Jul 11, 2020
The Fyansford Paper Mill (otherwise known as Site 3a by Truffleduck) hosts weddings and events just outside of Geelong in the historic corner of Fyansford at Provenance Wines, in what is an absolute little treasure of the area, just minutes from the Geelong city centre. Take a look at this Fyansford Paper Mill Wedding Pre-enactment with the inimitable Georgie Boy.
I spent half a day in it’s incredible stone walls with Melbourne florist Gina (Georgie Boy), making use of the space and each of us following our noses in our respective crafts, with no end-goal in mind but to make something together in the 3 hours spent there. More from this shoot and a little short-film we created at the papermill to be released soon.
Scroll to the bottom for information on hiring for a Fyansford Paper Mill Wedding (or epic battle, midnight ritual, the world’s your oyster).
Fyansford Paper Mill is something of an internet enigma, and has less of a presence than you might expect for a venue that resembles an impossibly beautiful run-down italian castle, just sitting at the edge of Geelong.
Dating back to the precincts industrial era, the Fyansford Paper Mills look like something more likely to have been plucked from the minds of Peter Jacksons set-design team than a venue just outside of Melbourne that you can actually hire for your wedding: enormous wooden beams, an impossibly high entrance divider between the two main stone rooms and a unique blank canvas unlike anywhere else.
Anyhow, you don’t need me frothing over it’s incredible blue-stone walls and regurgitating information you can find readily available on the Truffleduck website, but I will say that outside of an old palace on the side of an Italian cliff, there aren’t any venues i’ve been to that feel anything quite like this.
Lower Section – 200 guests
Upper Section – 160 guests
Cocktail Style – 380 guests
For venues like the Paper Mill outside of Geelong, see Alternative Wedding Venues in Melbourne.
Jul 8, 2020
I Do Drive Thru is a worldwide wedding startup, helping couples get hitched in the middle of Covid19 while adhering to the restrictions and saving the partying for later. Since launching in Melbourne, it’s spread nationally, and has since popped up all over the USA. Melbourne wedding celebrant Mel (who also moonlights as The Ceremony Store) runs us through why it started and how it’s helped couples all over the world.
I’ve been a Marriage and Funeral Celebrant for 15 years and own the companies, The Ceremony Store, The I Do Drive Thru and The Last Time. I am also a Celebrant Trainer with Australian Celebrations Training, Furniture Maker, Writer, Mother and Wife but I have always wanted to be an Electrician.
I am obsessed with learning as much as I can in this lifetime, I am perpetually curious. I try one new task every year until I get good at it, then I move on: I have learnt lock-picking, languages, carpentry, metal-detecting, and written a book.
When COVID 19 became a part of our world I was given medical advice to isolate which meant I could no longer do weddings. The next day I gave away/rescheduled 17 weddings and it was, to say the least; devastating, not just for me, but for my couples. Not only that, I felt horribly guilty giving my weddings to other Celebrants who could possibly get COVID.
That night I lay awake thinking about how I could keep those Celebrants safe and keep working from home during COVID.
To digress, I have always been a bit obsessed with Vegas style weddings and in my early Celebrancy career, I used to ride my red postie motorbike to weddings dressed as Elvis. It just seemed pretty natural that Vegas-vibed drive thru weddings and getting couples to stay in their cars while getting married and keeping the Celebrant distanced was the answer to all of my problems.
The next morning I texted 3 of the most awesome Celes I know, said let’s start this business, and all of them said yes without hesitation and 8 days later, we had a business name, logo, website and a press release. On our launch day we had over 32 calls from the press, 10 enquiries and booked our very first wedding.
Just by chance, my co-founders Kate, Zena and Klara were the perfect combo to get everything going, and the main driver between all of us was the passion to continue working while this crisis was going on around us.
We all love what we do and while we all kind of felt like sitting around grieving for what we had lost, we forced ourselves to build something new to fit with the changed times. Our catch cry became ‘we will work that out later’ as the business moved so incredibly quickly.
I honestly believe that anyone can do anything they set their mind to, impossible isn’t in my vocabulary. Any skill can be learned, any work can be completed no matter what limits there are, so we worked 19-20 hours days for that first week and we pulled it off.
The most rewarding thing about starting the business was the instant gratification we got with the media interest, we knew that our idea was good and the public interest confirmed that.
My gorgeous co-founders put so much trust in me right from the get go. We organised everything via phone, zoom and email, we have only sat in the same space once since we started the business, which is pretty incredible.
On launch day, seeing Klara on the 6pm news launching our business was such an achievement and then to replicate that model in each state over and over and then in the US has been amazing!
We now have 21 Celebrants working Aus wide with us and 2 in the US.
Celebrants weren’t the only people affected by COVID, it’s also the photographers, venue owners, car hire companies, florists, everyone has been affected in our industry. We worked hard to create a model that could encompass as many of these suppliers in local communities as possible, so they could be involved too.
A huge benefit to our business has been that we managed to snag some of the best photographers in Australia to work with us and these artists have provided some of the most epic photos of ceremonies.
Having these professional images to share with potential couples so they can see that tiny weddings can be so intimate and beautiful and moving has been incredible, a professional picture really is worth a thousand words.
Bringing work to all types of wedding industry professionals, while they were feeling pretty down about losing their own work, has given us all the warm fuzzies.
Our couples really range in age, we have had couple in their 20’s to couple’s in their 80’s. The similarity between them is that they really want to get married, but feel like they don’t fit into the white wedding dress/getting given away by Dad/first dance scenario. We have had couples that have stayed in their car for the ceremony, gotten out and married under trees, created convoys so family and friends can come and watch and couples have arrived via cars, helicopters, motorbikes and bicycles.
My fave couple so far is a couple where the Bride recently became paraplegic and she is still getting used to navigating new places and feels a little self-conscious.
Her Fiancé just wanted to marry her, because in his words, ‘she is the most amazing woman in the world’. When they heard about the Drive Thru and she saw that she didn’t have to get out of the car and worry about wheelchair logistics, she cried, because this was the only way she felt comfortable getting married.
COVID is going to be here for a while. It’s not going to magically disappear, and I honestly think this will impact the wedding industry for years.
In the short term we have the uncertainty of not knowing when we can go back to booking big celebrations and it makes planning pretty impossible.
Then when restrictions are lifted then yes, technically, we can go back to bigger celebrations, but is it a celebration if you can’t hug your Nan when you walk back down the aisle? Is it a celebration if you can’t share a shot glass or eat bread out of the same breadbasket?
The effects of social distancing will continue to live on, especially when it comes to celebrating that way that we are used to.
A surprising side-effect to this whole COVID scenario, is that suddenly eloping isn’t taboo, eloping makes you responsible, kinda like a hero, you are protecting your community by having a small wedding and that shift in thinking has been kinda rad.
People have been eloping because there isn’t the stigma attached to it anymore, heck the government practically endorsed eloping when you were only allowed to have the marrying couple and two witnesses present.
My advice to couples during COVID has been to follow your heart and remember that there is a huge difference between a marriage and a wedding. (Check out Will and Jac for Melbourne wedding planning).
If you wanna get married, get married, do it, commit to your lover, that’s so important, don’t let COVID stop you. There is literally no better time to love and be loved than right now, having companionship during a crisis is what will get you through it.
When people ask what you did during COVID how totally romantic is it to say that you married your honey and then shacked up in iso together? (Side note – like this Blue Mountains Elopement).
If your heart is set on a wedding that encompasses family and friends, then wait, but wait until COVID is dead and gone and we can hug again. Have a huge wedding down the track, when you can handshake and dance, but you will have to be patient.
And for those that want both, do it! Have the most romantic, sweet tiny ceremony now and make it all about each other, then have a huge wedding party later on-best of both worlds.
Running a business during a pandemic is tough. Terms and conditions/your contract/Statement of Fees documents are everything. Mine was pretty broad but certainly never covered a killer virus!
I always say to other Celebrants be tough on paper, but soft in reality. You have to have your rules in place, but be flexible, don’t forget everyone is going through something and creating relationships, and word of mouth recommendations in this business is what it is all about.
I always rule with my heart and not my head, so I certainly don’t set the best example for other business owners, but I find if you treat people with kindness then that’s what you will get back.
I have always gotten more out of what I do for others, than what I do for myself, so to create a business that has helped so people feel good and have a bit of purpose during COVID has probably been one of the most rewarding things I have done for a long time.
To have your small Melbourne City elopement filmed by the best wedding videographers in town, check out Bottlebrush Films as they’re doing filming for overseas guests and relatives who can’t make it.
Jun 30, 2020
In the middle of classic Australian expanse, about 2 hours west of Brisbane as the crow flies, sits Australia’s second largest inland city, and recipient of “most vowels in a city name” award. Welcome, to the gloriously rural region of Toowoomba, Queensland. Known for it’s Carnival of Flowers held annually in September, and having recently installed it’s own airport more and more people are getting to know this hidden gem of a town. Today though, we’re here to focus specifically on the BEST Toowoomba wedding venue, Gabbinbar Homestead.
Read this post if:
The majestic diversity speaks for itself. It’s the perfect middle ground between country wedding and city wedding. While Toowoomba isn’t a bustling hub of activity like Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, it has the most endearing rustic charm that you can’t quite find in those larger cities. This rustic charm honestly makes for the most heartwarming, down-to-Earth wedding ceremonies.
Shooting at rural wedding venues like this just make you feel like you’re part of something special: and part of that here owes to the almost total seclusion from the outside world of it’s private garden edges.
I’ve shot at countless wedding venues and no place quite makes you feel at home like the gorgeous Gabbinbar Homestead. There are so many hidden gems scattered throughout the venue, and the mystique of it all is something you have to feel to believe. You find yourself weaving in and out of the trees, snapping pictures of family and friends of the bride and groom in such a relaxed, magical atmosphere. Rural wedding venues just seem to bring out the best in people.
Gabbinbar’s all-inclusive wedding package, aptly titled ‘The Gabbinbar Experience’ is just that. It’s basically everything you need to experience the exact wedding day you want to bring to life. Specifically:
Plus all of those often overlooked, finer details that go into executing a flawless wedding that come with the territory of having everything in the one place.
Outside of this theres 3000+ rooms a stone’s throw away for guests and family.
So, if you’re thinking of escaping to the country for your wedding, short of the rural expanses of the moon there’s no better place than Gabbinbar Homestead.
From a Toowoomba wedding venue abundant in charm and heart to a completely unique shotgun-style Melbourne wedding venue, visit this post featuring The Alter Electric.
Jun 26, 2020
Good Day Club are your friendly neighbourhood Rainbow Anarchists. Good Day design the most wild, colourful, bombastic, insert-synonym-here wedding celebrations in all the lands of/including/but not limited to, Melbourne and it’s surrounds.
Since one hand is loaded up with shiraz these days, we figured we’d load up the other with a keyboard and have a bit of a chinwag about all things celebration.
I’ve been lucky to share a couple of shoots with these maestros, from Tanglewood Estate all the way over to The Altar Electric where their stylish hands mark is laid permanently, onto it’s peach-pastel walls of eternity. Etc.
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With Covid forcing us all indoors and all manner of brilliant doorstep portrait projects happening, I wanted to kickstart some convos with my local community and find out how the time and strange space is being used, as it’s never been more important to stay connected and sharing.
I’m Kate Forsyth, creative director and co-founder of Good Day Club. I steer the ship and set it’s creative direction, but I also do pretty much any and all things from changing lightbulbs and fixing broken chairs to buying milk and cleaning the toilet.
I’d say my friends think I am constantly doing lots of glamorous and creative stuff and swanning around at parties and weddings, whereas the majority of the time, ship steering is where it’s at. If I do get to attend a party or wedding, I guarantee you if I do get to go to a party or wedding, I shall end up crawling on the floor sorting out bung neon sign plug or rectifying one thing or another.
The creative part of my job is pretty ace though – from working with ace clients to create their dream event, to making + building, meeting fellow vintage lovers and passionate people and collaborating in heaps of way.
They’re unique and people feel empowered to do whatever the heck has meaning for them. Melbourne weddings are less about what’s trending and more about what floats the boat of the couple.
Personalisation, colour, fun, personality, boldness and the unexpected.
My high levels of weirdness. The fact that I have like 30 tonnes of furniture and props at my fingertips. The number of Potato Gems I consume.
For want of a better term, we’re a one-stop shop because we can design your wedding, furnish and light it, create your graphic design, set it up, style it and take it all away.
And we’ve leaned very hard into our niche of a wild mix of old and new. People tell us our work is immediately recognisable and that makes me feel so happy, that I eat some more Potato Gems.
We were already looking at efficiency this year, so it’s been a supercharged version of that. Efficiency with our costs but also with our processes – making everything work better and easier for our customers (and staff). We’ve also looked at doing less things better, cutting out a few services and we’ve added our first digital product (video call backgrounds).
We’ve always prided ourselves on our rad designs but what we talk about less is that we are a smooth AF operation as well.
And we just got smoother.
Our clients are always telling us that they loved how easy we make things and that is our mission!
Look, who bloody knows. Honestly, while we’ve been busy improving our offering and efficiency, I’ve been interspersing that with having semi-regular existential crises/breakdowns about what is going to happen to celebrations.
If I leave the ‘why are we here’s?’ and ‘what is the purpose of all this?’ at the door, I’d say that celebrations will continue to be more and more unique and personalised, and a reflection of the couple and what’s important to them.
Couples have had a LOT of time to think about what’s important and so while wedding size is currently mandated by the government (srsly, how weird is that sentence?!?) I think smaller celebrations with more of what the couple want will continue to be all the rage, even once bigger weddings are allowed again.
I mean, do you really want to spend $150 to feed and water your cousin’s boyfriend or your work friend’s partner you’ve never met?
Cutting that guest list gives you heaps more freedom to go all out on the things you love.
The mark I want to leave is a big, bold and cray colourful one where I’ve contributed to a movement of couple’s feeling super empowered to do whatever the fuck they want for their wedding, dumping traditions that mean nothing and other people’s expectations.
Jun 24, 2020
Anthony Cribbes – recipient of the most debonair hair-sweep, occasional farmer (only, or mostly during pandemics), wedding celebrant, founder of The Celebrant A List, and one part of the trio behind the iconic Collingwood Wedding chapel The Altar Electric.
Read on for all this and all the other things he does that didn’t fit in this sentence.
With Covid forcing us all indoors and all manner of brilliant doorstep portrait projects happening, I wanted to kickstart some convos with my local community and find out how the time and strange space is being used, as it’s never been more important to stay connected and sharing.
Man what a time ISO LYF has been! I live in the country but for the last 5 years it feels like the road is more my home. Being able to stay closer to home has made me realised that I will be putting a priority on focussing my business in a more local sense.
It’s almost like I guess you could say that I am becoming a business cliched bourgeoisie and opting for a ’tree-change’ or ‘downsizing’… only I promise I am doing it in a non-pretentious way, not so I can start a new Insta account of: ‘My journey from big city life to self discovery’ kind of crap.
Before ISO I was passionate about community and quality over quantity. I see weddings now moving from a ‘bigger and better’ world to one where people are placing a premium on the connection.
This means I can see a lot more smaller weddings happening. We actually made a change to the Altar Electric around 6 months ago for this very reason, we didn’t just want to be offering registry style weddings, we wanted people to be able to have a small wedding celebration.
One that was about creating great moments but didn’t bring with it the anxiety inducing costs.
Haha…I’ll leave the Wizardry stuff to my mates out at Hogwarts. Altar Electric is actually Dee and Sarah’s (my amazing business partners) original concept, I just helped give it the nudge.
Initially we were thinking it would be about Registry Weddings…but in the end we realised what we were actually tapping into was a whole new vein of thinking from pockets in the community. We didn’t realise just how under served the small wedding market was.
From our understanding that wasn’t due to a lack of desire but more a lack of supply from an industry that was focussed on large groups only essentially.-
Oh so many! I think the biggest thing anything Celebrant can do is to not get carried away with their own ego, I see it all over the place and could also be accused of being guilty of it myself.
I think once you start telling yourself you’ve made ‘it’, things will turn, because it’s at this stage when people stop evolving, adapting, learning and improving.
I am definitely a way different Celebrant in terms of my style now then I was 5 years ago when I first started. How I win my work is also drastically different.
We can always learn from anyone… right now the people I am learning the most from are the Celebrants who are only 1-2 years into the business but are completely slaying it…also avoid having a gimmick, it will run dry very quickly, just be genuine.
There’s 9,500 of us in Australia, so just know that there’s the right kind of Celebrant out there for you.
I always think it works best as a Celebrant when I work with couples who I can genuinely go and have a beer with down at the pub and talk about other things than weddings.
That’s the kind of fit you are hoping for, so make sure you try and find that kind of person for you.
A feature on Melbourne wedding celebrants is also here.
Jun 14, 2020
Until early 2020, thanks to Covid19, weddings are going to be happening on a smaller scale (or, straight up elopements). With that said, if there’s one thing i’ve noticed in photographing celebrations of all shapes and sizes, there’s always a certain brilliance in intimate gatherings that just doesn’t exist in larger ones, and having a small wedding in the short term still means you can have a larger celebration down the line, with less planning infrastructure. So while we have to wait a little while to have big parties and weddings again, here are some of my favourite small wedding venues in Melbourne.
Ahead of the curve in the small-wedding game, The Altar Electric has been championing the power of intimate weddings for years, and is the brainchild of The Wedding Anarchist, Sarah Dobson, and Anthony Cribbes.
One of the more characterful small wedding venues in Melbourne and nestled in the industrial back streets of Collingwood, The Altar Electric warehouse wedding venue can cater for weddings up to about 30 people, and right down to a cracking shotgun-wedding with just the two of you and your witnesses.
To top it all off, they just upgraded their space, thanks to the incredible styling handiwork of local design and party heroes, Good Day Club.
So whether you’ve got 5 guests, 20 guests, or 30 guests, this brilliant peach palace is a great place to get a fab ceremony done.
When Covid19 hit full-steam and we were locked down to having weddings with a maximum of 5 people in total, local genius Mel of The Ceremony Store came up with a hit concept that quickly spread throughout Australia, and right over into the USA: I Do Drive Thru.
I Do Drive Thru gets you married in a whirlwind ceremony from the safe confines of your car, or anywhere in a public space: just you two, and the very closest of your crew. Get it said, get it done, and get away to celebrate what matters: just the two of you.
Don’t be mistaken by the name: while I Do Drive Thru might sound like, it’s a drive-thru thing, that’s only one side of what it can be. I Do Drive Thru is a small wedding ceremony, done anywhere you like, in exactly any style of intimate celebration that you can imagine. From loud, to quiet, to classy to crazy, and everything in between.
Read more about I Do Drive Thru here, and reach out to them to see if they’re the right fit.
Tess and Sam, married on their family property in Australia’s Kangaroo Valley.
If larger wedding venues aren’t a part of the plan, sometimes it’s best to look inwards to what’s closest: our own family property. With some thoughtful catering and preparation, having a wedding at your home makes for an intimate experience, and something potentially more meaningful when you look back at your photos.
The only concern usually had around having a wedding on family property, is that of cleanup! But keep your crew small, keep the food simple, and it’s a great way to have a meaningful celebration where the only timeline you’re working to is your own.
An Air-Bnb has all the intimacy and timeline benefits of hosting it on your own family property, with the added bonus of being able to get married at any spectacular geographic location of your own choosing. Select a location with adventure nearby and a good kitchen within.
Here, Sarah and Simon had a beautiful small ceremony at an Air-Bnb in a spectacular piece of nature, before enjoying a beautiful afternoon with 4 of their closest friends, and an evening of home cooked meals and games.
Sarah and Simons Australian wedding was featured on the wedding blog Rock n Roll Bride, so head over there for more of their story.
While we’re dealing with only having small gatherings, many of Melbournes most incredible venues are able to scale themselves down to accommodate a more intimate wedding.
To discover a whole lot of other options, here’s a list of incredible alternative wedding venues in Melbourne.
Looking for a large venue? Check out their Indian wedding reception.
Jun 13, 2020
Looking for an alternative to the traditional registry wedding? Unfurrow your brow and cast your eyes over to Melbourne’s answer to the Vegas wedding chapel – The Altar Electric.
The gloves are off, and The Altar Electric, has overhauled their entire space in Collingwood.
Previously a rich blue and in a slightly smaller room, The Altar Electric has a new lease of life in incredible pastel peach colours, with explosions of floral colour courtesy of the inimitable Melbourne florist Bloom Boy, styling features from The Arbourists, and an entire vision executed by the wizard-folk at Good Day Club.
The Altar Electric have been leaders in getting couples hitched while we’ve all been sailing the perilous waters of Covid-19, providing shotgun-style weddings and a colourful alternative to traditional registry weddings.
Now, as isolation restrictions lift, the venue is opening up and moving towards it’s full capacity of 40.
The venue has the most incredible light draping through its industrial style windows at any hour of day.
BYO cardboard Elvis – but you can order the real deal via their in-house Elvis impressionist.
The space is littered with the hallmarks of Good Day Clubs’ intricate styling – a roof filled with disco balls and chains, and decadent knick-knacks from wall to wall.
No bridal snog is complete without the floral explosions of Bloom Boy behind it.
Schoolhouse Studios, 81 Rupert St, Collingwood VIC
Jun 8, 2020
Tanya and Ryan are Jiu-Jitsu diehards, who train together, and Mario-Kart together. These legends had their Two Ton Max wedding in Melbourne right at the 11th hour before Melbourne’s first Covid lockdown. In one of Melbournes most brilliant warehouse wedding venues, these two got it done in style with a crew of the best. I was lucky to be along for the ride with my dear old mate Michelle Grace Hunder, photographing this together for the first time in years (we started out as a wedding duo before going solo).
Enjoy this little peek into Tanya and Ryans Two Ton Max wedding, featuring Melbourne wedding celebrant Shannon Jeans running the show. For more beautiful warehouse, rustic, or alternative wedding venues in Melbourne, check out this post on unique Melbourne wedding venues, featuring Rupert on Rupert and Gather and Tailor.
Two Ton Max website: http://twotonmax.com.au/
Mar 27, 2020
So, we’re in a pandemic. Apart from this bizarre scenario gifting us a new vocabulary including such terms as “social distancing”, it’s turned what should be a beautiful process full of joy (and at most, disagreements around what type of paper the invitations will be printed on) into a right old… let’s call it what it is – shitstorm. The beautiful upside is – and stay with me here – it’s opened the doors to many couples enjoying a beautiful Melbourne City elopement – while saving the party with their communities for later.
I’ve been fortunate to photograph a whole lot of weddings during Covid19, and the general vibe has been one of optimism, and putting love first. Forward thinking crews such as I Do Drive Thru and The Altar Electric have made a great space for making the celebration happen, which i’ll go into a little further below.
It’s difficult to say with conviction “currently, we can do…” as the information available and lockdown situation is changing very quickly, with huge implications on the scale of wedding celebration that can be had.
Presently, though – at this very moment in time – Stage 3 lockdowns mean a smaller wedding – in effect, an elopement! And that’s good news, for a slew of reasons. From experience, while this might sound like a compromise, it’s one of the most beautiful ways to celebrate your marriage in an intimate way, have a bunch of fun with it, while rescheduling the big community side of it to a later date.
Consider getting the legals down, teaming up with one of our brilliant Melbourne wedding celebrants (who in the case of I Do Drive Thru, can live-stream your little moment of glory to family and friends far and wide), exploring some of my favourite Melbourne Wedding photo locations together, and then… updating that Facebook status.
I’m a destination wedding photographer, based in Melbourne, and originally from the Yarra Valley. I’m lucky to have the best job in the world: photographing love and community, all over the planet. If you’re having a Melbourne City elopement, i’d love to have the honour of photographing it for you.
Mar 25, 2020
When Sam and Paul got married at their house in Thornbury, right up there as far as “level of importance” to the getting married bit, was a quest to local iconic culinary heroes, Kenny Lover Ice Cream. Just a few frames from a little stopover break between their ceremony and their reception at their Thornbury home. With some of the most incredible colour and light anywhere in Thornbury, take a look at their sort-of-nearly-but-mostly Kenny Lover Wedding (and while you’re here, see some of my nearby other favourite wedding photo locations in Melbourne).
Kenny Lover Ice Cream website: https://www.kennylover.com.au/
796 High St, Thornbury VIC 3071
Nov 1, 2019
If you’re here, you’re planning a wedding at Metropolis Events incredible wedding venue in Melbourne, and maybe even looking for a photographer. I’m a Melbourne based wedding photographer, and photograph weddings all over the world, including each year in New York, which I feel Metropolis Events is something of a spiritual homage to.
I photograph a small number of weddings each year, capping out at around 20 so that each couple receives an extraordinary level of care and attention.
Below is a selection of weddings i’ve photographed in all sorts of locations, with brilliant couples all over the planet. If you’re looking for a Melbourne wedding photographer for your Metropolis Events wedding, drop me a line at the bottom.
Make an enquiry: https://briarsatlas.com/enquire
Aug 10, 2019
Back in 2016, Steph, a brilliant photographer in her own right, reached out to see if I’d head over to Fremantle to photograph her Quarry Farm wedding to the debonair Zac (who has an uncanny resemblance to old mate Westley from my all-time favourite film, Princess Bride).
After musing on it for all of 0.0413 seconds I said yes, and one of the joys, apart from the general brilliance of spending a day with these to maestros, was discovering a gem of Fremantle – Quarry Farm.
Enjoy the images from their day – and what was the first ever wedding hosted at this glorious venue outside of Perth. It’s always a wild honour photographing an artists wedding, and it’s crazy to me that over half of my bookings these days are from fellow wedding photographers! It raises the stakes a little bit, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Steph and Zacs Quarry Farm wedding was featured on Polka Dot Bride. Head over there to see their full day and beautiful story.
Steph and Zac didn’t see each other beforehand, but shared a prayer together with a dash of touch on the morning.
I imagine that when the bridal designers were creating this gown, the exact thing they had in mind was “bridal peace ninja”.
See more kids at weddings here.
The classic Fremantle walk – one of my favourite areas to shoot Fremantle wedding portraits in. The historic Fremantle back streets make for a marvellous backdrop to have a stroll through.
Steph and Zacs reception dance floor began with a dance-off between herself, her dad and brother.
Quarry Farm has a little lake at the base of the reception room, brilliant for a secluded little spot to escape to for some evening portraits.
Quarry Farm call themselves the best rustic wedding venue in Perth and it’s pretty easy to see this holds up, with a huge diversity of usable areas and natural surrounds on over 200 acres.
Quarry Farm website: https://www.quarryfarm.com.au/
1475 South Western Hwy, Whitby WA 6123
I regularly photograph weddings in Perth and Fremantle, and there are no additional costs or complexities involved. Reach out to me via my enquiry form over here.
Looking for an incredible Perth wedding gown designer? Check out Jaime Lee Major.
Jul 17, 2019
Emily and Tony had a beautiful, stylish wedding at St Kilda’s iconic wedding venue, the Prince Hotel – the Deck at Circa. With a room full of their loved ones, floral styling by the mastermind Katie Marx florals and a ceremony run by the inimitable Gina Liano celebrant, this was an evening of colour and brilliant love.
The Deck at Circa is a brilliant blank canvas, and a light filled space with an enormous deck area (as the name lets on) to host Melbourne wedding ceremonies indoors or out.
The area of St Kilda offers a tonne of beautiful wedding photo locations, from the foreshore nearby, all the way over to the beautiful heritage art-deco architecture of the area. Usually i’ll take couples out for a 15-20 minute loop, and in that time you can cover all the art-deco hotspots, spend some time on the foreshore, and also enjoy some of the gardens around where those two worlds meet.
The Prince Hotel is one of our more known rooftop wedding venues, and has seen every type of celebration under the sun. The expansive deck overlooks Fitzroy Street, and enjoys brilliant sunsets bursting through the steel cladding around the windows.
A 300 space carpark takes care of all the guests, the venue has plenty of accommodation, and the rest of the St Kilda surrounds take care of everyone for the next day.
Get yourself a Melbourne wedding celebrant, Katie Marx (see her handiwork at the venue just up above), C2 films (Melbourne wedding videographers super experienced with The Deck at Circa), a Melbourne wedding band AND a Melbourne wedding planner and off we go.
For another beautiful Melbourne rooftop wedding venue, check out South Melbournes Luminare.
Jul 2, 2019
I get a lot of the most beautiful enquiries for weddings, from all sorts of humans and all types of celebrations. But every now and then one stands out as something of a… unique first. An enquiry asking if i’d shoot their Albanian Rock n Roll Warehouse Rave Wedding stands out as one such enquiry. I teamed up with the brilliant Nat Sproal (also headlining my piece on the best Melbourne wedding celebrants here), for this incredible Fortyfive Downstairs wedding in Melbourne, which began with gentle calm and after the rave stuff, ended with Saranda putting a fire-hose on Brendan enthusiastically trying to corral some last portraits at the local Maccas.
Fortyfive Downstairs website: https://www.fortyfivedownstairs.com/wp2016/private-events/
Apr 6, 2019
Kate and Alex, married at the impossibly majestic Art-Deco Burnham Beeches. Though the old hotel itself was closed (as the iconic Rone exhibition was just being finished), we got to enjoy the grounds around it, and I teamed up with the brilliant video genius Nathan Kaso, and floral mastermind Sassafras Wedding design. Read on and check out Kate and Alex’s Burnham Beeches wedding.
If Yarra Valley wedding venues are your jam, be sure to check out Immerse Yarra Valley, Stones of the Yarra Valley, Yering Station, or a little closer in towards the city in Ripponlea, this Quat Quatta wedding. For something more on the industrial end of the dial, check out this list of unique Melbourne wedding venues.
For more Yarra Valley wedding venue love, check out Zonzo Estate.
Mar 28, 2019
Daniel and Darkus’s majestic Yering Station wedding in the Yarra Valley. Sharon the Celebrant came along to share their story with their community, and these two gents started off with a little portrait shoot nearby, before putting in a massive day of love and good times with their community.
If lush greenery and wild landscapes and art deco perfection in the Yarra Valley (cue Burnham Beeches and the incredible Zonzo Estate) aren’t your thing, check out these unique wedding venues in Melbourne for some alternatives. For a country victoria wedding venue further north, check out this Sault Daylesford wedding.
Mar 21, 2019
Melbourne is full to the brim with unique and interesting wedding venues. When working out what the most unique wedding venues in Melbourne are, it’s natural to look through the lens of the big apple, as the flavour of much of our own city is inspired by the east coast.
New York is kinda like an egg. Ask 5 people for their favourite way to consume it, and you’ll get 4 different answers, and one who’d prefer a nut-based alternative. From the lush heritage upstate venues, to the impossibly enormous barns, to the Manhattan dives and industrial warehouse spaces closer to what we more commonly identify with the city, greater New York has variety of feels wider than it’s ever given credit for.
Here’s seven slices of New York, right here in our own Melbourne, that double as some of the most unique, alternative wedding venues in town.
The Substation has this classic “we’re just casually repurposed an industrial Brooklyn warehouse” written all over it, with staggering floor-to-ceiling windows (this criteria would be less staggering if, for example, the windows were in a hobbit-sized home but we’re talking a less vertically-challenged structure here), red statement curtains, and one end lined with more secret little rooms than you can poke a stick at.
With plenty of space to spare both in the main atrium and the rooms below, Melbournes alternative wedding venue queen Newport Substation can be mapped to nearly any configuration, including any furniture layout you can imagine, and an on-site burrito stand for guests to tuck into. Set up a band in one corner, hire a leading progressive florist like Good Grace & Humour or Georgie Boy to dress up one end with an impossibly wild installation (or leave it in all it’s all bare glory), and you’ve got a space that’ll be on the tips of the guests tongues for weeks. After they recover from their hangovers.
Check out Nicole and Dan’s incredible wedding at Newport Substation.
And thankful for it existing, we are. Separated into a Main Dining Hall, Conservatory, and Cocktail Lounge, alternative wedding venue in Melbourne king Rupert on Rupert takes the crown for classic modern New York bar vibes in Melbourne, and wouldn’t be out of place in any of the more recently gentrified areas of inner-Brooklyn: which is also code-word for gorgeously designed, thoughtfully laid out, with a level of subtle considered genius by a design team that makes the space grow on you like the third album from that previously favourite artist of yours.
Geographically tucked neatly away into the “local knowledge” category, pop into Rupert on Rupert on a weekend, and it’s jam-packed with folks who know what’s good.
Rupert on Rupert has three main areas, each of which can be repurposed as you need, and the menu is headed by (x) and a crack-team of friendly maestros who can cater incredibly for vegetarians and vegans alike.
I’m not saying to just get Aunt Jenny on her iPad taking the photos for the day, but I will say that with every inch of the interior so thoughtfully considered, you could probably point your 2002 Nokia at the urinal and still get an incredible image pretty much anywhere inside Rupert on Rupert.
But don’t do that, because it’s extraordinarily weird that you’re still using that phone.
For more inspiration check out Alix and Tim’s reception at Rupert on Rupert here.
These are a few things that you definitely won’t find at Panama Dining room anymore.
When stepping into this cavernous room filled with giant arch windows you might be forgiven that in it’s past-life as a music venue in the heartland of the pub-scene, the majestic gateways of Panama Dining Room looking into and around the city were completely covered up.
Since being exposed in all their glory, Panama Dining Room has staked its claim as one of Melbournes best open-bar, dining-hybrid venues, and if you gently squint, it’s easy to imagine yourself in the warehouse-loft of a pre-crash Wall St tycoon in the 80s.
So squint, dear friend, bring that cigar to the lips, and inhale that sweet, sweet smell of pre-2007 venue tobacco laws, while you imagine yourself in that steamy machine of systemic exploitation known as wall st.
Fortunately for those of the stamina variety, Panama did carry one little thing over from it’s days as a live music venue: a 1am liquor license.
So party on, dear aspirational Gordon Gecko.
The Panama Dining Room is located in the heart of Smith St, which places it in beautiful proximity to some of the most iconic and historical parts of Melbournes oldest suburb, Fitzroy. That puts it at arms length away from an incredible lot of great portrait opportunities that can be had even with just a quick little sprint away from the Panama.
As far as alternative wedding venues in Melbourne go, Panama is at the unique intersection of ticking every alternative box, while also being placed at the centre of the action.
Panama Dining Room website: www.thepanama.com.au
Venue size: Let’s run with “Sprawling”. 160 guests seated, 220 standing
There’s much to be said for nostalgia. It is after all, the reason why we fought tooth and nail for an (ill-fated, but I digress) Hey Hey it’s Saturday revival wayback when, and why the the whiff of a can of Lynx can suddenly remove two decades of time and space for those in the mid-30’s bracket.
The savvy folk at Showtime events and caretakers of State Library Victoria know the value of nostalgia, and so they know that once the lukewarm memories of higher education and it’s study pressures have faded into memory, there’s nothing more appealing than inhaling an Espresso Martini and double-stack of canapes in one of the worlds most extravagantly beautiful study halls.
Enter, State Library Victoria.
Thankfully to the mad hatters at SLV, there are a total of five separate, incredibly distinct spaces in which to host your wedding, that can cater from the intimate to over 500 guests. So whether you’ve spent your days as a cave dwelling misanthrope or have as many friends as Tom from Myspace, you’re probably covered.
The lay of the land at State Library Victoria starts at the obviously decadent La Trobe Reading Room, throws a curveball of art via the Cowen Gallery, and ends at the recently revitalised Ian Potter Queens Hall, with the glorious North Rotunda and Isabelle Fraser room in between.
The State Library of Victoria, as well as having a variety of rooms that would be the envy of a Labrynth-trotting Bowie, is smack in the heart of the CBD – lending itself to plenty of beautiful portrait opportunities, classic Melbourne laneways and beyond, and is one of the more left of centre alternative wedding venues in Melbourne.
State Library of Victoria website: https://venues.slv.vic.gov.au/wedding/
Isabelle Fraser Room: 156 Banquet 220 Cocktail
Ian Potter Queens Hall: 290 Banquet 500 Cocktail
La Trobe Reading Room: 520 Cocktail
North Rotunda: 60 Banquet 90 Cocktail
Cowen Gallery: 220 Banquet 350 Cocktail
Location: Melbourne CBD
Location: West Melbourne
5km out of the CBD, smack-against a bunch of shipping containers and an old-school automotive garage, it initially feels like you aren’t quite allowed to have all that room and calm all to yourself – but then you lean into it, and in return are gifted with one of the most unassumingly mighty warehouse experiences in Melbourne.
With the seasoned hands of Sam & Celeste and their hospitality empire at your fingertips, Gather and Tailor is a modular set of spaces, and the perfect blank canvas where you can call in as much or as little of the in-house styling as you need.
Check out Ash and Karan’s glorious Gather and Tailor wedding here.
Quat Quatta contains some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful interiors and exteriors around (check out Burnham Beeches for another), and the breadth of portrait opportunities on-site both inside and outside are unbeatable. A festooned outdoor area makes for a glorious intimate ceremony space, before the party is carried inside.
But, let’s just hold off on all the adjectives and hyperbole for a hot damn minute, though: because something about this venue in particular isn’t talked about nearly enough: the bridal suites.
These old heritage rooms at the wings of Quat Quatta, apart from being a pretty splendid place to get all that bridal-suite stuff done (application of bandaids, eating of cupcakes, necking of champagne, and whatever else goes on in there), are totally gorgeous and a way under-appreciated part of the venues makeup, and one of my favourite areas of the building to take portraits on the day.
Quat Quatta is a place of wild charm and a more traditional-looking outpost that holds more than it’s own with plenty of variety. Check out this Quat Quatta wedding for a lay of the land.
Quat Quatta website: www.quatquatta.com.au
Quat Quatta wedding gallery: Quat Quatta wedding
New-York-ness: 6/10 (only because it’s more of an upstate-New York vibe)
Venue size: Pretty big, mate. 300 seated, 450 standing (Across two physical spaces)
There you have it. Six of the best alternative wedding venues in Melbourne, that while well-set in their own charms, would make anyone lusting after a little slice of those New York vibes feel right at home.
Author: Briars Atlas
This made the list a little late, but be sure to also check out this Two Ton Max wedding. For unique wedding venues in new South Wales, check out this beautiful Sydney Theatre Company wedding. For a unique Mornington Peninsula wedding venue, you need to check out Tanglewood Estate. And I’d hate to leave this one out, but even though it’s well west of Melbourne, the Fyansford Paper Mill is out of this world.
Dec 15, 2018
Gather and Tailor is an incredible rustic, industrial wedding and events space on the edge of Footscray, just slightly west of the Melbourne CBD. Couples of all types book at Gather and Tailor Wedding as there are two distinct spaces available to cater to all sizes and scales of celebration: Warehouse One, and Warehouse Two.
I’ve been fortunate to photograph weddings at Gather and Tailor Warehouse every other year, and so here are three couples with different types of celebrations, so you can see how they’ve each used both Warehouse One and Warehouse Two, and hopefully it gives a little insight into what can be done in their incredible spaces.
Gather and Tailor Warehouse One is the smaller of the two, but as with the specs below is still plenty large enough for weddings on the larger end of the dial, while having the space arranged in such a way that it’s also suitable for smaller weddings. The wedding you’re about to see was for Carli and Ennis, and was a communal gift from all supplies involved after a bushfire approached their first wedding in rural Victoria and forced them to evacuate. Incredible to see just how close the fire got.
Take a look at how everyone came together to get them the wedding they didn’t get to, at literally the last minute, have.
Gather and Tailor Warehouse One:
Warehouse Style, flexible blank canvas
Gather and Tailor Warehouse Two is significantly larger in floor space, and one of the most epic blank canvases you can imagine. If having a smaller wedding here, the space should be used and styled in such a way that it doesn’t feel like a tiny huddle in the corner of the Vatican.
The weddings you’re about to see are of Ash and Karan, and Anna and Anna – theirs of which was featured on Australia’s largest modern wedding blog, Hello May.
Warehouse Style, flexible blank canvas
Celebrant Gabriella Christopher Rings Julia Deville BRIDE ONE Dress Ellery Shoes Nicholas Kirkwood Makeup Ross Andrwartha BRIDE TWO Dress Dion Lee Entertainment The Elwood Community Shoes Proenza Schouler Earrings Ellery Makeup Ross Andrewartha Florist North St Botanical Venue Gather & Tailor Catering Pot and Pan Candles The Supply Co Lighting Technical Events Sound Hire DJ Warehouse
Heres some more of my wedding photography, made with couples from all over Melbourne, to the Yarra Valley, to Geelong and beyond.
Gather and Tailor website: http://www.gatherandtailor.com.au/
Unit 11/41-59 Sims St, West Melbourne VIC 3003
Looking for more unique wedding venues in melbourne? If you’re stoked on Gather and Tailor, load yourself up with one of Melbournes best wedding celebrants, and reach out to the team at Gather and Tailor. If you want me along for the ride to capture images exactly like those here, you can book me here.
Nov 1, 2018
Each year I head out to this beautiful slice of the Yarra Valley to photograph a Zonzo Estate wedding, and each time is so different from one another. Growing up in the Yarra Valley, it’s always a treat to be a part of so many celebrations there year in, year out.
I wanted to share three Zonzo Weddings in the Yarra Valley, that I’ve had the pleasure of photographing over the last few years, that are wildly different in style, so that you can get a great idea of how different folks with different tastes have all used Zonzo (and, how they look when I photograph there). Zonzo Estate has undergone further brilliant transformation in recent years, and has a whole spread of wonderful areas on site.
These Zonzo weddings have been featured on Hello May, Ivory Tribe, and Polka Dot Bride, so be sure to read on for the links to those to find out all the other vendor information of who put their beautiful days together.
These young lovers met at 19, and 15 years later found themselves at Zonzo, in a bohemian-vintage themed winery wedding. These two married at the barn at Zonzo, and they carried on the entire day before whisking over to Europe for four weeks.
Celebrant: Sally Hughes
Photography: Briars Atlas
Florist: Sugar Bee
Hair: Marie Uva
Make-up: Monica Gingold
The Dress: Mariana Hardwick
Shoes: Tony Bianco
Rings: Micheli Jewellery and Uniform Black
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Alice McCall
Menswear: Oscar Hunt
Catering and bar: Zonzo Estate
Entertainment: Phoebe And The Night Creatures
Check out their full feature here on Ivory Tribe.
These two marvels opted for a rustic wedding at Zonzo, piecing together many of the elements themselves, except for a double-rainbow over the back of the Yarra Valley, which joined the party just after the ceremony.
See their full Yarra Valley wedding feature here on Polka Dot Bride.
A Naturopath by trade, the planning for Lou and Jamies Zonzo wedding put calm and health first in the entire process. With this in mind, it also meant that their day at Zonzo was littered with things that brought them both joy, including selecting carefully all of their vendors over 18 months. Lou and Jamie selected Zonzo Estate thanks for the venues ability to take care of everything from top to tail with the highest level of care, along with the added bonus of the spectacular Yarra Valley surrounds.
Photos: Briars Atlas
Bridal gown: Rue De Seine via The Bridal Atelier
Robes / getting ready tees: Peter Alexander and Cotton On
Lingerie: Simone Perele
Shoes: Alan Pinkus
Hair: Renee Camilleri
Makeup: Kath Carlin
Rings: Desi Desiderata
Bridesmaid dresses: Pilgrim
Bridesmaid shoes: Jo Mercer
Groom and groomsmen suits and ties: Briggins
Florist: Sugar Bee Flowers
Stationery: Ink Hearts Paper
Ceremony, reception and event stylist: Zonzo
Cake: Le Petit Gateau
Decorative elements: Kikki K
Wedding favours: Little Alchemy
Signage: Fox and Fallow
Entertainment: DJ Kwenda
Celebrant: Michael Goodluck.
Check out their full Yarra Valley wedding feature here on Hello May.
Make an enquiry https://briarsatlas.com/enquire
Oct 23, 2018
Located just 50km north-east of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is the perfect road trip destination. With over 70 wineries (see Zonzo), a huge range of tours, and some of the most quaint little hamlets this side of the moon, the Yarra is a true hidden gem. Nestled amongst the hills and valleys of this spectacular region is the incredible venue Stones of the Yarra Valley, one of the best wedding venues Melbourne has to offer, and a place where i’ve been fortunate to photograph weddings at year in year out.
So, here is a Stones of the Yarra Valley wedding guide (as much as we can cover in just a few page scrolls anyhow).
Planning a wedding can sometimes feel bigger than Ben-Hur. You’ve got everything from accommodation, venue, food and guests to consider – plus the addition of all the little things that seem to skyscraper into the clouds and out of sight. Ugh. When all the little things seem to become too much, allow Stones of the Yarra to kindly step in and offer a helping hand.
Here are just a few of the convenient pre-wedding services they offer:
The entire Yarra region consists of amazing wineries and beautifully scenic attractions that everyone can enjoy. If you don’t find yourself too entangled in the wedding prep itself (ie. if you have an awesome wedding planner), you can check out tours, trails and townships in the surrounding areas.
We were blown away with how perfect everything was and our family and friends are still talking about it.Stones of the Yarra Wedding Clients – Phoebe & Rob, April 2017
Game on, maestros.
When it comes to creating the perfect wedding atmosphere, Stones of the Yarra run a super slick operation due to the services they offer. You are in consistently good hands when you choose to exchange vows and carry on celebrations at Stones itself or at one of their two gorgeous sister properties, No7 Healesville or The Warehouse at Meletos.
Honestly, the lengths that this venue goes to in ensuring their happy couples are… well, happy, is absolutely phenomenal.
Depending on the wedding package you choose, you could be basking in the following inclusions:
All this is just the beginning, which is pretty par for the course when the Stones ring leader Vonnie is driving things.
Now, I’m likely talking more to the wedding guests than the stars of the show here, because they’re likely being whisked off on an amazing honeymoon.
So, what can you do at Stones of the Yarra once the vows have been exchanged, the food has been consumed and the bar tab has been exceeded?
As mentioned above, Stones have five ridiculously charming dining rooms to book into for a celebratory meal. You can wander the property and take in the most amazing views. Your Instagram followers will be drooling, believe me.
Outside of the Stones venue, you’ve got the entire Yarra Valley at your disposal! My top 3 suggestions for the adventurous at heart would have to be:
If I missed anything, please let me know in the comments. Let’s spread the word that the Yarra Valley is prime wedding venue territory!
Check out a few of my all time favourite black and white photos! These beauties are magical monochrome majesty. For more Yarra Valley Wedding venues, also be sure to check out Immerse, Yering Station, and the brilliantly art-deco Burnham Beeches. For a country victoria wedding venue further north, check out this Sault Daylesford wedding.
Mar 25, 2018
Not only is the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Trentham, Victoria a top-notch, classic Aussie hotel, it’s also one of my favourite low key wedding venues in Melbourne. Located right on the corner of High St and Cosmo Rd in Trentham, this unsung hero of wedding venues really does put on quite the show.
The best part? It’s only just over an hour north-west of Melbourne’s CBD. Let’s check out the awesome Cosmopolitan Hotel wedding venue and all it has to offer!
The team at the Cosmo are absolutely wonderful, for one. They place such pride in their venue that they can’t help but go all out for their wedding clients. The level of care shown for even the tiniest of aspects of every wedding is astoundingly endearing.
The event team know their venue inside and out which allows them to perfectly place each and every decoration. They’ll also suggest the best locations for photographs and assist with any and all queries leading up to and during the big day.
The venue itself is absolutely perfect for an intimate country wedding because it holds such a warm, rustic air about it. If you want your wedding to bring back memories of gorgeous gardens, rural charm and warm firelight, this is definitely the Melbourne wedding venue for you.
The two main locations within the hotel grounds that are used for wedding ceremonies and receptions are the picturesque gardens and the charming stables.
The gardens truly are a sight to behold with their vast expanse and varied species of flowering shrubs and trees. Because of this they make a wonderful spot for wedding photos. They’re also honestly just a wonderfully calming, peaceful place to hang out.
The Stables, deary me, they are simply magnificent. Picture an old, weather-beaten barn built by hand from wood and other old-school materials. It’s well-kept enough to house up to 125 guests for a sit down dinner and a good old fashioned barn dance.
Fairy lights adorn both the interior and the exterior, adding a delightfully magical air to the entire event.
Even the simplest of decorations transform this venue into a lively, homely, spirited place to host a truly wonderful wedding.
The package includes delicious, local seasonal produce and a drinks menu featuring only the best wine, beer and cider from the region. So, the Cosmopolitan Hotel wedding in-house catering team is a force to be reckoned with.
A Cosmo wedding pays tribute to Victoria’s heritage in the most charming of ways. Events held here seem to draw on the historic nature of the pub itself. As a result, there’s no better place in Trentham to tie the knot that this majestic, historical venue.
And that’s the tea.
Jan 14, 2018
Donut towers, friendly neighbourhood cats, and two of the most loved-up theatrical maestros on the planet, Annie and Daz, getting their wedding on at the lush winery, Immerse Yarra Valley.
Annie and Daz had family from all over the planet joining them at this beautifully lush patch of green out in the Yarra Valley, and so they made use of the sprawling on site accommodation available.
Annie also had a rogue echidna join in for their bridal portrait photos. Cheers mate.
Enjoy this little peek into their majestic day of sunshine and good vibes.