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All you need is love … and a great local venue

Posted: 6am 18 Jun 2020

Wedding venues across the Moreton Bay Region are helping couples whose 2020 wedding plans have been disrupted. There’s special offers and some have even used the COVID-19 shutdown to renovate.

We’ve checked in with some of the region’s most popular venues to find out what’s on offer and what they’ve been doing during the shutdown.

The Golden Ox, Margate

This popular venue, with a reputation for delicious food, first-class service and attention to the little things that make a wedding day special, has hosted a few small weddings, in line with the government’s restrictions.

But owners Nick and Virginia Tzimas can’t wait to host weddings of all sizes in the months ahead.

Nick says most couples are preparing for weddings from August onwards, trying to guess the number of guests they’ll be allowed to have.

“It’s unknown, but everyone is hoping from here it will go to 100 people, then it will depend on the square metres (of the venue) how many they’re allowed to have,” Nick explains.

He and The Golden Ox team are working on post-coronavirus packages, which will be finalised when they have a clearer idea of what the government restrictions are going to be.

“If there are no other incidents, I wouldn’t be surprised if we move to 100 people in the next 10 days,” he says. “We have to be positive,” he says.

His advice to couples is to make an appointment to come in and talk about their wedding and his team will tailor a package to suit their needs and budget.

During the shutdown, they’ve revitalised the gardens, upgraded chairs in one of the rooms and refreshed decorations.

They’re looking forward to welcoming happy couples, their families and friends.

“It’s the people, it’s making people happy and trying to do things that work for them. It’s special,” he says

For more information, visit the website or Facebook page.

Reid’s Place, Scarborough

The owners of this charming bed and breakfast, high tea and wedding venue say all the couples who had weddings booked with them have postponed, but there have been no cancellations.

During the shutdown Beth and Rob Reid have used the time to replace the verandah, and expect the work to be finished in the next month.

Beth’s also happy to report she’s had time to spruce up her much-admired gardens, so they’re looking their best for the remainder of the year.

Reid’s Place has a number of packages for couples still wanting to get married this year.

The first is the Ultimate Wedding Package which is valid until December 31, 2020 and subject to availability. It includes the garden chapel venue, celebrant, photographer, ceremony styling, wedding cake, bride’s bouquet, groom’s buttonhole, wedding night accommodation, high tea reception and more. It's priced at $9900, with the deposit waived and 5% off the total wedding package ($495).

The second is the Elope with Us Package, which includes the garden chapel venue and celebrant. It can be tailored to suit the couple’s needs with photography and venue styling optional extras. Get in touch with Beth to discuss your needs and she will tailor a package for you.

They’ve also partnered with Waters Edge to create a midweek Scarborough Wedding Package for $3,750, which is valid until December 31, 2020 and subject to venue availability. It includes a morning wedding ceremony at Reid’s Place and lunch reception at Waters Edge for up to 50 people and is packed with inclusions.

And they’ve teamed up with Redcliffe Leagues Club to create the Peninsula Passion Wedding Ceremony and Reception Package. It can be booked any time, including weekends, and offers a five-hour evening reception. It’s valid until December 31, 2020 and costs $99 per person (based on a minimum of 50 guests), and is packed with inclusions.

“I just love weddings, no two are the same and they’re always happy,” Beth says.

For more information on packages and optional extras, visit the website or Facebook page.

Ocean View Estates Winery and Vineyard

The shutdown period has given the Honnef family time to create a new venue for couples wanting to truly enjoy the serene countryside surrounding this picturesque winery and vineyard.

They’ve built a covered pavilion, by the lake, adjacent to the gazebo.

Owner Kate Honnef says it has a cathedral-style ceiling that covers the entire seating area – keeping guests in the shade and out of the rain. It also means the position of the sun will no longer cause problems for photographers.

Kate says it’s a stunning addition to Ocean View Estates Winery and Vineyard, which still provides sought-after views of the countryside.

“It was always on our minds that we wanted to do it, but we could never find a gap in weddings. As soon as we realised there was going to be a significant gap, we got into it,” she says.

It will not only be used for weddings - could be used for summer evening canapes or anything else - and can cater for more than 100 people (standing).

Couples who had wedding bookings have postponed until after the end of July, when restrictions are expected to ease further and others have rescheduled for 2021 in the hope they may be able to invite guests from interstate and overseas.

Kate Honnef says they’ve been happy to help couples who’ve been forced to find alternative venues and look forward to hosting their weddings later this year or in 2021.

Ocean View Estates Winery and Vineyard isn’t offering specials for the remainder of this year, but will offer them for new bookings in January and February.

For more information, visit the website or Facebook page.

North Lakes Hotel

Set beside Lake Eden, the North Lakes Hotel is the ultimate wedding venue and perfect for couples looking to celebrate their wedding by the water’s edge, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The venue has nine modern function spaces, most with spectacular lake views, which can be configured to suit any size or style of wedding, and are just waiting to be transformed into your dream ceremony and reception with stunning decor.

With 4.5-star hotel rooms for guest and bridal party accommodation and ample parking onsite, the North Lakes Hotel is a one-stop wedding destination.

There are a number of wedding packages and menus to choose from and the functions team is well-equipped to assist you every step of the way to plan and prepare a beautiful day specially-tailored to you.

For more information, visit the website or Facebook page.

Brockhurst Farm

Brockhurst Farm is set on 22 acres of rolling hills at Ocean View, perched high on a mountain with spectacular mountain and rural views and Brisbane city in the distance.

Owner Debbie Baker says she and husband Murray completed much of their maintenance in January and February, ahead of the wedding season which usually starts in April.

The majority of couples have rescheduled their weddings, with only a handful of cancellations due to couples losing their jobs and being unable to afford a wedding at the moment.

These have been replaced by new bookings from couples whose venues had to cancel their weddings.

“It’s not been a complete wipe-out for this year. People are still wanting to get married next year,” Debbie says. “We’re grateful for that.”

She’s optimistic about the coming year and jokes that smaller ceremonies are a good way to cut down the guest list.

Brockhurst Farm is offering specials for new bookings this year and early next year.

For couples wanting to tie the knot this year, there’s a package price of $6500 (normally $7500) for new bookings, subject to availability. New bookings for weddings in January or February 2021, will be eligible for a package priced at $6800. It includes hire of the farm venue for three days and two nights, check-in after noon on day one, check out by noon on day three, two night’s accommodation for up to 19 people, wedding ceremony area, use of an Australian-style timber barn for the reception and much more.

For more information, visit the website or Facebook page.

Photo credit: Vivid_Photography

Tips from the expert …

Moreton Bay Hinterland Weddings’ Liz Wilson says many couples have postponed their nuptials to 2021, some have eloped and others are still hoping to tie the knot this year.

The experienced photographer works with others in the wedding industry in the region’s hinterland area, helping each other and offering couples local knowledge of a truly special location.

Liz says she has weddings booked for July and September and even did an elopement in early June. It was with restricted numbers, so only the couple’s parents, close family, celebrant and photographer attended, but it was magical.

“It was with the people they loved the most. I love small weddings, they bring back the meaning of what a wedding is all about,” Liz explains.

But for those who want a big wedding, a celebration with all their family and friends, it’s worth waiting until they can do it the way they want, so there’s no regrets.

“You don’t have to have a tiny wedding if you don’t want to. You can still get married in six months’ time. And if you don’t want a big wedding, the pandemic is an easy out,” she says laughing.

Her advice is to choose reputable vendors who will work with you to create the wedding day of your dreams, and where possible support a local business.

Want to know more about weddings in the Moreton Bay Region, head to visitmoretonbayregion.com.au

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