Image by Clear Expressions
One of our favourite parts of this job is hunting around for new venues, something fresh and exciting, somewhere that hasn’t been on the cover of every magazine (or posted in every other blog! Hehe). And so I was particularly excited one afternoon to receive an email from Berkelouw Books to tell me more about the current project they are working on to convert their book barn into what they’ll call “Bendooley Estate” a destination for weddings and events. We couldn’t pass up an invitation to their guest house for the weekend to view the property and find out more.
Located around 90 minutes from Sydney, and minutes from the heart of Berrima, the Bendooley Estate is set on around 200 acres (do you know how many photo ops that will give you?!). On completion the Estate will comprise a converted book barn, which will still operate as a book shop during the day housing over 100,000 books, and in the evening convert into an event space for up to 140 guests – the perfect spot to host a wedding. Also on the property is a grand old Georgian homestead and overnight accommodation for up to 5 guests.
The Book Barn. The new addition to the barn is currently under construction and is expected to be due for completion very early in 2013. The Barn, will come complete with a roaring open fire (in winter) and exposed beams and cathedral-style ceilings. Oh, and did we mention the specially designed bridal parlour? The dining area will be cocooned by specially designed sliding book-shelves enabling the books to be moved aside so it can transform its appearance as an antique book store by day, into an event space by night. Different to what you or many of your guests will have ever seen!
Georgian Homestead. On the other side of the estate is the original Georgian homestead around 200 years old built from convict-hewn sandstone, and set a little way back from a small lake and surrounded by rose gardens. It’s picture-perfect for a wedding ceremony. If you’re hosting a smaller wedding, up to 50 guests dining on the verandah can experience the romance of it’s hanging vines by candlelight, a magical experience. Or if you’d prefer, the homestead can cater for smaller weddings of up to 20 guests inside its dining room set by the fireplace. For larger events, the property surrounding the homestead would be ideal for a marquee set up.
Accommodation. Set amongst Bendooley’s very own vineyard, and only 50 metres away is their cosy little cottage ideal for the bridal party wanting to get ready on-site and perfect for the Mrs and her Mr on the night of the wedding (single beds not required!).The cottage comes complete with an open fireplace, plush new carpet, linens and decor, and very spacious bathrooms (essential when it comes to the bride and her maids getting ready).
The Food and Wine. Bendooley Estate has its own vineyards, so you’ll be able to sample and enjoy a local drop at your event. The Estate has also recently appointed Sydney caterer Pearl Catering, who from our own experience are nothing short of sublime in every aspect of their food service and client management; both in the lead up to the event, and in the running on the day.
Aside from its physical attributes, one thing that really struck me about this property is how breathtakingly beautiful it was. Photographers and videographers can be stretched at the best of times to come up with something new and creative on a venue that they’ve already shot dozens of times before. But at Bendooley, your dream team will be spoiled for choice.
We had a wonderful weekend at Bendooley, and a special thank you to owners Katja and Paul for being such welcoming hosts. The first phase of this project is set to open early 2013, and we already have our first client booked in to the venue. We’d also be happy to provide any planning or coordination services to anyone thinking about choosing Bendooley for their wedding. We have no doubt that the Estate will immediately grab the attention of many other lucky couples hoping for something a little different, and I know that we too will eventually have to queue with the masses to get the date that we want to book this space, rather than having the pick of the bunch pre-launch! For more information on bookings or to speak to someone directly at the venue, please contact Paul Berkelouw on (02) 4877 1370 or email.
Images by Tealily Photography
Ms Gingham says: Doesn’t this look divine? Perfect for your barn or country style wedding!
Sarah of Girl Friday Weddings likes to think of herself as your Personal Assistant, ready to take on any job that will assist you, or take on any job that you don’t want to do. With a range of services on offer from your wedding day co-ordinating to personal shopping, she is the go-to girl to save your sanity!
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