Successful celebration tips

Here follow tips for a successful celebration event focussed around our Cockatoo Room and/or marquee space. If you have already booked an event here you will find this .pdf Event Manual will be a useful download for your Master of Ceremonies or event organiser.


Making your day 

  • If you are organising an event for yoursel remember that your event is meant to be fun for you and your partner. Aim to create plenty of time for you to interact with your guests. Ensuring that brides and grooms or guests-of-honour do not have to worry or over-commit their time and energy to organising and/or doing things on the actual celebration day is in itself an achievement. Delegate! Plan this aspect carefully. 

  • Your delegated MC or event manager on the day will find the above downloadable Event Manual, also contained in a folder in our Cockatoo Room, will help your event flow smoothly.

  • Consider booking at least one or more of our cottages for more than the minimum 2 nights (perhaps one at each end) so that you can settle, set-up and/or clean-up, even socialise, at a more leisurely pace.

  • Be creative with your event. Typically your function room and/or marquee booking starts a day before your event. You are free to decorate our spaces as you wish...but with nothing flammable. We request you do not use sticky tape or other fixings that will mark or damage our walls or fittings. Note that we have a range of extras for hire, eg tablecloths, napkins, dance floor, annex matting etc or you can hire from 3rd parties.

  •  Though we have a ceremonial arbour with lake backdrop you can use for your outdoor ceremony you are free to erect a temporary custom stage, arches or frame anywhere you like....or you can our Cockatoo Room as a chapel and a marquee for reception. If structures require pegs or driving-in of posts check first with our office the location of water pipes and underground power. The safety of any temporary structures organised by you is your responsibility. 

  • You are welcome to hire a third-party marquee, food trucks, cool rooms and vans. Each is subject to a small access/ground rent fee. We do not charge for associated third party furniture or other party needs provided they are on site as briefly as possible.

  • In the Cockatoo Room we have a 12-channel sound system able to take inputs from IPhones/Pads/Pods, MP3 players, CDs as well as multiple microphone or instrument inputs. We have both wired and wireless microphone capacity for speeches. We have an overhead projector to which a computer can be connected for a personalised, historic/amusing/embarrassing presentations.

  • If you want to use our marquee or a third party one then we have microphones and a powered speaker but not a full sound system for use there.  

  • Having to vacate accommodation by 11am on the morning after a big celebration can be a challenge that needs consideration. We can generally, but not always (please check with us), allow a late checkout (say 1pm) in Cafe and Cockatoo but, unless you have booked it or we agree otherwise, all other accommodation has to be vacated by 11am. Avoiding any rush might be a good reason for you to consider extending at least the Café Cottage booking for an extra night. Remember we expect kitchens, equipment and the function room itself to be left in the condition and in the places you found them. A normal professional clean of floors and toilets and is included in the tariff but you will be charged additionally for any crockery, cutlery and glasses not washed (or broken) and put away, for rubbish by volume and for any function room tables and chairs or equipment not put away. You will also be charged for damage and breakages.

  • Consider having a brunch on the morning after your main event (using the Café kitchen and/or BBQs) to which all guests who have attended your event, whether accommodated at Bawley Bush Retreat or elsewhere, are invited. Many of our guest groups enjoy this occasion for post-mortems and farewells. Consider having such brunch separately catered. If not consider engaging a waiter or kitchen-hand to assist in such Sunday brunch and/or general clean-up. Though friends are usually more than willing, having a relatively inexpensive hired hand to help and do odd set-up jobs and removal to assist friends is well worth considering. We can help you find such people, but check Local Providers>Waiters on our website.

  • Brides and Grooms are responsible for all event payments to us. You can devise your own method of obtaining contributions from your guests. We are happy to accept contributions from guests and reduce the balance owing by principals by the amount we have received.  

  • For an event of up to 100-odd people there is sufficient parking in our gravelled car-parks and roadsides. If your event is larger and the ground is dry we can provide for overflow parking on grass with witches hats available to mark parking limits. Best to keep cars away from wedding photography.  It can help if you allocate someone to be a parking marshall. When the ground is wet then it will not be possible to park on the grass so roadsides further from the Cockatoo Room will need to be used for parking. There is to be no parking on the lawn in front of the Cockatoo Room.

  • We have white Bali wedding flags that can be borrowed and placed at our gateway if you wish to so identify your celebration location to arriving guests. You can also tie balloons or ribbon to the roadsign on Bawley Point Road. Council rangers may remove other identifiers placed there.

  • The Cockatoo Room servery is suitable for use as a bar only for functions of up to about 30 people. All larger functions will need to set up a temporary bar on the verandas or at any marquee. We have a moveable servery and large ice containers to facilitate this. In locating your bar give consideration to ensuring that those who are being served are not blocking the free flow of guests elsewhere. A reminder, you are not authorised to sell alcohol.

  • We have space for overflow friends/guests to camp in tents, campers or caravans wherever you like to locate them (but that subject to weather-related ground conditions). They will have access to all Cockatoo Room toilets, bathrooms and showers. You are free to hire in extra showers and/or toilets. The extra tariff payable for overflow accommodation is visible under our Tariff Tab. Give consideration to locating campers where they will not interfere with views or photographs. If using areas not designated as camp sites be sure to ask where poly water pipes and electricity lines are located if you intend to drive in tent pegs.

  • Weatherproof 15amp and 10 amp power sockets available on the Cockatoo Room veranda, 10 amp at the marquee and the gazebo can be used for whatever purpose is needed, including by musicians, for lighting and power in marquees or for more distant campers. We have some extension leads you are free to borrow but be careful not to leave equipment/adaptors in a position where they could get wet.

  • We carry sufficient crockery, cutlery, wine, champagne and drinking glasses to cater for a function of 120 people. This stock will be spread between the Cafe Cottage and Cockatoo Room kitchens. It is a condition of use that all such stock and all kitchen equipment be left clean and stored away again where found after use. That applies also to the domestic and commercial dishwashers.  We will charge you for breakages and staff time needed if a clean takes longer than usual.

  • If using our open-air grounds for part of your event make fall-back arrangements for wet or hot weather. We believe we have the facilities to cope with either eventuality.

  • The Cockatoo Room is endowed with veranda lights and flood lights that spill light away from the building. You are free to add whatever other decorative low-wattage, non-heat-generating lighting, eg fairy lights or lanterns, you wish. Absolutely no candles inside.

  • There is no music curfew. The only restriction we have regarding music is that loud and/or throbbing music must cease by 11pm. You can continue playing quieter music as long as you like. Your event will be private but the reason for this restriction is that a neighbour lives just 500m away over the lake and noise travels across water very readily.