Selecting the right wedding venue is the most important decision a couple needs to make… other than choosing their photography team of course! There are so many factors to consider. How many people are you expecting to invite? Will you want it to be a sit-down meal or a cocktail style event? Do you want a dance floor? Perhaps Giant Jenga and croquet… or a whiskey bar? Elegant or cute? Sleek or shabby-chique? Close to home or a destination wedding where your guests can stay overnight?
It’s not the time to feel overwhelmed… it is the time to dream big!
Many people may have a preconceived idea of what they are looking for when it comes to the perfect Melbourne wedding venue. However it is important to keep a very open mind in the early stages of your exploration. We have so many options here compared with some cities. You don’t have to travel far at all to be hosted by incredibly different types of locations! Every different type will add a different flavour to your celebrations.
Your partner may have a different idea about the way they envisage the day. Planning your wedding together should be a lot of fun for you as a couple. Keeping communication lines open about the whole planning process is very much vital at every step! Even for couples who have been together for a long time, planning a wedding is a wonderful test of teamwork and cooperation. Starting off your marriage on the right foot by creating a day that you look back on with absolute joy is something you will never regret. It is well worth the investment of time and money to get it right. The memories you look back on belong not only to you but to all your friends and family.
To get you started, we thought we would list a few different examples of types of wedding venues. This is by no means an extensive list, but just purely designed to start you thinking about the wide diversity of wedding venues that we are so lucky to have right on the doorstep of Melbourne. That is one of the things we love about being Melbourne wedding photographers. Every weekend is different! Locations give a fresh individuality to all of our wedding photography. Usually, people’s choice of location reflects aspects of their personality or the things that people associate with them as a couple. This makes it even more fun to capture the fun of their unique character as they celebrate with those closest to them.
Broadly speaking, some of the different types of weddings one could enjoy in Melbourne would include: urban weddings, Dandenong ranges weddings, beach/city weddings, Peninsula weddings, winery weddings and farm weddings.
Urban weddings, held in the City of Melbourne, are often glamorous affairs but can also be simple and very budget friendly. There are lots of beautiful restaurants and old buildings to choose from, as well as modern venues with cutting edge architecture. A key advantage of a CBD wedding is that it is often central for a lot of guests and/or easy to organise transport. People often choose to stay in town anyway because there are so many hotels. There are old churches (and cathedrals!) to have your ceremony if you are inclined, but there is also the Registry Office that handles dozens of weddings a day, seamlessly and inexpensively. Then there are all the gardens. So many gardens! All of them within a short hop, skip, (…limousine ride or tram ride!) and jump from each other. One of our favourite spots is Carlton Gardens with the stately, palatial Royal Exhibition Centre in the background and the beautiful fountain.
Dandenong ranges weddings are a must for those who adore a cooler climate with the soft greens of unravelling ferns and towering eucalypts. Venues like Poets Lane cater the most amazing food and forest like ambiance, while others like Sky High are all about the view over the city lights in the distance. There are lots of cute places to stop for a photo shoot but many venues here spread out and have extensive photo locations onsite. This often means couples don’t need to factor in much (or any!) transport cost throughout the day and this makes it convenient for guests as well. Venues will often organise canapes for the guests while the bridal party wander off for their portrait shoot fun.
When I say “beach/city weddings”, I’m really talking about locations like Sandringham and Brighton. These spots are usually only a short drive from the CBD. Locations where it is not so much a long drive down the coast but you still get that relaxing feeling of being out for a holiday in the sun and probably a bit of sand sea spray somewhere in the day. Naturally, lots of people want to be photographed at the Brighton Bathing Boxes which can be lots of fun at the right time of the day. There are also the beautiful St Kilda Botanic Gardens which are always gorgeous and convenient for bridal party adventures and some candid shots as well as gorgeous wedding portraits. Some of our favourite venues include The Sandringham Yacht Club and the Mentone Surf Lifesaving Club. You can opt for more DIY or a more all-inclusive option from your venue depending on your budget and the time (or team!) you have available to prepare everything. One thing is certain… you want to ensure that your schedule allows time with us on the beach at sunset for those golden light portraits. They are the ones that make everyone go “OoooOOOOooo!” and that you will want printed on a huge canvas or two!
Peninsula weddings naturally have some commonalities with urban beach weddings, but they usually feel a bit more removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. This can be a positive or negative depending on your priorities and tastes. There is of course the Mornington Peninsula and then there’s the Bellarine Peninsula across the other side of Port Phillip Bay. You may still find yourself overlooking the water but you may also opt for a farm-style venue or a winery.
Similarly, Yarra Valley weddings often feature fresh produce and amazing food and wine at the heart of the celebrations. There are almost too many venues to list. Some people can’t decide between amazing places and choose one winery for their outdoor ceremony and a different cellar-door-restaurant for their reception. While transport isn’t so easy to organise on the spot, advising your guests to carpool or book taxis early will solve this issue easily, and many venues may also have accommodation available (sometimes limited). It can be just gorgeous to have evening photography amongst the golden light of the vines in a stunning winery. The long rows and rolling hills give an elegance and simplicity to portraiture, making your images really pop.
There are lots of other locations that work for weddings as well. We have done weddings at private estates, golf courses, bushland areas and more. And then there are more off-beat choices… would you ever consider having your wedding celebrations or a theme park (Gumbaya Park now does weddings!) or at the zoo or the aquarium? No matter what you have in mind for your celebrations – be as traditional or as modern as you like… we would love to hear from you! We are certain that we can make your day extra-unforgettable!