Southern Highlands Wedding Venues
The Southern Highlands is my absolute favourite place in the world to photograph weddings. And Southern highlands wedding venues are 90% of the reason. I’ve been lucky enough to spend most of my Saturday’s shooting weddings there over the past 7 years and I cannot implore you more to make sure you have your wedding in the Highlands.
I’ve always felt like there was some deep magic happening in the Southern Highlands. There’s something so special about the region. You head out of Sydney and you’re driving through dry bush and then suddenly the air cools down, huge pine trees emerge over the horizon and the smell of green grass, rivers and beautiful rolling hills. You’ll start to see cute federation era homes along the side of the road and stone walls around people’s farms and feel completely transported to another land even though you’re barely an hour from Sydney.
I always get the sense that the Southern Highlands is older somehow; wiser. It feels like it’s lived a life before you knew it. The huge towering oak trees, soft willows swaying. I don’t really know how to describe it but it speaks to me in a very special way. I think there’s something utterly romantic about it all. Which is just one of the reasons you should consider having your wedding here.
And then there’s the Southern Highlands wedding venues that are available to you. I’ve curated this list pretty brutally. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the wedding venues you could choose from in the southern highlands but these are my absolute favourites.
The venues in the Southern Highlands all carry so much elegance and rustic charm. Two things which seem somehow opposed but work together so effortlessly. The huge manor houses and hedges quickly give way to open green paddocks and rustic barns. There’s a bit of a Wuthering Heights feel to many of them. I could go on and on but here’s my list of 25 of the most jaw-dropping wedding venues in the southern highlands.
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.
Bendooley’s full of great features but to name a few others. The Staff at Bendooley’s 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 Berry Farm
Montrose Berry farm 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.
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.
Jaspers | Berry
Berry is one of the cutest towns on your way south from Sydney between Wollongong and the Highlands. It’s this beautiful historic town full of amazing places to see and donuts you simply have to try!
Jaspers is this super crazy little venue that’s hidden away in the trees. It’s awash in lush dark green tones and incredible little cottages for accomodation, a pool, more antique beauties than you can throw a stick at. The owners clearly have such refined taste and the sheer elegance of the venue is just immediately obvious.
If you want to get married where Hugh Jackman’s family goes on holidays this is the place for you. Even if you don’t. This is still an absolutely incredible venue. Stunning rolling hills looking up into the escarpment. Huge shed and some amazing accomodation to get ready in. 100’s of acres of paddocks for photos. A beautiful little creek. This venue ticks a whole lot of boxes.
Hopewood House – Bowral
Hopewood House in Bowral is one of the most prestigious wedding venues in the Southern Highlands. 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.
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.
Milton Park House
Milton Park house is on of the most extravagently beautiful properties in the Southern highlands. Featuring beautiful hedges twice the height you’d expect, three seperate function rooms where you can host your reception and a beautiful outdoor ceremony location under huge trees, set deep in the most gorgeous gardens you’ll ever see. Milton Park is in so many ways the quintessential Southern highlands wedding venue. It really has everything. Oh.. and they have an indoor french style pool… just incase that’s your thing.
On the more modern end of things you have Gibralter Hotel Premium hotel & Spa accomodation with backing onto a huge golf course. Plenty of beautiful gardens and hedges with crawling ivy growing along the side. It’s got all the creature comforts you could imagine and plenty of room for your guests to stumble back to at the end of the night without needing to organise busses or taxi’s.
Wombat Hollow is perhaps the most rustic Southern Highlands wedding venue. Not many of the others boast a rustic tin shed filled with antique tools and rustic relics of an era gone by. The owner of this property is a wonderfully creative man who create’s some of the coolest bespoke lamps and all kinds of wonderful things and he’s certainly created one of the most unique venues in the area. The shed is nestled within a beautiful rural setting complete with an apple orchard. Small lake and a few other cute little sheds to explore for photos. There are little details everywhere if you take the time to look and a big kitchen for your caterers to set up shop.
Set within one of Australia’s most picturesque regions, Kangaroo Valley. Boasting incredible views of native bushland and sandstone escarpments barranca offers a simply beautiful Australian wedding backdrop. Hosting weddings and functions of uptown 150 this venue is definitely worth a look.
The oldest guesthouse in the Southern Highlands. Dripping in old world charm. 15 guest rooms and incredible surrounds. Plenty of vintage charm including an old beetle, vintage caravan and an incredible ceremony site with vines growing everywhere. Giant Chess and a beautiful old ballroom which seats uptown 140 guests.
Another insanely beautiful rustic wedding venue with a natural outdoor setting in the incredible Kangaroo Valley region. If you want to get married in the bush this is one of the coolest places in Australia to do just that.
The Robertson Hotel
The first Southern Highlands wedding venue I ever encountered. My lovely friends got married here and I remember just being so caught up in the romance and elegance of the venue. It was winter and the way the light danced between the leaves of the beautiful old trees that surround the venue was just incredible. I felt transported to another time. This venue has some of the nicest gardens I’ve ever seen and it’s just one of those grand buildings that you can’t help but appreciate.
Grow Wild Wildflower farm
If you want to skip the giant manor house for an outdoor feel marquee wedding. This one is definitely worth a chat. They only take 1 wedding a weekend so you get the venue for three days so you can really go crazy with DIY details and setting up. A lot of venues will not afford you this luxury. They have a permanent marquee though so don’t feel like you’ll have to worry about setting it up each time. And It has a timber floor so it won’t flood and get mushy in the rain. They have a barn ceremony option or you can choose to have your ceremony among the flowers.
Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat
This is such an absolutely unique place to get married. Currently recovering from getting seriously scorched by the bushfires I highly encourage you to go and consider this venue for your wedding in 2021 They’re working very hard to get the place up and running and the support you would give them by placing your wedding deposit with them now would be incredible to help them get the venue back to it’s glory days.
This venue has an incredible outdoor rock cathedral for your ceremony. A cocktail hour deck that looks out over the entire valley at sunset and so, so much more. Please do yourself a favour and check them out it’s one of my absolute favourite places in the world.
Peppers Manor House
Peppers is a pretty solid size chain of hotels and resorts around the world. 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.
Willow Berry Farm
If you like open green lush paddocks and rustic dead giant trees in the middle of nowhere. You might have just found your venue. Seriously though this is one of the prettiest farms you’ll find and they have so many incredibly ridiculous spots for photos it’s a bit of a photographers dream. So much rustic goodness you can hardly take it all in. This one is an instant favourite and well worth your time.
Hillview Heritage farmstay
This farm stay is an incredibly beautiful property with a real old country feel to it. And as you might have guessed it’s on a hill with an amazing view.
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 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.
Weddings in the Wilde
This place has been on my list for so long. Someone please book a wedding here and let me shoot it. This venue is nestled in the bush in Fitzroy Falls and has bunk style accomodation for a lot of guests that it uses through the week for conferences and school camps. It’s in my opinion the perfect glamping wedding venue if you want to camp out in the bush with your friends around a campfire and have a really relaxed wedding. This place is perfect. The log chapel is also beautiful and I could really go on and on about this place.
The Mill Bowral
As you might have guessed this venue used to be a mill. A very old one and it’s got all the charm and beauty you’d imagine of an old heritage mill that’s been retrofitted for weddings. This beautiful bowral wedding venue features plenty of giant exposed timber beams and a huge fireplace. Perfect for a cosy winter wedding in the highlands.
Fine dining in the heart of the highlands. Biota Dining is definitely the place for foodies. If you think love is best celebrated with an absolute feast this is the wedding venue for you.
Robertson Public House
Established in 1887 blending rustic charm with modern cuisine The Robertson Public house is a relaxed pub feel wedding venue affectionately know as the “robbo pub” Renowned for their food and relaxed, friendly feel this place is perfect for those looking for something a little bit more low key.
Mali Brae Farm
This old hay barn has been painstakingly converted into a premium rustic wedding venue. With rolling hills and lakes and plenty of good vantage points for sunset Malie Brae is a place that’s thought of just about everything you could want for a rustic country wedding venue.