SOMETHING OLD AND SOMETHING NEW
A stylish and elegant hotel can provide the perfect backdrop for your special day, fusing together an abundance of class, years of history and a welcome touch of luxury. Hotels remain an enduring choice for life’s celebrations – being diverse yet classic venues that offer an immense array of services and scenery all in the one location. To discuss the advantages of hosting a wedding at a charmingly renovated hotel, Jess Rigby chats with Cindy Chen, sales manager at The Melbourne Hotel. Together, the pair unpack the timeless versatility of a hotel venue, including the possibility of a glittering rooftop ceremony, a beautiful ballroom reception, and the convenience of getting ready and staying all in one place.
AN AESTHETIC AFFAIR
Whether you are after a grandiose, large-scale wedding or a small, discrete affair, the flexible nature of a hotel make it an ideal space – ready to adapt and be styled to suit your vision. Established in 1897 in the vibrant heart of the CBD, the heritage listed Melbourne Hotel combines old-world charm with contemporary, modern-day architecture. Chen explains that the hotel “belongs to an architectural era of ‘Federation Free’ classical style”. This architectural style emerged in the late nineteenth century with architects who sought to design honestly with traditional materials but with a new freedom from the dogmas of the past. The style also usually features charming Art Nouveau touches, creating a sensual, glamourous atmosphere that is ideal for weddings and other functions.
At The Melbourne Hotel, the ‘Federation Free’ style combines with a monumental, sleek, contemporary extension that adds style and intrigue to the Perth skyline. The eye-catching, Post-Modern exterior reflects the magnificently renovated interior which invites you to imagine yourself transported to a glamourous intemporal space. Having been completely refurbished, inside and out, the unique venue combines old-world charm with contemporary décor and architecture in the magnificently aesthetic space that contains no less than twenty-two refurbished rooms and fifty-one brand new ones.
SPOILT FOR CHOICE
When selecting a venue for your nuptials, versatility, and a variety of spaces within the one venue is often of top priority. Allowing enough space for photo opportunities, ceremony and reception spaces, this is where the vast size and scope of a hotel come in handy. The multiple venues housed inside The Melbourne Hotel include the awe-inspiring Karingal Ballroom and the Aurora Rooftop Bar, which boasts breathtaking cityscape views. And, down on the ground floor, sits the garden venue, where “the décor and set up is predominantly taken care of by an event stylist,” explains Chen. “Depending on your requirements and [those of the] attendees of your wedding reception, The Melbourne Hotel has a venue that will suit your needs.” The rooms also share a circulation ‘street’ space that is woven through and around the heritage building and its three-level extension.
The hotel itself an aesthetic wonder, with the contemporary extension beautifully outlining the original building, but the venue also allows for enchanting photo opportunities in the surrounding areas. Kings Street, His Majesty’s Theatre and Kings Park Botanical Gardens are all within a short walking distance from the hotel, which means that your photographer can choose from beautiful photo opportunities in the city, in green garden spaces or even by the water. These settings are in addition to the rooftop photo opportunities at the magnificent bar which is not only a great choice for photos and atmosphere but also distils its own gin. The perfect interlude for your guests in between the ceremony and reception.
SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR THE HAPPY COUPLE
The importance of catering to the needs of the couple is not overlooked by the team at hotel either, who understand that the couple needs to relax and savour every moment of their wedding day. That includes special accommodation for the bridal party and the couple which is, of course, available in the hotel. “[We] offer a discounted rate to the wedding couple and attendees of their wedding reception. Very often, accommodation is included for the wedding couple if they have selected a wedding package with the hotel,” Chen explains.
With a personal interest in weddings, and ample years of experience under her belt, the experience of bringing someone’s dream day to life is always a gratifying one for Chen. “It is highly rewarding as we become a part of a life-long journey with the wedding couple,” she flags. Chen and her team are proud to offer a one-stop venue, from ceremony to reception and accommodation and they are always excited to see a loving couple’s magical day unfold in the stunning venue that seamlessly takes care of the entire occasion. Many hotels also offer pre-wedding assistance where the set-up is predominantly taken care of by a highly professional team, ensuring the process is as seamless as possible for the newlyweds.
Culture and cultural sensitivity too are important to The Melbourne Hotel, with Chen noting that the [restaurant’s] menus are usually customisable to ensure the wedding reception reflects the cultural background of the wedding couple. This of course means that the menu will be carefully designed to include favourite dishes, if not extravagant ones, available from the extended food and beverage service. The capable chefs and restaurant staff work hard to ensure a marvellous dining experience and they cater to all dietary requirements and desires.
LEAVE YOUR MARK
A hotel allows for ample creativity when it comes to the location of your ceremony too, with a variety of different locations worthy of hosting your all-important vows – and one particularly stands out for Chen for its creativity. “A wedding that used the rooftop venue as both the ceremony and reception venue had it styled creatively and beautifully, and provided the venue with a better idea on how to style the space.”
A hotel wedding can be a perfect catalyst for the inspiration that your wedding day needs. A hotel is an escape from the everyday – and as a venue, it continues to provide a magical atmosphere where the desires of the happy couple and their guests are met with ease, all the while providing idyllic scenery for everlasting memories.
Photo by: Kevin McGinn Photographer