In the search for a place that makes your heart sing, finding a wedding venue in Sydney can be equal parts exciting and soul-destroying. For every ‘maybe’ there’s a ‘never in a blue fit’, and after a while, one more ruched fabric chair weighed down by an ungainly giant bow can be enough to call the whole thing off.
From centennial homestead to industrial chic, cocktail noir to Scandi minimalism, city views or sandy beaches, the choices can seem endless. Are you planning a 250-sit-down meal with MCs or an intimate family gathering beneath the Moreton Bay fig at Jubilee Park by the water in Glebe? Will it be DIY or all-in? Brimming with urban sophistication or cradled deep in the bush with nature bringing its A-game?
In the many years Lion + Cub Photography has been capturing memories for happy couples, we’ve seen the best and worst of what’s on offer in and around Sydney, so we reckon it’s our job to share our faves:
On the sandy shoreline of Watson’s Bay and bathed in harbour light, Watsons Bay Hotel is a boutique nod to endless Sydney summers, rich in blue ocean views and pastel sunsets that ripple on the surface of the water. This is the ultimate seaside venue, a perfect mix of Sydney and the Hamptons. Inspired by a yacht club, sun-drenched white-timber-tone rooms and open-air rooftops are the ultimate foil to the sound of the ocean and the smell of the sea.
If you are in search of chic industrial vibes, look no further than Three Blue Ducks in Rosebery. A converted warehouse, complete with exposed beams, high ceilings, sandblasted walls and concrete floors, The Cannery was home to the old Rosella soup cannery, and its reincarnation pays homage to this epicurean beginning. Featuring a strong emphasis on wood-fired cuisine and three celebrity chefs at the helm, as well as mural walls, hanging chandeliers and indoor plants bring out the warmer elements, this is a farm-to-table experience in a space that is breathtaking.
For those who prefer cooler climes, the alpine beauty of the Blue Mountains is a sure winner. Cloaked in soft pink foliage, dove grey stone and moody blue vistas, the Mountains are hauntingly beautiful and come with an ‘away-from-the-city’ simplicity that is breathtaking. We recommend Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mount Tomah, where no matter the season, nature will be on glorious display, from snow-dappled winter whites to vibrant autumnal hues, blossom-heavy spring, and cooler summer sprays. Tranquil, serene and a little secluded, this is the ultimate picture-perfect wedding location.
Evans Lookout at Blackheath is spectacular for photos for the bridal party, with its sweeping views of the escarpment. The long winding roads to the lookout give great opportunities for photos without rows of parked cars that are abundant in the city locations!
Looking for a prestigious hotel venue with panoramic coastline views? Look no further than Novotel Wollongong Northbeach. Spacious, well-appointed, and with a reputation for excellent service, this crisp, white canvas is flushed with natural light and overlooks the raw beauty the Illawarra coastline, with its pale sandy beaches, Norfolk Pines and crashing surf. From gold-backed chairs to crystal chandeliers, the hotel caters for up to 350 people, with outdoor decks, a ballroom, the Admiral’s Terrace and more.
With its inner-city heritage, The Old Clare Hotel in Chippendale deserves the accolades it receives. Once part of the CUB brewery complex, the hotel is now an achingly cool venue housed in iconic buildings that back on to Kensington Street’s Space Alley and top-hatted restaurants like Olio in Kensington Street. With its moody sophistication and ‘cocktail noir’ vibes, the Old Clare is perfect for the old-school grandeur of a sit-down dinner held in receptions rooms clad in 20s timber with ornate deco touches, or a rooftop soiree with city views.
Brushing up close to Breakfast Point in Canada Bay, Cabarita Park Conservatory is an architecturally designed timber and glass pavilion nestled among parkland trees at the water’s edge. Bathed in dappled light, and in thrall to the splendour of a Moreton Bay Fig tree, this west-facing spot features sunsets over the harbour, en plein air simplicity, and the sophistication of an award-winning structure, all of which encompasses nature at her finest.
We know that the memories you will create on your wedding day are forever, so it’s essential that wherever you choose for your wedding venue in Sydney, it feels right. From retro Australiana to European glamour – and everything in between – sometimes it’s worth asking the people who help create the memories what they think.