This is the part where I’m supposed to give you my spiel on why my list of southern highlands wedding vendors is the best. Why you need to find your “perfect fit.” You’re goldilocks and the Southern Highlands wedding vendors have left their porridge out for you to taste.
There’s a lot of cliche’s in the wedding world that I usually want to throw up hearing. “perfect day”, “magical” I can feel like acid climbing in my stomach as I say them and look, I’ll confess I’ve been guilty of using them as much as any one else. But I feel like posts like this are super important to write. For a few big reasons.
Number 1. Pretty much every list of the top southern highlands wedding vendors, or anywhere else for that matter. Is a list of vendors who’ve paid for the privilege of being on the list. Places are sold off to the highest bidder. And that doesn’t mean that the people who are paying for those spots aren’t necessarily the best. They might be.
But I think it’s important to put together a list of my personal favourite Southern Highlands wedding vendors that I personally have experienced and love working with. No one’s paying to be here. No one’s here without earning it by their quality of work, and their genuine attitude to serve their couples and make your wedding day the “just right” porridge you always dreamed it would be.
Southern Highlands Wedding Venues
First stop on your shopping list is probably going to be picking out your venue. The Southern Highlands plays host to some of the most insanely beautiful wedding venues anywhere in the world. Epic manor houses & Estate homes, beautiful barns, rolling hills and lakes, Pine forests, the works. The Southern Highlands is such a wildly gorgeous place that transports you to another world. (Argh I’m getting cliche again) It’s just one of those places I guess.
I’ve put together an in depth list of my top 25 Southern Highlands Wedding Venues if you’re after a big list but for now I’ll just drop my top favourites here.
A good venue goes a LONG way, wedding venues in the southern highlands often have so much beauty already included in them that you don’t need to spend a lot of time or money on decorations because the location and the styling choices already included in the venue mean your work is mostly done. The downside of a venue that is heavily styled already is that you’re likely going to have a fairly similar looking wedding to everyone else who’s got married there. Choose a venue which is a bit more bare bones and allows you to decorate and style the way you’d like to is going to give you a lot more options to make it your own.
Southern Highlands Churches / Chapels
The Southern Highlands has some beautiful old church buildings to choose from if you’re having your ceremony at a different location from your reception. Typically it is my recommendation that in a beautiful location like the Southern Highlands you should opt for an outdoor ceremony. There’s plenty of reasons you might opt for a beautiful old church ceremony for your wedding day.
A big tip if you are having your ceremony outdoors in the Southern Highlands please, please do yourself a favour and pick a shaded area for your ceremony where the light is pouring through the leaves from behind you. (Aimed at your guests faces) You do NOT want dappled light hitting your faces, making you squint while you’re trying to say your vows.
- St Francis Xavier Catholic Church Berrima
- Saint Jude’s, Bowral
- St Patricks Catholic Church, Sutton Forest
Southern Highlands Photographers
Can we be honest for a moment? I’d like that. Would you like that? Photography is quite subjective. The best southern highlands wedding photographer is not something that can really be awarded to anyone. There’s some amazing photographers who work this region and some absolutely wonderful people in this field that I’m blessed to call friends. Choosing a wedding photographer is going to be one of the biggest choices as you make as you set on on acquiring your list of epic southern highlands wedding vendors. It’s quite a personal decision and there are so many different styles to choose from.
Something that perhaps get under-stressed in a lot of conversations about who the best photographer for you, is their personality on the day, not just their photos. Your photographer (and videographer) will be with you probably all day. They have closer access to you on the day than your bridal party does. You want someone who’s energy matches yours. Who you feel really comfortable with. If you’re not going to survive with a really shy, quiet photographer gently suggesting things for you to do then book a photographer who’s a bit more energy. But by that token. If you’re not fans of having a photographer yelling at the top of their lungs, who’s an excitable chihuahua, bouncing off the walls all day. You might want to find someone who’s a bit more mellow. There’s no right answer for this sort of thing, you just need to meet your photographer before you lock them in and make sure they’re the kind of person you’d want to invite to your wedding anyway.
James Day – The Master (Taught me pretty much everything I know)
Alex Olguin – Moody & Dark, warmer colour palate
Joshua Mikhaiel – It’s me! (Shameless plug)
Brendan Woods Photo – Clean & crisp, editorial class meets photojournalism
We Are Origami Photo Medium format film deliciousness. (If you don’t know what medium format film is, check their work out it’s beautiful)
Southern Highlands Videographers
A good videographer is another super critical piece when you’re plotting your wedding day. A bad videographer can massively effect the flow of your day. In my experience it’s better to have no videographer at all than a bad one. So do your due diligence when your looking at hiring one that will be a good fit for you. I personally always prefer to work with videographers who are looking to document the day in an unobtrusive way without stopping things every 30 seconds to get another angle and make you. Re-do things. Nothing irks me more than when you’ve just had a lovely moment of laughter or genuine emotion and the video team comes running in and is like ok I just want another slo-mo of that so can you laugh like that again.
I’ve had the privilege of working with some insanely talented videographers over the years and these three below are my favourite southern highlands wedding videographers.
Southern Highlands Celebrants
Celebrants are obviously a pretty non-negotiable thing for your wedding day. You can have no photographer, no videographer, no flowers and no cake and still get married at the end of the day. Without a celebrant you’re stuck with no wedding in any meaningful, legal sense. Now obviously if you’re having a faith-based ceremony you’ve probably got a pastor or similar who will be performing your ceremony. Hopefully they’re someone you know personally so you won’t be chasing an online list for those.
However if that’s not you, I’d love to provide a few great options because as far as your southern highlands wedding vendors list goes. This one has the power to ruin your ceremony more than any other. I have to be honest, celebrants, of all wedding vendors are probably the ones that I’ve most shaken my head at on a wedding day and thought, “Why, why would anyone say that?”
The idea of celebrants always needing to rehash the couples love story like an old friend would even though, of the people in attendance they arguably know the couple the least out of everyone has always felt super weird to me. But alas it feels like a permanent fixture in the ceremony scene, for the moment at least. But I’ve seen hundreds of ceremonies now and from the celebrant forgetting the couples names, (multiple times) to running straight down the aisle (towards me) “apparently” to get out of my shot for the kiss and making me dodge and almost miss my shot of the first kiss. I’ve seen it all.
Can I highly recommend the lovely, experienced and helpful professionals below who will make no such mistakes with your southern highlands wedding ceremony.
Southern Highlands Florists
Flowers are probably going to be just about your biggest styling concern. Finding a florist who’s going to bring your vision to life, or maybe even go way beyond that is definitely something worth paying attention to.
If you put terrible flowers in a beautiful room it’s going to have a huge affect on the way things look. Too many flowers can make a room look small and cluttered. Too few can make it look like it was an afterthought that was just lazily slapped on at the end.
I feel like there’s two main types of florists in my opinion. Theres the artists. Super distinct style. Not a ton of flexibility. If you love everything they’ve previously done. They’re probably who you’re after. If you’re wanting to show them a full Pinterest board full of other peoples flower that look nothing like what they’ve previously made. That might not be a good play.
Then you’ve got people who are a big more of the generalists. Super capable and keen to just build whatever you want them to even if it’s not within their normal style. They’re going to have a wide skill set but perhaps not ALWAYS be the most expert at each style. With all the vendors for your southern highlands wedding you want to take your time and get to know your vendors and make sure they’re the right fit. Everyone’s needs will be different.
Southern Highlands Caterers
Food is one of the best things about weddings. Celebrating with your loved ones around an incredible feast is just one of the greatest joys in life. Preparing delicious food for hundreds of people is no easy feat. Particularly if you’re having a more DIY wedding and the caterers are jumping into an unfamiliar kitchen or even setting up kitchen in the side of a field. You want a lot of experience in your catering team. Many Southern Highlands wedding venues do have their own in house caterers. But if they don’t or they’re open to you using your own.
Please checkout these wonderful teams below who I have personally gained way too many fat cells from over the years. The biggest day of your life is no time for dry chicken!
Southern Highlands DJ / Bands
- Vintage Stylus – There’s no question. Adam is the best. He understands music, the power of Vintage Vinyl and how to read a dance floor. Every dance floor he plays is just insanely fun. I cannot recommend highly enough that you get Adam to DJ on his vintage vinyl setup. It’s so Good!
- Nyssa & Alex – Super talented young acoustic duo who always make my heart super glad. Beautiful ceremony music as well as the ultimate soundtrack for canapés
Southern Highlands Stylists
Styling can absolutely transform your southern highlands wedding. Many venues will have some styling options included within your package but there’s a lot of southern highlands wedding venues that will leave the styling up to you. There’s always the DIY styling option for those on a super tight budget and with lots of talented friends who want to do the setting up with you. But if you want it done really well. Styling is definitely one of the things best left professionals. If you want to best in the business. I definitely can’t recommend these two highly enough.