want to be involved. It’s an important day to stand up in front of your loved ones and pledge yourself to someone – not as important as living every day of your life with that person afterwards, but it has to come from both sides I think.

Holden Caulfield 5:13 pm 06 Feb 08

Re photography, it’s insane these days how many photos people have taken. I accept the technology is so much more forgiving now, but still (boom, boom).

What I can’t get over is why on earth anyone wants photos having their nails done, getting changed and so on before the ceremony. The service, the family and a few reception pics should suffice, surely. We don’t need to know how many hairs were out of place when you hopped out of bed. Sigh, it is such an overrated industry really.

When Mrs C and I got hitched we had a hard task just to find a photographer that offered an option whereby we didn’t need to spend a fortune for a bunch of photos we didn’t want taken. Their reply was well, this is my most basic package and I don’t have to take the photos if you don’t want, but you have to pay for them. So it was a moment of great celebration when we found a photographer willing to take just one roll of colour film and one roll of b&w at a pro-rata price. Can you imagine having just 72 photos taken in the digital age!

I fully endorse the simple options that people have presented elsewhere in this thread.

The memories I have of my wedding day are of my lovely wife, our family and our friends. While the other aspects of the day were great, venue, food etc, they were merely the extras. Get the fundamentals right first, the rest is basically fluff.

Holden Caulfield 5:04 pm 06 Feb 08

@Nemo/emd: I can see what you’re saying, but if neutral ground is required you don’t need a building that looks like a church do you. Any nice piece of architecture or parkland would suffice. But I take the point that this venue is indoors and setup for weddings etc.

Mrs C and I wanted to get married outside, but the local Catholics wouldn’t let us! Lucky we support the same team so we didn’t have to deal with the clash of beliefs. Religion can be arse sometimes!

staria 4:47 pm 06 Feb 08

I think the photographer is a fairly important consideration for the day (although I agree the thought of posing for 500 photos is a bit much) for the simple reason that apart from you actually being married, it’s one tangible thing that you’ve got from the “big day”. The food gets eaten, the flowers chucked, the dances danced, but the photos are something that can be passed around and down.
Personally I think a good photographer is one that takes good quality photos, ie well framed, lighting etc (no chopped off heads), doesn’t get too creative with the angles, doesn’t rely on photoshop for more than a little colour balancing. Also, while the focus may be on the bride and groom, they have enough of an eye to capture special moments with your family and friends. Looking around for my wedding, I got so frustrated with how many of them tried so hard for the “arty” shot that basic things like focus and framing weren’t spot on. Anyone can do weird angles and arty, I’m also paying for technical competence in the use of a camera!

chaton 4:19 pm 06 Feb 08

JD114 – I kind of agree. There is definitely a focus from a lot of brides I’ve spoken to who will spend a motza on photographers – want to capture themselves at their best I guess. Though you end up not looking anything like yourself anyway – having 5 hours of professional hair, make up, etc.

On the other hand – why not take a million pictures now that we can easily delete the crap ones? Shouldn’t we be glad for the miracle of technology and no longer getting back that role of prints with thumbs and shadows and glare – and tears???

emd 1:55 pm 06 Feb 08

Good point Nemo. I’ve been to a wedding where they both had strong religious views, but from vastly different religions. A joint service was attempted but impossible, so they went for the civil service.

Nemo 1:30 pm 06 Feb 08

Holden. its a nice indoor option for people who dont want a religious ceremony.
It could also be a compromise for couples who have different religious beliefs and cant agree where to marry.

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