Frequently Asked Questions about Weddings
How do I reserve a date?
The first step is to call and ask to place a Tentative booking. This requires no deposit, but reserves a date for you for up to two weeks. It is intended to give you plenty of time to check the date and venue suits you. Please note that dates cannot be reserved unless you have visited Marybrooke Manor and been on an inspection with one of our wedding coordinators.
What deposit is required to confirm a booking?
A booking is confirmed once you have paid your initial deposit of $1000. We will then email you some confirmation documentation. A further $1000 deposit is required 6 months prior to your wedding. While we will email you a reminder should you forget the 2nd deposit, please note your booking is conditional on this payment being made. Should your initial deposit be paid less than 6 months from your wedding, it will need to be $2000.
Can I taste the food?
Tastings at Marybrooke are easy – our Restaurant is open every second Thursday evening specifically for you to come and sample the wedding menu. This enables you to make more informed choices when selecting the menu for your wedding. One of our Wedding Coordinators will be present to answer any questions you may have. For $70 per person you can enjoy one entrée, one main and one dessert from our Sherbrooke Package menu plus two glasses of any house beverage. Bookings are essential and you must provide your menu choices at least 5 days prior to your tasting night. You are welcome to bring as many people as you like.
When do we plan the details?
Finals appointments are conducted approximately 6 weeks prior to your wedding. We will call you approximately 8 weeks prior to your wedding day to schedule this appointment. Generally speaking, these appointments are held during business hours on weekdays and on Monday & Thursday evenings. We are not able to hold these meetings on weekends. Once booked we will send you a confirmation email with the date and time that also outlines what we need to know during your finals appointment. This will help you to prepare.
We will discuss everything relating to your wedding reception – from the names of your bridal party, celebrant and entertainment through to the menu, the centrepieces and the colour scheme you are having. Please ensure you bring phone numbers of all the important suppliers for your wedding including celebrant, entertainment, photographer and cake supplier.
Although we value the input of your family and friends, these appointments can often be quite involved and we ask that you limit the number of attendees at this meeting.
Can we have a rehearsal?
Many couples wish to have a rehearsal of their wedding ceremony. These can be conducted anytime that Marybrooke Manor is open and we allow 1 hour for your rehearsal – but you must book a time. There is no charge for this. We are open late on Thursday evenings to facilitate rehearsals. Rehearsals are a great way to ensure everyone knows where they are walking and standing during the ceremony and can also ensure the music you are walking up the aisle to is long enough and suitable.
It is also a good idea to have a quick look at the ceremony backup since if you do need to use either of these spaces, your bridal party will have seen where they will need to walk – just in case. We also recommend you bring the music you will be having during the ceremony to ensure it works on our systems (if you are using them).
Please note, as the ceremony is the domain of your celebrant, our staff do not attend rehearsals.
How many guests can we have?
Your guests tables seat up to 10 guests however you don’t need to have 10 at each table. Should you wish to place your bridal table in the curved glass alcove, the maximum number of guest tables in the room is 8. Should you require more than 8 guest tables, your bridal table will need to be in front of the large windows on the right hand side. Our capacity is ten tables of 10 guests each plus your bridal table of up to another 10 (including yourself).
When do you need our final numbers?
Your seating plans for your wedding reception need to be provided to the venue via email 18 days prior to your wedding reception (the Tuesday of the fortnight before your wedding). You will be emailed a template for these seating plans shortly after your finals appointment.
Once you have provided your final numbers we will prepare and email an invoice for you which needs to be paid at least 10 days prior to your wedding reception date (the Friday of the week before your wedding).
Your numbers cannot decrease after the date your final invoice is due.
Who produces the display guest list?
The actual guest list which is on display for your guests will be made by the venue and our staff will speak with each guest towards the end of pre-dinner drinks to advise them where they are sitting. If you would prefer to make a guest list which fits within your theme, please ensure this is an alphabetical guest list and not one which is done by table order as your guests will need to search through the entire list to find their name.
When is final payment due?
Your final payment is due at least 10 days prior to your wedding reception (the Friday of the week before your wedding). Payments by bank or personal cheque need to be made 10 days prior to your wedding. The easiest way to make your final payment is direct transfer into our account. We can provide these details to you.
Please note credit card payment on Visa or Mastercard of your final account will incur a 2.5% surcharge. We do not accept Diners or American Express.
What is the Green Haven Cottage?
This is a four bedroom house located just 300m from Marybrooke which you can hire for the groom and his attendants to get ready in the night before the wedding. The house consists of 1 queen bed, 1 double bed, and 2 rooms with 2 single beds each. The house also has a full kitchen, lounge area, ¾ size billiard table, large deck and outdoor setting and BBQ. The cost to hire Green Haven is $350 for two guest and $60 for each additional guest. The rate includes either a breakfast pack for the guests to cook themselves on the BBQ or breakfast served back at the Manor. We can also arrange a BBQ pack for the night before for just $25 per guest including Tender eye fillet, sausages, bread and salad. Bookings are essential for Green Haven and we require a $200 deposit to confirm your booking.
Where can I have our ceremony?
If you have chosen to hold your ceremony at Marybrooke Manor you can choose between our garden gazebo or the indoor ceremony space. For outdoor ceremonies we supply and setup a red carpet, white garden chairs on the lawn in rows (chair covers and sashes can be provided at an additional cost). Power is available in the gazebo for your celebrant’s PA system.
In the indoor ceremony space, we supply timber chairs which are uncovered. Should you wish to cover the chairs an additional charge of $1 per chair will apply. You can also select to have a red carpet down the aisle.
Who organises ceremony music?
We request that your celebrant provide a PA system for your ceremony to play both the music and for voice amplification. Your wedding coordinator will be unable to control the music for you as they will be busy organising you and your bridal party for the walk down the aisle. Your celebrant will need to therefore control the music, or arrange for someone else to do it.
Usually you would need to provide a minimum of 5 songs for your ceremony; 1 song for the processional (bride walking down the aisle), 2 for the signing of the register & 2 for the recessional (bride and groom walking back down the aisle). It is also nice if you have some background music which can be played whilst your guests are waiting for you to arrive. Should you need help with any of this please do not hesitate to ask.
What music entertainment can we have at the reception?
We suggest you engage the services of a DJ or band for your wedding reception as this allows everyone to enjoy themselves without relying on any of your guests to ensure music is played throughout the reception. We can give you a list of reputable DJ’s and bands which we use on a regular basis at Marybrooke Manor. DJ’s start from approximately $600 and bands from approximately $1200. All weddings which select the Sherbrooke or the Olinda package include a professional DJ in their package.
Alternatively if you would prefer to play music from an IPod or MP3 player, you need to arrange your own sound system to do so. We can recommend companies which can provide speakers and an amplifier for this purpose that cost from $170.
The built in sound systems which are in each room are available to use for speeches, however music for dancing cannot be played through them.
Can you provide a Master of Ceremonies?
An MC is provided as part of your package at Marybrooke Manor. This is usually your wedding coordinator. You are welcome to provide your own MC and we will assist them as much as possible. Please note our wedding coordinators have been MCing weddings for a long time and are seasoned professionals and will ensure that your wedding runs on time and includes all the necessary elements of a wedding reception. Although it might seem great to have a friend MC your wedding, we suggest having them do a speech instead as often they will be unsure of the correct way to do certain parts of the MC’s job (like introductions, the bridal waltz & farewell) and it also means they can have the night off and enjoy themselves.
What menu options are there for children?
There are a number of different children’s options available for your traditional sit-down reception and these include the following:
· Teens – are charged at $8 less than the adult rate and are given an adult meal less the alcohol. Teens are considered 13 – 17 years of age.
· Children – are charged $45 for a traditional sit down wedding and are given a child’s meal which you would select at your finals appointment and a bowl of ice-cream for dessert. Children are considered 3- 12 years of age.
· Babies/toddlers – are charged $15 (if required) and will receive a bowl of chips and ice-cream for dessert. This is an option if you have a child who will not eat a full Child’s meal; but you feel they need to be provided something during meal time. These are aged 2-3 years.
Please note there is no charge for children under the age of 2 years, however we do not provide catering for them either. High chairs are available upon request.
When should we arrive?
We suggest the groom arrive between 45 minutes to 1 hour prior to the ceremony. The groom and his groomsman have a chance to talk with your celebrant and meet and greet your guests as they arrive.
It is very important that as a bride you arrive as close to the correct start time as possible. The reason for this is that even if you arrive 15 minutes late (the tradition) this takes 15 minutes away from the time you have to take photographs or even time from your reception. Please speak with our wedding coordinators who can assist you with logistics to ensure you can arrive on time.
Please also take into account that once your wedding car arrives, it can often take up to 15 minutes to get you and your bridal party out of the car, give the photographer ample opportunity to take photos and get you ready to walk up the aisle.
What accommodation is available?
Marybrooke Manor has 19 hotel rooms plus a 3 bedroom apartment for your guests. Rooms range in price from $220 to $380 including fully cooked breakfast. You can view our complete suite list here which shows all rooms with prices. A non-refundable $100 deposit is required to secure rooms and we will not reserve any accommodation (other than the bride and groom’s complimentary night) without a deposit. Should you wish to book the entire hotel to ensure exclusivity you are most welcome to. In order to this we require $1800 to reserve the standard rooms, $200 for each of the apartment & the Green Haven Cottage. Once you have allocated the rooms to your guests, they call and pay their $100 deposit ($200 for Green Haven & the apartment) and the money you have paid against this room will then be transferred as an advance payment against your wedding. Please note accommodation deposits are non refundable.
Can you meet special dietary requirements?
Dietary requirements should be provided to us at your finals appointment giving us an idea of what to expect. On your seating plan (which is provided to the venue 18 days prior to your wedding) there is space for you to list each guests’ dietary requirement.
We can accommodate most dietary requirements when we are advised in advance. However, should the allergy be of an anaphylaxis nature we cannot guarantee our food will be entirely free of the contaminant. As a result, we will not provide food to anyone who has a life threatening food allergy.
Can spirits be made available?
Should you wish spirits to be served during your wedding, we have a number of options:
Option 1 – Your guests can purchase spirits from our cash bar throughout the night.
Option 2 – You can place a limited bar tab over the bar for the purchase of spirits throughout the night.
Option 3 – You can run a tab purely for yourselves and your bridal party/parents to have spirits available to them only.
Should you have a special bottle of alcohol (commemorative champagne, premium scotch) which you would like to serve during the reception that we do not stock, we are more than happy to serve this from the bar to the appropriate people. This is limited to two 700ml bottles and must be approved by venue management well in advance of your wedding day.
Who prepare the table menus?
We provide personalised tables menus on each table for traditional sit-down receptions with your names and the food we are serving. Please consider the name you would like us to print on these menus, “Mr and Mrs” or only first and last names or only first names.
Can I provide bonboniere & wedding favours?
Should you wish to provide bonbonniere for your guests we will be happy to place these on the tables for you. Where exactly you wish to place the bonbonniere will be confirmed at your finals appointment. Should your bonbonniere and place card be one in the same, please ensure the bonbonniere for each table are clearly separated into table lots when you deliver them to us. A great way to do this is by using shoe boxes or plastic bags (depending on how large your bonbonniere is).
Who provides place cards?
We include place cards with all sit-down wedding packages. These place cards form a part of the table menu and will be placed on top of the folded linen napkin. It will welcome them to your wedding with either first or first & surnames. These details can be confirmed at your finals appointment. For this reason, it is very important the spelling of your guests name is correct.
When are table seating arrangements required?
(not required for cocktail or garden party receptions)
We will ask you to complete a table seating plan for each table which allocates a seat to each guest. This ensures that your guests are seated around the table exactly where you would like them to be. We will also give you a floor plan. These will all be emailed to you shortly after your finals appointment. We need these plans returned to us via email when your final numbers are due.
Who provides table centrepieces?
We have a range of centrepiece options for you to select from. Please speak with our friendly coordinators to discuss your options or check out the album on our Facebook page which has photos of our new centrepiece range.
Can chair covers & sashes be arranged?
White or black chair covers with your choice of coloured sash (satin or organza) can be arranged for $4 per chair. Alternatively, chair sashes on their own and table runners cost $2.50 each.
Can I use the Bridal Lounge to get ready in?
The bridal lounge is available for the bride (or groom) to prepare for prior to the ceremony. This lounge costs $250 to book and you can have access from 8am on the day of your wedding. You are welcome to have your hair and make up artists at Marybrooke.
If you choose to hire the Bridal Lounge to get ready in and wish to organise lunch for yourselves and your bridal party or family and friends, the perfect option is to arrange our Bridal Lunch Platters. We can email you a list of platters for you to select from. This can be served in the bridal lounge. The cost is just $25 per person. Alternatively, you are welcome to order from our Restaurant’s lunch or bar snack menu.
Can we arrange extra platters of canapés & finger food?
You are welcome to order platters of food for your guests to graze on between the ceremony and the official start of pre-dinners if you organise a time extension. We can arrange an assortment of platters including anti-pasto, cheese, fruit and high tea platters.
Don’t forget the bridal party or yourselves. We can arrange photography platters to meet you whilst you are having your photography in our luscious grounds.
Please speak with our wedding coordinators to discuss these options
How will the bridal party be introduced into the reception?
Usually your MC would introduce the bridal party and bride and groom into the room at the start of the evening after some housekeeping announcements have been made. This can include your parents although sometimes couples prefer to acknowledge their parents at the table as opposed to their parents walking into the room. This is entirely your choice and we would be happy to discuss this option with you at your finals appointment.
What about speeches?
Speeches and toasts are a traditional part of the reception which symbolise the bond of friendship between all those present. They will vary in accordance with the size and degree of formality of the occasion.
The main things to remember when giving a really good speech are to keep it short, try and make it light-hearted and amusing, speak naturally, do not say anything unflattering and keep it succinct.
The traditional order of speeches is as follows:
· Toast to the Bride and Groom – normally completed by a father or close relative to the bride and groom. Guests should be asked to stand for the toast and the bride and groom remain seated during this toast.
· Response by the Groom – the groom would respond to the toast on behalf of his wife and also propose a toast to the bridesmaids. The bridesmaids should remain seated during the toast.
· Bestman – the bestman responds to the toast on behalf of the bridesmaids and then proposes a toast to the parents of the bride and groom. He can also mention some anecdotal stories of his relationship with the groom.
You are welcome to add other speeches either side of these speakers and although this is the traditional order of speeches, you are welcome to put your speeches in whichever order you prefer.
What can we do with our wedding cake?
Your wedding cake is one of the bigger expenses of your wedding reception and quite often doesn’t get eaten. One of the best ways to ensure it does get eaten is to serve it as dessert. We offer a discount of $2.50 per person in order to individually serve your wedding cake with cream and berries. It ensures your guests eat your wedding cake and you are not left with a large amount of cake at the end of your reception. If you are serving your wedding cake as dessert, please ensure you advise your cake maker of this as your cake will need to be bigger.
Should you wish not to serve your cake as dessert it will be served on platters during coffee service. There is no charge to cut your wedding cake.
When do we do our bridal dance (if any)?
Your bridal waltz is normally performed after speeches and the cutting of the wedding cake. Choreographed dances are very popular now and make a great spectacle for your guests. You are welcome to arrange a practice on our dance floor prior to your wedding and can contact the office to arrange this.
Should we toss the Bouquet & Garter?
The tradition of throwing the bouquet and garter is an oldie but a goodie. If you are unsure how many single guests you have attending in order to catch the bouquet or garter we can word the announcement along the lines of “if you’re not married you’re still single”. This is completely optional and your desires will be confirmed at your finals appointment. We have other options including have a “longest married dance” in which we invite all the couples onto the dancefloor and we slowly count up in years of marriage. As each couples number of years of marriage is announced they sit down. The longest married couple will receive the bouquet.
How can we extend our reception?
There are 2 ways you can have an extension for your wedding reception.
The first is to open a cash bar for your guests to purchase beverages immediately after your ceremony for an hour. A $100 surcharge is applicable. You are also welcome to place a tab on the bar during this time to cover the drinks for your guests. A range of platters are also available for you to order for your guests. After the hour finishes, your normal canapés and beverage service will commence.The second option is to extend the end of your reception at $5 per half hour per guest. This charge includes both beverage and service staff.
Both of these options need to be advised prior to your event.
A maximum of 1 hour extension is available on all receptions.
How can we farewell our guests?
At the conclusion of your wedding, a farewell circle is normally conducted. This is optional and please be aware that large weddings can often take up to 30 minutes for the Bride and Groom to farewell their guests. Farewell circles normally start 30 minutes prior to the end of your reception and this is the time the bouquet and garter are also thrown.
An alternative to the farewell circle is a final dance when we invite all your guests up to the dancefloor to have a dance with you and at the end of the dance. We then ask everyone to wish you 3 cheers, at which time you would exit the room.
What about gifts?
As many brides and grooms have been living together for a time before the wedding, many prefer to have the option of a wishing well in which your guests would place cards containing monetary gifts inside cards into. We can provide a wishing well for your use and ask that you provide a padlock so keep the contents secure. The wishing well must be emptied at the conclusion of your wedding reception.
Should you be expecting gifts, please nominate someone to take responsibility for these gifts at the end of the night.
Are taxis available?
Taxis are difficult to book in this area so we highly recommend that your guests ensure travel arrangements are organised prior to the event. We recommend booking via Dandenong Ranges Taxi Service on 9753 6933.
What if it rains?
Our ceremony space is always available for your ceremony should you select the gazebo and it becomes unavailable due to the weather. Please note that the ultimate decision on the weather will be made by the venue and this will always take into consideration the safety and comfort of yourself and your guests.
Can you feed working guests?
Most weddings will have a number of ‘working guests’ attending their wedding. The guests are your suppliers and include DJ’s, band, photographer or videographer. Most of these suppliers will require a meal to be served during the reception paid by yourselves. The meals cost $50 for 3 courses. The meals are served in a separate room and you do not need to worry about allocating seats for these guests.
No alcohol will be provided to working guests since they are working, although non-alcoholic beverages will be available to them. Please ensure your working guests are aware of this.
Marybrooke’s Responsible Service of Alcohol Policy
Our venue is committed to the responsible serving of alcohol because we aim to provide a safe and friendly environment for your guests and staff want to abide by our legal obligations under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998.
All of our staff are trained in the Responsible Serving of Alcohol (RSA). We seek the cooperation of patrons to assist us in achieving our aim to provide the best possible experience for you and your guests. Therefore, we adopt the following RSA practices for all events:
· Whilst the final decision in respect to RSA issues will at all times be the responsibility of the venue, we require you to nominate a responsible person to assist our staff with any issues regarding liquor service at your function.
· Minors will be required to be identified and will not be served alcohol during the function.
· Waters and non-alcoholic beverages will be readily available at all times.
· Guests will be asked before glasses are topped up with alcoholic drinks.
· We reserve the right to close down the function if behaviour of guests becomes unacceptable.
· Guests who are intoxicated will not be served any alcohol and will be required to leave the premises.
· BYO alcohol is NOT permitted on premises and will be confiscated upon arrival; however it will be given back to guests when they depart Marybrooke.
· All guests are encouraged to ensure they have safe transport from the function.
· Staff will offer to call a taxi for any guest(s) they consider should not be driving.
· We respect our neighbours and encourage our guests to leave the premises in a manner that does not disturb the amenity of the area.
We know you will agree with the sentiments of this policy, and that this is understood when you book your function. Your cooperation with the objectives set out above is a term of the contract between us. We will not be liable for any loss experience by your or your guests by the implementation of any of the elements of this policy.