What to Look For in a Wedding Venue

It’s happening! The proposal has been made, you’ve said yes and now you’re in that wonderful and exciting time of planning your dream wedding.

Booking a wedding venue is one of the very first things that needs to be ticked off the list as popular venues book out months, even years in advance. But with the multitude of options on offer, where do you even start when choosing the venue for your perfect day?

Here are some things for you to consider…

What style of wedding do you want?

Dreaming of a ‘Downton Abbey-esque’ manor house complete with white-gloved butlers? Then there’s no point looking at modern, funky wedding venues with strobe lights and coloured seating cubes.

Think carefully about the style of wedding that you are looking for and then start your list of venues that will extend not compete with that style.

Do you want a blank canvas of a ‘done for you’ wedding?

Want the planning to be super-easy, where you can decide on pretty much everything in a day and then forget about it for 12 months? Perhaps look for a venue such as a hotel where they have large function rooms and a set wedding style and you can see exactly what you’re getting.

Prefer to have a hand in all of the small details and finishing touches? Then think about a venue that offers more of a ‘blank canvas’ where you can inject more of your personality and unique sense of style.

How many guests are you planning on inviting?

The size of the wedding will greatly affect your venue choice. Looking for a really large wedding with hundreds and hundreds of guests, there will only be certain venues that are able to accommodate those numbers.

Similarly, if you are wanting to host a small, intimate affair with only a few close friends and relatives, you want to choose a venue that does not make your wedding party feel lost or lack atmosphere because the room is too large.

Is this a destination wedding?

Increasingly popular are destination weddings, or at least ‘change in location’ weddings, with more and more couples embracing the opportunity to take a mini-break and extend their wedding beyond the ceremony and reception. If you’re planning a destination wedding then not only the choice of venue but also the location will come into consideration.

You will want to think about what else is around the local area for your guests to enjoy. Although the idea of a remote hideaway hours from anywhere might seem romantic, it might lose its shine very quickly when it takes your guests days to get there, there is no wifi reception and nothing to do.

If it’s out of town, also think about accommodation options nearby and activities that you can either suggest or provide for guests. Done well, a destination wedding can be a wonderful way to bring family and friends together for an extended celebration.

Do your catering wishes suit the venue?

Have your heart set on a cocktail style soiree but your venue only does a 2-choice alternate drop seated meal? Probably time to look elsewhere. Certain venues are very restrictive on what they can achieve with regards to catering and therefore this is one of the first questions you should ask when sourcing your venues. There is nothing worse than getting your heart set on a venue and then finding you have to make large compromises on the food if that is one of the things that is really important to you.

Does your venue allow your 10 piece jazz band?

Okay, you might not be planning on booking a 10 piece jazz band, but it is really important to think about what kind of music you are wanting for your wedding reception. Some venues will not be able to accommodate bands or DJs, especially some of the more rustic or quirky venues.

Dedicated wedding venues or those that have been thoughtfully planned to host weddings and events are more likely to have specific areas where you set up bands or DJs and a dance floor without needing to move tables and chairs and rearrange a room after the meal.

Do you want to have the ceremony at the same venue?

Some couples want the traditional church wedding, some prefer the ceremony and reception done in the same location, and others look for maybe a relaxed beach style ceremony, picturesque location photos and then relocate to a stunning venue to continue the celebration.

Of course if you are looking for the ceremony and reception to be in the same venue this is a key question to ask your would-be venues as to whether they are licensed to do so. At the same time it is also really worth starting to think about how you would like your photos to look. Is the area around the venue conducive to the style of photos you are trying to achieve?

Are you happy to share your wedding venue?

One thing that couples sometimes forget to ask their prospective venues is whether they will be the only wedding happening on site that day i.e. do you get exclusive use of the venue. Some of the larger venues and hotels can have up to 4 weddings taking place at the same time on the property.

These venues generally do a great job of separating the events so that the wedding parties do not see each other, but make sure you have a good think about whether you would be happy to see another bride in the same venue on your wedding day?


The award-winning, waterfront Pavilion Kiama on the stunning NSW South Coast specialises in creating unique and memorable wedding experiences. Find out more by downloading the latest brochure and browsing the wedding packages available, or give the team a call today on 02 4232 1419.


Picture credit: Red Berry Photography

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Hi Jackie & Bec, Long time so see. If you recall, Suzanne and I were your first wedding at The Pavilion under the new arrangements back in November 2016. Something triggered me to think about the Pavilion and I decided to check out your website.

Rob & Suzanne – Wedding

I wanted to touch base and say thank you so much to The Pavilion Kiama and Culinarius. The wedding was everything we could have imagined and more. Any request was never too much for you and the team, no matter how small or silly. It made us feel so g

Sharmane & Patrick – Wedding

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Melissa – Wedding

Can I just say everyone has been going on about how delicious the food was! Even in my dress which I thought would stop me eating much I had both my meals and then stole some of Kieran's!!Just delicious. And your team are the epitome of dream te

Sarah & Keiran – Wedding

A great venue for Kiama High School’s Year 12 formal. From beginning to end the staff work with us to ensure the event is a memorable one, with beautiful decorations, thoughtful catering and exceptional service. Thank you for a wonderful experience

Catherine Glover – Kiama High School

With million dollar views and professional staff who provide exceptional service – what more could you want?! The Kiama Pavilion is my first choice when it comes to choosing work functions.

Rebecca McPhee – The Cultured Nutritionist

The team at The Pavilion made sure that our day was a huge success. They supported and guided every step of the way. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend The Pavilion, you won’t be sorry.

Michelle Kerridge – Event

Monika & her team were amazing. There was so much food & everyone commented on how delicious it all was. Great variety for a cocktail wedding. Highly recommended!!!

Susannah & Mark – Wedding

Thank you for everything you did for us. It was such an amazing night and everything went perfectly! The food was beautiful & all the staff were really lovely.

Lauren & Chris – Wedding

Thank you for all you did to make our wedding so beautiful. We had the best time and were blown away by how well everything went. The service was phenomenal, all of our guests were commenting. The food was delicious and very generous. We have had the

Taryn & Jack – Wedding

Rebecca and Monica are so professional, they were always so helpful in every way possible and made wedding planning so simple for us. The food was amazing and the setup was beautiful, everything we had ever dreamed of!

Taryn & Jack – Wedding

Simply amazing food. Rebecca & Monika were fantastic. Rebecca was always ready to answer any questions & dealing with her throughout the lead up to the wedding took a lot of stress out of the process. Monika ran everything perfectly on the ni

Gabby & Tristan – Wedding

Rebecca, you & your team were delightful to work with. Friendly, helpful & professional without us feeling "corporate" or "wedding". To be able to adjust the tone of your work to "family" & low key for Rod's birthday is testament to your flexibility

Rod & Glenys – 50th Birthday celebration

Fantastic venue, delicious food and wonderful staff. The catering staff and the Pavilion Staff were exceptional. We couldn't have asked for a better send off for Mum. The location goes without saying. The children played and walked on the beach and

Wendy & Kay – Family Event

A most sincere thank you for everything you did to help with our fundraiser – it was lovely dealing with you both and we truly appreciated the efforts you went to to help us out.

Nerida Robinson – Gosh! Advertising & Public Relations

Your professionalism, guidance and energetic demeanour assisted greatly in the success of the awards night. I rely heavily on the external venue staff when developing, producing and delivering the annual State Conference and Awards Night and you cert

Bethanie Tobin - Executive Officer – Parks & Leisure Australia (NSW/ACT)

Thank you for the professionalism of the event management of our Professional Development Day. Making yourself available for meetings to confirm details ensured the smooth running on the day. No matter what the request, it was always met with a smile

Lisa O'Grady - Program Manager Communities for Children – Barnados Australia

I would thoroughly recommend Kiama Pavilion for any group looking for a fantastic venue for a Year 12 Formal. The event coordinators were professional, informative and always contactable and worked collaboratively with the teacher and students. All

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Fulton Hogan has enjoyed the services of the Pavilion Kiama for several events, including whole of workforce events (over 450 attendees) and more specialised events. We have found the facilities to be well presented and comfortable, the catering has

Michael Phillips - Ryder – Project Director - Fulton Hogan

The South Coast Child Wellbeing Network would like to thank the Pavilion team for their professionalism in the event management of our Professional Development Day. Being available for pre-event meetings to confirm all event details ensured the ev

Program Manager – South Coast Child Wellbeing Network

A modern and clean venue for our monthly auctions, with great facilities and an easy hiring process. Recommended for any type of event.

Jessica Vantas – Raine & Horne Kiama

The Pavilion provides the best location, atmosphere, service and friendly helpful staff.

John Dick – Roman Hot Rods

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Rod and Judy Cork – Folk by the Sea

Fantastic venue – well placed between the Shoalhaven and Illawarra, friendly staff and the catering was excellent.


David Bunder – Child, Adolescent & Youth Mental Health

The venue and the staff were excellent an absolute pleasure to work with. Many who attended our event have commented positively about it.

Linda Livingstone – Coordinare

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