How to organise a wedding venue or reception yourself?
Choosing to organise a wedding venue or reception yourself is a great way to save money on your wedding day. If you have the time to get all this organised, arrange delivery & pick up of all equipment, the food, the staff, the plates & cutlery, the linen, and everything else, and you are unsure on what is needed. Then read on below.
This article is for those who have already found a venue or location
and are free to organise everything.
If you would like to speak to someone at Shared Affair at the end of reading this article, find our contact details via our website.
Step 1 – Work out your budget!
Everyone has a top level budget they want to spend, so start with that.
Step 2 – Get a list of what you need
Here, we have made a list of what you need to organise
The Big Items
If you have a venue, you probably won’t need the following. If you have an empty space, Marquees and TeePees are are available from Shared Affair as well as many hire companies around the areas you’re looking in, along with generators and come in a range of sizes. Shared Affair Catering & Events are able to organise this as part of their extensive catering packages and options or you are able to take on this yourself and contact roughly 10 hire companies in the area.
Marquee . Lights . Flooring . Walls (Clear or not) . Kitchen Area . Generators . Toilets . Bars . Dancefloor
You will need to decide if your wedding is stand up cocktail style, live food stations or a sit down event. For a cocktail style event, we suggest some bar tables and stools + a few tables and chairs with linens. You should plan to organise
Tables and seats. Bar Tables and Stools, Table Linen . Chairs . Knifes . Forks . Spoons . Dessert Spoons . Plates . Entrée Plates . Dessert Plates . Napkins.
You will need to organise a catering company to serve your guests their meals. Catering companies will need to know what facilities are available in order to supply you with an quote. Certain venues have limited kitchen spaces available and some have large spaces – so make sure to discuss this with the venue prior.
This needs to be considered when consulting with your catering company.
Staff will be needed.
Our recommendations for a successful event, is 1 wait staff per 20 guests for the food if you are serving either canapes or a sit down shared style menu, and 1 bar staff per 40 guests for the drinks service.
A sufficient size garbage bin or area will also need to be arranged for rubbish
Decide how you want the cake or dessert to be cut and served and inform your catering company of what you wish to do.
Serving Drinks at the Bar
You will need to setup a bar area for guests to come and grab drinks throughout the event. The following equipment for each bar setup will be needed. Some venues have a bar area already, in which you will need to ask the caterer or the bar tenders to setup the bar before the event starts.
Table/Bar . Table Cloth . Eskies or Buckets . Ice . Bottle openers . Napkins . Straws (Optional) . Recycling bins .
Glassware at the Bar
Keep in mind wash facilities when ordering glasses. If the venue has none or just basic wash facilities (ie. a dishwasher), then having staff hand wash glasses is a very long process and takes away from your other guests being served efficiently and getting back to the party. There nothing worse than waiting in line, especially at a wedding for a glass. If the venue has washing machines, great although If there are no wash facilities, we recommend 3 x glass types per person. If you think about it, if someone has 4-8 glasses of wine and grab a new glass every time, the stocks run out pretty quick.
If there are wash facilities, we recommend 1 x glass type person.
Wine Glasses . Champagne Glasses . Beer Glasses (bottles are an option). Spirits Glasses . Soft Drink/ Water Glasses (Optional get bottled) . Water Jugs
Glassware on the tables
If you want glassware on the tables, you will need to organise 1 x wine, champagne and water glass. This will usually be used throughout dinner, then not used again
Music & Audio Equipment
Keeping the guests entertained will be your next task. Hiring a musician, band or DJ is the best option. These can be found online via various websites or social sites.
The MC and speakers will also need an PA audio system to be heard. You can find many Audio Visual Supplies in your local area online. This will allow both the speakers and the musicians to link into the system.
Step 3 – Decorations & Styling
Get on Pintrest! Start saving pictures to a Pintrest Board. Once you have an idea of what you want, you can then go out and find them. You will need to decorate:
The Tables . The Marquee . Dance / Garden Area / Outdoor Area
Write a list of all the things you need per table or area, then source them.
Fairy Lights . Candles . Mason Jars . Flowers . Dance Area . Smoking Area . Table Signs . Numbers . Seating Plans . Wishing Well . Amenities . Lights . Wine Barrels . Bar Tables . Linen . Outdoor Seating .
Step 4 – The Setup
One the day of or the night before, you will need to get all your friends and family together and have a fun time setting up for the big day. This varies on time taken, depending on how much you have to setup, so be sure to be safe than sorry here.
Step 5 – Partytime!!!
Step 6 – The Cleanup
After the night has finished, the hangover kicks in and the dreaded clean up begins. Drag!
Certain hired equipment will needed to be secured overnight or picked up the night of the wedding. Most hire companies will be able to pick up the hired equipment the night of, usually at an extra fee. If you can lock the equipment up, usually it’s cheaper to deliver and pick up on Monday – Friday
1. Clean up the tables decorations, rubbish and throw anything away you don’t want.
2. Pack down the bar
3. Pack down the tables & chairs
4. Put all the hired equipment together (such as plates, glasses, linen, tables, etc.)
5. Organise for the kitchen to be cleaned
6. Organise for the venue to be cleaned
7. Make sure all hired equipment is picked up.
We hope this article helps with the setup of your special day. If you would like any help in managing your wedding, please give Shared Affair a call on (02) 8089 2555