The Pumping Station Melbourne & blank canvas weddings
DIY Weddings have been very popular in recent years as people break from tradition and create events that reflect their own style. Barns, warehouses, airport hangers and other blank canvases are on the rise. But what are the drawbacks of this type of wedding venue and how do you avoid them? I recently went to visit Rosemarie and Annie of White Card Events, at The Pumping Station in Spottswood and discovered just how you can have a blank canvas wedding without the headache.
Rosemarie, with 17 years catering experience, has managed events as large as cocktails for 1000 people and worked with client giants Nikon, Porsche, Mercedes, IBM, Camp Quality. Her right hand woman, the recently married Annie, went to the Pumping Station for a site visit and loved it so much she asked Rosemarie for a job. With a background in catering, sales and events, Rosemarie describes Annie simply as, “AMAZING!”
Overlooking Melbourne’s skyline with sweeping views of the West Gate Bridge and the Yarra River, The Pumping Station at Scienceworks is the perfect blank canvas wedding venue with so many perks! Not only is there a grand entrance with the 19th century French façade and imposing towers, but you can arrive by boat if you fancy. Once inside the large station hall, the exposed brick walls give an industrial feel, and houses original boilers and engines from the 1900′s providing a striking setting. As a photographer I was blown away by the photo opportunities around every corner. You could have your ceremony, photos and reception all in the one place making for a really chilled day. And now for the extra perks…you can even treat your guests to a show at the planetarium or private visit to Scienceworks.
So how do you have a blank canvas wedding without tearing your hair out? First of all you need to have a few logistical things locked down. When do you want to get married? How many guests do you expect? What is your style? (*For more read “Finding your perfect wedding venue” here*) Once you have these things squared away and you start looking at venues, then you need to start asking loads of questions. LOADS!
1. Ask What The Venue Provides
Often a blank canvas is exactly that, a blank canvas. You will need to bring everything in, right down to electricity and toilets sometimes, so start asking – and remember there are no stupid questions. Better to know 6 months before the wedding that there are no toilets on site than half an hour before the ceremony. What is available can vary wildly from venue to venue so don’t assume if one place offers services another will too.
A venue like the Pumping Station is a really nice meeting of a blank canvas and convenience. While the rooms are ready for you to style the way you wish, they can provide everything else for you. Catering, drinks, set up, standard linens, candelabras as centre pieces, AV set up, security, parking and a wedding coordinator (oh and toilets!!). You could literally walk in with your seating plan, place cards and have a wedding OR you can style it to your hearts content, and have a bespoke wedding without the headache. They can recommend preferred suppliers but of course will work with your wedding vendors directly to save you the hassle.
2. Plan Plan Plan Plan Plan!
Now that you know the what, you need to start organising the how. Make sure you plan out all of the details you want to go into your bespoke wedding day. Also how you would like the day to run. Rosemarie tells me one of the more frequent mistakes couples make in planning is how the day will flow and the time involved for each part. You need to think about the time involved to move people between various locations, how long you will require for photographs, how long will Dad’s speech go for. Probably the biggest mistake brides make is thinking that they can do all of the DIY and the setting up themselves. Sometimes to avoid hair pulling scenarios it is just best to head straight to point number 3.
3. Enlist the help of family and friends
or better yet…
4. Enlist the help of professionals
Wedding planners and stylists will make sure all of your desires are fulfilled, without you having to sit up until 3am the night before your wedding folding place cards. Family and friends can also fill this void, but you are not guaranteed the attention to detail (is your 14 year old brother really the best candidate for setting up table decorations?) and you will still need to delegate the tasks. Companies such as The Style Co
. live for venues like the Pumping station and will transform any space into the perfect event right down to the smallest cocktail decoration.