Recently I attended a launch, or rather a re-launch, of a riverside venue. I was looking forward to seeing what would be unveiled as I had been there several years ago for a cocktail-style party and clearly remembered the unique entry way, beautiful Venetian décor, and unbeatable river views. The arancini balls were out of this world, the wine was one I had previously tasted at a NZ vineyard, and the staff were pleasant and knowledgable.

Upon entering the venue however I was a little surprised as the room had been stripped of its past décor, leaving a clean white ceiling and a couple of pieces of non-offensive artwork. Granted it still had incredible views, but it did make me question if the owners were trying to appeal to a broader market or target a different audience. I couldn’t quite get to the bottom of it, but it did make me ponder the pros and cons of  blank canvas wedding venues as opposed to a pre-styled space that already held character and charm.

Blank Canvas Wedding Venues

Pros: With a skeleton in place, you can transform the blank canvas into whatever you dream it to be. Creative types can run wild and either DIY or hire a stylist to bring their vision to reality. The added bonus is a one-off look which isn’t replicated by the next couple using the same room or venue.

Cons: Transforming a space usually costs a decent chunk of your budget. Whether you’re needing to start from scratch and hire in furniture (and the rest!) or simply bring life to a bare room through styling, be prepared to be set back both financially and also time-wise.

Lightspace‘s converted warehouse is the perfect canvas for those after an industrial feel

Transform The Great Room at Bunyip Scenic Rim Resort to match its spectacular views

Moda Events Portside encourage you to “come in and make the space your own”

Pre-Styled Space

Pros: With the addition of a few tealight candles, the pre-styled space speaks for itself and not much else is required in terms of décor. This will certainly save you a pretty penny or two, and is particularly beneficial for those who are too-busy, too-disorganised, or not-too-fussed to invest hours into planning.

Cons: If the location, menu, and facilities are great, but the style of the room is not to your liking, then you may need to keep looking to find a suitable fit. Also, you’ll need to be prepared to sacrifice customised styling and surrounds for potential time and financial savings.

Customs House needs only some fresh white linen to maintain its elegant heritage feel

Sirromet‘s Barrel Hall exudes warmth with just a simple tablescape required

1889 Enoteca‘s private dining room within the basement cellar is Roman-inspired enough!

Ultimately, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you do or don’t want from your reception location. This will assist you greatly in deciding whether a blank canvas venue or a pre-styled space will be suitable for you. Happy hunting!

Images supplied by Vellum Studios