Claire Atley, Events Coordinator at White Sands Estate, has plenty of advice for newly-engaged couples looking for their perfect reception venue.
What are some of the things couples should consider when they’re searching for a reception venue?
We believe there are three important things to consider when choosing a venue for your wedding reception.
A stunning location. You want your wedding to be one of the most memorable days of your life in a beautiful location.White Sands is situated on the east coast and our reception rooms offer superb mountain, lake and coastal views. Our location provides fantastic photo opportunities, to capture the bride and groom’s special day.
Quality yet affordable accommodation on-site. There is nothing worse than considering the long drive home or catching an expensive taxi to your accommodation at the end of a wedding reception.
White Sands Estate offer on-site self-contained ocean facing two and three bedroom villas for guests. Our villa accommodation is walking distance to our reception rooms. There are three different standards of accommodation that can sleep from two up to nine people, so they are very well priced for families or friends sharing together.
A good reputation. Make sure that you have heard or read some reviews from guests who have had previous weddings or functions at the reception venue. At White Sands Estate you can read testimonials from some of the weddings and group functions on our website.
How can a bride and groom maximise their time spent when meeting with their reception venue coordinator/caterer?
Come with a list of questions to ask when first inspecting the property.
We will always take couples on a tour of the property to show them our reception rooms, restaurant, ceremony locations and accommodation (if villas are available).
When meeting with a bride and groom we will provide a pack with our wedding package details and booking terms and conditions which should contain most of the information they will require.
As the dedicated Events Coordinator at White Sands Estate, I am always available to promptly assist in providing the bride and groom with any further information required or any special requests.
I will also provide examples of what has worked well for other weddings and show photos from previous weddings to assist the bride and groom with ideas.
Another suggestion would be to stay at the resort for a night and arrange for a wedding tasting of some of the dishes from our wedding menus.
We can arrange a special rate for bridal couples to come and stay to experience the resort and have further time with our staff.
What are some trends you are seeing when it comes to wedding receptions and/or catering?
We still find that the set two or three course dinners are the most popular option but we are seeing a trend of more couples booking a less formal cocktail wedding reception.
Our Le Blanc reception room is perfect for a cocktail style reception as it has large deck outside and stunning views of the coast.
How did White Sands Estate get started in the industry?
White Sands Estate have been hosting weddings since the opening of the hotel in 2001. Due to our stunning location on the coast and on-site accommodation the owners thought it would be the perfect venue for a bride and groom’s special day.
The weddings were small to start with but grew in size and number mainly through word-of-mouth.
In 2009, White Sands Estate built a new reception space and restaurant which also included upstairs and downstairs function rooms. Our beachfront function room can cater for up to 150 guests for a wedding.
What is something unique to your service that you are especially proud of?
I think not only myself but all of the staff at White Sands provide exceptionally personal and attentive service.
Organising and orchestrating a wedding is a team effort and I work with an exceptional group of staff.
From the initial enquiry stage to the day after the wedding, we are there to assist the bridge and groom promptly with their every need. We understand this is one of the biggest days in their lives and we will do all possible to make it a very special and memorable one.
What advice would you give to brides and grooms to ensure their wedding day runs more smoothly?
Ensure that you have RSPV’s early; we require final numbers 60 days in advance to ensure that we can plan in a timely fashion the details for your wedding.
The other advice is don’t stress – that is our job! We will have everything under control and normally liaise with the MC on the day to ensure that we leave the bride and groom to just relax and enjoy their special day.
Mention you read this blog to receive a special offer from White Sands Estate. For a limited time, receive a 25% discount off the Best Available rate for one night’s accommodation to experience the resort (discount not available on public holiday weekends). Or receive a free ceremony package (normally worth $500) for bookings from June to September.