23 September 2011

Wet weather wedding alternative in Canberra?

| emmy-lou
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Hi guys,

So I’m 3 weeks out from my wedding & receive an interesting call. It’s my wet weather alternative venue calling to tell me they will be having contruction work done at the time of my wedding, so they have cancelled my booking. When asked if they could suggest an alternative, they said “Hopefully you have a nice sunny day”. As nice as that thought is, I don’t think happy thoughts are going to chase the clouds away (if there are any).

So I’m reaching out to you worldly folk.

My good weather plan is to have a quick 15 minute ceremony in the Botanic Gardens, followed up with a BYO picnic for a couple of hours afterwards to make up the reception.

Can anybody suggest an inexpensive venue that could house about 50 guests, for both a ceremony & a “picnic” reception, that is easy on the eye? The wedding is on a Friday, so I’m hoping there might be some availability out there.

Any assistance is HUGELY appreciated!

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Thanks for the suggestions guys!

BenMac – that is a bit of a rip off. I have a feeling they would do the same to me, & I’ve not asked for chairs.

Ryoma – I did think of the woolshed – unfortunately as well as the $500 fee, you need public liability insurance! So that was crossed off the list.

Brianna – I’ve decided not to name & shame the venue, as I did get an email from the director later that day, apologising for the way the information was just dropped on me.

Good news though – I have found an alternate venue! It’s the new Bonythom Neighbourhood Hall. It’s a bit of a distance from the gardens if we need to make a dash, but it’s under $100 which I’m happy to pay for upfront just for a bit of security!

BYO picnic, does that mean the guests bring their own food and drink? If so, does that mean that they don’t have to give wedding presents? That all sounds very civilised if so.

Quite a few of the rural shire areas have community halls you can rent for stuff-all… there’s chairs and tables you can use, with kitchen and/or outdoor BBQs. It’s a bit of a hike out, but worth considering if you like the idea of a rural wedding. The one at Bywong is particularly plush (IMO), the Carwoola one isn’t bad (good kids’ play area outside)… the towns all have them, too. Just a thought.



Every other area and town has them too. Bungendore, Burra, Williamsdale, Hoskinstown…

Hi Emmy-Lou

I can strongly recommend the Southern Cross Yacht Club on the southern side of the lake. I had my wedding with 30 people back in October 2008. We had the actual wedding in Lennox Gardens, but the idea was that the Yacht Club was the back-up venue and the reception venue after the ceremony. The food was good, and from memory cost was around $35/head, while the actual space was sufficient as well. For 30 people, they divided a room, and it worked well – we couldn’t hear whatever was going on next door. So, I think for 50 people you’d likely have that room to yourselves. Finally, the wedding organiser worked really hard to make it a special day, nothing was too much trouble.

I appreciate that it is the opposite side of the lake from the Botanic Gardens, and that you plan to have a picnic instead. Whether they can do something along those lines on a Friday, I don’t know.

I was going to suggest Yarralumla Woolshed, but that’s a cost of $500/day: http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/160162/TAMS_booking_form_09-10_fees_attached.pdf

Not sure what else to suggest….good luck 🙂

The problem you have is that hiring a venue isn’t cheap, particularly if you are DIY the catering – venues that don’t charge much to hire make their money off the drinks and food you purchase through them. Unfortunately I think it will be tough to find something, I hope someone suggests a good venue.

I’d like to know who the alternative wet weather venue were………….

We had to make a change to our wedding venue a week before and chose the Rydges Captial Hill. The indoor atrium area has lots of vegetation. The place didn’t hold a lot of people but all the arrangements were really easy to make and it didn’t cost much at all.

I had my ceremony planned for the Botanic Gardens, but it rained the day of (was sunny the day before). I called them to say we would be having it there, so they kept my $600 fee (could be less than that, I can’t remember now) cause it was less than 24hrs notice. Bit of a rip off I thought. All they were going to do was put out around 50 chairs. Wasn’t really and inconvenience for them.

Our reception was at the Pavilion on Northbourne, as was our wet weather alternative. They have a garden atrium room which wasn’t too bad, better than nothing at all.

Weston Park ahs some sort of covered bbqs – not a gorgeous undercover area, but an option if you need it on the day, and there are lovely scenic areas by the lake in good weather – and toilets etc.

And if you are slim enough the swings have an amazing mountain/water backdrop – it would make gorgeous wedding pics.

Holden Caulfield10:17 am 23 Sep 11

Not sure what the restaurant in the sculpture garden at the NGA is like now, but it was fantastic as the Mirrabook when Mrs C and I got hitched late last century. I think we had 55 in attendance, which filled the space nicely.

We had originally planned to have the ceremony in the sculpture garden too, but religious overlords put the kybosh on that. Nowhere close by for BYO picnic though. Brodburgers, haha?

Mind, if you just want a wet weather place on the off chance it is raining that’s probably going to be very tricky to coordinate without a firm commitment.

Lennox Gardens, behind the Hyatt, has a pergola of sorts from memory. Won’t handle 50 people though.

I had friends get married at the botanic gardens last year, it hosed down and the gardens provided an alternative venue for the ceremony (the reception was indoors anyway, so not an issue). Have you spoken to the gardens about an alternative for the ceremony at least?

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