We are entering the final week of our Black Tie Issue, so far covering our favourite venues in Melbourne and Queensland, and now it’s arguably Australia’s most glamorous city, Sydney’s, turn to take centre stage! Today, we have the event gurus and talented stylists at Form Over Function in the hot seat letting us know about their top Sydney venues for a swanky black tie wedding. Their responses have us craving a trip to the picturesque city to sip Champagne while looking over the harbour.
Quay, The Overseas Passenger Terminal, Sydney (pictured above)
An outdoor terrace for pre-dinner drinks with a view of the Sydney Opera House so close you feel like you could reach out and touch it. Turn your head a tad, and there’s the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Just. There. Beyond incredible views, there is incredible food and wines served up by a killer team of professionals with a knack for making everything appear (and disappear) just when you want it to. Quay is sophisticated, stylish and oh so glam.
Bennelong, Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Under one of the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong is nestled. There’s a staircase for your grand entrance (or grand exit), walls of glass bringing the city and the harbour in and spectacular feature lights in copper by Tom Dixon adding to the sleek yet warm vibe that envelopes the space as the sun sets. This place is black tie dress code central with cocktails, food and wines to match. And who can’t imagine the beauty of wedding portraits shot up close and personal against the backdrop of those internationally loved white sails?
Bathers Pavilion, Balmoral Beach, Balmoral
Situated atop a historic building hugging one of Sydney’s most loved beaches, The Bather’s Pavilion venue space offers a jewel-like box with walls delicately covered in real silver leaf – just perfect for glowing under candlelight at night. It’s an intimate space with direct access to a rooftop terrace overlooking the stunning beach and surrounding headlands, it doesn’t take much of a leap of imagination to close your eyes and imagine your guests with espresso martinis in hand chatting on the terrace as the sun starts to dip. It’s the sort of dress up to the nines place, with a relaxed, sophisticated coastal vibe, that Sydney does so well.
The Book Barn, Bendooley Estate + The Stables, Bendooley Estate, Berrima
You’ll arrive at this spectacular venue via a tree-strewn drive; vineyards to your left and softly rolling hills beyond. This timber-lined venue with lofty ceilings, custom-designed iron chandeliers and a stunning, massive sandstone fireplace, affords the incredible beauty of book-laden shelves as part of the mix. Celebrating here feels like you’ve inherited the country estate of your dreams for the night. Styling up the tables with cut crystal and generous, soft blooms, transforms the space into a black tie haven. Marry under century-old trees, aside masses of old-fashioned roses in bloom or to the backdrop of a lake fringed by weeping willows. The bridal suite, where you can get ready for your walk down the aisle, is in the original, Boston-ivy covered homestead and is warmed by an open fire when the weather calls for it. In 2019, a new venue opens on the sprawling estate – The Stables, with one end of the space being a glass wall overlooking the hills and lake. We can’t wait to work here too.
Museum of Contemporary Art – Foundation Hall, Sydney
It’s Art Deco magnificence aplenty in this spectacular space hugging Sydney Harbour boasting double height ceilings, marble floors and elegant pillars. It’s just so darn beautiful inside this historic sandstone building. And it has the space to seat guests at long, long banquet tables, or opt for more traditional rounds – the choice is yours.
Riversdale at Bundanon Trust, Illaroo
On the crest of a hill, overlooking a turn in the Nowra River, stands the magnificent concrete and glass pavilion designed by internationally renowned Australian architect, Tim Murcutt. This quietly sophisticated space includes a priceless artwork by Arthur Boyd, who gifted the property to the nation. Marry on an outdoor terrace overlooking the valley down to the river or by the river itself in a natural amphitheatre. And, as an incredible added bonus, you get to enjoy the place to yourselves for the whole weekend and host up to 46 of your guests to stay on site. This place is truly a national treasure in every way.
Hopewood House, Bowral
Hopewood is a country estate dream of a place with utterly magnificent garden rooms including an outside chapel. The Pavilion offers up warm timber floors underfoot, white panelled walls, chandeliers above, and a stunning lounge area filled with antiques running the length of the space. A place to live out your Great Gatsby dreams. Simply beautiful.
Fort Denison, Sydney Harbour, Sydney
Yes you can have your own island for the night. With the aded bonus of guests (and the bridal couple) arriving by boat. If that doesn’t call for black tie, we don’t know what does. There’s a wow factor to hosting your celebration in the middle of Sydney Harbour (albeit in a place that started out life as a gaol in convict times). Fort Denison’s marquee offers a blank canvas to transform into the venue of your dreams. Pre-dinner drinks and canapes give your guests the opportunity to wander over this historic landmark, Champagne in hand, as the recepion begins. Pure magic.
Sergeants Mess, Chowder Bay, Sydney
It’s Sydney, ok? So, it’s all about the real estate. And this sleek, polished venue, perched alongside yet another slice of particularly beautiful Sydney Harbour fits black tie like a glove. Enter via a stylish marble corridor and bam – be greeted by THAT view. Just add flowers and candlelight.
Gunners Barracks, Mosman, Sydney
Chandeliers, a large gilt-edged mirror over the mantlepiece, plush grey velvet dining chairs and soft damask-patterned wallpaper all add up to give this intimate and beautiful venue – perched on the edge of the Sydney Harbour National Park – the black tie tick. Carved into a cliffside, and constructed from local sandstone, this historic venue features not only harbor views, but a sandstone courtyard just made for dancing under the stars.
Styling in all the images above by Form Over Function.
About the author Form Over Function: The Form Over Function team believe everyone has the right to enjoy a celebration – no matter how big or small – that is unique, personal, and carried out with a sense of fun, or a touch of style and grace. So whether you turn to us to design and manage your complete event, need to hire just a single spectacular vase, or wish to use our creative assistance for any of the many possibilities in between these two levels of service, you can be guaranteed the same degree of attention to detail, care and innovation we offer to all our clients.