What Would They Know? Maria Saunders of Lancemore Milawa

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


Ms Floral

Lancemore Milawa (previously known as Lindenwarrah at Milawa) overflows with style and elegance, and provides the perfect backdrop for couples dreaming about a rustic, country wedding with incredible food and wine. Situated in Victoria’s King Valley gorumet region, it’s also ideal for those wishing to indulge in an entire wedding weekend as it boasts luxury accommodation. Today we’re chatting to Maria Saunders, the venue’s wedding and events coordinator, about Lancemore Milawa’s charm, hospitality and breathtaking grounds and spaces, which all make for an unforgettable wedding day.

Tell us about Lancemore Milawa…
Set in the heart of the King Valley wine region – Lancemore Milawa will captivate you with its rustic elegance, gourmet delights and tranquil surrounds.

Situated in the charming country town of Milawa, wed your beloved under the old elm tree in a garden ceremony surrounded by lush greenery. As you wander through acres of vines, savouring your first moments together as a married couple, this breathtaking backdrop will remain vivid in your mind for a lifetime to come.

Seamlessly catering for intimate celebrations through to grand parties, the dedicated events team offers authentic and intuitive service. Brimming with character and warm country hospitality, Lancemore Milawa is a place like no other.

Why are Lancemore Milawa weddings so memorable?
We take care to plan every little detail, leaving the couple to relax and enjoy their day. Then of course, there is our mouth-watering food and award-winning wine, backed by 18 years of hospitality experience. One of the highlights for many couples is that they dance the night away under the stars in our beautiful Moroccan style courtyard – a stunning way to end a special day.

Image: Jackson Grant Weddings

Would you say the couples marrying at Lancemore Milawa are having wedding weekends rather than just a wedding day?
Absolutely! Milawa is the perfect place for a weekend away with plenty to see and do – visit Brown Brothers winery (located just across the road from Lancemore Milawa) or sample some of the delicious cheeses at the Milawa Cheese Factory. Take a trip down Prosecco Road in the King Valley and wander in High Country wilderness.

Does your team offer planning and styling services?
We do not, but we have a network of wonderful suppliers who provide these services. Your dedicated wedding coordinator will be more than happy to work with them – or your preferred supplier – to ensure that everything is perfect on the day.

You have an exclusive area for bridal couples to be pampered and prepare. What can they expect to find in that area?
Champagne and canapés, of course! And all of the practical things that you would expect.

What’s your ceremony space like?
Our beautiful lush gardens provide an idyllic setting for a romantic ceremony.  Shaded by a beautiful oak tree, and with tall hedges surrounding it is the perfect spot to exchange your wedding vows.

Images: Ashleigh Haase

Where are the most popular spots at your venue for wedding photos?
The vineyards provide the perfect backdrop for photos at Lancemore Milawa. Another favourite spot of mine is beside our tranquil water feature. Later in the day the bride and groom can sneak out of the reception for a few minutes to capture the stunning golden hour glow – definitely not something to be missed.

What kinds of receptions do you do and how many guests can you cater for?
We do both seated and cocktail style weddings and can tailor our packages to suit your needs. We have a variety of reception spaces and can therefore cater for smaller more intimate affairs or up to 150 guests.

Do you still see bridal décor ideas that surprise and delight you – even after being a part of so many weddings?
Yes! I love looking at Pinterest to see what’s new. At the moment I am loving floral bridal table canopies, more muted and pastel tones for bridesmaids and use of native gum leaves in bouquets.

Images: Jackson Grant Weddings

Tell us about the food and drinks…
Our onsite dining room, Restaurant Merlot, is recognised as one of the best in the region. Harnessing fresh, local produce, your menu will be an epicurean celebration of the finest Modern Australian cuisine. Our executive chef, Aaron Jose, who has worked under Jamie Oliver and Greg Malouf, uses the abundance of artisan ingredients to serve up a taste of the King Valley across all property dining.

What on the menu would you recommend?
Entrée: Sumac crusted carpaccio of beef with rocket, radish, Milawa tomme and pomegranate dressing.

Main course: Roasted Milawa free range chicken breast served on braised red capsicum and tomato with polenta and truffle jus.

Dessert: Honey panna cotta served with berries, strawberry marshmallow and walnut baklava.

Do you offer advice on local suppliers?
Absolutely! We have some wonderful suppliers in the area that we can confidently recommend to our couples.

Images: Ashleigh Haase

You also have accommodation. What are your rooms like?
Warm and inviting, the 40 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites are perfect for pampering before your special day and the ideal place to relax and reflect when the celebrations are over. With king sized beds, high ceilings and terraces overlooking gardens and vines, Lancemore Milawa offers the luxury comforts of a home-away-from-home.

Which room is most popular with bridal couples?
Our bridal suites are spacious with the addition of a fireplace and spa bath for additional indulgence.

What’s a typical day at Lancemore Milawa look like for you?
No two days are ever the same. There’s a lot of admin to be done but my favourite part is meeting with couples to go over their wedding details and start planning their special day. Come wedding day, I am here to welcome the bride and groom and coordinate everyone from the band to the chef to the emcee.

Image: Jackson Grant Weddings

What do you love about your job?
The people I meet. I so enjoy the feeling of helping them make their wedding day one they will remember for years to come.

What kinds of weddings would you like to see at Lancemore Milawa in 2020?
I love weddings that reflect the couple’s unique personalities, their time together and their relationship.

Thank you Maria for inviting us in to the magical world of Lancemore Milawa! What a gorgeous venue that ticks all the boxes – fabulous ceremony and reception spaces, incredible food and drink, a team of experts to help you pull it all together, and luxury onsite accommodation. Wow! To find out more about this venue, head to the Lancemore Milawa website.

Image in banner: Ashleigh Haase


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