The dynamic coastal area of Australia not only offers a cosmopolitan art scene, award-winning restaurants, and an interesting juxtaposition of old and new architecture but also provides an eclectic mix of cost-effective wedding venues. Whether you’re dreaming of a wedding that makes you feel as though you’ve traveled back to late 1800’s, yearning for nuptials with a modern flair and laid-back vibes, or considering a celebration steeped in Mother Nature, Melbourne has got you covered.
This Victorian mansion is a stunning blend of historical elegance and contemporary chic with tasteful accents like festoon lighting, a bronze fountain, and hand painted windows that exude a uniqueness that will help your celebration of love stand out. The building also takes on a magical nature with its soaring ceilings adorned with intricate crown molding, parquet dance floor, lighting that makes everything glow, and an intimate outdoor courtyard. This venue transports you back in time (did I mention they have candelabras?), but allows you to take all our beloved modern conveniences with you.
Typical Cost: Ranges from $90 to $170 per person
Bonus: The food served at Quat Quatta is so delish they’ve been admitted to Australia’s Restaurant & Caterers Hall of Fame.
Located on 120 acres of native bushland, this sprawling venue allows nature to play a prominent role in your rustic wedding. There are numerous outdoor options for ceremonies, and all indoor spaces feature massive picture windows and balconies to keep the essence of nature present regardless of where you are on the property. On-site caterers, that source a good deal of ingredients from the organic vegetable garden on the estate, work with guests to create seasonal and customizable menu options. For those who don’t want the party to end, Yarra Valley Estates offers 48 bedrooms and can provide a breakfast buffet the morning after your wedding.
Typical Cost: $99 to $145 per person
Capacity: 50 -100
Guests can take tours of the Babbajin Park Wildlife Shelter, located on the estate, and meet the animals being rehabilitated there.
This lush course is perched on a cliff overlooking Port Phillip Bay and offers sweeping views of the Melbourne skyline. The club offers two function rooms that serve as blank slates to build your dream wedding upon – and they’re air-conditioned, which can be a lifesaver during Australia’s steamier months. In-house caterers are available, in addition to a variety of packages to help meet the needs of any budget. This beautifully simple golf club is the ideal venue for those hoping for classic wedding vibes.
Typical Cost: $550 for the 5-hour venue rental fee, plus $65 per person
Bonus: A cart will be offered to whisk you and your other half off to prime photo destinations on the grounds. (Sunset shots with the bay glittering behind you, anyone?)
Couples wanting nuptials with an urban essence will rejoice when they step into this space. The stunning “all smiles” venue, with modern architecture and floor-to-ceiling windows, sits on the Victoria Harbour with panoramic views of the Melbourne skyline and the iconic twin cantilever Bolte Bridge. If you desire a more laid back celebration (aka no seating chart required) this is your spot, as they only offer a cocktail wedding package where goodies such as smoked salmon roulade, sushi, mini pies, and more will be served throughout the duration of the celebration.
Typical Cost: $100 to $140 per person
Bonus: The assorted arrangement of couches, lounges, ottomans, and bar stools creates a nice flow, allowing guests to easily mingle while also having comfortable nooks for intimate conversations.
Daytime weddings in this space are bathed in natural light flowing in from the glass roof, while evening celebrations are coated in romance as the massive bamboo lanterns hanging from the ceiling fill the room with a delicate glow. This award-winning space provides a sophisticated atmosphere, with its ceiling crisscrossed with steel beams and the lounge area adorned with sleek black leather sofas, while also having a layer of coziness created by the large fireplace. The Conservatory caters to various preferences by offering a cocktail or seated wedding packages.
Typical Cost: $100 to $160 per person
Capacity: 60 – 160
Bonus: Located in the famous Pumphouse Hotel, acclaimed for its food and drink, you and your guests will be living the good life with menu items such as “local scallops in the shell with Asian coleslaw and Japanese mayo” and “Peking duck pancakes with hoisin and sesame seed dipping sauce.” Yes, please.
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Bailey Gaddis is the author of Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood, a childbirth preparation educator, birth doula, and hypnotherapist who works with mothers-to-be, new mothers, and their support teams. She is also a regular contributor to media outlets including Disney’s Babble, Working Mother, Pregnancy & Newborn, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Woman’s Day. In addition to her childbirth-prep work, she volunteers for families in need of postpartum support. She lives in Ojai, California.