Bowral wedding venues are not like a box of chocolates. I mean… they are in the sense that they’re decadent, very sweet and spending too much time in them will probably lead to you wanting more. But unlike Forest Gump’s delightful anecdote. You really do know what you’re going to get with bowral wedding venues.
You’re going to get something absolutely gorgeous. Probably something quite regal and old. Something that manages to effortlessly strike the line between elegant and classical with rural and rustic. You’re going to get something that feels genuinely enchanted but without all of the Disney Cliche’s that no one in their right mind has time for anymore. Bowral wedding venues transport you to another world. If you’re thinking of ditching the Sydney function centre for something a little more unique. I’ve got everything you need right here. If you’re escaping Canberra, I’m sure I can tempt you to find something a little less sterile and modern and find some beautiful bowral wedding venues for your wedding day too.
The top 10 Best Bowral Wedding Venues
I’ve been a Southern Highlands Wedding photographer for the last 7 years. And I’ve been super lucky to capture weddings all over NSW, Australia and even internationally quite a bit in that time. I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings in that time, many of them in Bowral. It feels like a bit of a second home to me. I love everything about Bowral wedding venues. From the beautiful manor houses, to the quaint cottages and stone walls. There’s always so many exciting things, particularly for photographers about Bowral wedding venues.
I’m not sure I’ll ever get tired of photographing at Bowral wedding venues. Hopefully this list helps you sift through the seemingly enormous list of Bowral wedding venues that are out there. As someone who’s spent years photographing and exploring the Southern Highlands I hope this list of venues gives you a really helpful insight into the best of the best of what you’ll find in the region.
Ok I won’t do that horrible thing recipe sites do where they write an essay that goes on and on before you can get to the information you want so lets just get into it.
The top ten most wanted list… *drumroll*.. and then read this bit like you’re a boxing announcer right before the fight… of BOWRAL WEDDING VENUES
Bendooley Estate (The Book Barn)
Bendooley Estate is an absolutely wild property. As far as Bowral wedding venues go Bendooley Estate is a time honoured favourite. And for good reason. Bendooley Estate has been one of the Southern Highlands most premier wedding venues for a long time.
The property is now owned by the Berkelouw family who own Berkelouw books but the property’s legacy goes back two centuries. This original legacy can be still seen today: the grand Georgian homestead built from convict-hewn stone, is one of the most stunning homes in the region. The book barn filled with stacks of beautiful books owned by the Berkelouw family is one of the most enchanting rooms to host a wedding reception in and the huge open fireplace makes it truly magical.
The ceremony location sits beneath the giant old pine trees looking down onto the lake creates such an incredibly beautiful backdrop for a romantic affair.
Bendooley Estate now boasts a second reception space. The Stables, A huge beautiful barn with huge class windows on one end and grand timber doors on the other.
Why they top the list:
Bendooley’s full of great features but to name a few others. The Staff at Bendooley run such a tight shift. They really know what they’re doing and they will help you no end in planning your wedding day and making sure it runs without a hitch. I’ve photographed 350 weddings give or take and stuff goes wrong at weddings, (pretty much every time). I rarely see anything go wrong with weddings at Bendooley. The team just know what’s up.
Perhaps my favourite things about Bendooley estate is the variety of different locations available for couples portraits. There’s so many amazing places to explore all within walking distance. Open fields, the lake, weeping willows, rose gardens, pine trees its just all there!
Montrose House has been such a favourite wedding venue for me. I connected with the owners the first time I met them and just fell in love with the property. It had so many of my favourite things all rolled into one venue. Located just south of Bowral in Sutton Forest.
The huge pine grove that stands over the ceremony spot (one of many actually) is just so epic. The trees feel impossibly tall, almost like you’re standing in the redwoods in California. The property itself is a working berry farm and you can buy incredible jams and berry pies from their shop during the week. I love exploring the berry fields (if that’s what you call them) With couples. I feel like the adventure through the berry’s feels like a romantic date you might go on in high school that just reeks of young love and the sweetness of your first love.
the barn for the reception is absolutely gorgeous, simple, but gorgeous. The outdoor area always looks stunning too and there’s giant chess for your guests to play during cocktail hour as well.
Hopewood House in Bowral is one of the most prestigious Bowral wedding venues on the list. The centrepiece is the luxurious homestead which is one of the most unique homes in the area. Beautifully manicured gardens are everywhere you look. A beautifully set up reception building as well with lots of room for roaming around the gigantic bar area and a seperate downstairs dance floor area that really lets you set an entirely different mood for the after party.
This property is almost purpose built for weddings. One of the few wineries in the Southern Highlands, Centennial vineyards boasts beautiful stonework, outdoor courtyards with beautiful open fireplaces and a combination of bushland and vineyards for photos. Very conveniently located near the main road this has been a staple of the top few venues in the area for a long time.
The dining room is positively enormous. And it’s got a beautiful rustic feel while retaining that beautiful Bowral class about it with plenty of nice refined features. The outdoor area is perfect for canapés and your guests can mingle in the court yard while you get photos, listening to music and enjoying the outdoor fire in winter.
Normally I wince at hotels & golf courses. Particularly when they are combined but once you change the location of those two things. And you change it to Bowral, all of that cheese just melts away and become something super majestic. I think one of the huge benefits to having your wedding at Gibralter hotel is definitely going to be the ability to have all of your guests hang out the night before, the morning of the wedding and stay really for the whole weekend.
It’s not just about the location:
I always say that what makes a great wedding is always going to be the people you have there with you. And that’s definitely far more important than the styling or decorations or even the epic view out the window. The people you love, all in one room together really is going to be what makes your wedding special. I’ve always loved country weddings for the reason that they give you and your friends such a great excuse to bail from the city for a whole weekend away together. Elongating the celebration to more than just an evening together.
When you think of places to hold a wedding ceremony on a golf course you’d actually be surprised at the options. Bowral’s best feature for me is almost as simple as just how many beautiful pine trees you find everywhere and Gibralter Hotel is no exception. There’s so many beautiful little pine grove’s on the course for photos and beautiful spots to have your ceremony.
Intimate and person. Historic Summerley House is nestled in established gardens in Sutton Forrest. The gardens are a sight to behold and the house is truly magical. Timeless charm and appeal. If you’re checking out venues in Sutton forest don’t forget Montrose House is right around the corner from this one. So you can have a tour of both if you time your viewings right.
Peppers is a pretty solid size chain of hotels and resorts around the world. My favourite is at Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, where my wife and I got married. They have two venues in the Southern highlands and this one is my favourite. It’s a really timeless estate set in the rolling green hills and has the right blend between fancy and rustic. If you’re looking at a guest list of closer to 200 this is one of the few venues in the highlands that can accomodate those numbers. Right now with the restrictions due to Covid19 you may want to check if they’re still able to cater for weddings that size right now though.
The Rift Estate
When I think of Bowral wedding venues this is pretty much what comes to mind. Estate homes with gorgeous gardens and fresh white and charcoal interiors with expensive timber finishings. This place is absolutely gorgeous and full of beautiful heritage charm.
The Mill, Bowral
If you’re happy to look a little further afield than just Bowral specific venues. I have another post listing my top 25 Southern Highlands Wedding venues which has a longer list. As well as my favourite South Coast Wedding venues too.
Also, if you’re in need of a photographer WeddingDiaries.com.au just gave me 3rd spot on their list of the top 10 wedding photographers in the Southern Highlands which I’m super stoked about. So many talented people on that list. As well as this rad circle, which means their editors like me, I think.