On the eastern shore of Australia lies the dynamic city of Brisbane that is thrumming with a vibrant energy created by its subtropical beaches, rich cultural landscape, thriving art scene, and jovial locals. When it comes to wedding venues, they offer a mosaic of unique, luxurious spaces, many of them offering the compelling combination of urban grandeur and refreshing nature vistas. And one of the best parts is these affordable Brisbane wedding venues won’t make your wedding budget shrivel in fear.
Rising above the banks of the Brisbane River is a luxury wedding venue that allows couples to pledge their love with the iconic Story Bridge before them, and the neoclassical architecture of this historic structure, built between 1886 and 1889, behind them. After a recessional down the elegant red carpet that is provided for ceremonies, guests will gather in one of the two larger event spaces, which include The Long Room and The River Room.
The Long Room, which accommodates up to 200 guests, is a grand space with cathedral ceilings, sculptured pillars, antique fixtures, and romantic lighting that facilitates stunning photos. This palatial room also offers a private lounge, replete with a crystal chandelier and river views, where the couple can have a private moment to soak in the magic of the day before joining their loved ones. The River Room, which can hold up to 120 guests, is an edgier option with a captivating ceiling that seems to have been pulled out of a modern art museum. In addition to the stately surroundings, you’ll be treated to a fine dining experience that will include your selections from a seemingly endless offering of canapés and main course dishes.
Typical Cost: $2,000 to $2,500 for ceremonies, and $117 to $215 per guest for receptions, depending on the package.
Capacity: 120 to 200, depending on the event space you select.
Bonus: You receive ample support from the Custom House staff. You’ll not only be assigned an Event Coordinator, but will also receive the support of a Banquet Supervisor who will oversee your reception, in addition to a Senior Waiter who exclusively caters to the needs of the bridal party.
A dream location for a classic wedding, the Brisbane Marriott is yet another affordable venue that offers majestic views of the Brisbane River and Story Bridge, while also providing the top-of-the-line service this legendary hotel chain is known for. While some might think that an immense hotel such as the Marriott only hosts extravagant affairs, their numerous event spaces allow them to accommodate everything from a simple, intimate gathering to ornate festivities.
There are nine areas of various sizes, however the most popular are the Grand Ballroom and Queen Adelaide Room. Both options serve as blank canvases that you can creatively transform into your unique wedding wonderland of choice. Supporting you in this endeavor will be one of the Marriott’s wedding coordinators who will work closely with you to ensure your ceremony and reception unfolds in the exact manner you imagined. Whether you’re hoping for a sleek, gold-gilded occasion, or a flower-filled, garden-esque extravaganza, the Marriott can help you bring your fantasy to life.
Typical Cost: $1,000 to $2,000 for ceremonies, and $43 to $63 per person for receptions
Bonus: You receive the pleasure of a one-stop-shop here, as you can rest in posh accommodations before taking a swift elevator ride down to your celebration.
This exotic venue, which is located on the trendy Eagle Street Pier, features two stories that offer sparkling panoramic views of the sites our other favorite venues look out on: Brisbane River and Story Bridge. Beyond the view, Jade Buddha is wholly unique with a palate of rich colors, plush, contemporary furniture, one-of-a-kind light fixtures, captivating sculptures, and a lush collection of plants. Much of the space contains covered outdoor seating, allowing guests to enjoy the pleasant Brisbane weather without baking in the sun.
While the aesthetic is truly extraordinary, the real pleasure comes with the food from the Asian fusion-inspired menu. Couples can choose from canapés such as Szechuan Calamari, Peking Duck Pancakes, Karaage Chicken Bites, Handmade Arancini Balls, sushi, Japanese Cheesecakes and other delicious bites that allow the wedding attendees’ taste buds to go on a thrilling culinary journey.
Typical Cost: $25 to $80 per person
Bonus: The venue’s central location makes it easy to access from many of the city’s most popular accommodations.
Sophistication is emanating from every corner of this grand hotel, dating back to the 1960s. As the hotel is opposite Brisbane’s City Botanic Gardens, they often facilitate ceremonies in the prolific gardens before guests head back to Royal on the Park for the reception. Ceremonies in the garden include a bamboo arbor, hand carved altar or dressed floral heart arch, and a white carpet runner. Some of the hotel’s many perks include a red carpet for post-ceremony foyer entrances, cake services, a lectern and microphone, a sprawling dance floor, personalized menu cards, and chair covers with the couple’s choice of colored sashes. In addition, the hotel can support couples in creating customized center pieces, offer a private oasis for the bridal party to relax with drinks before dinner, and (here’s one of our favorites), provides discounted rooms for all wedding guests. Food that is both gorgeous and sumptuous is provided with the reception packages, and includes savory gems like Egyptian Spiced Lamb Cutlets, Chermoula Rubbed Chicken Supreme, Pan Seared Scallops and more.
Typical Cost: $1,000 for ceremonies, and $92 to $149 for receptions, depending on the package.
Bonus: The happy couple receives a complimentary one-night stay in a Deluxe room.
While the Brisbane River is a popular backdrop for many of the city’s wedding venues, you can take your nuptials up a notch by getting hitched on the water, aboard one of the Kookaburra Showboat Cruises’ exquisite timber paddlewheelers. Old world charm is infused into all celebrations on the glistening decks of these boats, as they easily conjure the graceful ambiance of the mid 1800s. Daytime weddings allow guests to marvel at Brisbane’s inner river reaches, while evening nuptials treat guests to a glittering landscape of city lights.
Ceremonies can commence on the observation deck, or in one of the posh dining rooms, offering numerous options regardless of the weather. There are also a plethora of selections regarding reception packages, as couples can choose between a Cocktail Wedding, Three Course Wedding, or Buffet Wedding. For water lovers, commencing your union on a glamorous paddlewheeler is hard to beat.
Typical Cost: Starting at $90 per person
Bonus: The Kookaburra staff is incredibly hands on, offering support with everything from the cake and table decorations, to menu selections and flower arrangements.
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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.