Intimate Small Wedding Venues in Melbourne
- The Altar Electric
- I Do Drive Thru
- Rupert on Rupert
- Two Ton Max
- Family Property
- Air BnB
- Kenny Lover
- Gather and Tailor
- Melbourne Town Hall
- Brunswick Mess Hall
- The Wool Mill
- Picnic Styling Co
- Your Backyard
- Alto Event Space
- The National Hotel Richmond
- St Andrews Conservatory
- Cutler and Co
- Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya
- Elwood Bathers
Until early 2021, thanks to old mate 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, but instead, something awesome.
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.
Pair that with the classic Melbourne tendency to get creative with things, and it makes for a brilliant range of Small wedding venue options.
So while we have to wait a little while to have big parties and weddings again, here are some of my favourite Small Wedding Venues in Melbourne.
1. Small Wedding Venue in Melbourne: The Altar Electric
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.
2. Small Wedding Planning Service: I Do Drive Thru
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.
3. Intimate Wedding Venue in Melbourne: Rupert on Rupert
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.
4. Small Wedding Venue: Two Ton Max
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.
5. Alternative Small Wedding Venue idea: The Family (or friends) property
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.
6. Small Wedding anywhere: Air BnB
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.
7. Unique Small Wedding Venue Melbourne: Kenny Lover
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.
8. Small Warehouse Wedding Venue: Glasshaus Inside and Glasshaus Outside
Glasshaus Inside and Glasshaus Outside are two brilliant small wedding venues in Melbourne, sitting just outside of the Melbourne CBD, tucked in Richmond. Glasshaus Inside doubles as a warehouse jungle, and Glasshaus Outside swaps the warehouse vibe for an aviary. A small wedding venue in melbourne for folks seeking a grittier feel where nature is a part of the celebration.
9. Small Warehouse Wedding Venue: Gather and Tailor
Gather and Tailor aren’t the smallest wedding venue in Melbourne (that crown probably goes to the Altar Electric), but their dual warehouse spaces, particular warehouse one, are blank-canvasses that can be arranged any way you like. The incredible, forward thinking folks at Nudo run Gather and Tailor, and their expert planning team can host you a unique small wedding at their venue.
10. Small Art Deco Wedding Venue – Melbourne Town Hall
I feel this is generally overlooked when folks are looking at the small wedding venues Melbourne has to offer, but if you know what’s what, you know that a classic heritage environment is a beautiful surrounds to have a celebration in, and just as good to dress up in your own way or with the hand of a great florists (check out the best wedding florists in Melbourne). The Melbourne Town Hall is a beautiful, ambient space, protected from the weather, and perfectly sized for a small wedding.
11. Small Alternative Wedding Venue – Brunswick Mess Hall
One of the great joys of this Covid business wrapping up will be seeing the best small wedding venue in Brunswick, the Brunswick Mess Hall, back in action. An incredible mixed-bag of design sensibilities that works a treat, and every time i’ve been there photographing a wedding, the space has been taken over in a unique and different way.
12. Small Blank Canvas Wedding Venue – The Wool Mill
Nudo, owners of The Wool Mill, say they run the best wedding planning service in the world, and given how well oiled their machine is, that statement is about on-point. Nudo look after all the moving parts of your wedding, and as well as Gather and Tailor (see point #9), they also have Brunswicks The Wool Mill in their venue stable. A wonderful blank canvas, modern small wedding warehouse venue.
13: Picnic Styling Co
Not a venue as such, but Picnic Styling Co must be included here. If you’re looking for a brilliant small wedding experience that you can enjoy anywhere out in public or indoors, you must check out the popup Picnic Styling Co. Picnic Styling Co create bespoke picnic experiences for any number of guests, brilliantly styled with no work to do by you. Turn up, have fun, walk away, and Picnic Styling Co take care of the rest.
14: Small Venue for Weddings idea: Your Backyard
Sometimes the goodness is right in front of you: get some food-trucks or a Paella station, and host the party right at home. Check out this Porch article on Backyard Weddings.
One more Small Wedding Venue idea:
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.
All you can do is ask: the Small Wedding Venue idea no-one is talking about
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.
Other Small Wedding Venues in Melbourne
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.
Hire me to photograph your Elopement or Small Wedding
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