Can't cull the guest list? Removing your second, third and fourth aunties from the wedding list is definitely not an option? Or you simply want every loved one and their respective guests in attendance, then you need to plan a really big wedding.

The logistics of planning and pulling off a large wedding can be intimidating but the payoff can make it well worth it.

The person who said there no right way to have a wedding, isn't Greek, Jewish, Chinese or indian :) and for most of us your wedding will be the first major event you have ever planned. 

Here is a few key pieces of advice to get you started and keep you sane.

1 Find and book the venue, before anything else (including the wedding dress)

large weddings

The larger the wedding the narrower the choice of venue. Finding a wedding venue to cater for large weddings from Chinese to Jewish to Indian, with parades, musicians and tea ceremonies, can be tricky. Depending on your budget, search large city hotels such as the Shangri-la and the Marriott, large surf life saving clubs and RSL clubs such as Horizons on the Beach at Maroubra surf club and the Epping Club, golf clubs such as Terrey Hills Golf Club, convention centres, and think outside the square and consider large backyards and community halls.

Horizons at the Beach is a real find, and yes it's right on the beach! and yes ... you can have a wedding for 200 people sit down or 400 standing!! They are experts at planning large wedding and are well versed in catering for large cultural weddings. Download their wedding packages

2. Be sure the venue will comfortably fit all of your guests

Always visit your shortlist of wedding venues before you book. If the vision for your wedding doesn't fit the space, it's important to know that up front. Ask to see photos of past events and weddings of similar guest numbers. Ask for a floor plan and map out the space with the functions manager at the venue to ensure that all of your guests will have a place to sit and can comfortably mingle. 

Visualise the space between each of the tables, and the space from the tables to the dance floor and the space from the tables to the toilets. Without a floor plan it can be hard to see where 25 guest tables, and subsequently, 25 large centerpieces, will fit, or if the dance floor that can accommodate 200 people.

3. Large weddings in summer

large weddings

It's easy for the space to get hot and stuffy quickly with hundreds of people dancing and walking around, so knowing important facts about the venue's air conditioning and circulation is essential. Otherwise, you might have people sweating and those hot plates of pasta and beef will go to waste.

One venue that will cater for up to 400 standing and 250 sitting is Horizons and it's sits beachfront on one of Sydney's most stunning beaches.

4. Keep travel time in mind.

large weddings

If you have your ceremony and reception in two separate locations, you have to ensure your guests can easily get from one venue to the other. 400 guests means a lot of hire cars, taxis and ubers which in turn can create lots of traffic. Particularly for weddings in city's like Sydney where there's already lots of traffic, no parking or parking is incredibly expensive.  If there's no room in your budget to hire transportation for everyone, make sure the maps on your wedding website are extra-detailed. 

5. Keeping your guests engaged. 

Give your wedding guests a reason to get up and mingle. Think about creating multiple little parties within the room to keep lots of guests engaged. Thematic food stations are a great way to get guests moving around the room, and having multiple stations cof your favourite foods can minimise queues of hungry people.

Photo booths and video booths will create lasting memories for you and your guests.  Or take it one step further and set up a a games area with craft tables, pétanque and hopscotch.

Because it can take a long time to feed over 200 people, for large seated weddings, break up the second and the third course with some wedding entertainment, or wedding games

6. Have a plan to see everyone. Yes it can be done...

Your wedding guests are coming to celebrate you, but having over 200 people means that it's a challenge to spend time with every single one of them.

A four or five hour reception is tough time constraint to navigate the crowds, spend time with each guest, enjoy your wedding day and take it all in at the same time, it is no lie that many couples say their wedding day is the fastest day of their lives.

Maximize your time with your guests and plan to do your photos and 'first look' photo shoot before the ceremony, so you can attend your own pre wedding drinks and do some mingling there. For people who have traveled from out of town, hold a casual welcome cocktail party the night before to give you a chance to thank them for making the effort to attend.

As for the receiving line...forget it! It takes a long time to greet 200 people. You are far better off visiting each table at the wedding reception.

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