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This week on Behind the Door, I’m visiting a space that never stays long in one spot, Caravan and Tonic. Caravan and Tonic is the cutest vintage bar on wheels perfect for weddings, special events and anywhere you want a professional and beautiful bar setup. Run by two best friends, Caravan and Tonic is based in Perth, but happy to travel!

Alice and Jasmine own Vinnie the vintage caravan bar and Alice tells me that the two came up with the idea after looking for a fun project to work on while they took a break from their jobs in mining. “Pintrest was very kind to us” says Alice “we came up with lots of great ideas, we just needed to find the perfect caravan”. After a long search the two found Vinnie sitting disused and dusty in a paddock and immediately saw the potential.

“It took us close to six months to do Vinnie up” says Alice ‘we did most of the work ourselves and spent a long winter creating our perfect caravan bar”. I love the hanging pendant lights and sleek interior. There’s even fridges, a coffee machine and a beer tap! Alice tells me they have a great relationship with local beer suppliers Innate Brewers and can hook up a keg to serve fresh beer.

Couples can hire the caravan and supply their own drinks and Caravan and Tonic provide everything else including staff, glassware, ice and styling. There’s a great cocktail menu that proves popular with weddings and I really love the cute glass beverage dispensers filled with flavoured water to keep guests hydrated all night long.

Caravan and Tonic comes beautifully styled with bar stools, signage and even custom menus but the girls have also branched out into other areas of styling to complete your special event. There’s vintage games, fairy floss, bohemian picnic rugs and even a beautiful candy buffet cart. Such an exciting addition to weddings but would be absolutely stunning at bridal showers and hens parties as well!

All images by Caravan and Tonic.

Ms Zigzag says: I love a tale of women entrepreneurs finding their passion and making a fulfilling career out of it. I would love this cute caravan to roll up to the next wedding event I attend. 

About Amelia Waddell of Make Your Day Wedding Styling: I’m a wedding stylist and proud store owner who loves to chat weddings with everyone and anyone! I love to talk shop with other business owners (particularly over some chocolate cake!) and am the first to try and have a sticky beak behind the scenes of any event. My free time is spent ‘investigating’ new cafes, stores and events. Make Your Day Wedding Styling is my creative outlet and I love nothing more than that ten minutes just before the guests enter the wedding reception, it feels like a special sort of magic!

Surrounding Melbourne are food producers, vineyards, artisan food makers and the history of the gold rush days. So it is thrilling that right on our doorstep are two wedding venues that make the most of the surrounding landscape – Bellinzona and Cleveland Winery. Both venues have their beginnings in the 1800’s and exude tradition and elegance. Both venues are surrounded with spectacular gardens and views to drink in while sipping a cocktail or two. Why not consider making a wedding weekend of your celebration and drink in that fresh country air! Lisa the Function Manager for Bellinzona, and Lauren the Function Manager for Cleveland Winery, let us into the secrets of these grand country wedding venues and what makes them special places to celebrate your nuptials.

CLEVELAND WINERY

Where is Cleveland Winery situated?

Lancefield is situated in the heart of the Macedon Ranges wine country, only 30 minutes from Melbourne airport.

Image by Turbo360 Productions

Please describe the homestead and surrounds?

The resort sits on 120 acres of rustic farmland & vineyard & at the heart of the property is the historic homestead circa 1887. When your group books the Homestead you have full use of this beautiful building, it has 6 large newly renovated bedrooms, a formal and informal dining room, 2 separate living areas one of which is equipped with a full size pool table. Book your wedding here & utilize the panoramic views of our stunning cottage gardens, the vine, the lake & surrounding ranges.

What attracts couples to Cleveland Winery as their wedding venue of choice?

People love the rustic charm of the great room & the homestead, with the added attraction of the property grounds and surrounding vista. The beauty of this property is plethora of gorgeous spaces to choose from for a stunning ceremony location.

Image by Ateia Photography & Video

Please describe your wedding packages and what ihey include?

We have packages that can be tailored to suit your individual requirements, from a rustic informal affair to a unique lavish reception.

How much does your wedding planner assist the couple? Are there different levels/options/packages available?

With our wedding packages your wedding planner is on board to help organise your big day & at hand for you the whole way through the planning process.

Please describe some (undercover and outside) ceremony choices available to bridal couples. Cleveland winery has many different options to hold your perfect ceremony. From The Chardonnay Terrace set amongst the vines capturing the spectacular view of the ranges, to our beautiful country gardens, lake, homestead strip and vineyard.

Image by Ateia Photography & Video

Please describe the many possibilities you provide for an indoor reception?

Depending on the size of your wedding group we have numerous locations for your wedding reception. The biggest of all is the rustic Great room going down in size the Carriage house Restaurant, Lakeview and homestead, all with their own unique charm.

Are bridal couples able to have both their ceremony and reception in the gardens if they choose? Bridal parties are more than welcome to select having both the ceremony and reception outdoors if they chose. We have the Chardonnay Terrace available as well as beautiful grounds that could be home to marquees if they desire.

Image by Ateia Photography & Video

What is special about holding a winter wedding at Cleveland winery?

Nothing beats a cold winter’s day more than an open fire. Each of our reception rooms have one and the views are always spectacular.

How much freedom do bridal couples have to decorate the venue in their particular style?

Bridal couples have complete freedom to decorate as they need to around the grounds and in the reception rooms to achieve the look they’ve always dreamed of for their special day.

What wines does the vineyard produce? How can these be incorporated into the wedding menu? Cleveland winery has an extensive wine list and a recently renovated vintage cellar door. We produce Moscato, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Brut and Sparkling Pinot. The grapes for most of which are grown on site. We have different packages that cater to each bridal couple needs and a selection of our wines feature in each of them.

Image by Ateia Photography & Video

How would you describe the menu – and what is coming up for summer that is delicious and a little different?

The menu style at Cleveland Winery is modern Australian and a dish that you can’t go past is the twice cooked pork belly with a roquette and bocconcini salad.

How many rooms for accommodation of wedding guests do you provide?

Cleveland winery has a total of 52 rooms as well as a sister property that houses another 20 rooms.

BELLINZONA

Where is Bellinzona situated?

Bellinzona is situated in Daylesford/Hepburn Springs in the Central Highlands.

Image courtesy of Bellinzona

Please describe the style of Bellinzona and its surrounds?

Bellinzona is an historic boutique hotel that blends old world charm with Edwardian style elegance, set in established gardens and stunning views of the Wombat State Forest.

What is your role at Bellinzona?

I’m the Wedding & Events Manager.

Image by Loco Photography

As a wedding venue when does Bellinzona really shine?

Spring/Summer weddings really shine at Bellinzona as our grounds are glorious. Our manicured gardens give a wonderful backdrop for a wedding ceremony. Our couples can choose an area in our garden that suits their special day, from our beautiful intimate secret garden entered by a leafy canopy, to our lower garden rotunda area with a hedge for privacy or by our antique fountain on the lawn. We do offer great deals for Winter/Autumn weddings too and have indoor options by an open fire, where it’s warm and cosy on a wintery day.

What styles of wedding do you see at Bellinzona?

The fairytale wedding works well at Bellinzona, with its Edwardian charm, roaring open fires, manicured gardens & timeless elegance. Have your ceremony in our Secret garden, hidden by a canopy of leaves for intimacy and privacy or choose a ceremony in our lower garden with purpose built rotunda and views across the Wombat State Forest.

Please describe some favourite places in the garden that would be appealing to bridal couples?

We have many beautiful spaces to choose from and my favourite would have to be the Secret Garden area. I admire the intimacy and privacy the secret garden offers.

Image by Tania Balcam, Cleveland Winery

What decorating ideas have you seen lately that are eye catching and make the most of your venue? I’m really loving the flower wall as a part of the wedding setting at the moment, as it accentuates the natural environment our property is set in. Simple and soft is the way to go. Our reception rooms have plenty of space to accommodate your choice of setting/ theme for your wedding.

What do bridal couples have to source themselves for the wedding e.g. cake vendor – or are you able to provide everything they need?

As the wedding coordinator our couples have me on hand throughout the process, to assure things run smoothly and to offer a wealth of local supplier/vendor contacts to make the process easier. There are a few things for the bride & groom to decide on, like organizing flowers, cake, celebrant & photographer for their special day.

Are you able to suggest vendors to them?

We do have a substantial local supplier list for our couples, on hand to help with anything from cakes to the entertainment. We like to keep it local as much as we can. We have a fantastic relationship with the local vendors and suppliers.

What other attractions are on offer at Bellinzona? What other events can be organized around the wedding to entertain guests?

We offer our couples a complete package for them and their guests. Book a wedding here and leave your car and the world at the front door. People love chilling in our indoor heated pool, spa & sauna area, with a beautiful outlook onto the bushland and our gardens. Guests can also eat in our restaurant, book yourself in for a relaxation massage with one of our in-house therapists or chill out in front of one of our open fires with a glass of wine from our wine tasting room downstairs.

Image by Jason Vannan Photography

Do most couples organize a ‘wedding weekend’ for their guests?

Our couples are given the option of a two night stay, making it a lovely relaxing get away for all involved.

Please describe the menu – does it feature local produce and wines?

We pride ourselves on having a very tasty and varied wedding menu with something to suit everyone. We also cater fully for all dietary requirements.

What are some favourite dishes on the menu for weddings in the coming summer months?

Entrée: Thai beef salad (Warm Thai beef salad with roasted peanuts, crunchy noodles finished with a chili & kaffir lime dressing

Main: Atlantic Salmon (Crispy skinned Atlantic Salmon with house made sweet potato fries, Asian greens finished with dashi soy sauce

Dessert: Mini Pavlova (Mini Pavlova with whipped cream & mixed seasonal fruits)

What complimentary inclusions do you offer the bridal couple?

At Bellinzona we have a selection of packages to choose from or tailor make your own dream vision for your day.

(We have) Dedicated Wedding Manager and team

  • Your selected menu and beverage package
  • Onsite Bridal Suite including breakfast
  • Two hour exclusive use of lounge and bar
  • Dance floor
  • Ceremony chairs and outdoor umbrella
  • Tables set with white linen napery
  • Preferential Wedding accommodation rates for your guests
  • The backdrop of our beautiful gardens for your photography
  • Cake table with cake knife
  • Your wedding cake, cut and served on platters
  • Five hour function room hire, choose from a range of venue options

Image by Dijana Photography

How many wedding guests are able to be accommodated at Bellinzona?

The venue has 43 ensuite bedrooms from standard rooms to a deluxe spa suite and family rooms. We also have six self-contained two bedroom cottages. Couples that book with us get preferential rates for guest accommodation for their wedding. We have a varied range of options to choose from.

What are your favourite things to see and do around the Daylesford region?

The spa country region is known for its health remedies and wellness treatments. This beautiful area has a plethora of offerings for visitors, such as, the Lavender farm (Lavandula), many scenic trails for walking and of course the unique Daylesford spring fed lake and mineral springs.

Thank you Lauren and Lisa for sharing the story of Bellinzona and Cleveland Winery. Two gorgeous venues not far from Melbourne and well placed to give you a country style wedding with all the elegance and tradition. To find out more about Bellinzona and Cleveland Winery visit the websites.

Headshot of Lauren courtesy of Cleveland Winery. Headshot of Lisa by Sharon Ho (formerly of Cleveland Winery).

 

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Your wedding photos are a keepsake that you and your family are going to look back at for a lifetime and they will be passed onto generations after you. Today, we ask the talented Adriana Watson Photography to share everything you need to know before booking your wedding photographer. 

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The most important thing to know before booking me is to be very familiar with my work and absolutely love what you see. If my style fits with your vision, then chances are you have found “the photographer.”

One mistake I see couples making, which can impact on them and on myself, is trying to squeeze in all the highlights of the day in a short amount of time. For example, wanting a full day coverage done in 5 hours. If you don’t allocate enough hours for your wedding coverage, the day might become rushed and not as enjoyable. So working out a suitable timeline will make a world of difference on how relaxed and fun your day will be.

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I think setting realistic expectations from day one will get you on the right track. Decide what is important to you and work toward making it happen. If great photography is on the top of your list, then cut back on the other elements that are not your priority. This will assist you in keeping costs within your budget and get you all the essential elements to complete your big day.

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While making decisions about their booking, one of my couples’ biggest puzzles is to figure out how long they are going to need me for and their timeline. I always advise them to have a chat and discuss what is important to be photographed. From then a list of their important moments is provided and with that in hand, I organise a timeline that best suits their day, making this decision a breeze.

When choosing a vendor, it is important to find someone super professional, with a lot of experience. Someone who is open to your ideas and can offer helpful suggestions to make your day perfect; a vendor who can put you at ease and offer outstanding customer service.

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Ms Zigzag says: This is really solid advice from Adriana Watson. Set expectations, plan and most of all, do some research on your photographer’s past work to see if you like their style, then you can’t go wrong!

About Adriana Watson: I’m a wedding photographer based in Sunshine Coast, but not limited to. Most of all I’m a story teller, I’ll tell the story of your day with natural photographs. I’m always honoured and very humble to be the one tagging along. My style is elegant, fresh and timeless. I like to capture your day as it is, no stiff staged poses or interrupting the flow of the day. Creating a connection with my clients is essential to my process. I know every couple – every person – is unique, and I want to capture your uniqueness, which is why I always spend time with my clients before even touching the camera. This connection we create allows me to use my lens to really see who you are, which is why each photo I take is one-of-a-kind.