Planz schmanz – Wedding (the reception)

Posted on January 19, 2009

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Without giving too much away, some stellar sights from the Quat Quatta. Stained glass, the beautiful courtyard and tall trees, complete with a triumphant arch!

Without giving too much away, some stellar sights from the Quat Quatta. Stained glass, the beautiful courtyard and tall trees, complete with a triumphant arch!

Here’s a secret – Michele and I paid the deposit on our reception back in April 2008. That’s almost a full year before our wedding. I remember back then, we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into, what with the wedding preparations looking like a portfolio of ‘What to do’ and ‘What not to do’. It’s almost the end of the journey now, but looking back, it almost looks like a one year project.

It was like we were peeling an onion. Scratch the surface, and we got more surface. And with each new surface, a new problem.

Of course, we knew we had to decided on a reception before we even started looking at anything else. It wouldn’t have made any sense to make rushed arrangements to walk in, view and chit chat with the management while we’re stressing about the flowers, the DJ, the car or any other facet of the wedding that you could possibly think of.

Before we discovered Quat Quatta, we had made the usual rounds around the more popular reception venues. Off the top of my head I can think of Leonda by the Yarra, The Ascot House, Lyrebird Falls, The Willows, Witchmount Estate and the The Gables. Kind of reads like a who’s who of Melbourne receptions doesn’t it? Terry, a good mate of mine commented how ‘upperty’ my wedding plans are looking, what with the expensive tastes and fancy frills. Well mate, you only get married once!

You know that little instinct you have, when you walk into a place, you get that ‘vibe’? With the other places, while there are many distinct and memorable parts of the reception that I definitely can’t praise enough, there was always a caveat that kinda gave the game away. I could stand in the reception for hours and still couldn’t envisage Michele and me getting married there, in spite of the venue’s strong selling points.

With the Quat Quatta, I was immediately overwhelmed by the grandeur of the grounds. It has a very stately look to it and I was drawn to the courtyard and tall trees that walled off the surrounding sounds and concrete jungle that gave a very ‘inclusive’ feel. I remember standing in the middle of the dance floor, imagining where the waiters and waitresses would be walking to serve and clear the food, while people were milling around or eating at the table. With other places, I found myself thinking less of it the moment we left the grounds, but with the Quat Quatta, Michele and I were both talking about it a few days after we got home.

Quat Quatta also has an incredible reputation for good food; many friends of mine who’ve been there (either to get married or as guests) have not one bad thing to say about the food. Winning the Wedding Caterer of the Year for three years running cannot be a fluke. Unfortunately, Quat Quatta doesn’t allow a taste test (which we wanted), but on the back of so many recommendations from people whose opinions we valued, common sense prevailed. I must add, that this was even after we insisted on paying for the taste test. Quat Quatta isn’t the cheapest reception around; if anything they’re one of the more expensive receptions around. Be prepared to spend about 10% more per head of the usual Melbourne price. I say this because strangely enough, it’s cheaper to get married in Queensland, Tasmania or any of the smaller states instead of New South Wales or Victoria (the Big Two). Everything aspect of a wedding is dearer in these two states. Oh well, the joys of living in a better-run state and a more famous city. (haha).

Back to Quat Quatta. I was sold with the outside courtyards, particularly the one at the back. So much so Michele and me are getting married there instead of the traditional church wedding we had always planned on doing. There’s a very mythical and ‘old world feel’ about that place, and I was tempted to indicate ’16th century ball’ as the dress code. You know, that pompous and aristocratic overdoing of every gesture. A little curtsy, a tip of the hat and 100 servants standing in line behind you to cut your pork from the dinner table. And all this after spending the afternoon jousting on horses, battling evil gargoyles and stealing loot from the poor folks.

Next week, we return to the Quat Quatta to confirm our menu, and also to have a chat with the management again. With the wedding just weeks away, I haven’t developed the fabled cold feet many people feel as their big day approaches. Rather, I’m just more anxious to get the wedding out of the way so my wife and I can settle down and get on with our hunky dory lives. Truth is, I can’t wait to get married, learn how to change nappies and fall sick due to a lack of sleep!

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Posted in: Wedding