Having spent more than two decades working in the wedding industry, Melbourne business owner George Ross knows a thing or two about tying the knot.
George has overseen the union of hundreds of couples, first as a wedding planner and now as co-owner of reception venue Vogue Ballroom in Melbourne’s east.
The father of three, who runs the business alongside his wife of 19 years Angela, says the key to planning the perfect indoor wedding reception is surrounding yourself with the right people.
Over the course of any given day, George and Angela will don many hats – business owner, wedding planner, professional problem solver, and even the support system for a nervous bride or groom. “We tell all our couples, there’s always a solution to any issue.” he says. “We really care. Our couples are not just a number to us.”
George explains that behind any great wedding, there is always a team of people busily, but calmly, making the whole event come together. George believes a venue manager should take ownership over everything that happens under his or her roof, and, he says this includes things like taking care of the finer details.
“As well as beautifully styling the reception, we also take the time to place things like bomboniere and place cards on the tables,” he says. “When it’s your wedding day, you don’t need any added stress.”
George’s extensive wedding experience means he definitely has some good advice for engaged couples too. Some of the important things he cites as being crucial to a seamless wedding reception, are things like having a great venue manager and having a good relationship with that person throughout the entire process.
George suggests asking your venue manager for a comprehensive list of all the services they provide for weddings. He says that this will help you to understand exactly what your venue manager will and won’t take care of for you on the day.
He also adds it’s important to ask when you will have access to the room before the wedding. “We do one function a day so our couples can have exclusive access to the venue all day,” he says.
However, aside from having exceptional assistance from the venue managers, George says there are a few other key factors which help to create a perfect wedding reception.
According to George, wedding venue staff can really influence the ambiance and vibe of a wedding. “I am passionate about service,” he says. “We hire passionate, happy people. Our waitstaff introduce themselves. They’re friendly and very accommodating. We get compliments on our service at each and every function.”
It’s a no-brainer, friendly and hospitable waitstaff equals happy guests.
One thing that brides and grooms sometimes overlook is the duration of the reception. So, what is the perfect length of time for a wedding?
“We think five to six hours is the natural length of a function. Anything longer and guests start to get tired as it’s been a long day,” George explains.
He suggests that when you’re booking a venue, make sure to ask how long you will have access to the room and what time their liquor licence extends until, as some venues might limit the duration of your wedding.
“We never kick guests out. We want people to leave on a high and categorically state that it’s the best wedding that they’ve ever been to.”
George maintains that exceptional food is a key factor in creating the perfect wedding reception. “It was really important to me to have an all-inclusive package with no hidden costs,” George says.
“So nothing is extra. Five-star food cooked fresh on the premises, amazing venue aesthetics and personal service all at an excellent rate. We even allow couples to bring their own spirits without a corkage charge to reduce costs.”
Last but not least, George’s final tip for creating the perfect indoor wedding reception is to have stellar wedding entertainment. It is no secret that professional wedding entertainers can help to make your wedding reception a seamless and enjoyable evening for both you and your guests.
George says great wedding entertainers are able to perfectly gauge the vibe and make any adjustments necessary to keep the mood elevated. “They need to be adaptable to be able to work and read the crowd,” he says. “Great wedding entertainers can fill the dance-floor during every dance bracket, and know when to mix it up.”