Local wedding venue In the Grove has been named the winner of Wedding Venue – Garden at the recent Australian Wedding Awards.
The awards recognise wedding businesses from around regional Australia that have excelled and or exceeded in the expectation of wedding planning.
In the Grove was judged against criteria based on professionalism in surpassing all expectations of newlyweds, plus excellence in the business practices that are used by the wedding businesses with their internet business presence through social media and websites.
Owners Ian and Sandy Hatton said they had not expected to win the award and were proud to have been recognised at such a high level.
“It was definitely a surprise when we were announced as the winner for our category as we knew we were up against some stiff competition,” the duo said.
“We couldn’t be sure the standards we set for ourselves would be at the same level the judges wanted from the winning venue.
“It was lovely to be recognised and to know that our standards are definitely up there with others in our field who we look towards for inspiration.”
Surrounded by plantations of macadamia trees, Ian and Sandy operate their wedding business from their family-owned property called Pinegrove, located at 295 Rosedale Road, Oakwood.
The homestead is situated on five acres of established gardens that are graced with tall hoop pines, palms, Moreton Bay figs and numerous other trees that have created a beautiful, green and shady garden venue.
Winning this award allows the venue to know they met a standard that exceeds what couples expect on their wedding day, with In the Grove attracting attention from clients all across Australia.
“From awards like this we see an increase in the number of couples who are not local that are choosing our venue over venues within their local region,” Ian and Sandy said.
“For example, we are currently working with couples from Townsville, Port Hedland in Western Australia, Gladstone, Biloela and Brisbane.
“What we have must have something special as we are getting increased enquiries for weddings from couples that don’t call Bundaberg home.”
Ian and Sandy work with the couples right up until their wedding day, with this being a point of difference which they believe sets them apart from other venues.
“Our point of difference has always been that we work with our couples right up to their wedding day, so that all they have to do is come and enjoy their time with family and friends without having to worry about anything,” they said.
“We love what we do and enjoy working with all the couples who choose to get married and have their reception with us.”
The couple said they had received a range of positive feedback on their venue.
“Everybody tells us our venue is a hidden paradise with the tall hoop pines, fig trees, palms, expansive lawn area and tropical gardens,” they said.
“We had comments from a couple of Scandinavian backpackers who compared our tall pine trees to their homeland scene and that is lovely to know that we have a European aspect in the look that we offer.
“We are often told that Bundaberg is very lucky to have a venue like ours that can match, and at times exceed, any of our southern counterparts.
“It's comments and awards like this that motivates us to keep getting better at what we do.”
Like any other events-based business, Ian and Sandy have been no strangers to navigating uncertain times over the past couple of years
“2021 was difficult managing the covid mandates, lockdowns and border closures, however we survived and managed our way through with very few disruptions for our couples,” they said.
“2022 has the promise of recovery, however every day is fragile without knowing what will come next from this disease and the control measures that we have to implement.
“We have had to provide a lot of reassurance for couples who are worried that something will affect the day that they have planned and our response has always been that at the end of the day they will marry the one they love and nothing will change that.”
Remaining optimistic, the couple are looking forward to another busy year full of events in 2022.
You can find out more about In the Grove here.
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