The Southern Highlands region of New South wales is my absolute favourite place to photograph weddings. This article is going to be all about why you should ditch you Sydney wedding function centre for a wedding in the Southern Highlands.
Reasons to have a Southern Highlands Wedding
Incredible Unique Wedding Venue’s
The Southern Highlands has some of the most jaw dropping wedding venues anywhere in the world. Places that transport you to a magical land that’s almost like an old-english countryside. Incredible manor houses, rustic barns, huge oak & pine trees, ivy covered walls, hedge mazes. Southern Highlands wedding venues have it all! I’ve linked my post to my top 25 favourite southern highlands wedding venues already but if you’re feeling particularly lazy and 25 feels excessive my absolute favourites would have to be. Montrose House, Bendooley Estate, Wombat Hollow & Melross Farm
Sydney has some unique industrial venues. Let’s not discount those. But they are few and far between. Mostly you’re looking at function centre, “wedding factories” with silk chair covers and your choice of personalisations revolves mostly around what colour ribbon to put around them or chicken or fish on the menu.
In my experience the venues in the southern highlands truly want to craft a unique experience for their couples and even the busiest wedding venues really take the time to make sure the wedding is unique and feels right for your particular celebration.
2. Unforgettable Weekend Away
The thing I hear the most from the couples I photograph is how short their wedding day feels when they reflect back on their day. “It flies by in the blink of an eye” The Southern highlands is just far enough away from Sydney or Canberra to make a weekend of it. It’s still close enough for people to come down for the day. But for your closest family & friends who want to soak up every second of celebrating with you.
Staying in the city for your wedding means people inevitably can leave 30 minutes before it starts to get there on time and in the back of their mind know how close home is when they start getting a little bit tired at the reception. In my experience people have a very different experience when they’re far enough away from home that it feels like a “getaway”. Their mood changes, something in your brain says. “I’m on holidays!” I think it puts you into celebration mode.
Knowing your hotel room is only a 10 minute taxi away doesn’t hurt with making sure you enjoy your night right till the end without any of your mind drifting to thoughts of how much the trip home is going to suck.
3. Insane Photo Locations
The unique wedding venues in the Southern Highlands all have their own vibe but one thing they all share is a ridiculous amount of beautiful photo locations. There’s nothing that stresses me out more while I’m shooting a wedding than figuring out transport logistics for a 12 person bridal party and myself to get to 4 different Sydney photo locations. Those four locations will be overcrowded with other bridal parties when you get there and the Saturday afternoon traffic to get between your different spots. Usually meaning you’ve got to ditch the last location because you’re running out of time.
This photo is from Montrose House. Literally 200m from the ceremony site and 50m from the reception space. It’s crazy to me that you would choose a stuffy function centre and drive 20 minutes to hopefully find some cool spots for photos in the city. When you’ve got gorgeous orchards, pine groves and long grass fields in every direction of your wedding venue all within walking distance why wouldn’t you take advantage.
The sheer amount of photo opportunities that you will find close to or within your wedding venue will genuinely shock you. There’s no need to throw the bridal party in few hummers and drive them around in traffic. You can simply enjoy a short walk around some beautiful gardens, forests or fields and get back to your guests.
4. Summer Sunset Photos
Weddings in the city generally miss out on one of my absolute favourite things. Sunset photos!
One of the best things about the Southern Highlands is that a lot of the region is quite flat meaning you get a really good sunset from most of the venues and in summer particularly. The sunset time being around 8pm or later means you don’t have to go and drive somewhere in the middle of speeches to go and get a few sunset shots. You can literally sneak out for 10 minutes between speeches and get some incredibly beautiful moments in the absolute best light of the day.
5. Gorgeous Cozy Winter Wedding Vibes
You’re not likely to get much snow in the Southern Highlands in winter but it gets really cold. The trees go orange and lose their leaves and you can smell people’s fire places as you turn off the freeway. There’s something super super romantic about the highlands in winter. It’s got this beautiful cosy aroma and you just want to sit inside by the fire and do “romantic things.”
Winter weddings in the southern highlands are absolutely beautiful. The bare trees are stunning and given the shift in climate it seems like every wedding venue in the highlands has at least one huge open fireplace somewhere. Mulled wine and hearty roasts are on the menu and you can absolutely cut sick on the dance floor without worrying about sweating through your shirt in the first 2 songs.
Winter weddings are incredible for a lot of these reasons and I’ve actually written a blog post about why I love winter weddings and why you should absolutely consider having one. There’s so many amazing things about it but the blog post does cover the a lot of the main reasons that I get so excited about winter weddings.
But I hope THIS article has been helpful to give you some fresh ammunition as you think about planning for your big day and whether or not you want to have a southern highlands wedding. Southern highlands wedding’s wont be for everyone. I know that but they’re incredibly special and I would be incredibly excited to discuss any and all things southern highlands weddings with you if you’re thinking about it.
You can find my wedding pricing guide here or get in touch with me directly here.