Yay, look how clean and new it all is
I wanted to respond to Deyana who said: I'm starting to think about the timing of the wedding. We're having a 5pm ceremony at OPH gardens, followed by a reception at the Mantra on Northbourne starting at 7pm. Our ceremony will probably only be half an hour, including the signing and all, so I need to figure out what to direct guests who aren't going to be posing for photos to do in the meantime. We'll have a room at the Mantra, which I'll get FH to check into earlier that day, so parents with kids who need a nap can go there, but I'd like something nice for the rest of our guests to do. There's the OPH gardens and the National Rose garden across the road. Unfortunately, OPH itself shuts at 5, so that's not an option. Anything else you ladies can think of to suggest to guests?
My thoughts are this. Even with a half hour ceremony I think you'll want to factor in a decent bit of time after it ends for photos, congratulations etc. Most people won't just run away, they'll want to come up to you and say hello and tell you how beautiful it was
So that gives you maybe an hour, 6-7pm. Does Mantra have a bar? I was thinking people could just go straight to the hotel and start the party early in the bar (some would do this anyway but you could suggest it as an option for people feeling a bit lost). Alternatively, you could supply some bubbly and nibbles at the ceremony site so people can mingle a bit there. I hope this helps - an hour is easier to fill than 3 but it's still nice of you to think of your guests