Brisbane Wedding & Reception Planning Guide

by | Sep 11, 2019 | News


BOOM! It’s finally happened – your finger is crowned with a dazzling ring, you’re full of excitement and feeling totally loved up. So, what’s next? With so many details and thoughts running through your mind, planning a wedding can quickly seem overwhelming and daunting. Rest assured, giving yourself enough time to plan with our Wedding & Reception Planning Guide can reduce the stress and help you enjoy the process.

Make a budget

Crunching the numbers is the best place to start as it’s the least fun and it will determine what you can include for the big day. You’ll have to have those tricky conversations regarding who’s paying for what and determine what’s important for both of you. Not sure on what your budget should be? Do as much market research as you can and start spreadsheeting multiple quotes for everything you need for your day.

Draft a guest list

Inviting everyone would be amazing… however, your choice of venue, their capacity and pricing, plus your total wedding budget will limit your guest list. Before you reduce your numbers or look at smaller, more cost-effective venues, keep up the communication with each other and both sets of parents (if applicable). A popular solution is if all three parties pay a third each. After all the cutting and negotiations, you will reach your numbers.

TIP: Be in contact early with any guest/s that you think may not be able to make it (due to travel or health restrictions etc). This will help give you more realistic numbers or enable you to extend the invitation to someone else.

Hire a wedding planner

People generally hire a wedding planner if they’re time poor, unorganised, or simply want someone else to handle all the details. If you’re super organised then a wedding planner can assist your planning, saving you time. If you’re super relaxed then a wedding planner can provide you with different options and keep you on track. Often the venue will have a dedicated events coordinator or functions manager who will be able to guide you through the organisation of the reception. However if you’d like someone to be across the entire day, then a wedding planner is the perfect solution.

Decide on the theme and style 

Now is the time to crack open a bottle of red and discuss the theme of your wedding with your partner. It’s advantageous for this to be a mutual decision as it’ll flow throughout the rest of your planning. Discuss your favourite themes and dream inspo, and what you liked or didn’t like from previous weddings. This will help you shortlist potential venues/locations. Alternatively, if your heart is set on a certain reception venue, then the style of that space will influence your theme.

TIP: Get pinning! Chuck on your trackies, grab a cuppa, and start your Pinterest board. Creating a mood board with your inspiration for colours, theming, and other ideas will be helpful to you and your suppliers.

Select the venue

After getting a better idea of your budget and numbers, it’s time to make the BIG decisions: where to host your ceremony and reception. Couples tend to choose venue locations and styles that suit their personalities and dreams. They may want to keep it local out of consideration for guests travelling, or they may want to make a weekend of the celebration with a destination wedding. Choosing a themed all-in-one wedding venue like Factory51 allows you to have your ceremony and reception in the one location. This reduces travel time and is a cost-effective way to save on styling.

TIP: Visiting venues in person helps give you a better feel for the place, location, accessibility, and aesthetics. Ultimately you both want to be happy with your decision!

Choose the caterer/menu

Does your venue provide catering? If so, they will generally have a range of menus to choose from and potential to tailor a menu to suit your wedding. The latest wedding trend is a shared feasting menu (which Factory51 specialises in!). If you need a caterer, it’s a great idea to explore both your own caterers and the caterers that come recommended by the venue. Even food trucks can make a fun and relaxed wedding one to remember.

Lock in your vendors

The most important decisions to make after your ceremony and reception venue/s are the celebrant, photographer/videographer, band/DJ, and stylist. These people will help make your wedding memorable and unforgettable. Do your research – online, through friends, and through venue recommendations. Get these vendors locked in as early as possible so that you can relax in the lead up to the day. For adding a personal touch to our industrial chic space, we recommend Next Event.

Shop for wedding & bridesmaid dresses

When it comes to the all-important wedding dress, some brides have always known what they wanted, while others have saved the decision until now. You have no time to waste, especially if you are getting a custom-made bridal gown or if the store needs to place an order for bridesmaid dresses. Research online and hit up the Brisbane CBD and James Street. If needed, look beyond to the Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast, or even plan a fun trip to Sydney or Melbourne. Grab your girlfriends and Mum for a second opinion and to make it fun!

Select groom & groomsmen attire

When choosing the boys attire, it’s best to consider the groom’s thoughts along with the formality of the wedding. A 3-piece suit is great for cooler months and more formal occasions; whilst a collared shirt with suit pants can be appropriate for more casual weddings. If the groom has always craved a good suit, then now can be the perfect time to make the investment. Suits should be tailored and flattering, and comfortable enough to carve up the dance floor.

Send invitations

The wedding invitation (or save the date card) is the first formal communication about your big day. It needs to include all the relevant information (names, date, times, location, RSVP, dress code, gifting) as well as aesthetically tie in with the wedding theme. Research your options and decide whether to order or DIY invitations, and whether to send online or via the post.

Decide on gifts or a wishing well

When it comes to gifts, it’s a very personal choice. If you are already set up in your home then a wishing well is a great solution. You may wish to let guests know that their monetary gift is contributing towards something special (like your honeymoon). Alternatively, a gift registry is a good idea as it allows you to select items that you actually like or need. It can also record guest purchases to avoid double-ups, and in some cases provides the opportunity to purchase leftover items after the wedding at a discounted price.

Meet with florists or practice your greenery skills

You may wish to go through a florist or try your own hand at floral design. Remember that Pinterest board? Use it to show potential florists what bouquet/arrangement styles, colours, and flowers you like. Ensure they are a good fit with both your vision and budget. You can also visit the flower market and chat with vendors there to find out what seasonal florals and greenery is likely to be in at the time of your wedding.

TIP: If DIY’ing florals, it can be a great idea to have a practice run before your big day. Invite your girlfriends over and see if your skills are up to the challenge!


When you think transport, visions of a white stretch limo or classic vintage car come to mind. However, these days there are so many great options for making your entrance. Depending on the style of your wedding, you can consider a flash car, Uber X, party bus, stretch hummer, horse and carriage, or even luxury boat for riverside weddings. And if fancy transport isn’t your thing, simply enrol the help of family and friends to drive you to your destination.

We trust our Wedding & Reception Planning Guide is enough to get you started! As you get deeper into planning, a whole host of questions will rise to the surface. Don’t be shy in asking your family, friends, and vendors for their input or help. Our own Function Manager Ellie loves to assist couples with their planning. If you’d like to meet Ellie and take a tour of our rustic industrial venue, please feel free to contact us.


07 33240844
51 Holdsworth St Coorparoo QLD