Ballara Receptions

(133 reviews)
1435 Main Rd, Eltham, Victoria
Business Hours
All Hours
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Expert Advice

As a wedding professional, Ballara Receptions offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.

Any cute chapels in victoria to get married in?

Ballara Receptions

Here at Ballara we have a gorgeous chapel on-site for your ceremony! We can seat 100-110 within the seats and then up to 160 with the standing room at the back too. We have decorations, signing table & chairs, microphones & sound system plus air con/heating to keep you and your guests comfortable no matter what weather Melbourne decides to give you on the day! You have a function co-ordinator to make sure everything runs smoothly and as per your wishes on the day and we have beautiful gardens to then take all your photos in - your choice if  you would like to hold the reception here too or head off to another location. Happy wedding planning! 

How many people classifies a wedding as a large wedding?

Ballara Receptions

Hi there :) It is honestly relative to the venue. Some venues can only host intimate weddings of 50, some venues host very big groups of 350-500+! On average we find most people tend to have around 100-140 people at our venue and we can seat up to 170. Good luck! 

Why doesn't any wedding venues/reception website state how much it is per head food wise?

I have looked at so many sites to potentially book for my wedding and none have provided the cost per head... I dont understand why even If the can offer different type like for example cocktail menu, buffet etc.... why they cant even give a rough idea?

Ballara Receptions

Hi there :) We honestly find that every couple is looking for something slightly different. It can be quite hard to label just a rough price as this can sometimes include way too many things that some couples don't want (so then they can rule out a place that actually is in their budget) or on the flip slide can not be covering enough for other couples (so then they are shocked when they realise the extra bits and pieces are missing). We try to give people a price range straight off the bat, but then we customise quotes and packages to suit couples from there. You also might find that some venues dont offer certain types of package e.g. buffet or self cater/venue hire etc. And another factor can be guest numbers e.g. a minimum spend or discounts once you hit a certain number of poeple. 
I'd suggest touching base with a few places you like the look of and ask for a rough price based on when you are looking at (as the year, month and day of the week can massively change the price per person e.g. by $50+), and also let them know what kind of catering you are after (sit down, cocktail etc) and the number of people. As these few dot points can definitely help to get the ball rolling...Good Luck! 

if i have a dry wedding will people leave early to go get drinks?

Ballara Receptions

It's your day so it's totally up to you and to make it the way you want it. Don't feel pressured or forced into doing something for us as you may be disappointed at the end! We have dry weddings for cultural or religious reasons so the guests definitely understand and respect this - they are your friends and family after all so chances are some of them will be in the same boat as you or they will already anticipate this being the case as they know you! We add in mocktails and other exciting drinks as part of our non-alcoholic package too so it's not like it's just standard soft drinks and water! If you are doing it for budget reasons, then you can always have a cash bar options so guests can purchase alcohol themselves if they are really after it and it won't affect you! 

how does a lunchtime wedding work? like what times are we talking?

Ballara Receptions

We find lunch time weddings are growing in popularity! People can opt to go for a lunch time wedding for lots of different reasons e.g. wanting something less formal, cheaper price, wanting the flexibility for the rest of the day e.g. continuing on for photos in the city or wanting to be able to spend the night at the hotel together rather than arriving exhausted at midnight (or later!). For the lunch slot we give couples the option of doing a traditional sit down 3 course meal so this is a 4.5 hour duration, for those after more mingling we have cocktail packages which are a 4 or 4.5 hour duration or couples can go less formal and do a high tea which is around a 3 hour duration - we just tailor our packages to suit our couples! Generally they conclude around 3.30-4pm depending on the package or the day 
p.s. if wanting to hold the ceremony here too then there is additional time added on for that too, above times are just the reception side of things 

is a reception with a cash bar tacky?

Ballara Receptions

Things are always changing in the wedding industry and beverages is definitely one of the ones we are noticing more & more! Our packages include an alcoholic (beer, wine & soft drink) package as standard in the price and this tends to keep everyone happy and then guests can purchase spirits at their own expense if they wish (realistically people dont expect to have spirits included at a wedding). Some couples ask to supply their own bottle of spirits per table and this can be organised too. Other couples switch from the alcoholic package to a non-alcoholic package which includes mocktails etc. and then have it as a cash bar for any form of alcohol - just be sure to make sure guests are aware of this ahead of time so they bring cash or card with them on the night. You can also go inbetween and have a tab to cover a certain amount or certain types of drinks and anything above that is then a cash bar for the guests. At the end of the day it is your wedding, so you have to do what you want and what is within your budget. Just make it clear on the invitations if guests have to organise anything and then they will be fine!

should i book my venue based on budget or based on how much i love it?

Ballara Receptions

Your wedding day is very special and something you will remember for the rest of your life - but you also dont want to be paying it off for the rest of your life! It's about finding a balance between the two.

Before you start to look at venues do a bit of a brainstorm to work out: what is your overall wedding budget and have you got a realistic idea on how much the other areas will cost, jot down a realistic guest list so that you can work out what your overall total will look like, and then write down the things that are most important to you - both for the venue features but also the day overall - for some couples it is all about the food, for others it is the music or the flowers etc.

Put the money in the budget into the things that are the most important to you and you can always have some DIY projects etc e.g. place cards, bonbonniere etc that can end up saving you a decent chunk of money that you can instead put towards your budget for the key items. 

Also dont be afraid to have a chat to the venue about the price or package inclusions. We always tailor our packages to what the couples are actually after and little tweaks can adjust your price and potentially get it to the per person price you need! 

Good luck!

what time do wedding receptions usually end? and who is the last person to leave

Ballara Receptions

Generally speaking, a reception package will be 5 hours and then additional time prior for the ceremony. The most important thing when working out your times when holding everything in the one venue/location is to take into account the sunset times on the day and photography. Weddings held in summer have a very late sunset time so they have the flexibility to do whatever they want timewise. In winter as the sunset is so early, it is very important to keep the sunset times in mind so that you dont end up with all your photography time in the dark! In winter we give our couples a longer reception as standard to compensate for the earlier start time so they dont finish too late! Generally speaking we find most of our weddings aim to finish around 11pm or 11.30pm. This is the end of the reception time and when the bride and groom depart the venue. Last drinks are at that point and then guests have a 30 minute leeway to finish up their drinks and head off. Generally the last to leave is a representative you have nominated to take home all your bits and pieces e.g. wishing well contents, presents, wedding cake etc. Couples can always extend their function if they wish as our liquor license is until 1am!

how important is it to view a venue in person?

Ballara Receptions

We definitely would recommend it if you can! Our couples often say that they fell in love with the property from when they first drove in and walked around. Coming in person gives you a true sense of the venue space & layout, atmosphere & charm and just whether you can see yourself saying "I Do" in the setting, taking all your photos and sitting in the ballroom looking out at the space. Photographs can unfortuantely be editted or conveniently leave out areas of a venue so by visiting you are sure you know everything and what it is likely to be like on your special day! It's also about meeting the team members who are going to be with you on this journey - both in the planning stage and helping to run it all on the big day. Feeling comfortable with them and seeing that they are knowledgeable professionals will help to remove some of that stress that can come with wedding planning! 

In saying this, we have had couples book who lived interstate or overseas - with the technology today we can do so much over email, skype, facebook etc so dont stress too much if you cant as we can still walk you around or show you a virtual tour. We also welcome having a family representative or friend to come have a walk around just for your peace of mind. 

is it best to book vendors who have worked together before?

Ballara Receptions

There are so many different wedding suppliers out there now that it's not always guarenteed that everyone has worked together before.
But it definitely can be advantageous. Suppliers that already know each other have a good rhythm and they know how they operate as individuals and can work more cohesively together. We give couples a list of companies that we deal with regularly who we know do a great job and are realiable - many of them also give our couples special offers/prices as we have recommended them! 

In saying this, any good wedding industry professional should be able to walk into a new situation and be seamless with other vendors!

are engagement parties usually at a hired venue or a house?

Ballara Receptions

Congratulations on your engagement! Now the fun of wedding planning begins! 
For the engagement party we honestly see a bit of both! It can come down to your personal preference e.g. do you like the idea of doing it at home or do you hate the idea of having to organise the food & drinks, decorations and do all the set up & clean up, or it can depend on your circumstances e.g. dont have a house big enough for the guest numbers so need to look for a venue.

In doing it at a venue, you will sometimes have to be flexible with when you host it or the type of venue, as a lot of venues are prebooked long in advance for actual weddings so you might need to consider a Friday night over a Saturday etc (which is also cheaper).  

Good luck!

what does "price per head" usually include when it comes to venues

Ballara Receptions

Ooh now this one is a hard one as it varies soooo much between venues! Traditional wedding venues that offer inclusive packages like ourselves will cover your ceremony space (if desired), food & beverages, table centrepieces, set up of all your bits and pieces (e.g. placecards, bonbonniere etc), chair covers & sashes etc. We also have a package which can cover the wedding cake, DJ, accommodation and more for couples that want a one stop shop. Alternative venues such as wineries, converted warehouses etc. can sometimes just cover the venue space itself - and you have to organise everything (from the furniture, food & beverages, decorations, suppliers and more). Firstly before you start to look at venues, have a think about what you and your partner want for the day and what kind of organisation you want to do in the lead up. Once you have that answer you can narrow down your search and start doing venue inspections. While you are at the venue be sure to get an exact break down of the package, whats included in the price per person and then any "optional extras/add ons"  (e.g. some venues dont include chair covers & sashes in the price per person or they might have a venue hire charge etc) so that you arent surprised down the track. Also be sure to check out what the minimum numbers or minimum spends are. Happy venue hunting!

should i view my venue in person before booking, even if its over 4 hour drive away?

Ballara Receptions

We would definitely recommend it if you could find a way to do it! Unfortunately photos can sometimes be hard to interpret or to get a full perspective of a place and what you are getting. Ambience and important things like meeting the wedding coordinators to ensure you feel comfortable and understand the packages and options etc is often a big factor that couples mention as a deciding factor for their venue. We have however had couples who lived interstate and even overseas so we use Skype etc to walk them around the venue and to go through all the wedding arrangements in the lead up to the big day. If you are 4 hours away maybe make a weekend out of it and have a mini getaway to the destination area - you might find you want to use other local suppliers e.g. cake, florist, check out accommodation etc. so it could be a great brainstorm activity plus a nice break for the two of you!

I always see people throwing rice at weddings, but when I've checked, most venues dont allow this?

so are you allowed or not?

Ballara Receptions

Rice was definitely the original tradition, but unfortunately it can be dangerous - firstly as a tripping hazzard but also the last thing you want is rice hitting your face/eyes and you end up with a teary eye or mascara streaks! As we are a venue that has wildlife e.g. ducks, birds etc we also find its not good for their bodies! We recommend bubbles and rose petals as fantastic alternatives (and they also tend to show up in your photos even more clearly than rice!) 

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