Meet Darcy Burch, a wedding planner from Easy Weddings. She is currently planning her own wedding and has an exciting announcement of Easy Weddings latest creation: the free COVID Tracker on their website.
Darcy Burch: Yes definitely. So as we mentioned last time, easy weddings are kind of the biggest and the best directory across Australia wide. So we thought, you know, why not create this informative hub for our couples and also our clients being our suppliers across Australia wide, from venues to celebrate to flowers to cakes, everything.
So we’ve created a very simple informative page or a tracker, as we like to call it. It’s got a fantastic visual map of Australia. So you can click on the region that you’re specifically looking for or you can actually see each state or territories kind of restriction side-by-side with relation to wedding specifically. There’s a whole bunch of frequently asked questions there, and of course, an opportunity for you to contact us directly with any kind of specifics. Just as we can imagine, you know, things are changing on a regular basis. Sometimes the updates aren’t as specific to weddings as we would hope, you know, they’re lumping of us into religious gatherings or events as such.
So if you want to know kind of the cream of the crop and what’s actually happening with our industry being weddings, you can head to www.easyweddings.com.au/covid, which is the new word of 2020. So it’s super easy and going to be updated constantly. So we’re working hard this morning to update all the fantastic changes that came about yesterday, super exciting.
As you can imagine, there’ll be even more changes after the 8th of November as well. So we really encourage all kinds of couples, suppliers, anyone and everyone who’s interested in kind of finding out what’s currently happening here in Victoria. In any state, if you want to see what’s happening over in WA, make yourself feel a little bit better, like we do here in Victoria. See how much fun they’re having on the dance floor with the DJs. It’s an opportunity to do so there, so we do hope that everyone finds it as useful as we have so far.
Pete The Celebrant: Definitely, it really is an incredible website. With the additions that you’ve made to the website for couples, it’s just incredible. As you said, it helps every state. You can go from Victoria and jump over to South Australia and see all the differences. It’s obviously a lot better being in South Australia at the moment than Victoria, for weddings, but really, you’ve got so much information up there for couples, and it really is hard to keep track of all the different changes going on. So it’s fantastic to have all of it in one spot for couples and suppliers as well, because there is a supplier section, isn’t there Darcy?
Darcy Burch: There is definitely, so obviously, the information is very similar across both parts, but there is something a little bit more specific to our supplies in terms of cars. I think that’s one that’s come up quite a lot. You know, Can I actually rent a classic car or limo to attend my wedding of 10 people? So things super specific like that, you should be able to find on our site or in the frequently asked questions area, or if not, you can always contact us, of course, and we can find out for you.
Pete The Celebrant: Well, well done to the easy weddings team. Incredible job, it’s up, please make sure you go and see that. We’ll make sure that the link is in the show notes as well, so it’s nice and easy for you to find it. It’s really just www.easyweddings.com.au/covid.
Darcy Burch: Sure well first of all, I’d say go back and watch the last episode, because it was fantastic. I am our venue and planning manager here at Easy Weddings. So I look after two of our direct to the consumer team. So basically, we have two teams as part of the wedding planning team who speak directly with our brides and grooms. We’ve created a kind of tailored service for our couples.
So, one is our venue, find the program. So we learn all about, your day, your vision, how many guests you have, the time of year and the style of wedding. We actually send you recommendations of venues that we think are going to suit your budget and your needs. So it’s a pre vetted list to help you through that researching stage, which couples do find quite overwhelming. We then help you by answering any questions you have about packages and pricing across those venues, and then organize a site inspection for you to go and have a look at them as well. So it’s very much a tailored experience for the venue component. Secondary to that, we do have wedding supply packages, which we’re very fortunate to have Pete the celebrant as a part of.
So we sell supplier packages Australia wide, so essentially we bundle together a photographer and videographer, a DJ or band, and also your celebrant which we say are the four big ticket items after the venue, and kind of the must have services for any kind of big wedding. So we do all the work there for you, similar to the venue, we pair you with like-minded supplies. They are going to fit in well with your style of wedding your location, your needs, your guest numbers, you chosen venue, anything and everything you could possibly think of.
In addition to that, you also get a dedicated wedding planner from the easy weddings team. So you’ll be allocated to one of the team members who will work with you up until the actual wedding day to help you with budgets and running sheets. We can create mood boards, give you styling tips. We can chat about invitation wording. We can point you in the direction of other amazing supplies not included in the package. So you know, cakes, flowers, cars, invitations, anything and everything. So you’ve got someone to guide you through the entire process.
Pete The Celebrant: So good, I don’t know if you mentioned it before, you’re sort of like one of the bridesmaid who’s there, just that they give the advice, I’m here to help, here’s what I know. And I think it’s incredible that you’re able to help couples with finding like minded and similar nature people that they’re after. Because it can be pretty daunting when you’re trying to find that dream team for your wedding. And there’s just so many out there, and if you’re trying to find do I connect with them or do I connect with these people more? Once you meet with a couple, you get to know them, and you can recommend, you know what you’re going to get on with this band over here. This photographer, you guys would be perfect. So that’s great that couples can use that service with easy weddings.
The New and Free COVID Tracker on Easy Weddings Website
So obviously we’re keeping a close watch, including obviously the reasons we just mentioned on our tracker of all of the other states. So it’s very exciting to kind of see how the rest of Australia has kind of opened up over the past 2 or 3 months, so that Victoria can hopefully follow suit over the next few weeks. So obviously South Australia is kind of the benchmark in conjunction with WA, Darwin, and also Tasmania.
So they kind of have set the bar, that social distancing is still in place and the square meterage kind of capacity limits, but apart from that weddings are almost normal, which is fantastic. So you know, whilst in keeping with corvid normal kind of practices and restrictions, they are able to celebrate their day, pretty much in the exact way that they had envisioned it. So that’s what we’re hopefully working towards.
Great news for obviously Queensland and New South Wales at the moment. Queensland has recently moved to the 40 guest limit on the dance floor, which is a massive step up from none. And then from there, in December, it’s actually the full guest list. So 1st December you can have your entire guest list on the dance floor. So, that’s super exciting and something that I think couples are dying for. So it’s great to have an idea and a date to work towards. Similar in New South Wales, they did up their maximum capacity for weddings to 300, still based on a one per four square meter rule, but I think that’s something that is constantly being reviewed.
I think the government are working hard up in New South Wales to, kind of work with the wedding industry and some, I guess, the allies across the industry to understand how our industry works and how we can kind of best practice weddings in the most the safest way possible. So, we’ve all got some wonderful ideas and, please know that we are working really hard with the Victorian Government here in Melbourne, as well I’m partnering with a lot of similar industry bodies, to kind of get the message across, on how we plan to host weddings in a safe manner moving forward.
Make Your Wedding Planning Simple
Yes so what we’re finding is that a lot of couples have had to potentially cancel or postpone international weddings or potentially a destination wedding, so they’re trying to essentially recreate what they were planning for here in Australia.
So, a good friend of mine was planning to get married at Lake Como in Italy, it was going to be absolutely amazing. I was waiting for my call up to be bridesmaid, so obviously, you know we’re kind of going through the process to help her kind of recreate what she likes here in Australia.
So realistically, you’re not going to get everything that you kind of envisioned. And I think that there needs to be a bit of an understanding of flexibility around this as well. But I guess the types of questions that you will hear from our wedding planners and venue finders is, trying to really get to the crux of what you like, or what you’re really invested in about that, say Lake Como wedding as an example. So is it the beautiful Italian food? Is it the pizza? Is it the pasta because 100% we can do that, Zonzo Estate has an amazing Italian affair.
You know, for my girlfriend, it was all about the architecture and the look and that just kind of something that you can’t get here in Australia. So, a great compromise for her is some people unaware of, there is a gorgeous venue called Site 3a, which is run by Truffleduck, which is a regional catering company down in the Geelong Bellerine Peninsula. So it’s a stunning kind of old, I don’t even know, I’m not very good with historic words and things like that but, it’s almost like the ruins of a castle or mansion. You can have Hanging Chandeliers and really recreate that kind of picturesque wedding with that amazing architecture, and something that people would say, is that wedding in Australia? It doesn’t look like it’s in Australia. But, in fact, it’s actually down in our backyard in Geelong.
So it’s kind of helping us to understand, what was the most important part of that wedding set up for you, and how can we do our best to recreate that here in Australia? Another one that we get quite often is a Hampton style wedding. So to us that’s kind of lux, it’s everything white, it’s very outdoors, similar to, I guess, realistically where it comes from is gossip girl and any of those New New York style shows where they had head off to the Hamptons for the summer. So that can easily be recreated here, it is a little bit difficult here in Melbourne just given the weather.
You do need to be flexible that in the event that, that can’t happen on the day. What’s the end or back up, and how can we do our best to recreate that in an indoor space? But our recommendation, to kind of get that Hampton’s feel, would have course be the Queensland, Byron Bay region. So obviously in the coming months, when borders re-open, that’s an opportunity to go up and have a look at different sites. But again, tell us what it is about that Hampton’s wedding. Is it just the style of the furniture? Is it the fact that everything’s green and white and clean and crisp? Is it the fact that it’s outdoors? And there’s festoon lights, and everyone’s kind of in an intimate gathering space. So tell us what it is exactly about that wedding, is it the sharing style affair? Is it the beautiful kind of glassware and crystal chandeliers and things like that? What is it that is most important to you, and we can do our best to help you recreate that here with, of course, flexibility.
The other one that I think we should probably mention is a marquee wedding. So that’s obviously something that’s really popular. There’s some fantastic companies who already offer a marquee wedding, whereby everything’s included for you. So that certainly comes at a price point. So you’ve got Blakes Feast, who run marquees within the Royal Botanical Gardens. You’ve also got the Atlantic Group who run their marquee at the Gardens House in the Royal Botanical Gardens. You’ve also got the amazing Acacia Ridge who had their marquee out in the Yarra Valley, and then obviously you have the ability to hire an exclusive estate or a private homestead or air b&b and place the marquee there of your choice.
So it is certainly on trend and something that a lot of couples are leaning towards, being that kind of outdoor wedding, so that are going to be the new norm and potentially, there might be a little bit more flexibility on an open air marquee than an indoor venue. So things to consider there is the venues that I just mentioned that already have a market structure fantastic, Crown is another opportunity there, obviously in the heart of Melbourne CBD and everything’s already there for you.
I guess the thing to consider that we often chat to couples about is, even if you have a friend of a friend whos partner has a farm, and you’re able to use that space complementary, which is fantastic. In terms of the logistics behind hiring a marquee and having that structure set up, placing flooring in the marquee because obviously, depending on the weather in the lead up to the day, it could be for quite dry or even quite wet. So flooring is something that most couples need to consider.
Things that you don’t even come to front of mind. So, the actual tables, the chairs, the linen, the napkins, the forks, the knives, the spoons, the glassware. So all of that, realistically you’re starting from scratch, you’ve found a piece of land that you want to get married on and now you’ve got to bring everything to that. Let’s say the, homestead is a 15-20 minute walk. You’re going to need to bring portable toilets. Once it’s dark, have you actually organized for outdoor lighting to guide the way to those toilets? Has the caterer thought about a cool room? What if it’s too hot, do we have air conditioning? What if it’s too cold, do we have a fire or heating? Just things like that, I guess we’re here to help you talk through all of those logistics and point you in the best direction, based on your requirements and of course, your budget, which certainly does come into play when you’re looking for something quite extravagant in reality.
The other one that we’ve seen quite often is Food Truck weddings. So obviously, there’s an appeal again for an outdoor wedding and kind of much more of a relaxed environment. So there’s certainly something that are absolutely doable.
But something to consider there is let’s say you go to your local park or reserve and you hire out an area from your local council for say $700, $800, $900 fantastic, same kind of scenario there with the marquee. Not only do you need to pay the food truck to come to the venue or the area that you’ve chosen, where are your guests going to sit, is there enough bins, where are the local toilets? What happens if it rains, once it gets dark do we have lighting. Have we considered all of the dietary, if you’ve only got one food truck and they don’t have a vegetarian option, do we need to have a backup? What are we going to do about drinks? How are we going to chill those drinks?
So I guess, anyone that’s kind of thinking of going down that DIY route, or a marquee route, or just want help in terms of how to execute that vision here in Australia, rather than overseas in a destination location, we’re certainly here to help and kind of educate you and talk through all of those emotions involved and establish what’s going to be the most beneficial plan based on must haves, and of course, versus that budget that you’re willing to spend.
Darcy and her Finacee
DIY weddings, we do attract a lot of DIY couples to our site being that it is easy weddings, and we are here to create an easy experience across the wedding planning journey.
So DIY in terms of creating your own invitations, or potentially, I have a lot of couples who mentioned that they’re happy to go to the flower market and do their own bouquets, which is absolutely awesome. But I guess, have you considered, what time you’ll be up in the morning on the day of your wedding in order to do so? If you do it on the Friday, are they going to be fresh enough depending on the type of flowers that you’ve chosen?
So there’s a lot of logistics and operational things to consider with a DIY wedding, and similar to kind of what I discussed, you might find that you’re able to create this amazing invitation. But in terms of actually going to Officeworks and having it printed, and getting all the different types of textures and papers, it might actually end up costing you more, even though you’ve got this absolutely personalized product and something that you can be extremely proud of. Not, only have you spent say 10 or 12 hours of your time creating it, but I guess, being that the suppliers from us, for example, using stationary, as an example, they have access to wholesale discounts with their suppliers in order to print in bulk. So, sometimes, what we think we might actually be able to do cheaper ourselves, it’s probably worth investigating the opportunity with the supplier first as to kind of weigh up the different options.
But yes, there is a lot more to think about, we do look after quite a number of DIY wedding venues whereby you essentially, hiring the estate for exclusive use for, you know, the stunning chapel for the ceremony, the barn for the reception, and the use of the estate for potentially accommodation and photos. But I guess the first thing that I’d say to you there is you’re essentially paying two entities. So whereby, the person who owns the estate, they obviously need to take the cut for the day, and then the caterer coming on-site, it needs to be financially viable for them, as well.
So, obviously, when you’re already paying two entities, naturally that dollar figure is going to come up slightly higher than if one venue, who already owned the tables and chairs are at their venue. They already have the coolroom, they already have the fires. They’re not having to bring anything on-site. Naturally, that is going to be much more cost effective. It’s not saying that it’s not doable, but we’re just kind of chatting about open mindedness and approaching the planning stage with a bit of flexibility, so that we can best guide you as to what’s going to be the most suitable option for you as a couple.
Darcy’s Getting Married in 2021
Venue finder I’ll talk about this one first, as it’s usually the first step of the program, so often we actually find couples who inquire about a supplier package, but they haven’t actually found the venue first. So we usually pass them back over to the venue finding team to kind of start that process before we get into the nitty gritty, because as you can probably imagine Pete, it’s very hard to pare someone with the most suitable photographer, when we don’t even have an understanding of how that day will pan out.
So realistically, if I pare with the photographer of choice, based on what we’ve kind of discussed, and in my head, I’m picturing a lux modern hotel wedding and then you end up choosing a beach venue that photographer might not be kind of best suited to the style of wedding that you’ve committed to. So it’s always good to kind of there is a step by step process.
There’s certainly people that do another way round, and that’s totally fine, but what you’ll find there is they might have committed to say and Aaron and Tara and they have dreamed about having them shoot their wedding for the rest of their entire lives. So they will actually find a venue to fit in with the Aaron and Tara style of photography that they’ve wanted or dreamed about. They’re not going to go completely left of field, it’s the same if you wanted to wear Princess ballgown, you’re probably not going to get married on a beach, with an enormous train that’s going to drag through the sand and water.
So there’s kind of systematic probably is the right word way of looking at wedding planning. So we’re kind of here to help you through that process, so pretty much, the first question we ask is: Where are you at in the wedding planning process, have you started looking at venues yet? Do you have an idea of what you’re after, had we started looking at supplies yet. So, straightaway, we can cage where you are in the planning process and how we can best be of help to you. So with the venue you find a program we work on behalf of a range of venues across Australia wide.
When I had an inquiry come through and they said, we’re getting married in the Sydney CBD, we’ve got 120 guests and we’ve got a bunch of $25,000. We work with an amazing range of venues across Sydney so we can go from anything from a Pier One in terms of a hotel waterfront style venue, right through to a Gunners Barracks, which is a historic kind of outdoor venue. We can go over to Bell Guinea farm so that rustic barn feel. We can then take it right back to a 55 Judges rooftop at the Rydges Sydney harbour. So you’re getting that real kind of party vibe, maybe more of a cocktail style.
So naturally, based on the venue that you potentially inquire with, or you come to us within with an idea of what you’re after, we can then best pair you with venues of choice. Yeah, so once we’ve had that initial conversation to gain further insight into you as a couple and what you’re planning for a big day. We would then put together a short list of anywhere between, say, 3 to 5 venues that we think are going to be a perfect fit.
We’d send you some basic information on those venues for you to have a look over with your partner and discuss. You then come back to us with your top two or your top three. We then delve even further chat about the packages and pricing.
What that includes kind of comparing one venue to another in terms of how that’s going to fit in with your budget. We then moved to the stage of checking availability and dates and things like that, and also organizing a time for you to go out and view the venue in person, because we do find that that’s quite important. Obviously, from a time sensitive perspective, there are some couples here in Victoria, as an example, have chosen to book a venue via Zoom. Being that they’ve had the virtual tour and they’re confident with the information that they have, that it’s the right venue choice.
But similar to purchasing a home or a rental property, it’s always good to see something in person to really resonate. And I also recommend seeing more than one venue, just so that you have something to compare it to. I don’t think many people walk into the first house they’ve viewed and buy it. It’s very much the same as a wedding venue.
It’s always good to maybe visit 2 to 3 venues, so that when you walk into the third one you go no, I definitely want the one was just came from, it’s cemented the decision for me. Because I find if you go for one venue that you’ve got your heart set on, you go to what you love it, but you’re still not ready to commit because you’re constantly thinking what if? What else is out there? So it’s always good to kind of visit like-minded venues and that’s where we come into play. Rather than you having to search for like minded venues we will just hand them to you on a silver platter.
Pete The Celebrant: Is there a golden number or how many venues do you normally hand to couples and say, hey check these out! Is it 3 or 5, like what are your thoughts?
Darcy Burch: It’s probably about 5, especially in the CBD area, being that we’ve got such a vast portfolio to work within. For some of the more specific regions, say the Yarra Valley or the Mornington Peninsula, it’s probably 3 or 4 being that naturally venues in the Yarra Valley are of a similar style, they are a rustic winery. So naturally they fit into 2 or 3 different price points. So depending on where you sit, we’re going to send you maybe 2 or 3, sometimes 4 options, that are going to fit perfectly within the requirements you’ve given us.
Pete The Celebrant: So you send them to the venue program finder, so they find that venue, they’re happy with it, what’s next?
Darcy Burch: So at that point of site inspection, you have obviously met with the wedding co-ordinator, the sales manager, or someone at the actual venue themselves. So naturally you are in contact with the venue directly. Normally they’d be in touch after that site inspection as a three-way chat with a proposal, a contract or a tentative hold.
So we’re there in that discussion to almost back you in those negotiations, or help you to understand some of the questions the venue might have for you. So, you’ve always got that expert advice, or that guide here to help you along the whole process. But the physical booking and the contract negotiations would be directly through the couple and the venue, being that that’s obviously the business that you’ve chosen to book for your wedding.
But we’re always here, in the background, kept in the loop to answer any questions. Once it’s all locked in our venue finder is there of course, and in touch to say you know, it was amazing working with you. I’m so excited, I can’t wait to see how it all pans out. Please feel free to stay in contact.
But that’s, of course, an opportune time for you to start talking to our wedding planning team, who will produce our wedding supply of packages. So most of the time, a lot of our couples will then move from the venue finder program over to our supplier packages program.
Even if it’s just for initial conversation, potentially want to secure that venue you’ve then started to think, do we need a photographer, do we also need a videographer? We are now having the ceremony on site at the venue, so I need to find a celebrant who’s available on our chosen day. Some of the things that come up, kind of naturally after that venue item has been ticked off the list, we’re then here to chat to you about what you need., and we pretty much put together a proposal for you at the time of that inquiry so that you can see exactly what you’re up for dollars wise, with those inclusions.
Then from there, because you’ve already committed to a certain amount of your budget for the venue, you can then commit to a certain amount of that budget to the four essential supplies that I mentioned earlier. Then you know exactly what you’re up for in terms of dress shopping, flowers, cake, and the rest of it, that brings it all together. So that’s kind of how the process works. As you can imagine, some couples just choose to use the venue finder program, and find suppliers of their choice, or some couples actually book the venue, and then come to us for supply package.
So there’s no mandatory need to come via both programs. You can pretty much come to us at any point of the planning process, and we’ll direct you to whichever program is going to be most suitable for you. I guess the biggest question that we get is, do these programs cost anything?
I guess the word program or package insinuates that there’s a cost or a service fee. So the fantastic news is, there is no cost for either of these services. They are simply an additional kind of revenue stream, and a way to bring business to the amazing venues and suppliers, who list on our easy wedding site.
We are seeing a lot of couples that we may have spoken to previously in the past. We might have helped them find their venue, but they unfortunately had to postpone given the fact that their family were located international or even just interstate. That has certainly put a hold on a number of weddings. New South Wales is probably the biggest wedding market in Australia, so they are having weddings kind of happening again, over the last three months, which is fantastic.
But there is still a backlog of couples who haven’t celebrated their big day yet, maybe they postponed into 2022, or they’re waiting for some further clarity around dance floors, international border travel, or interstate border travel, or international travel for friends and family. So for that reason, as you can imagine, there is a backlog of clients who are waiting to book their dream venue or potentially have attentive hold on a date. So what I would suggest is, naturally we’re about to come into what we call proposal season.
So for anyone who is unaware, January and February is kind of the biggest two months of the year in terms of clients getting engaged and wanting to start to book their venue. So naturally, as we approach this season, we already understand that it’s going to be busy. But given everything that’s taken place in 2020 Australia wide, we’re naturally going to see, and I think we spoke about this last time in terms of statistics Pete, that there’s going to be a huge demand and an increase in, I guess, Saturday nights and in demand dates and peak dates. So again, it’s just approaching your wedding planning process with a bit of flexibility.
The good news is that, you know, a wedding on a Saturday night at your dream wedding venue might not be achievable based on your budget. However, we can potentially achieve that and more for you on a Thursday night. So are you willing to be flexible in order to achieve the vision. So, there’s certainly ways around everything, and I guess that’s where we come in, to help you find that curve ball or that different route that you can take, in order to achieve what you’ve always wanted.
So obviously, here in Victoria, specifically, we’ve just had an announcement yesterday that we can now have up to 10 people plus the celebrant and one photographer, which is a fantastic step in the right direction. We’re hoping that it will get to the 20 or 50 in the next couple of weeks or months potentially, as we head into 2021.
But take advantage of some of the amazing kind of packages that have been put together by industry bodies and some supplies and venues. Off the top of my head, I know that The Terrace in the Royal botanical gardens are doing some amazing micro wedding packages. Camp David Farm out in the Daylesford area are doing the same.
A good friend, one of our venues, The Metropolis is doing mini wedding packages or micro wedding packages. The George Ballroom and also Alto Event Space, who are run by the same business Damm Fine Food. So there is some amazing opportunities to have a gorgeous wedding for 20 people. The celebrant’s included, a bouquet for the couples is included, a small celebration cake and potentially, some canapes and drinks afterwards, just to celebrate the fact that you’ve legally got married. Then we can talk about the reception, if and when, at another date.
So you can still have that amazing day. It doesn’t have to be a registry office wedding, it doesn’t have to be out in a Council Park. We will get to a point very shortly that we can actually have weddings inside a venue once again. Some of them are coming up with incredible packages to really suit the needs of couples right now, so I would certainly recommend to take advantage of them.
Follow Easy Weddings:
Easy Weddings helps thousands of couples nail their big day every year. With their award-winning directory and mobile apps you can find and book top-rated wedding suppliers, stay on track with their planning tools, or for a more hands-off approach, work with a wedding planner to save you time and money. And it’s free! Jump onto EasyWeddings.com.au to start your stress-free journey up the aisle today.
Planning your wedding and need a Melbourne Celebrant – Look no further, you’ve found me! I’ll guide you through the whole process; vows, paperwork, story writing and stand by you on the day to deliver the ceremony you desire. Let’s talk!
Share this post