How to Host a Relaxed Wedding in Melbourne

Congrats on getting engaged! Now, the fun can begin… there’s a venue to choose, menu tastings to attend and dresses to try on, and don’t forget the venue styling, choosing the band, organising the flowers, booking the ceremony location, the cake, the rings, the celebrant… The list of things to organise can escalate pretty quickly and you’ll hear yourself or your partner scream into the night –
“I just want to have a relaxed wedding!”. 
Well, it’s time to take a deep breath and find out how to plan a relaxed wedding in Melbourne. (NB. these same tips can be applied to pretty much any city you like). 
The trick to planning a relaxed wedding is knowing what the key items are you need to focus your efforts on and where you can take easy short cuts in the lead up and on the day itself. With these helpful tips your wedding will be so chilled that penguins will just walk right in to your venue and be at home next to the DJ.
Let’s get started…

1. Finding the right venue for your relaxed wedding in Melbourne

Choosing your wedding venue is almost always the number one item on your wedding planning list, so it’s the best place to kick off… 
* Choose a venue with a relaxed, fun ambience
We recommend you choose a venue that has an existing relaxed atmosphere. Forget all the razzle dazzle some wedding venues offer or trying to create a “relaxed vibe” where there is no vibe at all, look instead for the type of venue you would enjoy an afternoon or long lunch with friends.

Restaurants, bars and pubs offer this ambience and many of these types of establishments are available for exclusive hire. Having a wedding in your favourite pub or restaurant – what a brilliant idea!
It’s also worth noting that these types of establishments are in the business of offering great hospitality to their patrons, so you can be confident that you and your wedding guests will be well looked after. 
* Choose a venue that doesn’t require much styling or decor
There’s an epidemic in our society at the moment and that is restaurants, bars and pubs that have magazine-worthy interior designs. By choosing a hip establishment as your wedding venue you’re almost certainly not going to have to bring in any additional furniture, styling or décor to make the place look great. Less suppliers and design decisions to be made equals a far more relaxed couple!

Our top picks for awesome interior designed venues in Melbourne include Pilgrim Bar with its unique Australian wooden design, The General Assembly with its edgy Melbourne laneway meets warehouse glam or Bang Bang RC with its fresh interiors and outdoor terrace.  

Relaxed Wedding Venues Melbourne
Set the scene by choosing a relaxed venue and location for your wedding

2. Choose a convenient location

Once you know the style of venue that you’re after consider the location carefully. You’ll want to find somewhere that is not only convenient for your guests, but is also close to suitable photography locations and your ceremony. By having everything close together (hotels, transport, parking, photography locations, ceremony, reception) everyone involved will be more relaxed. Here are our tips if you’re looking for a venue in Melbourne…
* Host your event by the Yarra River – with park or garden ceremony options nearby
To enhance the relaxed atmosphere, we recommend you choose a venue that is located by the water. There are ample venues in Melbourne that line the Yarra River and it’s a great place for your guests to chill out while you take advantage of the surrounding area for your wedding photos. There are ample parks and gardens lining the river that make perfect spots for your ceremony too.
Our top pick in Melbourne includes Riverland Bar or Pilgrim Bar (both within easy walking - or boat ride of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne).  Or, if you’re looking to get hitched somewhere unique like Polly Woodside, then The Boatbuilders Yard next door is an awesome relaxed venue choice for the party!
* Arrive or depart by boat, or ferry your guests from botanical gardens to your venue
Make an entrance by arriving or departing by boat! Or, if you’re venue is by the water, let your guests arrive or depart by a leisurely boat ride too! The smooth waters of the Yarra River are a guaranteed way to set the mood and get you and your guests sailing along without a stress in the world.

3. Let the menu be relaxed too

Forget having a formal plated meal with alternate service – that’s way too stuffy for a chilled, relaxed wedding. Instead consider having a cocktail style wedding with a combination of roving canapes and a few interactive food stations. 
Or, if you do prefer to have a seated meal, choose a sharing style grazing menu where guests can enjoy a long leisurely meal consisting of platters served down the table. Conversations and laughter spilling over the table and people chinking their glasses as they share a meal in your honour – ah, bellissimo! 

Relaxed Wedding Catering in Melbourne Dish up a relaxed vibe at your wedding with interactive food stations - pictured Paella and Taco stations at Boatbuilders Yard  

4. Have areas for guests to mingle and relax

Create some seating areas or nooks for guests to gather and mingle during your wedding. By giving them natural areas to chill out in and take a seat (after all it’s a long day for them too), will be appreciated by all. 

5. Look for inclusions

Don’t hassle yourself with having to source loads of different suppliers yourself. Here’s what we recommend to keeps things easy peasy… 
* Choose a venue with all-inclusive, abundant and flexible packages
Let’s face it, no one likes the idea of a “package wedding”, but being presented with fabulous packages that include everything that you need, plus some awesome added extras that you can throw in to make your wedding reception even more amazing, is pretty useful….  And when we say “useful” we really mean “relaxing” because anything that can make planning your wedding a whole lot easier by taking out the legwork and decision making is a massive bonus in our eyes. We love all-inclusive, abundant and flexible packages!  
* Use a venue with an in-house event planner so you don’t need to do it yourself
This one is an absolute must if you want to remain relaxed yourself. Choosing a venue with an in-house event planner will make the whole entire wedding planning process a breeze. These people are skilled at weddings and more importantly planning weddings within their venue, which means they will leave nothing to chance, know exactly what you need before you even ask for it and hold your hand right up to the very end of the night (not literally, but you know what we mean). 

Final note…

If you want to be as chilled as a cucumber in a G&T on your wedding day and be able to relax and enjoy the day with your closet family and friends then our advice is pretty simple… Choose a venue that is already known for their great ambience, has a peaceful riverside or park location, offers you a choice of flexible packages to tailor your ideal chill zone and has an in-house event planner to care of the details…

Not sure where to start? Here are our top venue picks in Melbourne to get you started…