Just started planning your wedding? Not sure where to start looking for the perfect venue for your ceremony and reception in or around Melbourne? We thought we’d help by putting together some of our favourites (along with the perfect wedding invitations to go with them).
So, first things first: What kind of Melbourne wedding venue do you see for yourself?
Traditionally Gorgeous Wedding Venues:
For every little girl who dreamed of being a bride. Cue stunning formal white gown, fairy lights, a magical backdrop for photos, and the venue’s decades worth of professional experience to bring you a seamless wedding experience.
Modern Twist Wedding Venues:
See yourself somewhere a bit more cutting edge and modern? Perhaps you’re planning a superstar entrance or a wellness retreat. These up-to-the-minute venues have the look, technology and cuisine to impress your guests.
Best Boutique Wedding Venues:
Planning something a little more intimate? While many of the larger venues also have spaces for smaller weddings, these gems specifically cater for those who aren’t interested in inviting all their Facebook friends.
Leafy Wedding Venues:
You need the great outdoors! Rolling hills, maybe a vineyard and a wedding invitation that says “cocktail attire + flat shoes”. Combine with killer local produce for an event everyone will enjoy.
Show Stopper Wedding Venues:
For those with a bigger budget and a need to seriously impress. Think the best food in the most stunning locations in Melbourne. These Melbourne wedding venues are truly unique.
|= seated capacity (expect about 50% more for cocktail weddings)|
|$ — $$$$$||= cost per person for a seated reception, ranging from $100pp to $300pp|
TRADITIONALLY GORGEOUS WEDDING VENUES
|250||$ — $$$$||Historic Parkland Luxury|
The ultimate all-rounder. Weddings at the Mansion Hotel & Spa combine the best of old world glamour with modern style. Immerse yourself in the picturesque surrounds of the original mansion and its 10-acre grounds for your ceremony and/or photography, then be received in style and luxury in the Library, Theatre or Pavilion.
With 90+ rooms available in the hotel, your wedding can be a days-long affair for you and your guests, complete with pre-wedding spa treatment and morning-after breakfast (or why not an adventure to the free-range zoo?). Just 36km from the CBD, it’s one of the more convenient ‘scenic’ options for Melburnians.
|650||$ — $$||Celebrated Melbourne|
This historic venue, circa 1870, was designed by Joseph Reed, who also designed the State Library, Royal Exhibition Building and Trades Hall. It has been the site of thousands of concerts, shows, exhibitions, conferences and, yes, weddings. Possibly its most famous moment was in 1964, when the Beatles were received by thousands of screaming fans as they emerged onto the steps to Swanston Street. It’s no wonder a wedding at the Melbourne Town Hall is literally a red carpet affair.
An unsurpassed location for photos, it’s one of the few venues in Melbourne where you can have a ‘ceremony only’ package for your wedding. It’s also one of Melbourne’s largest wedding venues: a whopping 650 guests can be seated in the Main Hall, against the backdrop of the historic pipe organ and stage.
|160||$ — $$$||Victorian Mansion|
A stalwart of the Melbourne wedding scene — and for good reason — Quat Quatta exudes class, quality and style at every turn. Prepare to be well taken care of from the moment you make contact; its legendary service and cuisine has earned Quat Quatta induction into the Restaurant and Catering Victoria Hall of Fame.
A venue for both your reception and ceremony, this Victorian era National Trust Classified mansion has been meticulously renovated to capitalise on the soaring ceiling heights, original ornate features and manicured gardens.
|150||$ — $$||Magic Garden|
This year’s Australian Bridal Awards (ABIA) winner of Best Ceremony Venue for Victoria, and last year’s recipient for Best Reception Venue, Bram Leigh Receptions certainly ensures you’re in good hands for your wedding day.
With acres of manicured gardens including dedicated rose gardens, picturesque bridges, waterfalls and a charming gazebo, the daylight hours will certainly be filled with photo opportunities. Add to that your reception in the Bram Leigh ballroom, enhanced by Tiffany chairs, crystal chandeliers and 30,000 fairy lights and it turns into a magic wonderland after dark.
MODERN TWIST WEDDING VENUES Greenfields, Albert Park
|220||$ — $$||Holistic & Sensory|
If clean eating and wellness are your MO, consider Albert Park’s hottest trending venue, Greenfields. This holistic eatery is designed to be a sensory experience, with panoramic views of the Albert Park Lake and Golf Course from the airy, open-plan venue. The brainchild of Melbourne DJ and restaurateur, Simon Digby, and partnered with the likes of Lululemon and 1 Giant Mind, Greenfields is all about peace, health and lifestyle.
|340||$$||City All Rounder|
For a modern city wedding with all the bells and whistles yet a reasonable price tag, be sure to check out the RACV City Club. With a number of spaces for your ceremony and reception, catering for large or more intimate numbers, it’s also versatile. The venue is a multiple winner and finalist of the ABIA Best Club Reception in recent years, so you know you’re in good hands. City and bay views, cutting edge AV and lighting technology, a marble staircase and grand pianos all help create a memorable picture.
On-site facilities including accommodation, fitness centre, billiards room, day spa, pool, squash courts and hair salon mean you can park yourself and visiting guests for the weekend. One night king accommodation is included for the bridal couple in the Ultimate Wedding Package.
|400||$ — $$$||Riverside Leisure|
Be looked after by consummate wedding professionals: multi-award-winning venue Leonda By The Yarra has thought of everything. Arrive by boat to the private jetty and party away against the backdrop of native trees on the waterfront. The pillarless reception venue ensures you can enjoy the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Yarra River from anywhere in the room.
With options and packages to suit a range of budgets, and a Melbourne location with easy public transport and parking, it’s a beautiful venue designed to take away the stress of planning a wedding.
|500||$ — $$||Contemporary Lakeside|
A versatile, spacious modern venue on the waterfront of Albert Park Lake, The Park will adapt to whatever circumstances present. The adjustable walls allow you to tailor the space to the number of guests, and the weatherproof outdoor balcony ensures your guests can always catch some fresh air, no matter what Melbourne throws at you!
Capitalising on the waterfront location, you can hold your wedding ceremony out over the water before adjourning inside. The spectacularly enormous wall of windows overlooking the lake is a real feature. Be sure to check out how it will look at nighttime if you’re planning your function after dark.
|250||$ — $$||“Industrial Glam”|
Like the sound of a multi-award-winning converted warehouse for your modern wedding? We do! Arrive at the spectacular waterfront location by boat — or even helicopter! — and while away the best night of your life surrounded by waterfront views, laser cut LED wall panels, special effect lighting and fairy lights.
“Industrial glam” is how Showtime Events describes itself — no wonder it’s the 2017 Australian Bridal Industry Awards Best Wedding Reception Venue for Victoria.
BEST BOUTIQUE WEDDING VENUES
If good food and good vibes in funky Fitzroy sounds like the way to celebrate, you’ll be in good hands at the St Andrews Conservatory. Part of the Pumphouse Hotel across the road from the Carlton Gardens, it’s central but not chaotic for people to get to.
It was the winner of the 2017 ABIA award for Best Hotel Reception Venue in Victoria, so we’re talking restaurant quality meals, individually ordered, and reasonably priced. A 3-course package including 6 hours of continuous beverage service is just $150pp*, making it one of the best value wedding reception venues we’ve come across in Melbourne.
* As at June 2017.
|150||$ — $$||Historic Beachside Hotel|
A block from the beach on Queenscliff’s main street, a little over 100km from Melbourne’s CBD, is where you’ll find this gem. The iconic boutique hotel was designed by the same people as Melbourne’s Windsor Hotel, so it has a certain gravitas.
As a wedding venue, you get great bang for your buck, with a complimentary ceremony in the conservatory set before stunning original leadlight windows, followed by canapés on the rooftop bar and a reception set at elegant banquet tables in the Grand Dining Room. With accommodation for you, as well as 32 other available rooms, you can make a beachside weekend of it with your best friends, indulging in the regional food and wine Queenscliff is known for.
LEAFY WEDDING VENUES
|250||$ — $$$||Heart & Soul|
“A touch of the country only 4km from the city” is how the Abbotsford Convent caterer, Bursaria, describes the venue. We also add ‘a touch of history’ to that claim. This is one of the few venues in Melbourne where you get both.
It’s a venue for all or any part of your big day. If bride or groom is a baptised Catholic, you can experience your ceremony in the bluestone Good Shepherd Chapel, basking in the beauty of the muraled dome and chapel organ. Otherwise, there are a number of gorgeous outdoor options for non-religious ceremonies. The reception in the heritage Rosina Function Space enjoys high ceilings, original leadlight windows, exposed trusses and architecturally designed chandeliers.
|200||$$ — $$$||Heaven on a Hill|
A wedding at the convent is about four things: art, nature, history and great food. Originally a private mansion built during the gold rush, the Convent takes its name from the Holy Cross Convent and Boarding School for Girls which it became in the 1880s. Having fallen into disrepair after the closure of the convent, it was purchased by artist Tina Banitska in 1988 and turned into one of Australia’s best art galleries.
Now it showcases the works of local, national and international artists and revels in the historic architecture and landscapes of its surrounds, including expansive regional countryside views from its place on a hill. Intimate niches and artistic fancies — indoor and out — combined with exceptional food, make this venue well worth the 113km commute from the CBD.
|150||$ — $$||Modern Vineyard|
Set against the stunning backdrop of Yarra Valley farmlands and vineyards, and architect-designed buildings including the contemporary chapel, this venue has you well and truly covered, indoor and out.
A regular high achiever at the Australian Bridal Industry Awards including this year’s Runner Up for Best Reception Venue in Victoria, Vue on Halcyon has become a favourite venue for couples since its inception in 2010. Enjoying expansive views of the rolling hills and vines, this modern, all-inclusive venue is an easy choice for Melburnians, just 40km from the CBD.
|350||$ — $$$||Vines & Rolling Hills|
An all-rounder estate on the Mornington Peninsula, with 30 acres of rolling hills and vineyards enjoying iconic regional views. Sounds idyllic, and it is. It’s also one of few such estates to offer 40 hotel-style accommodation rooms on site, so you and your guests can make a weekend of it.
Spend a few days enjoying the award-winning estate-grown wines, day spa, tennis court, heated indoor pool and Linden Tree restaurant, to truly relax into the wedding spirit. Then the day after the ceremony, your package can include a buffet style breakfast for you and your guests to debrief about your fabulous night before. At approx 87km from the CBD, it’s a genuine get-away destination.
Show Stopper Venues
|125||$$$$ — $$$$$||Towering Luxury|
Vue De Monde is the height of exclusivity, literally. With soaring city views from the 55th floor of the Rialto, luxurious furnishings and finishes, and dining by world renowned chef Shannon Bennett, it’s hard to imagine a more spectacular statement for your wedding reception. But go in with your eyes wide open. This is not so much an all-inclusive wedding package as an ultra-fine dining experience. Everything will be world class — including the price tag.
A standout option for those with an intimate number of guests and a separate ceremony venue.
|700||$$$ — $$$$$||Arty Party|
Without doubt, the Great Hall at the National Gallery of Victoria is one of Melbourne’s most spectacular spaces, with its cathedral-height stained-glass ceiling and 775sqm of floor space. With ample room for the largest of weddings and exceptional catering by Peter Rowland Catering, this venue is ideal for weddings with a seriously big budget.
With photos by the water wall, gardens or art installations du jour, fascinating indoor and outdoor alcoves, and staff who regularly cater to the highest end of Melbourne culture, this is a venue for truly momentous events.
Here’s one of our favourite wedding invitations for an NGV wedding:
|650||$$||Out of the Box|
The scale doesn’t get much grander than this contemporary architectural icon. With space for a dizzying 650 people seated in the Main Hall, you’re sure to be able to invite everyone you know. Or areas such as the Science & Life Gallery (think giant dinosaur skeletons) allow cocktails for up to 300.
The cost per person is pretty reasonable for such a standout venue, but be aware: it only includes the food and beverage package. You’ll need to organise your own decorations, and the ceremony is separately charged.
|350||$$$ — $$$$||Art Deco Opulence|
Melbourne weddings don’t get much more ostentatious than this. In 1934, Sidney Myer commissioned artist Napier Waller to design the murals in this art deco ballroom to celebrate famous women. In recent years it has undergone a $300m refurbishment to restore it — including its 2 grand staircases and 3 crystal chandeliers — to its 1935 glory.
With catering by The Big Group (remember Chyka from the Real Housewives of Melbourne?) the food and wine packages are nothing short of inspirational. You can also have your ceremony on site for an extra $1500. You and your guests may have to catch an Uber or public transport to get there, as the nearest affordable parking is about a block away. One night accommodation is included for the bridal couple at the nearby Grand Hyatt though.
|340||$$$ — $$$$$||Ballroom Glamour|
Few places in Melbourne symbolise exclusive luxury more than the Park Hyatt Hotel. Its distinctive circular ballroom is the perfect place for your first bridal waltz or larger scale entertainment, and the catering is first class.
Pamper yourself in luxury accommodation and spend the days before and after the wedding enjoying the Park Club Health and Day Spa, fitness centre, rooftop tennis court, steam and sauna rooms and indoor lap pool.
Whether your vision for your wedding is princess or party, creative or cuisine (or a mixture of all of these), your venue literally sets the scene for the whole affair. It’s a huge process to choose, with so many wedding venues on offer in and around Melbourne.
But be wary of taking too long: the most in-demand venues can book up more than a year in advance for popular weekends in November – April. This can be a real advantage if your venue isn’t too outdoorsy, like the Myer Mural Hall, and you’re open to a winter wedding, as there are often seasonal discounts.
So pick your venue first. Then come to us and we’ll help you with the perfect wedding stationery (including engagement and wedding invitations, save the date, RSVP, place cards, and thank you cards, as well as wedding menus) to go with it!