Oct 12, 2020
Melbourne is full to the brim with interesting, quirky, and Unique Wedding Venues to appeal to every design sensibility under the sun. Our city 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. So if anywhere is gonna be able to cater to a wild range of vibes within a small radius, it’s Melbourne.
What weddings are going to look like in Victoria is a little different in the short to mid-term, so this is a list for folks with alternative and unique sensibilities.
When I made this list, I essentially made it for myself: there’s plenty of lists on regular wedding venues out there, but these are the best wedding venues in Melbourne that have a little bit of sass and quirk to them, and cover a range of wedding venue styles, from industrial warehouse, to art deco: these are wedding venues for large weddings, small weddings, and everything in between.
What do an obscure German electronic artist, experiential-theatre zombie-apocalypse, and majestic high-end wedding all have in common? They all found a home at the towering Substation in Newport – in no small way thanks to a philanthropic strategy of intertwinement with the local & international arts community.
The Substation has this classic “we’ve just casually repurposed an industrial Brooklyn warehouse” vibe 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 unique 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 (or the most epic grazing table you can imagine).
Set up a band in one corner, quirky photobooth in the other, hire a leading progressive florist like Good Grace & Humour or Georgie Boy to dress up another 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. One of my favourite things about Newport Substation, not to take away anything from it as a brilliant Melbourne venue, is that it takes me back to any number of the incredible and enormous New York Warehouse venues i’ve had the good fortune of being in.
Rupert is kinda like the Tesla flying in outer space with an astronaut next to it and David Bowie blaring from the stereo as it flies towards Jupiter: it probably shouldn’t exist at all, much less where it does, but – it does.
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 it’s one of the most unique venues Melbourne has to offer with it’s incredible food and quirky interiors in a classy casual setting.
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 at Rupert on Rupert, you could probably point your 2002 Nokia at the urinal and still get an incredible image.
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 Rupert on Rupert Wedding.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Rupert on Rupert website: www.rupertonrupert.com.au
Rupert on Rupert wedding gallery: Alix & Tim’s wedding at Rupert on Rupert
Venue size: Cosy & compartmentalised. (85 seated, 220 cocktail)
South Melbourne’s Half Acre, helmed by the catering mad-hatters at Food and Desire, is a giant secret dropped right in the middle of the wide streets of South Melbourne. Occupying a corner of the suburb that mostly is home to industry, it is – apart from the majestic cacophany of matrimony on a weekend – a gloriously quiet dead-zone of a weekend.
In line with this play on contrasts, it’s actually pretty near impossible to tell what the hell the place even is, unless you’re in the know, or a loaded up wedding guest finds themselves playing horizontal on the nature strip outside.
With all the new wedding venues Melbourne has on offer, Half Acre are a giant, well-oiled diamond (if that’s a thing). Half Acre itself was previously an industrial complex, and retains a lot of that gritty charm in it’s warehouse interior. Half Acre is split into several different areas, giving an enormous range of opportunity for a smaller ceremony indoors, over to their large, high-roofed reception hall.
The grand-master of alternative wedding venues in Melbourne. Beer-soaked carpets, wistful homages to Dave the hot bassist etched into the bathroom walls, and the shady corner where your insouciant friend got lucky.
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.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Panama Dining Room website: www.thepanama.com.au
Venue size: 160 guests seated, 220 standing
Wedding Venue Location: Melbourne CBD
Bookworms by day, dancefloor worms by night: State Library Victoria is the poster-child for a venues ability to play Jekyll, Hyde, and all their far-removed cousins, and might just be our cities most slumbering giant gem.
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 the unusual wedding venue, 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.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
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
Wedding Venue Location: Melbourne CBD
Longsong is what happens when a collective of design-centred mavens pair with culinary master David Moyle, and point their magic towards an historic old Melbourne horse stable in the middle of chinatown.
Majestic tall ceilings, a wave of paper lanterns above and original brick floors from this converted 1900s space, JCB Architects added another space to a growing list of venues in Melbourne keeping as many sympathetic roots to the original uses of the structure as possible, while allowing it to stand alone as progressive and stylish. Add a dash of quirky photographic genius on entry and you have yourselves one serve of Longsong.
Longsong is the benchmark in subtle, sprawling classy alternative vibes in Melbourne, with a 2-tier open space that lets you know exactly what it’s all about as soon as you walk in.
Wedding Venue Location: West Melbourne
Gather and Tailor takes an old inner-city warehouse, and puts it in the hands of the genius, quirky captains of wedding hospitality, Nudo.
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, and a small nod to a classic New York warehouse.
With the seasoned hands of the Nudo team 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.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Gather & Tailor website: www.gatherandtailor.com.au
Gather & Tailor wedding gallery: Gather and Tailor wedding
Venue size: Pretty damn big, mate. 300 seated, 450 standing (Across two physical spaces).
The Deck at Circa is nested on the rooftop of the Prince Hotel, in sun-drenched St Kilda. The Deck itself is an expansive, as you’d imagine, deck, with a large covered interior space, and access to some of the other incredible events and wedding spaces inside the Prince Hotel.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
The Deck website: https://theprince.com.au/prince-deck/
The Deck wedding gallery: The Deck Circa Wedding
Venue size: Sit down – 120 guests. Cocktail – 500 guests
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, making the combination of these things raise Quat Quatta as the best art deco venue Melbourne has going.
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. One of the most majestic art deco reception venues Melbourne has on offer.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Quat Quatta website: www.quatquatta.com.au
Quat Quatta wedding gallery: Quat Quatta wedding
Venue size: Pretty big, mate. 300 seated, 450 standing (Across two physical spaces)
Luminare is a wedding venue in Melbourne that has become something of a go-to for all things lush and grand, and I find that folks who are drawn to Luminare are also drawn to The Deck (up above) and The George Ballroom (further down this page).
Luminare is a giant, high-roofed events and wedding space, with an enormous deck that runs the full length of the floor, set against their iconic view of the city. This boutique wedding venue is located just a stones throw from the Melbourne CBD.
Brunswick mess hall is a gritty casual warehouse wedding venue in the heart of Brunswick. Somewhat akin in functionality to it’s spiritual cousin Revolver in Prahran, the Brunswick Mess Hall is a restaurant by day, and party-space by night when a wedding is on. Minus the next new thing in electro-dubstep resetting everyones resting heart-rate, or coke-buzzed charlitans in the urinal offering you the key to manifesting abundance.
Brunswick Mess Hall has some of the most gorgeous natural light coming through later in the day, and some brilliant portrait locations in the surrounding streets that make a quick quest out into this quirky neighbourhood at sunset deliver an abundance of opportunities without dragging you away from the party for too long.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Brunswick Mess Hall website: https://thebrunswickmesshall.com.au/
Brunswick Mess Hall Wedding Gallery: On Polka Dot Bride
Venue size: 130 guests seated, 200 guests cocktail
Fortyfive Downstairs is Melbournes best Art Gallery Wedding Venue, and one of the most unique venues Melbourne has on offer. At first glance, for the parents out there, it might bring up the hairs on the back of the neck in the same way that letting toddlers loose around fine china does, but the reality of the space is quite the opposite.
Fortyfive Downstairs is a warming, welcoming space with beautiful rotating art on it’s walls, sat a few floors up from it’s incredible, cavernous warehouse space in the basement.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Fortyfive Downstairs website: https://www.fortyfivedownstairs.com/
Fortyfive Downstairs Wedding Gallery: Fortyfive Downstairs wedding
Venue size: 160 guests seated, 300 guests cocktail
Glasshaus has two distinct wedding event spaces: Glasshaus Inside, and Glasshaus Outside.
Fun fact: Glasshaus inside has an outside outside of Inside’s inside, and inside Glasshaus Outside Glasshaus Inside could probably fit.
Glasshaus is something of a beautiful aviary in a jungle, and nearly tucked inside a front that doesn’t lend you any idea of it being there.
Glasshaus Inside is a warehouse jungle, and no other descriptors will do any justice to the space. If you’re looking for venues similar to Rupert on Rupert, this is the answer south of the river.
See more at this Glasshaus Wedding
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Glasshaus website: https://www.fortyfivedownstairs.com/
Venue size: 88 guests seated, 125 guests cocktail
The George Ballroom is one of the most decadent wedding venues going, and a brilliant example of just how incredible and modular a single room can be. Iconic textured, distressed walls and fixtures, and much like Rupert, the kind of place you can just point a phone camera at in any direction and come out with art.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
The George Ballroom website: https://www.thegeorgeballroom.com.au/
Venue size: 150 guests seated, 200 guests cocktail
Before pandemics and global disarray, The Altar Electric were ahead of the curve before flattening it was a thing, serving up small, intimate weddings in their brilliant chapel in Collingwood, designed by the genius event and wedding stylists over at Good Day Club. There are always new wedding venues Melbourne has popping up, but these folk stand out from the rest.
The Altar Electric is a wedding chapel for three kinds of folks:
1 – Couples who were probably going to book a registry wedding, but wanted a little bit more sass to the occassion
2 – Couples who want Australias answer to the Vegas Chapel wedding
3 – Couples who want to get in, get it done in an incredible and colourful way, and get out into enjoying their day together around Fitzroy and Collingwood
The Altar Electric is one of the most unique venues Melbourne has going, providing everything from intimate shotgun weddings, all the way up to options for a larger number of guests inside the peach-toned walls of their tiny chapel.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
The Altar Electric website: https://www.thealtarelectric.com.au/
The Altar Electric Wedding Gallery: The Altar Electric Wedding
Venue size: 30, to up to 70 if the outside area is used
I had to include this one for all the Lord of the Rings fans out there. This doesn’t quite fit the bill for Melbourne, as it’s just outside of it, but is a secret worth checking out. Before I give the exact location as a potential turn-off, it’s worth saying that if you can stomach sitting in traffic on Punt Rd for an hour to move just 150 metres, then you can also put up with making your way over to Geelong to this beauty, and there’s no trip more worthy.
I still believe Fyansford Paper Mill is one of our real undiscovered gems that should be right at the top of any wedding venue consideration inside Victoria, and unfortunately it’s even tough to get a sense of how brilliant this place is from a proper google search, you almost have to just roll up and see it for yourself.
Cavernous interior, split into two distinct spaces joined by what is an iconic archway in between them, it’s impossible to think this place exists just a short roadie out of the city.
Fyansford Paper Mill – otherwise known ever so romantically as Site 3A – is run by prolific caterers and party-starters Truffleduck.
Enquire about their Melbourne Wedding Packages
Fyansford Paper Mill Website: Truffleduck
Fyansford Paper Mill Wedding Gallery: Fyansford Paper Mill Wedding
Venue size: 30, to up to 70 if the outside area is used
The Line in Footscray takes all the grit, texture, and industrial charm of recently gentrifying Footscray and… leaves all it the fuck alone.
Just as every developer with a string of graduate architects are discovering Fisher and Paykel My First Geometry lessons on exterior cladding in the suburb, the folks at The Line have kept the original spirit of the area alive in this rough around the edges gem of a wedding venue.
The Line is a blank-canvas wedding venue, and you know you’re in good hands when the venue is run by a team that also see their space used regularly for community, arts, and market events, which is something of a rarity.
To see The Line in action, pick yourself up a copy of the September 2020 edition of Hello May, where you can see the gorgeous and colourful celebration of Pepe and Sam gracing it’s pages.
There. 17 (seventeen) of the best alternative wedding venues in Melbourne, for lovers and anarchists.
Author: Briars Atlas. Photos may be used with a link back to this website.
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.
Oct 8, 2020
Here’s a preview of the gorgeous Vogue Wedding of Zoe and Adam married at the incredible Leura Amphitheatre in the Blue Mountains, before heading over to their wedding reception at the Hydro Majestic Hotel. These two adventurers and sweethearts wear everything on their sleeves, maybe best shown when Adam took a detour with Zoe and their crew into a private room before their reception at the Hydro Majestic, where the Blue Mountains String Quartet played a piece that Adam had written with them in secret ahead of time. Magic stuff.
Thanks Vogue Australia for sharing these two marvels. See their full Vogue wedding feature here.
See more information on Blue Mountains Wedding Photography.
Sep 10, 2020
Glasshaus Outside and Glasshaus Inside are two brilliant sister wedding venues in Richmond (the latter in Cremorne, depending on how you look at it). A Glasshaus Wedding is like nothing else, in this unique jungle setting that can only come from a wedding venue that also operates as a nursery during the day.
The team at Glasshaus are master party-starters as much as they are master green-thumbs. So you can pick up your carbon-offset during the day, and then knock down drinks in this incredible sleepy jungle of an evening.
A Glasshaus Inside wedding leaves guests wondering what scene from a Tim Burton film they’ve walked into, as the place is something of a unique fantasy land. Or maybe that was my 5th Negroni speaking. Either way the walls are lined with beautiful greenery, and it’s the best realisation of an urban jungle that you’re likely to walk into.
Over the road a short jaunt away, a Glasshaus Outside Wedding happens under a transparent nursery roof, in a jungle that in many ways is similar to Glasshaus Inside, except with the industrial warehouse feel replaced by open air as you walk though gentle canopies of greenery in the more exposed setting.
Plenty of beautiful gritty Richmond streets surrounding the area make it the ideal loop for wedding portraits, and so it’s a no-brainer that for couples having their wedding ceremony at Glasshaus Outside and then moving the party to Glasshaus Inside, the portraits can be done during that walk between venues.
Glasshaus Florist website: https://glasshausfloristonline.com/
If you’re looking for a wedding venue similar to Glasshaus, it’s hard to go past Collingwoods Rupert on Rupert. Not a nursery by day, the space operates instead as an iconic casual restaurant that can transorm into any number of arrangements for events and weddings.
To see more images of Rupert on Rupert, head here to see Tim and Alix’s Rupert on Rupert Wedding.
Briars Atlas Wedding Photography – Enquire
Aug 13, 2020
These are four of my favourite Castlemaine Wedding Venues, including photos taken at each of brilliant couples choosing to have their wedding in this rustic region.
It’s really late at night, and i’m writing this article for you, dear human-person, on the other end, and i’m supposed to use all this coercive langue that apparently makes internet websites more engaging and all that (“you’ll never BELIEVE how rusticly-rustic to the power of rustic these are”), but, let’s skip all that cheap shit and get to the point, because you’re better than that (it’s a Castlemaine thing).
Castlemaine is incredibly rad, otherwise you wouldn’t be on this post or considering a wedding in the area, and I want to share some great spaces from this totally marvellous region.
I’ve spent a tonne of time out there, and as a general thing within the universe, a visit to it is generally recognised as being far more desirable than a slap over the noggin with a wet fish, so have a look at these scallywags that thought the same, and hire me to shoot your wedding.
Providence gully is a gem of the area, an incredible oasis established in 1858. With a rustic barn, olive grovee, pomegranite orchards and an endless variety of native greenery, this understated marvel is a must see.
I photographed the wedding of Amy and Bronson, held in this precious place, and featured in all it’s glory on Hello May.
Providence Gully website: http://providencegully.com.au/
Katie (othewise known at the inimitable Katie Marx flowers – see her here on Melbournes best wedding florists) and Greg run Butterland Newstead, and took it from an historic factory needing a little DIY love, into and incredibly versatile venue just one good road trip out of Melbourne
Iro and Alex got married at this spectacular property, and you can see more of these hilarious, stylish marvels featured here on Together Journal.
Butterland Newstead website: https://www.butterland.com.au/
The Diggers Store is something of an understated gem of the area, and resembles something of an impossible mix of tiny italian clifftop homestead, mixed with rustic outback, and just a couple of hours north of Melbourne.
After their Queenstown Elopement (also featured here on Hello May), Lilli and Jake brought the party, and their beautiful community, to the intimate grounds of the Diggers Store in Castlemaine, and loaded up with a bunch of strange old film cameras (see here why I shoot film at weddings) I came along for the ride to document it.
The Diggers Store website: http://www.thediggersstore.com.au/
This one slipped into this post, just. Even though it’s about 40 minutes outside of Castlemaine, it still qualifies and is well worth adding to the Castlemaine venue consideration pile. Home of beautiful hospitality, wood-fired pizzas, and plenty of beautiful portrait locations in the surrounding regions to run around in. Go for the woodfired pizzas, and get married on the side.
Kara and Marty had their Castlemaine wedding at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Trentham, and we whipped out for a beautiful portrait session in some unique spots nearby. Head here to see more of their Cosmopolitan Hotel wedding.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel Trentham website: https://www.thecosmopolitanhotel.com.au/
Briars Atlas Wedding Photography – enquire
Jul 11, 2020
The Fyansford Paper Mill (otherwise known as the Old Paper Mills or 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 as a drive through wedding service, 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.
For more info on how to get married during Covid 19 away from a drive thru wedding, check out these small wedding venues in Melbourne, and this information piece on having a Melbourne City elopement during Covid 19.
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.
Jul 5, 2020
The Yarra Valley is one of the most totally majestic regions in Victoria, which you already know if you’re planning a wedding out that way. Yarra Valley Wedding venues are places that celebrate the natural beauty of the area, as well as the unique food, wine, and accommodation.
As someone who grew up in the Yarra Valley, i’ve got a special passion for the are and it’s a treat to lay out some of my favourite spots in the region. These days I photograph weddings in the Yarra Valley year in and year out, but a couple of decades ago it was tearing around the streets on a BMX instead.
To either of those, it’s got a special place in my heart and if it doesn’t yet have one in yours, it soon will.
These Yarra Valley wedding venues are some of the best wedding locations Australia has to offer, let alone in Victoria. I’ve photographed a fair few Yarra Valley winery weddings in my time. They’re stunning. The evening sun pirouettes through the vines, and if you’re lucky, drops an incredible rainbow your way (looking at you, hills of Zonzo Estate).
There are an innumerable amount of Yarra Valley wedding venues to choose from, so I’ve compiled a short and sharp list from first hand experience for you to peruse and explore, sink your teeth into whilst navigating a latte like-say, etc.
Because this area of the world is so spectacular, i’ve also included some useful local insights to occupy yourselves with either side of your wedding day itself. It’s all well and good picking a ceremony and reception venue but that’s only half of the fun. Where will you get ready? Where will you sleep?
Where will you cure the hangover?
I’ve looked into some dazzling accomodation for you and your guests to lay your heads. Being secluded and private on a vineyard is one thing, but people not being able to find the place or their way back to bed is another!
The accommodation I’ve picked is local to your potential venues so people aren’t spending too long travelling before or after. I’ve looked at a range of affordability too so everyone can enjoy this wonderland. It’s little things like this I find help the day run smoothly and keep spirits high.
Remember, there is going to be a lot of sore heads the next day so I‘ve snuck in a few great places to catch your first married bite the morning after too.
All of these venues are pretty marvellous in their own way, so these are listed in no particular order. When you go and visit them you’ll know which one is the one, and I recommend booking a meeting with their events coordinator to show you around. The awesome crew that run them, the wild scenery, the charming ceremony spaces and the versatile reception areas will all ring true with you in one way or another.
Read on to find out exactly why these 5 have made it to my list. Each one offers something quite different. I obviously love wedding venues that have unique photo opportunities and sublime backdrops, and we are not short of them here. I also love it when venues have really thought about the couple and their guests’ whole experience. Whether that’s offering a bridal day room, onsite ceremony and accommodation, or an award winning dining experience. It’s those little extras that make your wedding the talk of the town!
I’m kicking off my list with these maestros because this is a venue for the photos and the food! My two pleasures in life. I remember turning up at the Zonzo Estate for the first time and being pretty knocked out by it’s rolling hills. Set in an old milking barn the emphatic main building with sloped roof, huge glass panelling and sleek interior design makes for an idyllic modern yet traditional setting. They have a particularly cute outdoor area under festoon lights where newlyweds do the ‘zonzo twirl’ contrasted by the evening’s sweeping landscape. A bonus of this estate is that you can opt to have your actual ceremony on site with a choice of three glorious spaces overlooking the rolling hills. No chance of anyone getting lost en route to this reception. The three options give you the chance to express yourself that little bit more, and make for a venue that you can make your own.
The real dark-horse of this place though, the gem of Zonzo Estate, is their Italian dining experience. Let’s face it, no one wants shit food at a wedding (this can’t be drilled home hard enough ahead of time). If guests taste buds are being tantalised, then the vibe is too (if you’re looking at a venue that doesn’t have onsite catering, make sure you check out this post about the best wedding caterers in Melbourne). People need fuel for the dance floor! Zonzo Estate have won several awards for their wedding restaurant reception so it’s official that their food is to die for. They’ve been in the business over a decade and know what they’re doing. Zonzo have their own wedding coordinators on site to help you make your Yarra Valley winery wedding dreams come to life in the most seamless and stress-free way, and they run like clockwork.
Intermission: be sure to check out my larger post on Zonzo Estate.
I love the shit out of being a part of couples wedding here – beautiful industrial structures juxtaposed with all things rustic, and a moving platter of beautiful vibes all on the one property. While you’re on the Zonzo train, you might also like these beautiful rustic wedding venues in Victoria.
Beforehand: be sure to check out my post on Stones of the Yarra Valley.
Stones of the Yarra Valley had cemented itself as a bit of an icon of the region, and is one of the busiest venues going. What this means for you, is that their wealth of experience in running lush, tightly run events, means that everything goes to plan. Their owner and sometimes coordinator, Vonnie, is just as much an icon of the industry as her venue.
It’s enormous grounds offer a variety of spaces to accommodate the day to your needs. There are several 19th century restored buildings with pristine gardens and vines, it really feels like being in Tuscany. These guys can host your whole day here or they even have sister smaller venues to host smaller reception only gigs. Whatever you want, the Stones of the Yarra Valley can deliver.
Let’s start with the stunning on site ‘Chapel’. It’s simple and elegant, the high ceilings and handcrafted woodwork make an alluring place to tie the knot in front of your nearest and dearest. After you’ve become newlyweds you can join your guests for drinks and little bites in the ‘Dairy’. I love this part of the day, there’s so much excitement and a proper buzz in the air. Go and give your guests a twirl in all your magnificence and lap up the love. The Stones have absolutely smashed it when it comes to Yarra Valley wedding reception settings. Every seat in the house has a spectacular view of the scenery, all hosted from the sensational ‘Barn’. They’ve elevated the ceiling so it’s bright and airy in the daytime. They’ve got exposed wooden beams nestled against panoramic windows and impressive foliage externally. At night they have festoons and soft lighting for you and your guests to jive under, and for me to take some fantastically lit photos!
After all the fun is over, you can stagger down the road to the boutique ‘Farmhouse’ accommodation. I love onsite accommodation, it just takes one less logistical step out of the equation! Easy! Another logistical added extra these guys have is a bridal preparation room. Filled with mirrors and natural light, you and your party can be on site and get some extraordinary pre-wedding shots! Winner! Read below for more on their sister venues.
Yering Station is one of the oldest wineries in the Yarra Valley. This wedding venue is truely and naturally ceremonial. This quintessential ceremony under the trees could be in Italy or France. The orchard trees are ordered yet natural and needs minimal decoration (and the coverage stops everyone from squinting).
Walk yourselves across the grounds toward the impressive main building. The incredibly serene reception room and scape are the epitome of elegance. The architecture oozes class and the grounds are ornate and mature. Everywhere you turn there is a photo opportunity. I love taking the couple away for their personal shots around the grounds, there are some really delicately lit hidden spots for those golden hour frames that are just priceless. This place really is a jewel.
Lavished in history and grandiose views you just have to be there to soak it all up. The huge panoramic windows of the reception room mean you can be protected from the elements but cannot get away from the endless views. Every person in the room will be able to see them from any seat in the room. The exposed stone accents and overhead wooden beams look gorgeous in photos. They’ve got so much space for you and your guests to prance around in, it’s ace!
The little wins here include a bridal room which is light and airy, a wedding coordinator to help you from start to finish and get your guests in the right place at the right time and an unexpected quirk of a personal sommelier to match your menu to the gorgeous wines they have there! It’s not only the manicured grounds that are totally phenomenal, even the food looks incredible and sits perfectly on the long white tables. Have a look at their wedding packages here.
Also: check out my lengthy post on this Yering Station wedding.
Before you dive in: check out this Immerse Yarra Valley wedding.
As soon as you arrive at this cataclysmic location you are wowed by one of the chapels (yes there are three options!). The ‘Vineyard Chapel’ has floor to ceiling striking windows looking out into the Sauvignon Blanc vines that draw you in. Then once you’re inside they frame the landscape astonishingly. This chapel keeps the elements out whilst still letting maximum nature in. Their next option is the covered outdoor ‘Garden Chapel’. This is the perfect balance between inside and outside ceremonies. You’ll be wed in front of the most pristine ornamental lake and gardens. The photo opportunities are exquisite, believe me! However, if you want to go fully al fresco then their final ceremony option is ‘The Paddock’. You and your guests and nature, nothing else. I think it’s great when a venue has options, it really gives you a chance to customise your day to how YOU want it. It means that even if you’ve been to a wedding there before you can make yours different.
As I mentioned before, being in one place for the full day is a big bonus. This divine location offers 20 on site rooms and a stella restaurant alongside their multiple ceremony options. Their elegant and spacious bridal suite can be hired for you and your squad to get ready in before and you and your new husband to retire to after. No need to spend on transport, more time for epic dance moves! Winner! The 20 rooms also get complimentary breakfast in the morning which is pretty peachy too!
Finally, and probably most importantly, the main reason I love Immerse Yarra Valley wedding venue is because the family that owns it are stupendous. They are warm, welcoming and wonderful from start to finish. Making sure you, me and your guests have everything we need and more. You can’t buy that. There’s nothing worse than feeling stressed and disorganised with a wedding. Whether you’re having 20 or 220 guests, there is absolutely no chance of stress when they are involved. This is probably why they are so popular and highly rated all the time.
So you’ve chosen your beautiful Yarra Valley winery wedding venue and now you need somewhere for you and your lovely guests to sleep. I’ve had a little think for you, from personal experience and from extensive industry research I’ve compiled a few ideas.
When choosing where to stay you probably should think about being well rested and within a decent distance from the Yarra Valley wedding venue you’ve chosen so that…
a) you’re not late
b) you can get to bed easily after the most magically mental day of your life!
You also need somewhere that has enough room for you to get ready comfortably and that will make you feel special and relaxed on your first night as a married couple! Whoop! (The room needs to be bigger than the bed is what I’m saying). This is surprisingly hard to find sometimes. If you can get on-site accommodation then this takes out a lot of logistical planning and time from the day but not all winerys offer this. It’s more important to be in love with your venue than go for something less to your taste just because they have accommodation.
A great and often overlooked option is to get an AirBnB. There are some pretty jazzy options in this area. You can hire a huge one between you and your closest friends and family or even just a secluded private one for your first few nights as a Mr and Mrs! Make sure there is enough room to get ready in with lots of natural light and mirrors if you’re hiring it for the night before.
This ‘Rustic Luxury’ 6 person house is in the vines and is only a 10 minute drive from Stones of the Yarra Valley Winery. Or why not get yourself a secluded villa with a pool for you and the girls to enjoy before the big day? If you really want to be in nature and away from it all then Olinda Yarra Cottage offers a cute farm stay option for up to 6 people and has beautiful farm views for the pre-wedding photos and for soothing weary heads.
It’s your big day, spoil yourself! The Kangaroo Manor is a spacious, modern, wooden, secluded, sophisticated, mega-mansion with a pool in the hills. It sleeps 7 people and it’s about 35 minutes from the wineries I’ve listed hidden down a farm track. It is honestly breathtaking! You get so much more space for your money in these kinds of places rather than in hotels.
If you’d rather have most people in the same place then there are a plethora of really bloody nice hotels in the area too. The Chateau Yering Hotel is a slice of renaissance style luxury if that’s your thing. This is only a short walk away from the Yering Station Estate and is commonly used as their accommodation option. Their good relationship with the winery can really help with organising things too. Check your dates for this one though as it can also be used as a wedding venue because it’s so suave!
Healesville Garden Accommodation Houses have a fully functional ten bedroom house that can sleep up to 22 people. It’s only 15 minutes to the wineries and is ideal for keeping the family all in one place. Renting somewhere like this can be a very cost effective accommodation option and be a nice way to spend a bit of quality time with people around all the commotion of the day.
So you’ve picked your glamorous winery, you’ve sampled your delicious menu, you’ve booked your mother in law into a delectable hotel room. Now those hangovers need a good feed! Post wedding day breakfast spots can be fancy or laid back depending on your style. It’s a great time to have a giggle and swoon over the previous day’s happenings. How did Uncle Steve end up sleeping under the stars? How did your dress get so muddy? How fucking colossal was the entire day!? I live for this time. The pre-wedding stress is over, the months of anticipation have climaxed and you can now sit back and bathe in your honeymoon period. You might want to have a little family group get together or meet up with your old pals from school you haven’t seen for years. Whatever or whoever you’re eating with, you want it to be tasty and there to be (lots of) amazing coffee!
I’ve picked out 3 of my favourite brunch spots in the area where you can debrief with your nearest and dearest.
I know we’ve spoken about these guys already but they offer the full package and they have 5 insane venues to host your brunch the next day! And if they’ve already looked after your actual day then the coordination for the next day will be seamless. Talk about tasty convenience!
‘The Barn’ can seat 200 people so you can really continue the wedding properly the next day! It’s where you’d usually have your reception so guests will be familiar with where to go and you can all sit in the same place to avoid confusion.
‘The Stables at Stones’ can seat 63 people which is perfect for those more intimate weddings. It’s 19th century chic at its finest. Exposed brick walls, huge wooden stable doors and manicured hedges are just perfect for an elegant and relaxed meal with friends.
‘No.7 Healesville’ has epically high ceilings, sliding barn doors and walls of wine barrels which look really fucking cool! This is a spacious and airy location for 53 guests. Why not have next day tapas?!
If you’re staying at the Stones of the Yarra Valley accommodation you’ll find the Meletos locations very convenient.
‘The Warehouse at Meletos’ also seats 63 people and is a more modern option. Huge glass windows in a renovated building with chandeliers and a bar. This is a more relaxed vibe and can even be set up as a standing cocktail/mingling style if you want.
‘Meletos Cafe’ is its own entity. Very popular cafe priding itself on using local produce to create very tasty food. They are very accommodating vegan, vegetarian and gluten free without compromising quality. You can choose a more formal sit down or a sharing option.
Modern and mental food and design. Their eggs are fluffy and their sauces are swirly. They’ve got fruit bowls, avo smash and creamy dreamy coffee. If you want brunch done well these are your guys. They’ve got all the eggs and avo you can shake a stick at. They’ve got big breakfasts, little breakfasts and even a glass of bubbly if you’re not quite finished celebrating yet! Vegan and gluten free friendly options all over the place. Something delicious for everyone here. Their freshly made juices and milkshakes could just be the antidote you’re seeking. Yum! Take a look at their menu here.
An Alice in Wonderland inspired high tea experience! This isn’t your usually prissy cucumber sandwiches, these guys have taken afternoon tea to the next level. Get ready to go down the rabbit hole to find extraordinary cakes and bites swimming in smoke and mirrors. I’m talking about ‘Korean Fried Chicken’, waffles, and ‘Mad Hatters breakfast’ platters followed by ‘tweedle wheels’, ‘queen’ of hearts strawberry mousse and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ lemon and pineapple desserts. Accompanied by hypnotic ‘chess board coffee’ boards, ‘love potions’ and ‘white tea and butterfly pea’ lattes! They have some ace vegan and veggie options too which is often hard to properly accommodate. Have a look here to be sure to keep the giggles going into the next day!
Planning a wedding is a time to let your fantasies take control! Yarra Valley is an ideal location that can help your dreams for the day come true. The best weddings combine the couples personality to make it feel like it’s their own. Keep searching and don’t settle for something until it feels right!
What I love about our industry is the amount of raw inspiring creativity people bring to what they do. I have worked with some phenomenal wedding super stars in my time and I’m lucky enough to stay in touch with all of them. Looking for something in particular?
Drop me a message and I can send you some suggestions. You could also check out my other blog articles for more wedding inspo! I’ve recently released articles on unique florists in Victoria and music ideas for small weddings!
For more inspiration in Victoria outside of the Yarra Valley, be sure to check out this Sault Daylesford wedding, Tanglewood Estate on the Mornington Peninsula, and this incredible rustic Castlemaine wedding venues.
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 19, 2020
The perfect wedding setting for thoughtful, contemporary couples who know how to appreciate a great piece of art, Heide Museum of Modern Art allows for both a stunning ceremony and an inspiring reception. The Museum boasts spectacular photography opportunities throughout the grounds and the Gallery. Let’s take a sneak peek at this amazing, artistic space and check out some photos from a recent Heide Museum of Modern Art wedding I was fortunate enough to capture.
Heide Museum of Modern Art brings an air of sophisticated creativity to Banksia Park in Bulleen, a north-eastern suburb of Melbourne. It’s not too far at all from the CBD – only around a 20-minute drive. It practically oozes convenience.
The Yarra River flows, snake-like, through Banksia Park, just a short walk from Heide Gallery. Bulleen Art Gallery and Garden is also within the vicinty. Another interesting point, Bulleen Hungry Jacks is only a short way down the road. Post-wedding burgs? Count me the hell in.
You’ve got a golf club nearby if there’s time to fit in a quick game with the lads (or ladies) the day before the wedding. And, as mentioned, Melbourne CBD is a short Uber ride away. You can get up to all kinds of mischief, eat some amazing pre-wedding noms and pick up any last minute bits and pieces for the wedding that may have slipped your mind.
As a wedding venue, Heide Gallery is the gift that keeps on giving. From the picturesque, natural grounds to the vibing Gallery and sculptures, this place is a photographers dream. Seriously. There are almost too many spots that are perfectly suited to capturing stunning images.
The Heide grounds and gardens span majestically across the 15 acres this Gallery calls home. The heritage gardens contain sprawling lawns, gorgeous flower beds and huge trees with trailing limbs that form cosy hidey-holes.
A river glade with towering trees and shrubs provides a shady spot for an intimate ceremony, or a wonderful photography or videography location.
The views from various sites throughout the grounds sweep across the surrounding park and provide a truly awe-inspiring atmosphere.
Upon gazing around the venue, your view will be obstructed slightly – for good reason – by contemporary sculptures and architectural wonders that are dotted throughout the grounds.
All your wedding catering needs will be taken care of by the Heide Cafe, the exclusive catering service for Heide Gallery weddings. Both the wedding ceremony and the reception are able to be covered. The cafe has an amazing range of seasonal produce with a huge variety of menu options to choose from.
The Cafe is also a great place to swing by for a pre-wedding brunch with the bridal party or a post-wedding coffee if you’re feeling a little worse for wear (horrifically hungover) after the previous night’s celebrations.
The Museum itself is an awesome place to spend any spare time and fight off any pre-wedding jitters. A range of indoor exhibitions including the Main Gallery and the Modernist House are home to some amazing collections of contemporary art. Wander the grounds to experience Rick Amor’s Running Man, Neil Taylor’s Theoretical Matter, and the rest of the outdoor exhibitions and sculptures that add an artistic, modern flair to the sweeping, naturalistic elements of the grounds.
It’s safe to say that this Melbourne wedding venue is the perfect place to celebrate love, serenity and an appreciation for delightful modern art.
Have you visited to the Heide Museum of Modern Art? What was your favourite installation? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
For more images of a decadent art space, check out this piece by Firecraker Event on grazing tables.
Jun 14, 2020
Until early 2021, thanks to Covid19, weddings are going to be happening on a smaller scale (or, straight up elopements), which means you’re probably looking for small wedding venues in Melbourne: and if we do small venues as well as we do croissants or… anything, really, that means that this won’t be a compromise.
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.
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, 10 guests, 20 guests, 30 guests, 40 guests, 50 guests, 60 guests, or 70 guests (I think that’s where they cap out) 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.
One of the best small wedding venues in Melbourne, Rupert is the hidden gem of Collingwood, supporting both large wedding celebrations (80 guests, 90 guests, 100 guests and beyond) and smaller intimate ones (10 guests, 20 guests, 30 guests) via clever use of one or more of it’s three areas. Rupert isn’t necessarily known as a Small Wedding Venue in Melbourne but is super unique in how it can be scaled to suit any size celebration.
To see a larger wedding in full with more examples of this incredibly stylish small wedding venue, check out this Rupert on Rupert wedding.
Two Ton Max is a repurposed, blank-canvas warehouse wedding venue in the heart of North Melbourne. Two Ton Max can support weddings of all sizes, but with the way it’s space can be compartmentalised, it is ideal for small Melbourne weddings of 20 people, up to 50 people and beyond.
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.
I left this one last, because it leads into some thoughts written under it, so read on. Kenny Lover is a brilliant little Thornbury shop, offering chips and ice-cream.
Together at last.
Not only that, but they have the most jaw-droppingly beautiful interior. If you don’t believe me, head over and check out this Kenny Lover wedding, where Paul and Sam, Thornbury locals, headed there after having an intimate small wedding ceremony at their home.
When we think about it, there aren’t that many mandatory moving parts to a wedding: you need a Melbourne Wedding Celebrant to take care of the papers and the ceremony, but really, the rest is up for grabs. One thing thats come out of the Covid pandamic, is a general willingness to be fluid and break new ground from both wedding vendors and small business in general.
Why do I say this? Because if you’re looking for a small wedding venue, consider what it would look like, to simply plan to have it in your favourite cafe, restaurant, take-away place, or any other business. Literally.
So with all that in mind, let me present this little idea: make a list of places that are meaningful to you: cafes, take-out shops, or even shops that sell knick-knacks, books, or anything else under the sun. A wedding ceremony doesn’t need to be an hour, and you don’t need to have your wedding ceremony in a place that can also feed any guests you have present.
Spend every Saturday morning in that quiet, beat-up cafe around the corner that no-one knows about? Ask them if you can sign the papers and say some words in there, and ask them what they’ll charge for the honour (they’ve probably never been asked).
The idea of “what is a wedding venue” is going to change pretty dramatically, as we change our idea of what a wedding is.
So make a list of bucket-list places that are either meaningful to you or quirky in their own right, and just give them a call! You might find that they are actually incredibly receptive to the idea of having a ten minute ceremony in their space where they get some cracking photographs of it for themselves afterwards too, and there’s something extra special about making that commitment in a meaningful space.
We see it all the time with the portrait part of the day, with brilliant wedding portraits captured in cafes and thrift shops, so why not the ceremony itself?
Everything can be a small wedding venue, if you’re creative enough.
All you can do is ask.
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, including some larger ones to keep in mind for when your community can all celebrate together again, here’s a list of incredible Unique Melbourne Wedding Venues.
Looking for a large venue? Check out their Indian wedding reception.
Briars Atlas Wedding Photographer – https://briarsatlas.com
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 (nothing was ever gonna stop the love-train), and the general vibe has been one of optimism, and putting love first.
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 4 lockdowns have put a temporary hold on things, but beyond that, Stage 3 lockdowns mean a smaller wedding – in effect, an elopement! And that’s good news, for a slew of reasons.
From my personal 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.
This is about you two! What a beautiful time to look inward to that, and outward later on at whatever shape the party takes with your community. On that note, getting a head-start on your planning to that end, is time well spent. Do it for your own peace of mind, and don’t listen to anyone telling you to rush (there’s plenty of vendors for everyone).
If you need any assistance planning your Melbourne elopement or small wedding, pop me an email.
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
Feb 1, 2020
I’m honestly at a loss for words trying to introduce this Blue Mountains wedding venue. The Hydro Majestic Hotel lives up to it’s name and is a turn-key wedding venue that really does offer everything you need to pull off the most extraordinary wedding. The hotel itself presents some phenomenal photo opportunities, with a refined art-deco style. The real magic though is in the view. It really does have to be seen to be believed. Luckily for you, I managed to snap a few wedding shots at this larger-than-life Blue Mountains wedding venue a little while ago and I’m more than happy to share. Enjoy!
Ok, this is the part where I blab on and on about how incredible this venue is. It is definitely for good reason though, there really isn’t a single downside. So, if you’re not thinking of booking The Hydro for your upcoming nuptials, maybe turn away if you don’t want to know what you’re missing out on.
This wedding venue is an absolute BEAST. It is a towering ode to the dreams of businessman Mark Foy and his drive to install Australia’s very first Health Retreat. That’s what The Hydro is, first and foremost – a retreat. And a mighty enormous one at that.
In 1903, Mark oversaw the construction of the Hydro, pulling out all the stops. A generator imported from Germany, artworks from all across the globe, a dome shaped roof that was built in Chicago and shipped all the way to Australia, and a Swiss health professional to run the joint. He even renamed the township The Hydro was situated in to “Medlow Bath” to make it suit the overall vibe of the hotel. If that isn’t a baller move, I don’t know what is.
The venue has hosted a plethora of famous guests over the years including: Dame Nellie Melba the magnificent Aussie Opera singer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Australia’s first Prime Minister Sir Edmund Barton who actually died in the hotel in 1920. Sure, it’s a morbid claim to fame, but it’s a claim to fame nonetheless.
If the grandiose of this venue isn’t apparent in its history, then allow the photos below to show you just how remarkable this place truly is.
If you’ve been pining after a wedding ceremony with a view, there’s no better way to do it than right here in the Blue Mountains. The Hydro Majestic boasts a breathtaking lookout with a viewing platform that’s perfectly suited to hosting a wedding ceremony in the natural surrounds of the serene Australian bush.
Honestly, whilst capturing photos for this wedding I was constantly picking my jaw up off the floor. I couldn’t believe just how ridiculously gorgeous the entire place was.
The ceremony was backed by a tremendous valley that held an expanse of native bush lands. The Blue Mountains really is one of the most naturally beautiful places in Australia – it’s no wonder this spot was selected to host the grandeur of The Hydro Hotel.
When you book your wedding venue through The Hydro Majestic, you’re basically covered for everything. And I mean, everything.
The list goes on, my friends. I truly cannot recommend this venue enough, not only for weddings but for other events, photography shoots, high teas – anything that requires a spacious site that oozes class and style.
I’m going to leave you with a few more photos from this gorgeous Blue Mountains wedding venue. Once you’re done browsing through them why not check out this post on the awesome I Do Drive Through?
For more beautiful rural New South Wales weddings, check out this Kangaroo Valley wedding,
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.
Photographing a wedding at The Deck at Circa always means a wedding where no-one misses a beat: there’s a beautiful seamless transition from the ceremony (held either indoors our outdoors) into the reception, with the space morphing perfectly as you please between the two.
Emily had an iconic walk down a gauntlet of their family and friends, before respect was paid to loved ones passed, and a gently boisterous ceremony (in a way only Gina Liano can do) weaved their story through the room before they carried on the party into the evening.
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.
Briars Atlas Wedding Photography: Enquire
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 9, 2019
Considering a wedding at Deux Belettes, in the gorgeous Byron Bay hinterland in New South Wales?
On this page you’ll find some of my favourite photographs i’ve captured at weddings all over the world, including NSW and the Blue Mountains, and as far as the majestic Ravello castle, overlooking the Amalfi coast in Italy (which, if you have been to both those regions, you’ll find a little bit of a spiritual homage between them).
If you’re looking for a wedding photographer for your Deux Belettes wedding, I regularly travel to NSW, an can run you through how I work to make the process exactly as it should be: seamless, fun, with beautiful images at the end of it all, tailored to every type of couple under the sun.
My style is candid with a documentary approach, and every image you see on this page came from creating a space in the way that I know makes for images you’ll connect with: a space where you can be present with each other.
Deux Belettes is the place where all majestic, French inspired boho-wedding dreams come true. A frontrunner of the slow-building movement that began in the region in the 1980’s, all of the structures have been beautifully built over time using reclaimed materials as they become available, along with the iconic tunnel of plane trees that now give it an unmistakeable European feel.
Deux Belettes can hold up to 100 guests in a marquee, with on-site accommodation available as well.
Deux Belettes does not offer wedding packages, so they require that all vendors are booked separately. If you’re looking for a wedding planner or wedding celebrant, I can connect you to some brilliant options locally. But while we’re here, for Byron Bay wedding planning, I cannot recommend White Rabbit Projects highly enough – Bree and her squad are absolutely incredible and you *need* their experienced hands on your team.
Make an enquiry: https://briarsatlas.com/enquire
The majestic Deux Belettes is located at 2477/104 Victoria Park Rd, Dalwood NSW 2477.
Find them online at https://www.deuxbelettes.com/
Apr 7, 2019
Two artists and art-lovers brought their community together for their glorious Quat Quatta Wedding in Ripponlea, Melbourne. Nadisha and Tendai brought on the skills of the inimitable Yo Mafia, who came to tear up their reception dance-floor (in between doing RNB gigs in literal stadiums around the world).
A Mariachi band set the tone as guests walked into the beautiful Quat Quatta grounds, leading into their soft and brilliant ceremony.
Quat Quatta have also been featured on a list of the most unique venues in Melbourne, and is one of my most favourite venues in Melbourne to photograph a wedding at. Incredible heritage surrounds, lush greenery, and an interior and exterior that can be transformed into any direction you can imagine. Check out the incredible Quat Quatta wedding of Nadisha and Tendai to see how they celebrated there.