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2008-04-20 - 7:01 p.m.
I forgot to mention something between the sushi and wine last Friday night and the classic movie watching on Saturday evening. Jo and I checked out 3 wedding reception venues and came away all but sure of where we were going to have both our ceremony and reception. The first place we checked out was Watersedge, which may or may not be the old Harbourside Brasserie- it's in about the right spot. The Wedding Co-ordinator was very professional and friendly, and they were preparing for a wedding at the time, so we got a glimpse into how they handled things. Watersedge was one of quite a few Dockside packages- which all had similar menus and a lot of things included. The only problem was it was a bit too small- the wedding they were setting up for was for 150, and we saw that it could work, but put the 150 people in it and I think it would have been a bit cramped.
The next venue we had a look at was the Argyle Venues (specifically the Reds Room which holds 100-200 people). Different package- actually more expensive, and the girl we dealt with didn't seem nearly as organised or professional. Plus no water views. The venue was much bigger than Watersedge but overall we were less impressed.
In between seeing Watersedge and the Argyle we walked up to Observatory Hill, which Jo had suggested as a potential Ceremony venue, and I was pretty much sold straight away. Great view of the Harbour (as long as you look Northeast, as you head West along the Harbour it gets a bit more industrial), rolling green hills, though we'd be at the mercy of the weather. There is a large rotunda, but it wouldn't fit us, a registry table and 150 guests. But most of the reception places we looked at could accommodate a ceremony as a contingency.
So we took the train a couple of stops and walked to Cockle Bay Wharf, and after having lunch at Blackbird Cafe we had a look at L'Aqua. And it didn't take us long to decide that this would be the place. Still part of Dockside Group, same package as Watersedge but bigger (150 comfortably) and a big balcony with sweeping views of Darling Harbour.
We put a tentative on March 15, 2009, found out that Observatory Hill was booked on that afternoon, and the next day put a deposit down for March 22nd, 2009, as well as reserving Observatory Hill from 3pm-6pm on said day. It'll be a Sunday wedding, which saves us $15 per head, and anybody keen to party hard can organise the Monday off work, but it won't be as imposing (in terms of taking a day off work) as a Friday wedding.
So there you have it.