The 70km stretch of coast that makes up Australia’s aptly-named Gold Coast is a playground of dazzling beaches, cheeky vibes, culinary wonders, and the type of weather that makes your skin glow. It’s the kind of place that forces you to slow your roll and allow relaxation to flow through you. The affordable wedding venues sprinkled within and around this sassy stretch of sand perfectly compliment the city’s easy-livin’ energy with options ranging from tipi-clad estates in the hinterland, to a trendy beachside eatery.
A short 30-minute drive from the Gold Coast will drop you into Numbinbah Valley where a majestic 50-acre property awaits. On this property you’ll find The Farm House, which is surrounded by State Forest and National Park, ensuring a lovely sense of tranquility moves through every inch of this nature-made wonderland. For ceremonies, the stunning Gold Coast hinterland will frame you as you pledge your love in the open air, or under a gazebo. You can then relocate to the pond-side field where massive, twinkle-light-clad tipis have been erected for the reception, and a glistening Airstream serves as your bar. One of the greatest joys of this wedding venue is that your enjoyment won’t be limited to one afternoon and evening, as guests are welcome to extend the good times by camping on-site. If you’re not a seasoned camper, The Farm House has glamping spaces they can set up for you, or you can rent the estate’s charming two-bedroom house.
Typical Cost: Starting at $4,000
Bonus: They connect you with preferred vendors who are pros at working this unique site.
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In the heart of Surfers Paradise, and on the shore of Nerang River is Vibe Hotel where stylish couples will enjoy a modern aesthetic and dedicated team that will tailor the wedding’s setting, color scheme, and playlist to the couple’s unique specifications. This is truly a bespoke experience, as everything from local artwork, to unique foliage can be brought in for the special day. A lovely blend of outdoor and indoor merriment is available, with a riverside grassy lawn available for ceremonies or intimate receptions, and various indoor spaces available for larger receptions.
Guests will be happy to discover the hotel’s 199 rooms, which range from studios to apartment-style accommodations, will be offered at a discounted rate. And as a gift from the hotel, the happy couple will enjoy a night in an ocean or hinterland view studio room, in addition to a complimentary breakfast buffet. Regarding food, Vibe Hotel offers various packages that include buffet items, a three-course menu, or hot and cold canapés, in addition to a variety of beverages. Quality and sustainability are top priority here, as many of the menu options feature local produce.
Typical Cost: $99 to $120 per person
Bonus: The prime location of this hotel places you minutes from the acclaimed, pristine beaches of the Gold Coast.
Nestled in Tamborine Mountain is the picturesque Cedar Creek Estate winery that features seemingly endless displays of flora and fauna, a sandstone chapel, lakeside gazebo, Liquid Amber trees, lush gardens, and of course, thriving vineyards. More formal ceremonies can be hosted in the old-world, lake adjacent chapel that is surrounded by a manicured lawn covered in towering trees. Lovers of the outdoors can wed in the garden arbor overlooking the lake and creating the ambiance of a foliage-filled fantasyland. For larger receptions, the elegant Cedar Creek’s Cedar Room can be utilized. The high ceilings and neutral colors of the Cedar Room make it an ideal palate for any variety of wedding decorations. More intimate receptions can be enjoyed in the gazebo where nature has done most of the decorating for you. The food served by the Cedar Creek Estate Restaurant will be sure to please with its extensive offering of dishes that were crafted to compliment the vineyard’s award-winning wines.
Typical Cost: $4,500 to $10,500
Bonus: The team of on-site Wedding Coordinators will minimize stress by ensuring that everything from big picture to-dos, to minute details are accomplished.
This affordable, laid back café offers a clean, airy template for casual weddings with a rustic or vintage twist. Located on Nobby Beach, guests are treated to ocean views, a constant supply of fresh air, and the soothing sound of crashing waves. The two levels of this eatery allow for al fresco ceremonies under two large trees, and sleek receptions indoors. While the ambiance here is enchanting, the award-winning food is what many come for. This one-of-a-kind dining experience includes food that’s so delicious it’s hard to believe it’s also loaded with nutrients. From jumbo sushi and sticky pork, to vegan chili dogs and pad thai, there’s something to please every flavor of guest.
Typical Cost: $30 to $120 per person
Bonus: The Cocowhip. This signature BSKT dessert is 100% vegan, gluten and dairy-free and made with coconut water, organic bio-fermented coconut powder and vegetable sourced stabilizers. It’s seriously divine.
On the foothills of Tamborine Mountain rests the angelic site for Riverwood Weddings, where couples and their loved ones can gather for nuptials soaked in the grandeur of Australia’s hinterland. Riverbank Aisle is a favorite ceremony site at Riverwood Estate, as it includes an enchanting stone staircase aisle that’s surrounded by tropical foliage. The aisle opens to a lawn backed by the Coomera River. The primary reception area, named The Outlook, is a large expanse of grass overlooking the Coomera River, and features a massive tree that creates an especially astounding visual as the sun goes town. Beyond the lawn, guests are able to explore the surrounding grounds, which include stone steps, intimate seating areas and whimsical swings. Popular temporary structures for this area include single or double tipis, clear or white marquees, barn style pavilions, or nomadic tents. The Outlook can also be enjoyed al fresco under a tapestry of glittering string lights, as a bon fire pit lights the night sky. In addition, rugs and large pillows can be used to create bohemian lounges throughout the area, and games such as croquet, Boca, badminton or volleyball can engage guests in some friendly competition. To top it all off, the bridal party can score one-of-a-kind photos in the on-site restored, vintage red and white 1965 Kombi van.
Typical Cost: $2,000 to $15,000
Bonus: Couples can enjoy exclusive use of the venue for two days before and after the wedding.
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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.