Read through and sign your Event Agreement Contract (you should have received an email requesting an electronic signature).
Actually read your Event Agreement (yep, we know majority of you skipped that part...). There's actually a heap of handy info in there that we've taken hours upon hours to prepare for your benefit. It will save both us time emailing backwards and forwards if you're equipped with all the info going forward.
Make your deposit via bank transfer (bank details on your invoice).
Mark your other payment due dates in your calendar so you don't miss them and we don't have to chase you up.
Book in your other major vendors - start with Photographer, and Celebrant and work your way down the list from there (our preferred supplier list is below).
Create your Planning Pod account - you should have received an email invitation to set up your account. Familiarise yourself with the system, and have a browse through the tools so you know what's available to you. This software will become your best friend throughout your wedding planning!
Solidify your attendee list in Planning Pod.
Send out invitations about 6 months prior to your date.
Add any dietary requirements to your Attendee List - click 'Add Meal' and type in the requirement (e.g Vegan, Child) and assign this to the guest (next to their name, click the drop down arrow under 'Attending' and select the meal).
Finalise your floor plan in the Floor Plan tool in Planning Pod.
Complete your Venue Brief (due 2 months prior) via the link sent to you in your confirmation email.
WHO ARE YOUR PREFERRED SUPPLIERS?
Heart and Colour
Celebrant Lady Love - Annie Molenaar
Ceremonies by the Bay - Fiona Eady
Just Hitched by Jacinta
Big Love Weddings
Cakes by Simone
Petal & Peach
Stationary & Signs
Scout & Sonny
Wedding Cars/Guest Transport
Roaring Twenties Vintage Car Hire
Tic Tac Tours
In the Booth
Light up Letters
why use your preferred suppliers?
Our list of preferred suppliers have been tried and tested... and loved! They are all vendors that have worked with us before, they know our venue, and we work really well together. That's a really important point to remember - because if we know and love your vendors, your day will come together so much easier! The vendors know what to expect with our venue, know the rules and timeframes we work within, and know us. We highly recommend choosing your vendors from our list to ensure your day is stress free and simple to organise.
how do i use planning pod?
You will receive an email from Planning Pod with an ‘Invitation to Collaborate’. The link in this email will allow you to set up your account. Once you have set up your account and logged in, you’ll be taken to the home page. Click the three lines at the top left hand corner and select ‘Events’. You will find your wedding listed here. Just click on it to enter the event dashboard.
Click on the titles in your Event to enter the tool.
Attendee List (required) You can add in your guests manually by clicking the ‘Add New Attendee' button or import your existing list by clicking ‘Import/Export’, and ‘From a .CSV File’ (you can export most documents like excel spreadsheets etc into a .CSV file). You can also click the ‘Group Attendees’ button to group your guests into different families or groups, so any one person in that group can RSVP for all guests in that group (useful for if you have child guests, so the parents can RSVP for them). You will see your attendees at the bottom of the page, and here you can add a plus one, enter their address, phone or email, notes, select if they are attending or not, as well as updating their meal choice (this will be useful for any dietary requirements).
Budget (optional) In this tool, you can add categories such as Venue, Florist, Musician, Photographer etc, and track your estimated expenses versus your actual expenses. You can also enter in payments made to see your progress and amounts still due.
Event Webpage (optional) You can create your own webpage to share with your guests, and it will also collect RSVP’s to add into your Attendee List. You can edit the URL to include your names by clicking the pencil button next to the URL at the top of the page. The webpage will remain offline until you slide the bar across to ‘Online’ at the top of the page. You can customise texts, add new panels, photos and more.
Files (optional) This is a good place to store any files such as PDF’s related to your wedding.
Floorplans (required) This super handy tool will allow you to lay out your seating plan with our templates. If you click 'Import/Export' at the top of the page, you can select ‘Import Template as New Floorplan’, which will then bring up the floor plan options. We have included different options for 3 rows as well as 4 rows for larger guest numbers. Just select the nearest guest number, then click on the template to enter the floorpan. Uncheck the ‘Show Chair Types/Table Dimensions’ checkbox to declutter the plan. If you click on a table, you will see the menu appear on the left hand side. Select ‘Edit’, and all you will need to change is the amount of chairs at the bottom (only if you have less than 8 guests per table, or an uneven table). Exit this screen to take you back to the floor plan. On the left hand side you will see a menu tab called ‘Attendees’. Your guests will appear under the Attendees tab once you have entered them in in the Attendee List (instructions above). You can click on the guest and drag them onto their seat. If you change your ‘Current View’ at the top of the page to ‘Attendee View’, you will be able to view the full guest name. Please don’t change the layout of the floorpan unless you need to remove a bridal table or table. We will edit the floorplan as we see fit if the original template is changed.
Forms Builder (required) This is the section you will complete your Venue Brief (due 2 months prior to your wedding date). You can enter into the form and fill in any info you already have to make the process a little smoother. The form will automatically save, so you can come back to it whenever you feel the need.
Itinerary (required) We have a sample wedding day timeline that you can play around with here - you will find one named ‘Rainforest Gardens Essential Wedding Timeline’ and another named ‘Rainforest Gardens Detailed Wedding Timeline’. The Essential timeline is the minimum required. If you have the Wedding Coordinator package, we will talk through your wedding timeline and edit this for you. There are various categories on the left hand side so you can filter the itinerary to see just those items, or you can also filter by vendor. Click ‘Add Item’ if you need to add on another item that isn’t already included in the sample itinerary.
Vision Board (optional) Think of this as your personal Pinterest board. Our florist will have access to this as well, so you can add in any inspiration photos, colour schemes or ideas here. You can also share the URL at the top of the page with friends/family or other vendors.
what are the guest table measurements?
2.4m long x 1m wide Each table seats 4 guests either side comfortably, or 8 guests per table.
WHAT DOES MY MC NEED TO DO ON THE DAY?
Direct guests to the Pavilion
Make a general announcement, telling guests where the bathrooms and smokers area is located.
Introduce the bridal party
Liase with the manager throughout the night with timings
DON'T start speeches without asking permission from manager first
Encourage guests to order their taxi's/ubers prior to venue close time as there can be a delay
can I use confetti or rose petals?
Did you read your Event Agreement?! Rose petals or dried leaves are permitted - no confetti please.
do you have sample timelines?
Login to Planning Pod and navigate to the Itinerary tool - you'll be able to import sample timelines from there.
are there any rules i have to stick to with my timeline?
Venue closes at 10pm Monday-Saturday and 9pm Sunday - no exceptions and we can't extend this time due to our council permit.
Last drinks are always 30 minutes prior to curfew time.
Cake cutting must always be prior to speeches, unless you don't require the Chef to cut your cake (e.g. you have cupcakes instead)
We have a 7 hour service time, so if you are finishing the night at 10pm, the earliest you can start is 3pm. This still applies for first look photos as well.
WHAT DATE SHOULD I LIST MY RSVP AS ON MY INVITES?
1 month prior, as we require final numbers 2 weeks prior.
when do i contact the florist?
About 6 months prior is sufficient - just in case you change your mind/style in the meantime. Send her some pictures, styles, ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org to give her an idea of what you are after.
how big is the pavilion?
10m x 15m. There are floor plan templates in Planning Pod to assist with your floor plan.
What's the deal with drinks/BYO?
You drop the drinks to us at your weekday rehearsal (the week of your wedding), we'll get them chilled for you, and then we take care of the rest! Ice, glassware & bar staff are already included in the packages. Please note, BYO does not mean that your guests can bring their own alcohol on the day. The only alcohol permitted on site is that which is served by our staff.
DO YOU CATER FOR DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?
Yes! You'll fill out an online venue brief 2 months prior and let us know who can't eat what, and our caterer will choose a suitable alternative for those guests. You don't have to worry about making your menu selection based on them, as we'll take care of them no matter your selection.
can we bring in our own caterer?
We have our own exclusive caterers, so we don't allow external catering. This also includes Mum making platters and bringing them along.
how do we know how much alcohol to buy?
Head to the Dan Murphy's website - they've got a handy calculator to help you.
do we need to provide water?
We provide a water station at the Amphitheatre and Pavilion, and carafes on the tables for sit down receptions. Some people like to provide bottled water for us to put on the bar for guests to help themselves towards the end of the night.
do bar staff do table service for our sit down reception?
Yes! We provide both table and bar service for sit down receptions.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS?
For your ceremony: the ceremony is relocated to the chapel, so the bride and groom will stand underneath our beautiful chandelier, and your guests are sheltered by the sail area. For the reception: our Pavilion is undercover, and the sides are fitted with blinds to keep out 95% of rain.
does it get cold in winter?
Is the sky blue? If you feel the cold in winter, bring a jumper!
do you provide gas heaters?
All of our packages from 2018 onwards include the use of our gas heaters in winter to keep you cosy.
How many people does the reception space seat?
Go for 100 - that's a comfortable, not-too-squishy amount, although we can seat up to 120 guests. If you've got more guests, our cocktail package caters for up to 150 guests.
Min & max guest numbers
Sit down packages: Minimum 60, Maximum 120 Cocktail package: Minimum 60, Maximum 150 OR Mid-week (Sun-Thurs): Sit down packages: Minimum 40
What happens if at the time of booking I think there will be 90 guests, but once RSVP's come back, there's only 70?
We'll just adjust your invoice accordingly. Just keep in mind that if there was a minimum guest requirement for your date (e.g. 60 guests on a Saturday, that minimum will remain and you would have to pay for the 60 guests, even if you only have 50 guests attending.
Can guests attend the ceremony but not the reception?
Unfortunately not, sorry!
Parking & Accessibility
Is there parking on site?
Yep! There's a car park in the lower area of the venue which holds roughly 50 cars (if people can park in a straight line... harder than you might think!). It might be nice to include a note on your invitations about the parking area, and let your guests know there is a small, enjoyable walk through the gardens to the ceremony area (and also that exercise is good for you).
Is the venue wheelchair accessible?
If you have any guests in wheelchairs, we suggest using the drop off area at the top of the cul-de-sac, or pre-arranging a disabled parking spot for your guest/s. The ceremony area is wheelchair accessible via two pathways - one grass, and one concreted. Please take into consideration that we are situated on a mountain (go figure!), so the pathways are not flat and could be referred to as 'wheelchair 4WD'ing' in some areas.
do you have disability parking?
We reserve some parking spots closer to the ceremony area for any guests with disabilities.
who can park inside the venue?
There is NO parking inside the venue, apart from the designated car park area. The bridal car can drive up the driveway, but the car must be moved prior to or directly following the ceremony to allow access to our caterers and other suppliers.
What time should we start the ceremony?
We judge timings by the sun. For example, if your wedding is in late November, chances are it will be fairly hot and you don't want your guests sitting in the sun melting away, right? So for those warmer months, we suggest a 3.30pm or later start, but if you're looking at the chillier months, you're welcome to start at 3pm. Put '3pm for a 3.30pm start' (gates open 45 minutes prior to your ceremony start time) on your invites so your Aunty Helen doesn't show up when the ceremony finishes.
What time should we start the reception?
Again - take your cue from the sun! Do you feel strange sitting down to eat dinner when it's still light outside? We recommend serving your main meal when it's dark outside (about 30 minutes after actual sunset time).
do we get help with our timeline? we don't even know where to start?!
We will send through a timeline template when it's getting close to your wedding date. You can alter it if you like, but it gives a good reference point for you. If you've selected the Wedding Coordinator Package, we'll make suggestions on your timeline for you, and sit down and talk you through it.
when do we do our cake cutting?
Cake cutting happens prior to your speeches, as you'll cut the cake, then we take it away for the Chef to cut while your speeches are happening. Or, if you want to get it out of the way, you can do your cake cutting after the bridal party entry.
what's your curfew?
10pm Monday-Saturday and 9pm on Sunday's.
can we extend the curfew?
No, sorry - those are the rules. And no, you can't pay more to extend the curfew either - it's part of our council permit.
what time does the carpark open?
45 minutes prior to your ceremony start time.
Why can't we do speeches between entreé and main?
The Chef will begin preparations for the main meal prior to entreé being served, and if speeches run over time (which they generally will), this pushes back main meal service and results in the food not being of the quality that we pride ourselves on. For example, if a steak is cooked to perfection, but then has to sit in the kitchen for an additional 10 minutes, it will overcook and won't be served at a beautiful temperature, hence affecting the taste and guests satisfaction.
why can't we do speeches during food service for our cocktail reception?
The Chef times the preparation of food to ensure service flows smoothly throughout the night, ensuring it's not too quick and not too slow. If speeches run over time (which they generally do), it may result in a hot canapé sitting in the kitchen, turning cold. We pride ourselves on beautiful food, and only want to serve food that it's of the highest quality. Guests feel rude eating whilst speeches are happening, so even if we did continue to serve during speeches, it's likely that a lot of food will go to waste, and guests don't fill up as much as we'd love them to.
Noise, Music & Microphones
Do you have any rules about noise or music?
Yes! We don't make them, but here they are: no amplified bands of more than 2 members, no drum kits, and noise can't exceed the background noise by more than 10db. Essentially, we aren't a nightclub - sorry! Music stops 30 minutes prior to the curfew time to give your guests a heads up to start saying their goodbyes.
Can i have a dj?
You sure can!
can i just play my music from an ipad?
Yep! You can plug in to our sound system via our AUX cord. For the reception, the device will be locked in our soundbox to protect our whizz-bang equipment.
Do you have a microphone?
Yes, we have a wireless microphone at the Amphitheatre and Pavilion - your celebrant is welcome to use it, and you're also welcome to use it for speeches.
How does the florist credit work in your packages?
It goes towards your total florist bill. You'll send an email to our florist with any photos/inspiration/colours/flowers/words/ideas, and she'll let you know what she can do within the package. Easy! Check out @rainforestgardensflorist on Instagram for some inspo.
can i use an external florist?
No sorry, we have an amazing in house florist and we even include a credit towards your floral styling in your packages. She's super reasonably priced, pretty incredible, and you'll find it's actually more cost effective to order all of your flowers through her, rather than using 2 different florists.
can i just get my flowers from the flower market?
Did you know that the flower market actually sells flowers to you at a RETAIL cost, and our florist gets her flowers at a WHOLESALE cost? Yep... so it's actually cheaper for you to buy your flowers through her!
do we pay the florist directly or is it just added to our bill?
It's added to your bill so you have less to worry about!
Are there any other sneaky costs we should know about?
We lay it all on the table so you know what you're paying, and what you're getting for it. The only extra costs are your drinks (which you organise), and a refundable security bond. No additional ceremony or venue hire costs, no corkage, no other boring, annoying add-on costs. Simple!
Do you charge a surcharge on Sunday's?
Yes. We have to pay our staff accordingly on Sunday's & public holidays, so there is a small fee to cover these staffing costs. If you're concerned, shoot us an email.
how much are your packages?
Head to the packages tab above and download our packages - the pricing is all detailed in there for you.
is there a price difference for a mid week wedding?
We keep our prices the same throughout the week, because we give you exactly the same level of service, no matter what day it is. The only difference for mid week packages, is that our minimum guest number is 40 - so it's perfect for the more intimate celebrations.
Do you allow pets?
We love animals! We have some of our own here on the property and completely understand that you'd like yours to be a part of your day. We just ask that; A) we know about it in advance, B) your pet is well behaved, C) you pick up any droppings and D) they stay for the ceremony only and remain in the ceremony area for that duration.
do we get to take photos with the alpacas?
Yes! It's all part of the experience!
Wedding Coordinator Package
If I don't book the Wedding Coordinator Package, do I have to organise someone to set my decorations/table settings
Yes. If you don't want to put that burden on someone, then the Wedding Coordinator Package is the way to go. We're super easy to work with and the Wedding Coordinator Package offers a whole lot more than just setting your tables; you get a personalised wedding checklist, a couple of meetings to vent/organise/chat, a wedding day run sheet so you know what time your wedding starts, and your Wedding Coordinator is your go to person for the whole day - they'll put buttonholes on, direct guests, calm your nerves before you walk down the aisle, make sure the groom looks spiffy, hit play on your ceremony music and just be an all round cool cucumber.
what does the wedding coordinator do?
You'll have 2 meetings prior to the day to go through everything from menu selection, itinerary, venue brief and ask as many questions as you want. We're there to be your handbook for everything wedding related.
On the day, we set up your decorations/flowers/place cards/favours and make it all look pretty. We're there keep you calm, make sure you've got a drink in hand, and tag along for your photo session to hold your veil/hand/drink. We'll make sure everything runs to schedule, and coordinate your MC and other suppliers.
what should i put on my invites?
Our address: 196 Mount View Road, Mount Cotton, QLD 4165 Wedding time: 3pm arrival for a 3.30pm ceremony start time Parking: There is a carpark on site - entry through Gate B Tips: Wear flat shoes(!) as there is a short walk to the ceremony area. If you require disabled parking please let us know prior.
what does my MC need to announce?
Generally speaking: the smoking area, bathroom location and emergency exit (the top of the culdesac). We also suggest announcing that guests pre-book their taxi's, or order ahead from 9pm.
A picturesque wonderland nestled amongst the trees, with views sweeping the coastline Experience exceptional service in a laid back and intimate setting