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Melbourne’s 10 coolest wedding venues

10/12/2018

There are literally hundreds of venues to choose from to host your wedding. Pretty much something for everyone. And that’s without venturing too far from the boundaries of the city! I don’t know what you are looking for in a venue, but I do know that a great many of the weddings I shoot have a few things in common. I shoot a bunch of weddings with couples who want their day to be relaxed. To be beautiful, but not too formal. To be fun, and possibly most important, to have good food!

So here’s a list of, well, my favourite Melbourne wedding venues. They are places that will make you feel welcome, that have a distinct, unique vibe and feel to them. Some are self sufficient. Some require a bit of work from you to make it happen.

In no particular order…

EASTERN HILL DINING HALL

I love this place. Tucked away around the corner from St Patricks, it’s beautifully Melbourne in that you won’t know its there. Unless you know its there. High ceilings, stained glass, a colourful, weathered charm all of its own. Fantastic in the armer months when you can take advantage of the hidden courtyard.

Check it out here: Eastern Hill Dining Hall

Guests clinking glasses at Eastern Hill

TONIC HOUSE

Again scoring highly for being hard to find, Tonic House is a quintessential Melbourne rooftop venue. It’s stunning – contemporary, yet inviting, colourful and charming. It’s possibly the best spot in the CBD if you are thinking of having a cocktail party. It’s a blast to shoot at, and even more fun to party there.

Check it out here: Tonic House

MOUNTAIN GOAT BREWERY

C’mon, it’s simple. Its an amazing space. Converted warehouse, high, high ceilings, radiating industrial chic. And it’s a also a brewery. Where they brew beer. Win. Win. If they have it, check out their Pulped Fiction – and IPA infused with blood orange. So, so good. Mountain Goat is tucked away in the industrial heart of Richmond, opening up into an expansive space dominated by great lights and giant stainless fermenting vessels. Also, they have foosball.

Check it out here: Mountain Goat Brewery

I shot these guys there a while back.

MONTSALVAT

Oh, Montsalvat. It’s an artists colony – Melbourne’s oldest continuously active artist’s colony, in fact. Snugly nestled away in leafy Eltham, it is a beautiful collection of stunning, original historic buildings on acres of beautiful gardens. It’s a venue like no other. Also, peacocks. You can see some Montsalvat weddings here & here.

Check it out here: Montsalvat

LUMINAIRE

A stunning, modern, stylish venue in South Melbourne, Luminaire radiates a subtle glamour, which is backed up by professionalism and stunning views across the city and over to the Westgate Bridge. It has a unique elegance and a sweeping deck just made for sipping cocktails on.

Check it out here: Luminaire

GLASSHAUS

An unassuming shopfront hides a beautifully quirky, intimate venue. The Glasshaus is,, a gallery? A nursery? I’m really not sure. But set up with long tables, surrounded by pot plants and an enormous abundance of flowers and foliage, it’s a venue with very much its own style. I’ve shot formal dinners and cocktail parties there – it works equally well for whatever suits you.

Check it out here: Glasshaus

COLLINGWOOD CHILDREN”S FARM

This is a fantastic place to take your kids. It’s an amazing slice of the country just outside the CBD. There are goats, sheep, pigs, horses, the most beautiful assortment of chickens. You can cuddle hamsters, milk cows, just get involved with the farm life.

Or you can have your wedding there. Put a tipi up in the fields, or set up a table in the barn. You can just hold your do at the Farm Cafe if you want to keep it simple. This is not a huge venue, but if you are having a more intimate wedding, and want something a little bit different, it could be the place.

Check it out here: Collingwood Children’s Farm

I shot Bridget and Tim’s wedding there a while back – check it out.

FITZROY TOWN HALL

This place is simply epic. Brimming with genuine old world charisma, it’s crying out for long tables and elegant glassware. It’s ornate and splendid. Fill it with family and friends and celebrate an extraordinarily Melbournian venue. If you are local for a backdrop for some portraits, it’s right next door to the magnificently columned Fitzroy Public Library. It’s worth noting that it is not an immaculately restored historical building. But its slightly ramshackle nature is simply part of the attraction. It’s a building that has seen many coming and goings. You can feel it.

Check it out here: Fitzroy Town Hall

Note – you’ll need to book it through Yarra City Council, who are very helpful, by all accounts

ABBOTSFORD CONVENT

What an amazing space this is. Beautiful grounds, the sheer old world awesome of the convent itself, the… well, the vibe, is the only word. So relaxed. So lovely. Get married on the lawn, or in the brilliant Rosina Room, with its inviting outdoor courtyard. And be sure to pop out just after the sunset sets to watch the giant flock of fruit bats as they migrate across the skies.

Check it out here: Abbotsford Convent

YOUR OWN BACKYARD

Yeah, well, technically this may not be one of Melbourne’s coolest venues. But it could be. And while every one of the venues I’ve mentioned has a certain je ne sais quoi, there’s one thing that every wedding I have shot in those spaces has had in common.

People. The people who you care about. Who you want to share your day with.

And at the end of the day, it’s those people – your closest friends and family – who will bring your wedding day to life. And knowing that, it’s possible to make almost anywhere a perfect space for your day. So get a marquee, slap up some bunting, grab some ice and some snags. After all, there’s no place like home.

So there it is. Look, its far from an exhaustive list (for a start, I spend more than half my time time shooting far, far from the city!). I’ve shot in a whole bunch of other truly amazing places (Thinking Laurens Hall and Pope Joan (sadly no more), Circa, Enoteca, The Panama Dining Room) but the above all resonated with me. It’s hard to go wrong in Melbourne – truly, we are lucky to have a city with so many people and places devoted to providing a good time.

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© 2019 DARIN COLLISON | MELBOURNE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER