74 South Coast wedding venues

Searching the South Coast of NSW to find a wedding venue?  The South Coast offers one of the most diverse collections of wedding venues in NSW. From sun soaked white sand beaches to picturesque country landscapes, there's a feast of stunning wedding locations to be found on the South Coast, and we've got them all listed below.

If you want to make a weekend of your wedding you’re searching in the right place!  The South Coast has a huge variety of destination wedding venues and all the accommodation you’ll need for your entire entourage.  Most of the wedding venues listed below provide accommodation onsite and some can even accommodate your entire wedding guest list. The only question is, in which of the South Coast's most beautiful locations will you get married? 

Download the Complete List of 74 South Coast Wedding Venues or explore the 18 shortlists below.

Wedding Venues South Coast

South Coast Shortlists

We've curated the best South Coast wedding venues to make it easy to find the perfect place to get married. From wineries and hotels to farms and resorts, find the best wedding venues on the South Coast of NSW with these 18 shortlists. 

1. Wedding Venues with Accommodation

The South Coast has heaps of wedding venues that offer accommodation within walking distance of their ceremony and reception locations. Here are two popular locations, or for more options view all South Coast wedding venues with accommodation.

BYO wedding venue Bewong
Bewong River Retreat

  • Address: 2395 Princes Hwy, Bewong, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 130
  • Info: 160 acre waterfront wedding venue within temperate bushland on the Bewong River.  Wedding packages from $5,000 include venue hire of the function centre and adjoining marquee. BYO catering and drinks. Riverside ceremonies and bungalows that accommodate 38 guests make this an ideal all-in-one spot for 3 day weddings on the South Coast.

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wedding venue with accommodation peppers
Peppers Manor House

  • Address: Kater Rd, Sutton Forest, NSW 2577
  • Capacity: 20 - 250
  • Info: With meticulously maintained grounds and a stunning ballroom, Peppers Manor House is the ideal location for elegant or black tie weddings. The gardens are perfect for romantic wedding ceremonies there's B&B accommodation for 100+ guests. Wedding packages start at $170 per person.

 View Peppers Manor House

▹ View all South Coast wedding venues with accommodation

2. Bush Venues 

From coastal locations to inland resorts, the South Coast has an eclectic selection of wedding venues that are emerged in or, surrounded by native bushland. Here are two favourites, or explore the entire shortlist of South Coast bush venues.

byo wedding venue bawley
Bawley Bush Retreat

  • Address: 101 Willinga Rd, Bawley Point, NSW 2539
  • Capacity: 150
  • Info: Secluded, lake front wedding venue surrounded by South Coast bushland. The retreat offers ceremonies and receptions in the one location and a function centre and dome marquee are available to hire with wedding packages. Minimum spend for exclusive use of the venue is $10,000 and up to 44 guests can stay in onsite accommodation. 

 View Bawley Bush Retreat

small wedding venue tathra
Kianinny Bush Cottages

  • Address: 246 Tathra Rd, Tathra, NSW 2550
  • Capacity: 150
  • Info: On the far South Coast, Kianinny is an affordable wedding venue where the entire 150+ guest list can stay in self-contained bush cottages. Two covered pavilions provide a choice of reception venues and ceremonies can be held in a bush setting or on the lake pontoon. Wedding packages are less than $90 per person and the venue offers plenty of entertainment for a weekend stay including zip lining, archery, put putt, tennis and volleyball. 

 View Kianinny Bush Cottages

▹ View all bush wedding venues on the South Coast

3. Country Venues

With a coastline spanning more than 400km, the South Coast has a diverse and plentiful supply of fresh air and open countryside. From farms to wineries to secluded bushland resorts, we've put together a shortlist of the 18 best country venues on the South Coast. Here's two completely different options to consider:

barns sheds wedding venue oaklands
Oaklands Event Centre

  • Address: 3546 Princes Hwy, Pambula, NSW 2549
  • Capacity: 40 - 300
  • Info: Oaklands Event Centre is one of the largest wedding venues on the South Coast. The rustic shed caters for wedding receptions of up to 300 guests with packages from $70 per person. An adjacent beer barn is ideal for post wedding recovery events and the farm's homestead is the perfect spot to get ready and have a ceremony in the garden. 

 View Oaklands Event Centre

small wedding venue kangaroo valley
Wildwood Kangaroo Valley

  • Address: 407D Bendeela Rd, Kangaroo Valley, NSW 2577
  • Capacity: 90
  • Info: Eco friendly wedding venue in secluded South Coast bushland offering complete privacy and peace. Cliff top wedding & elopement ceremonies with marquee receptions in a light filled pavilion. DIY & BYO wedding packages include venue hire from $4,000.

 View Wildwood Kangaroo Valley

▹ View all country wedding venues on the South Coast 

4. Small Wedding Venues

Small weddings and elopements of 2 - 60 guests are well catered for on the South Coast. The region offers private homes, micro farms, luxury villas and more which you can find on our complete list of small South Coast wedding venues. Here's two options to consider:

small wedding venue bundara nsw
Bundara Farm

  • Address: 18 Wire Ln, Berry, NSW 2535
  • Capacity: 30
  • Info: Bundara Farm is a micro wedding venue for a maximum of 30 guests with accommodation for everyone on the property. Wedding packages start at $9,800 for 3 day minimum hire. Organise your own catering, drinks and all other wedding suppliers. The property offers a unique variety of locations for weddings & receptions including stables and a wisteria deck in the garden. 

 View Bundara Farm

small wedding venue bangalay villas nsw
Bangalay Villas

  • Address: 30 Staples St, Shoalhaven Heads, NSW 2535
  • Capacity: 20 - 80
  • Info: Bangalay Villas is one of the most luxurious stay-and-play wedding venues on the South Coast. Located on the beachfront, wedding ceremonies can be held on the sand or alternatively, in the manicured gardens. Wedding reception packages start at $5,000 and include exclusive hire of the restaurant. 16 poolside villas provide accommodation for guests and there's an onsite day spa and golf. 

 View Bangalay Villas

▹ View all small South Coast wedding venues

5. Waterfront Wedding Venues

The South Coast has many waterways from the Shoalhaven River to lakes and dams. It's also coastal of course, and offers a long stretch of beaches and cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Explore the 18 best waterfront wedding venues on the South Coast. The following two venues make the shortlist.

waterfront wedding venue mollymook
Mollymook Beachside Weddings

  • Address: 72 Golf Avenue, Mollymook, NSW 2539
  • Capacity: 220
  • Info: An absolute beachfront wedding location with ceremonies on the white South Coast sand and receptions enjoying uninterrupted views over the ocean. Budget wedding venue with reception packages from $117 per person. 

 View Mollymook Beachside

City Beach function centre

City Beach Function Centre

  • Address: 1 Marine Dr, Wollongong, NSW 2500
  • Capacity: 420
  • Info: Affordable function centre with all inclusive wedding packages from $99 per person. The venue is located on Wollongong City Beach and offers wedding receptions with views over the ocean. One of the cheapest venues for a beachfront wedding reception on the South Coast.

 View City Beach Function Centre

▹ View all waterfront wedding venues on the South Coast

6. Barns & Sheds

The South Coast offers two main types of barns and sheds for weddings. There's refurbished sheds that retain their rustic wrought iron features and exposed wooden beams. And there's modern barns which have been purpose built for events in recent years and offer the kind of blank canvas that delights wedding stylists. We've got both types on our shortlist of the South Coast's best wedding barns. These two are fine examples of what a renovated and repurposed barn venue looks like...

barn wedding venue ridge
Barn On The Ridge

  • Address: 24 Clyde Ridge Rd, Morton, NSW 2538
  • Capacity: 130
  • Info: This aptly named South Coast wedding venue happens to be a barn, located on a ridge. And the ridge affords spectacular views over the surrounding green slopes and countryside. Offering a unique mix of rustic character and modern charm, the barn is perfect for DIY wedding receptions. Wedding packages start at $10,000 including venue hire, exclusive use of the entire 55 acres and BYO catering & alcohol. 

 View Barn On The Ridge

Rustic Wedding Venue Yallah NSWThe Woolshed

  • Address: 601 Princes Hwy, Yallah, NSW 2530
  • Capacity: 150 - 350
  • Info: This renovated shearing shed has been repurposed as a DIY wedding venue with wooden floors and exposed beams providing the ideal backdrop for relaxed, rustic weddings. Wedding packages include venue hire with food and drinks exclusively catered by Fine Spun Catering. This South Coast reception venue is conveniently located 20 minutes south of Wollongong.

 View The Woolshed

▹ View all barn wedding venues on the South Coast

7. Rustic Wedding Venues

Most rustic wedding venues in Australia are barns and sheds situated on repurposed farmland, but the South Coast offers a slightly more unique variety. From award winning gardens to tree top eco retreats, here's an amazing shortlist of 14 rustic wedding venues on the South Coast. Check out the unique wedding accommodation offered by Worrowing below.

BYO wedding venue worrowingWorrowing Jervis Bay

  • Address: 81 The Wool Rd, Worrowing Heights, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 180
  • Info: Historic 250 acre coastal farm with 12+ ceremony locations and 2 reception venues centred around manicured gardens and dams. Weddings can be held in the hay shed and a larger refurbished shed is a light filled space that's perfect for self styled wedding receptions. Packages start at $10,500 and exclusive use of the property for weddings is available with accommodation bookings for 40 guests in unique boat sheds & wilderness huts.

 View Worrowing Jervis Bay

rustic wedding venue paperbark
Paperbark Camp

  • Address: 571 Woollamia Rd, Woollamia, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 100 Bunyah, Outdoors
  • Info: One of the most unique wedding venues on the South Coast is the tree top Bunyah at Paperbark Camp. The restaurant caters for sit down wedding receptions from $10,000 and ceremonies can be held in a bush or waterfront location. Exclusive weekend hire available with accommodation bookings for up to 40 guests in the permanent eco-friendly safari tents. 

 View Paperbark Camp

▹ View all rustic South Coast wedding venues

8. BYO Venues

Most South Coast venues that offer BYO packages enable you to hire the venue, choose your own caterers and bring your own alcohol. Some venues require you to utilise preferred caterers while others allow food trucks or 3rd party providers to use the onsite commercial kitchen. Get the full run down on our shortlist of 12 BYO wedding venues on the South Coast. These two goodies let you BYO alcohol + have your choice of caterers. 

barns sheds wedding venue driftwoodThe Driftwood Shed

  • Address: 111 Terara Rd, Terara, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 100
  • Info: Driftwood Shed is a unique 100 year old rustic shed filled with fascinating old-world wares. It sits next to a white marquee and adjoining lawns creating the perfect spot for relaxed outdoor wedding receptions. Wedding packages include venue hire with BYO alcohol & catering. Ceremonies can be held on the Shoalhaven River at the back of the property and there's accommodation for 6 onsite.  

 View The Driftwood Shed

BYO wedding venue Hillview
Hillview Heritage Estate

  • Address: 7277 Illawarra Hwy, Sutton Forest, NSW 2577
  • Capacity: 30 - 200
  • Info: Hillview Heritage Estate is an historic Vice Regal Retreat built in 1882. The location enjoys magnificent views over the valley and waterways below and is a stunning location for wedding ceremonies. Receptions can be held outdoors or in the estate's dining room. 8 Cottages provide on site accommodation for guests and you bring your own caterers and drinks.

 View Hillview Heritage Estate

▹ View all BYO wedding venues on the South Coast

9. DIY Venues

There's a huge difference in the range of packages offered by DIY venues on the South Coast. The most DIY of DIY packages enable you to hire the venue for your exclusive use to organise your wedding using whatever suppliers you like. The least DIY packages provide catering packages to choose from but let you style the venue however you like.

The commonality in DIY venues is that they all offer a blank canvas reception space that can be decorated in your chosen wedding theme. Here's two venues that are fully DIY. The rest can be found on our complete list of DIY wedding venues on the South Coast.

small wedding venue figbird

Figbird Cottage

  • Address: 330 Comerong Island Rd, Terara, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 150 
  • Info: At Figbird Cottage, stunning rose gardens border the largest European marquee on the South Coast. Wedding receptions can also be held on the lawns outside the marquee and there's plenty of places in the gardens for ceremonies surrounded by the relaxed pace of farm life. Affordable wedding packages include venue hire from $3,500 per day or $6,000 for 3 days/2 nights. The price includes 2 nights accommodation in two cottages for 8+ guests and BYO ffood trucks & drinks. 

 View Figbird Cottage

small wedding venue kullindi nsw
Kullindi Homestead

  • Address: Booderee National Park, Ellmoos Rd, Jervis Bay, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 20 - 200  
  • Info: Historic homestead and wedding venue on the edge of Sussex Inlet waterway. Ideal budget-friendly location for private wedding ceremonies and outdoor receptions on the spacious waterfront lawns. Exclusive hire of the venue starts at $2,800 including a weekend stay in 5 self-contained units. One of the few private properties on the South Coast that can be booked as a wedding venue. Fully DIY & BYO. Marquees are allowed.

 View Kullindi Homestead

▹ View all DIY wedding venues on the South Coast

10. Exclusive-Use Wedding Venues

Having your wedding venue to yourself without strangers to spectate or interrupt proceedings, lends a relaxed atmosphere to your wedding day. These 13 exclusive-use wedding venues on the South Coast offer exactly that. Here's two from the list that offer completely private ceremony and reception locations.

Outdoor wedding venue illawarra Seacliff
Seacliff House

  • Address: 139 Princes Hwy, Gerringong, NSW 2534
  • Capacity: 180 
  • Info: Enquire more than 18 months in advance to secure a date at this popular Gerringong wedding venue. The light-filled, purpose built barn at Seacliff House is surrounded by lush farmland with spectacular views over rolling green pastures to the ocean. Venue hire starts at $8,000 with a choice of additional food & beverage packages. There's also a choice of accommodation on the property including a brand new luxury farmhouse. 

 View Seacliff House

wedding venue with accommodation mali
Mali Brae Farm

  • Address: 562 Nowra Rd, Moss Vale, NSW 2577
  • Capacity: 120   Gardens, Hay Shed
  • Info: Boutique wedding venue on private 90 acre farm with 6 ceremony locations to choose from. The stunning landscaped gardens and extensive regional views offer incredible opportunities for wedding photos.  The reception venue is an elegantly transformed hay shed which retains its rustic origins.  Wedding packages include venue hire from $5,000.

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▹ View all exclusive-use wedding venues on the South Coast

11. Wineries

Wineries offer an elegant and picturesque location for weddings. Here's two popular vineyards from our shortlist of the South Coast's best winery wedding venues.

south coast wedding venue accommodation sapphire
Mimosa Wines

  • Address: 2845 Tathra-Bermagui Rd, Bermagui, NSW 2546
  • Capacity: 180 
  • Info: 200 acre winery and wedding venue nestled between South Coast beaches & national park. The elevated reception venue offers sweeping views of the surrounding landscape and the grounds provide several spots for wedding ceremonies. Wedding packages start at $8,000 and provide access to a private farmhouse and seperate cottage. 

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Rustic Wedding Venue South Coast
Crooked River Wines

  • Address: 11 Willowvale Rd, Gerringong, NSW 2534
  • Capacity: 100 - 200
  • Info: Wedding ceremony and reception venue amongst the vines with spectacular views across the South Coast countryside and mountains to the ocean. The function centre provides an ideal blank canvas for rustic wedding receptions. 

 View Crooked River Wines

▹ View all winery wedding venues on the South Coast

12. Marquee Wedding Venues

From clear roofed marquees that enable you to dance under the stars to rustic teepee bars with festoon lighting and a festival ambience, the South Coast just might be the capital of marquee wedding venues in NSW. Here's our list of the top 8 marquee wedding venues on the South Coast. Here's two of the more urban options amongst a raft of rural diamonds...

Marquee Venue Illawarra Ravensthorpe
Ravensthorpe Guesthouse & Restaurant

  • Address: 56 Tongarra Rd, Albion Park, NSW 2527
  • Capacity: 200 
  • Info: Wedding venues at this romantic Georgian manor house include a conservatory, adjoining courtyard and marquee. 3 acres of classic gardens provide a stunning setting for wedding ceremonies with a mountain backdrop.

 View Ravensthorpe

affordable wedding venues sebel
The Sebel Harbourside Kiama

  • Address: 31 Shoalhaven St, Kiama, NSW 2533
  • Capacity: 200
  • Info: The Sebel Hotel is a stunning coastal venue offering garden weddings and marquee receptions overlooking Kiama Harbour.  An affordable wedding venue with packages from $119/pp and a minimum spend of $11,600. A great spot to stay after the wedding with accommodation onsite and plenty of nearby attractions. 

 View The Sebel Hotel

▹ View all marquee wedding venues on the South Coast

13. Outdoor Wedding Venues

If you're looking for a garden venue or somewhere you can dine on long tables in the great outdoors, this is the shortlist for you: 14 Best Outdoor Wedding Venues on the South Coast. Here's a couple of options you can stamp your style on:

waterfront wedding venue tilba
Tilba Valley Winery

  • Address: 947 Old Hwy, Corunna, NSW 2546
  • Capacity: 100+
  • Info: Family run boutique winery located on the shores of Corunna Lake on the South Coast. Budget friendly waterfront weddings that are off the beaten track. You will not find Tilba Valley Winery on the usual list of South Coast wedding venues, and hence, weddings here are quite unique.

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weddings with accommodation wilde

Weddings in the Wilde

  • Address: 71 Ryans Ln, Wildes Meadow, NSW 2577
  • Capacity: 200
  • Info: Secluded wedding venue surrounded by native Australian bushland on the South Coast. Ideal place for relaxed, outdoor weddings with a unique log chapel & wood floor marquee. BYO wedding packages include affordable venue hire from $7,000 + budget friendly accommodation for the entire guest list to stay the weekend. Late curfew.

 View Weddings in the Wilde

▹ View all outdoor wedding venues on the South Coast

14. Farms

Small farms, big farms, working farms and flower farms - here's 8 farm venues on the South Coast that are perfect for relaxed and fun weddings. The following two Shoalhaven wedding venues top the shortlist with other options including farms in Jervis Bay, Ulladulla and Pambula on the far South Coast.

byo wedding venue willow farm
Willow Farm

  • Address: Galls Lane, Berry, NSW 2535
  • Capacity: 130  Shed, Farm
  • Info: Willow Farm is a 160 acre wedding venue on lush green paddocks. A rustic entertainment shed offers the perfect location for DIY & BYO wedding receptions and there's a choice of great spots including creek frontage for wedding ceremonies. Stay for the weekend with beds for 10 guests. Venue hire starts at $10,000.

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byo wedding venue terara park
Terara Park Farm

  • Address: 174 Millbank Rd, Terara, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 50 - 180
  • Info: Terara park is a 22 acre horse farm that offers affordable weddings from under $80 per person. The dam and overhanging jetty provide an idyllic spot for laid back wedding ceremonies while the converted indoor arena barn is perfect for rustic wedding receptions. 4 units are available to sleep 12 guests onsite. 

 View Terara Park Farm

▹ View all farm wedding venues on the South Coast

15. Pet Friendly Wedding Venues

Want to bring your dog or horse or a fluffy floral-wreath wearing llama to your wedding? You'll need to have your ceremony at one of these pet-friendly wedding venues on the South Coast. Here's a couple of options to get your search started...

wedding venue with accommodation fitzroy
Fitzroy Inn

  • Address: 1 Ferguson Cres, Mittagong, NSW 2575
  • Capacity: 150
  • Info: Fitzroy Inn is a pet friendly wedding venue on 5 acres of manicured gardens. Wedding receptions are held in the restaurant and adjoining marquee and there's boutique accommodation for 30 guests in the historic guest house. The entire property is available for exclusive venue hire.

 View Fitzroy Inn

BYO wedding venue growwild
Growwild Wildflower Farm

  • Address: 916 Old Hume Hwy, Alpine, NSW 2575
  • Capacity: 145
  • Info: Growwild wildflower farm offers 25 picturesque and colourful garden acres and provides a number of wedding locations including a barn & permanent marquee. A budget friendly wedding venue where you can BYO alcohol & catering and hire the grounds for your exclusive use. A registered sanctuary with the Wildlife Land Trust. 

 View Growwild Wildflower Farm

▹ View all pet friendly wedding venues on the South Coast

16. Garden Venues

There's no wedding quite so picture perfect as a garden wedding. Here's a shortlist of the best garden wedding venues on the South Coast for both ceremonies and receptions. The following two garden venues are most likely to have availability for last minute weddings. 

south coast wedding venue nsw
Berry Beach Holiday Cottage

  • Address: 10 Coolaroo Pl, Berry, NSW 2535
  • Capacity: 60
  • Info: Small wedding venue at a private cottage surrounded by picturesque South Coast farmland. Suitable for intimate garden weddings and marquee receptions. The property also has a dining room for micro wedding receptions and sleeps 4 onsite.

 View Berry Beach Cottages

waterfront wedding venue terara
Terara Riverside Gardens

  • Address: 135 Terara Rd, Terara, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 120
  • Info: 5 acres of stunning gardens on the Shoalhaven River are an idyllic setting for waterfront wedding ceremonies. A permanent oversized love sign is a must-do photo opportunity there's a barn or greenhouse for indoor ceremonies and receptions. Wedding packages include venue hire from $10,000.

 View Terara Gardens

▹ View all garden wedding venues on the South Coast

17. Glamping Venues

What kind of glamping wedding do you want? A luxury experience in semi-permanent safari tents? A glamping village with all wedding guests staying with you? Or a romantic wedding night in a glamping set up for two? Here's two venues that offer the option of wedding night glamping or search all South Coast glamping venues

glamping wedding venue cove
The Cove

  • Address: Ellmoos Road via Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 200
  • Info: Coastal wedding venue with its own private beach. The Cove is the ideal wedding location for a weekend getaway. There's a 7 room house plus cabins onsite and the option for additional guests to glamp. Wedding packages include dry venue hire from $10,000. BYO caterers and drinks.

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glamping wedding venue secrets
Secrets of Terara

  • Address: Millbank Rd, Terara, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 100
  • Info: A secluded wedding venue in the Shoalhaven woodlands. The 13 acre property is available for exclusive weekend hire with wedding packages from $5,000. An onsite homestead sleeps 20 + there's an option for glamping. 

 View Secrets of Terara

▹ View all glamping wedding venues on the South Coast 

18. Blank Canvas Venues

Blank canvas wedding venues offer the opportunity to put your own unique styling touches to your wedding ceremony and reception. From cheap wedding venues that look a million dollars with a little styling (hello surf club below) to bespoke venues with blank white walls, explore the best blank canvas wedding venues on the South Coast. Here's two vastly different alternatives...

Affordable wedding venue nowra
Nowra Culburra SLSC

  • Address: 4 Farrant Ave, Culburra Beach, NSW 2540
  • Capacity: 130
  • Info: Coastal wedding venue with affordable hall hire from $2,200. Wedding ceremonies can be held in front of the surf club on Culburra Beach. BYO catering & drinks and style the clubhouse in any wedding theme. 

 View Nowra Culburra SLSC

waterfront wedding venue cupit
Cupitts

  • Address: 58 Washburton Rd, Ulladulla, NSW 2539
  • Capacity: 150
  • Info: Cupitts is a well known wedding venue and boutique winery on the South Coast. The farm style venue also has a brewery, fromagerie and cottage accommodation for 4. Weddings enjoy rural views across the vineyard to Burrill Lake. Ceremony packages start at $1,500 and all-inclusive wedding receptions in the restaurant from $12,500.

 View Cupitts

▹ View all blank canvas wedding venues on the South Coast

For the full list of 74 South Coast Wedding Venues, plus all the info on accommodation & onsite features grab yourself a copy of The Complete List of 74 South Coast Wedding Venues below. 

64 Hunter Valley Wedding Venues

The Hunter Valley has a huge range of wedding venues and is one of Australia’s most popular wedding destinations.  From world class wineries, to picturesque farms, private acreage to exclusive retreats and luxury homes - whatever setting you envisage for your special day, find your perfect venue at the following Hunter Valley wedding locations.

Hunter Valley Venues

Wineries
Small Venues
Venues with Accommodation
Affordable Venues
Private Venues
Venues with a View
Luxury Venues
BYO Venues
Marquee Venues
Outdoor Venues
Barns
Farms
Rustic Venues
Bush Venues
Pet Friendly Venues
Garden Venues

 All Wedding Venues

Wedding Venues Hunter Valley

HUNTER VALLEY LOCATIONS

The Hunter Valley region is just shy of 30,000 square kilometers in size and offers a few different scenic landscapes.  Here’s a rundown of the region’s most popular wedding spots and the different backdrops they’ll provide for your celebrations.

Pokolbin Wedding Venues

Hunter Valley Wedding Venue Polkolbin

Pokolbin is the tourist centre of the Lower Hunter Valley.  Some of Australia’s most well known wineries and most impressive cellar doors are located along the scenic rural roads here.  Many transport operators provide bus and shuttle services in the area and you can also explore on hire bikes from tour operators.  Biking between wineries is a popular activity here and so some wedding venues also make bikes available with your booking.

▹ View all Pokolbin wedding venues

There are 26 wedding venues located in Pokolbin and they cater for small elopements to weddings of up to 900 guests.  

Pokolbin has: 17 winery venues, 10 marquee venues, 5 BYO venues, 7 outdoor reception venues, 3 barn/sheds, 13 small & micro wedding venues and 20 venues that offer onsite accommodation sleeping from 8 to 100 guests.  There’s 8 properties that can be booked for your exclusive use that sleep between 8 to 80 guests.

If you’re looking for a wedding destination that offers easy logistics for you and your guests, Polkolbin is your spot.

Lovedale Wedding Venues

Wedding Venues Hunter Valley

Lovedale is famous for its wineries, ballooning, cycle and horseback adventures and the Lovedale Long Lunch - which is a two-day food & wine festival held every May.  The area is slightly quieter and smaller than Polkolbin and has more boutique style wineries where it’s the owner who provides the tastings and you’ll enjoy a more personal experience.

Fine food is an event to be enjoyed over and over again in this part of the Hunter and you’ll find cheese, olive and chocolate tastings at the various cellar doors.

▹ View Lovedale wedding venues

Lovedale has: 6 winery venues, 5 BYO/DIY venues, a farm, 3 barn/shed venues, 4 garden venues and .  All Lovedale wedding venues provide accommodation onsite with most sleeping from 2 to 48 guests.  For larger weddings there’s the Crowne Plaza which has hundreds of rooms available.  

Lovedale is a pretty, vineyard dotted landscape with wide open green spaces.  It is best enjoyed from the air in one of the Hunter’s vast supply of hot air balloons or by a lazy horseback ride through the area’s many sprawling properties.

Broke Wedding Venues

Hunter Valley Wedding Venue Broke

Broke is one the Hunter Valley’s most tranquil pockets of countryside.  The air is fresh over the vineyards and kangaroos graze on the rolling green foothills of Broken Back Range - a world heritage wilderness.  Expect laid-back venues with spectacular views.  

▹ View Broke wedding venues

Broke has 6 formal wedding venues and a number of private homes suitable for small weddings and elopements.  Broke venues include 3 wineries and 2 farms.  Three venues are BYO and 2 have suitable spaces for an outdoor wedding reception.

The average temperature from November to March is above 27 degrees.  The days can be very warm and the evenings beautifully balmy and perfect for enjoying your first dance as a married couple under the open sky.  The night air is perfectly clear here and the stars put on a spectacular show, and create a very romantic ambience.

Maitland Wedding Venues

Maitland is one of the Hunter Valley’s major centres with a population of 83,000.  It has a thriving food scene, some fabulous heritage buildings and a growing arts culture.  Maitland’s eclectic mix of historic landmarks and changing street murals make a fantastic backdrop for wedding photos and you’ll be afforded a great mix of shots for the album here!

Maitland has several heritage listed wedding venues (including a gaol) and some budget friendly options where you can BYO alcohol and catering.  It’s not as popular a destination for weddings as the other Hunter regions, but offers a fantastic background, moody DIY event spaces and is rich in culture and history.  Couples who get married in Maitland love the slightly eccentric vibe.  

Rothbury Wedding Venues

Hunter Valley Wedding and Elopement Venues
Hunter Valley Elopement Venue.  Image: Cavanagh Photography

Rothbury is a quiet country setting with abundant wildlife, native bushland and beautiful views of the Broken Back Range. 

▹ View Rothbury wedding venues

There’s plenty of accommodation in the area with Pokolbin and Lovedale not far away.

Rothbury wedding venues include 3 wineries, a barn, a marquee venue, garden settings for wedding ceremonies and onsite horse riding.  With a population of around 450 permanent locals, it’s a wonderfully peaceful and private location to get married.

Wollombi Wedding Venues

Wollombi Valley is often described as the gateway to the Hunter Valley.  It is a quaint little village with cafes, shops and a museum.  There’s also heritage listed churches, several wineries and cellar doors and a local pub.

▹ View all Wollombi wedding venues

Wedding venues in Wollombi include several DIY and BYO options with most venues offering Marquee style weddings and all providing accommodation for 12 to 30 guests.  Venues include a winery, 2 farms and 3 properties with barns or sheds.  Some venues are suitable for outdoor receptions and 4 offer complete privacy being well off the beaten track.

Wollombi is an adventure lovers ideal wedding destination with close access to dense and rugged bushland.  This is a place of unexplored wilderness, dangerous canyons, cliff climbing and abundant bird and wildlife.  Perhaps the perfect honeymoon destination for advanced bush walking enthusiasts.

Cover image: Margan Photography

 

 

 

 

 

6 KILLER QUESTIONS A RECRUITMENT SPECIALIST WOULD ASK YOUR CELEBRANT

“How do you choose a wedding celebrant?” is one of the most common questions asked by couples getting married in Australia. In this article, Jennifer Cram - The Inclusive Celebrant shares her expertise as an ex recruitment specialist on how to choose a celebrant and what questions to ask to find the perfect celebrant for you.

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How to choose a wedding celebrant

Let’s start by asking you, dear bride or groom to be, an awkward question. If you were looking for a solicitor, a tradie, or a doctor, would you be looking for a new friend or would your priority be someone who is good at their job, someone who takes the time to understand your needs, someone who is a good communicator? 

Take a moment!

Getting married is a serious undertaking that has far-reaching consequences because marriage changes your legal status and responsibilities. It affects so much – who your next of kin is, who can inherit your estate, and who you are legally obliged to support.

Make no bones about it, your celebrant can make or break your big day. Of course you want to put your ceremony in the hands of someone you like, someone you feel gets you. But you also need to be confident that that person is capable of delivering a ceremony that will be something special, and that they know their stuff, legally as well as ceremonially.

Time to trot out the tricks of the trade used by recruitment specialists when seeking someone to fill a critical position. Time to ask some penetrating questions. But first, you need to look at celebrant CVs (resumes).

When you apply for a job you are generally asked to send in your resume, and you may be asked to respond to some selection criteria to demonstrate the extent to which you meet the company’s specifications. If you don’t fit on paper, you’ll be weeded out, fast. This is a very efficient way of approaching what could be a sizeable number of applicants. They look for red flags, for reasons to toss your application on the reject pile. It is a last man standing methodology.

And it is a relatively easy way to go, because they know what the job consists of. What skills and experience it requires. But you, dear bride or groom to be, may not be across everything a celebrant does. So you have a couple of things you need to do before you start a serious search.

How to choose wedding celebrants
To find your perfect wedding celebrant, start by doing a little research. Image: Ayzia Jade Photography

First Step: Find out what comprises a celebrant’s job

I’m not suggesting that you read the Marriage Act (unless you’re heavily into boring bedtime reading), but you should do a bit of research into the legal requirements for marriage, what a celebrant’s legal role is, and what it takes to develop and officiate the ceremony. The Attorney General’s website is not a bad start. And a google search should turn up the information you need.

Second Step: Write a little list

Unless you live in a remote region, there will be dozens, if not hundreds, of celebrants in your area. While all authorised celebrants are required to abide by a code of conduct and to solemnise your marriage according to the rules of the Marriage Act, there is huge variation in how they go about the business of getting you married.

So it would be a good idea to have a discussion about what you want from your celebrant (perhaps a description of your “ideal celebrant” together with any deal-breakers) so that you can quickly narrow down the number of possibles. 

Do you want an upbeat and fun wedding celebrant, an elopement specialist, someone who’s adventurous, relaxed, helpful & organised, has plenty of experience or who will put you at ease on the big day?

Tip: Recruitment specialists approach each application looking for negatives. They know what the red flags and deal-breakers are for each job and look for those. This makes it easy to quickly weed out unsuitable candidates. 

Third Step: Let your fingers to the walking

A celebrant’s business listing is their advertisement but also their application for the job of being your celebrant. Using your list, scan celebrants in your region for your deal breakers and make a list of those still standing. Keep refining that until you get down to your top three or so. Then prioritise that list. The idea being that you make contact with your top pick first, check availability, and get a sense of them as a person. 

Hint: Back in the day when I was involved in interviewing applicants, I became quite famous for writing “Where’s the bloody evidence” next to extravagant claims made by applicants when addressing selection criteria. The interesting thing about Australian law is that while, in advertising, intentionally misleading or deceptive statements are illegal, puffery is not. Puffery is the term used for wild descriptions or claims that the legal pundits believe are unlikely to ever be thought of as true – for example claims to be the best, the most sought after, and similar boasts. In other words, extravagant claims for which evidence is lacking or inadequate because there is no comparative data or universal assessment process in place.

Choosing a wedding celebrant
Image: PixieRos Photography

Fourth Step: Develop your questions

You will need two sets of questions. The first, basic availability questions that will be part of your initial approach. It’s a short list – Are they available on your date, and for your type and size of ceremony. And secondly, are they available for a ceremony at your venue. The second is important, particularly if some travel might be involved as many celebrants perform more than one ceremony on a day, particularly on the weekend.

The second set of questions is the probing ones you’ll ask when interviewing a short-listed celebrant. You’ll get the most useful responses if;

  • You ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered by yes or no
  • You test your assumptions by asking follow-up questions to either clarify or to expand on your understanding of what you are being told

Killer Questions a recruitment specialist would ask

1. What was your occupation/job before you became a celebrant and how has that fed into the way you operate as a celebrant? 


Why a recruitment specialist would ask this:

Recruitment specialists ask questions that will help them to get a sense of how well a candidate understands the role and its day-to-day requirements. They also want to find out whether the candidate’s skills match the job description and what they can do for the organisation overall. When you are hiring a celebrant how they answer this question should give you a sense of how they view their role, what their focus is, and whether their approach would be one you would be comfortable with.

Tip: Many celebrants either work full or part-time in another job, so you may need to tweak the way you ask the question to account for that.

2. How has the way you develop and perform a marriage ceremony changed over the period you have been a celebrant?

Why a recruitment specialist would ask this

Recruitment specialists ask questions that will help them get a sense of how flexible an applicant is, how nimble and open to change a candidate might be, and the extent to which a candidate is capable of introspection, analysis, and learning.

Tip: A good follow-up would be to ask How do you assess your performance as a celebrant?

3. What have you learned about weddings that has surprised you?

Why a recruitment specialist would ask this

Recruitment specialists ask questions that will help them get a sense of how deep the candidate’s understanding of the role is.

Tip: Inserting a question like this in the middle allows for a change of pace. That always helps as extra information is likely to be revealed when people are more relaxed.

4. What makes you a great celebrant and how does that set you apart from your competition?

Why a recruitment specialist would ask this

Recruitment specialists ask questions that will help them get a sense of how compatible the candidate might be with both the strategic imperatives and the culture of the organisation. How a celebrant responds to this question should give you an insight into their personality and the extent to which their values and style meet your requirements. 

Tip: Watch out for puffery! Good follow up questions would be asking for specific examples.

5. What do you do that is different from other celebrants?

Why a recruitment specialist would ask this

Where innovation is a key requirement, recruitment specialists ask questions that will help them get a sense of the extent to which a candidate can think outside the box and the extent to which a candidate understands relevant legal or ethical boundaries. How a celebrant answers this question may reveal both their focus and their understanding of both aspects of the celebrant’s role.

Tip: This question can also open the conversation to the nitty gritty of process. If it doesn’t, follow up by asking the celebrant to describe their process.

6. What questions do you wish we would ask you?

Why a recruitment specialist would ask this

We all know that one of the questions we are expected to be asked at the end of an interview is what we would like to ask the interviewer. Turning the question on its head by rephrasing it acknowledges that the celebrant is also assessing whether you are a couple that they would like to work with, but it also should give you a sense of their capacity to read you, and ensure that you come away from the interview with a full understanding of what is on offer, how it will be delivered, and how you will work together.

Last words of advice:

  • Listen to your guts (both of you)
  • Don’t be blindsided by shared interests, or similar tastes in food, drink, or sports – it is shared values that accurately predict the likelihood of success

Remember it is a two-way street. You’re hiring a partner, someone to work with you in creating a magic experience for everyone, including the two of you.

 Find your celebrant

This article was written by Jennifer Cram - The Inclusive Celebrant. Jenny is a wedding celebrant based in Brisbane. You can enquire with her here.

Cover Image: Jerome Cole Photography

 

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