What Would They Know? Joyce Ng of Summerfields Estate & Country House

by | Venue Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Summerfields Estate

Just looking at these pictures you can feel the serenity. After being married at Summerfields Estate & Country House themselves, Joyce and her husband took over from the original owners who had run Summerfields since 1998. With the views a mix of manicured gardens, and natural bushland, with herb and vegetable gardens to provide produce for the wedding feast, Summerfields is a little oasis – just the perfect place to have your wedding. Treat your guests to a wedding weekend on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula with the bonus being your wedding at this beautiful Estate.

Where is Summerfields Estate situated?

Summerfields is one of the little hidden gems of the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, nestled unexpectedly among the native eucalypts. About an hour’s drive south-east from Melbourne, we are just five minutes from the beach and surrounded by some fantastic local vineyards and cafes.

Summerfields Estate - Cameralance

Image by Cameralance

Please describe the homestead and estate surrounds.

Built by the original owners on what was once a farmland, Summerfields is an American Cape Cod style country house, inspired by the beautiful holiday homes that can be found in the North-East of the USA. This influence is reflected in the paintings adorning the walls of the house which the couple have collected from various bed and breakfasts they visited including New Jersey and Cape Cod.

The main house features a majestic hall with fireplace as well as spaces that have French, English and American influence. Each of the six bedroom suites is decorated with a distinctive style. The second building features our distinctive black and white tiled reception room that can seat up to 150 people.

The house is surrounded by semi-formal gardens, a grove of 2000 olive trees and an ornamental lake inhabited by a family of geese. The grounds are also home to many native birds and frequently visited by kangaroos and local wildlife.

Are there rooms in the homestead the bridal party can use to stay in, and to get ready in?

Certainly! In fact we do have many brides (or grooms) staying the night before, or arriving in the morning and getting ready on site. With natural light as one of the key features when designing the house, there are plenty of places perfect for the wedding party to get their hair and makeup done.

We also provide food and refreshments with our getting ready package to make sure our guests get themselves ready in style and comfort!

Summerfields Estate - Cameralance (2)

Image by Cameralance

Is there space for a wedding ceremony in the house?

As much as everyone wants a beautiful sunny day for their wedding, the weather doesn’t always co-operate! But we make sure even if the weather is gloomy, our couples aren’t because with two-storey floor to ceiling windows and balcony to oversee the proceedings, our great room is a beautiful location in its own right. Some of our couples even pick the room as their first choice, treating it as a ‘chapel’.

Please describe the reception space in the house itself? 

Our reception room features French-style black and white tiles and can be adapted to various styles from modern to rustic. Couples can choose between round, square and long tables with seating for up to about 150 guests, depending on table arrangement.

The reception room also features doors opening onto a patio and our olive grove. For even larger events, we can organise marquees for a reception on the grass.

Is there room for a band and dancing?

What’s a wedding without dancing? Our couples often hire a DJ or even full band, whilst still leaving plenty of space for dancing.

Kylie and Steve wedding 22nd March 2014 Summerfields

Image by Slick Shoots Photography

The gardens are beautiful. What do the changing seasons offer to the bride and groom? Is there a season when the garden is at its most beautiful?

The variety of plants in our gardens are chosen so that there are colours all year round, however we think they are most beautiful around October, when the trees at the front and at the side of the house bloom in all their bright pink glory!

This year we have also experimented with planting a field of sunflowers which will hopefully add a little something special this summer!

How do bridal couples use the garden? 

We have a few spots in our gardens for ceremonies although the most popular spot is our rose arbour which overlooks the lake.

Couples particularly love taking photos among the olive groves and by the lake.

Whilst usually only for larger weddings, we can also do outdoor marquee receptions. Recently however we have started exploring the possibility of having outdoor receptions under the stars, as we do get asked a lot, and this seems to be gaining popularity among brides these days!

Summerfields Estate - Josh Yu1

Image by Josh Yu Photography

How would you describe the food you serve? Is it sourced locally, as much as possible?

We are regularly complimented on our food, which is generally quite traditional Australian fare with some Asian influenced dishes as well. We pride ourselves on sourcing as much of our food locally as possible, and even have our own herb and vegetable gardens, so much of what we use is in fact straight off the plant, which is about as fresh as it gets!

Are you able to recommend local wine, beer and cider to use – matched to the menu the couple have chosen?

We have two different wine packages that we offer, and our fine wine package features a selection of wines from two fantastic local wineries on the Mornington Peninsula.

Does the chef have a favourite dish that might be served at a spring or summer wedding at Summerfields? 

Our chef has a sweet tooth so one of her favourites (and one of our most popular desserts) is our lemon delicious, made using lemons from our garden. The dish is simple but delicious – fluffy and tangy, topped with icing sugar and served with a dollop of double cream.

Melissa and James Wedding Summerfields 21st March 2015

Image by Slick Shoots Photography

Do you have a wedding planner to help bridal couples with all the details?

We don’t have an in-house wedding planner, however our staff does provide advice and guidance to couples for planning their special day. We also provide each couple with a list of recommendations for various service providers including everything from wedding planners to cake makers to make the task that little bit easier.

Do you offer wedding packages? 

In the past we have offered a “helping hand” package which included stationery, florist and cake, however we find that most of our couples like the flexibility of choosing their own suppliers.

Is there guest accommodation nearby?

Yes, there are various motels and B&Bs nearby, some as close as a 3 minute drive away, that can accommodate up to 80 guests, so having extra guests stay for breakfast is not a problem!

We also offer accommodation on-site and often have couples and their close families stay the night of the wedding here and wake up to a sumptuous three course breakfast prepared by us!

Summerfields Estate - Josh Yu(2)

Image by Josh Yu Photography

Do you find couples often return for sentimental stays to celebrate milestones?

We recently had a couple come back to stay the night to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary! The husband arranged it as a surprise for his wife and they had a lovely picnic under the rose arbour where they tied their knot. We thought it was such a sweet gesture and he deserves an award for being such a great husband!

The Mornington Peninsula is special because….

Wineries and dolphins… in the same place (almost!)

Thank you Joyce for sharing your story. Summerfields Estate looks like the most divine place to have a wedding in the country doesn’t it? To find out more about Summerfields Estate & Country House visit the website.

Headshot courtesy of Joyce Ng.

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