Jess and Ruby run the weddings at Longview Vineyard like a well-oiled machine. They are responsive yet measured and always very organised. But this is not to say they take a 'one size fits all' approach. To the contrary; the celebrations that I have been a part of at Longview are among the most unique and creative I've seen.So I was happy to have the chance to sit down with the girls over a hot chocolate at Chocolateria San Churro to chat about how they translate their couple's ideas into reality and how your wedding planning needn't be a stressful or overwhelming experience.
So Jess and Ruby, how long have you been at Longview?
Jess: "I've been at Longview Vineyard as Event Manager for 3.5 years now."
Ruby: "And I've been in a trainee, assistant and now Event Coordinator role there for 4.5 years."
And what kinds of weddings does Longview Vineyard specialise in?
Jess: "At Longview we offer everything you need with our ceremony, reception and accommodation combination. We find couples that come to us for their weddings are wanting a rustic and relaxed atmosphere and we can provide for that with sit down receptions for up to 150 or cocktail party celebrations for up to 180 guests."
When are your most popular days and months?
Ruby: "We find that March/April and October/November are our most popular months and can have weddings booked on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays most weekends. But we are very open to holding weddings on other days of the week too - whatever works best for our couples."
What kinds of new or emerging trends have you noticed recently?
Ruby: "Lots of succulents, hessian and jars are very popular. Mismatched decor elements are everywhere."
Jess: "And floral installations are big at the moment too. We find that our couples' usually embrace the rustic nature of the venue and opt for understated elegance in their décor and styling choices. Working with the style of your venue when planning your decorations is smart."
When should couples look to book their wedding venue?
Ruby: "If you're wanting to have your wedding on a Saturday in peak season, you would need to be looking 12-18 months in advance. This is when being flexible with your date can help."
Jess: "Yes, I would recommend that couples have a look around and find the venue that they fall in love with first. Then you can determine their availability and secure a date afterwards."
What should they look for in a wedding venue?
Jess: ”I think that a couple should select the wedding venue that best reflects their style and personality."
If you could dispel the most common misunderstanding about your profession, what would it be?
Jess: "That if you have a cocktail party style reception, your guests will go home hungry! We offer lots of different, more substantial options to make sure that there is more than enough food for everyone."
Ruby: “That wedding planning has to be stressful or demanding. We often find that couples who come in and sit down to have a chat with us face to face feel a lot less overwhelmed afterwards. They start to relax and enjoy the experience when they realise that we know what we’re doing.”
What do you want couples to know?
Jess: “Communication is key. Ask us lots of questions and run your ideas past us so we can help you to work out how to make them happen and find the best solutions for everyone. There are no stupid questions and we are here to help.”
What’s your best piece of advice to bride and groom’s-to-be?
Jess: “You can be as organised and vigilant as you need to be in the lead up, but when it comes to your wedding day, you need to trust in the professionals that you have hired to do their job. Trust in your team, let go of the little things and enjoy your day.”