Image via Dan the Man Cooking

Why choosing ‘ethical catering’ is the best approach
How lucky are we that we live in a world where we’re spoilt for choice? Different restaurants, a variety of cuisines and many food styles for the parties we throw. When it comes to planning our weddings, initially – we are so excited, but often, the reality of choice sets in and we can, quite quickly, feel overwhelmed and stressed.

The sheer amount of work to do in deciding which people to bring on board to fit the vision means hours of research and so many conflicting ideas and offerings. But, imagine this; a condensed supplier list filled to the brim with good people and wholesome businesses so you never have to worry about paying ‘wedding prices’.
Yes – they do exist – they are your ethical suppliers. You just need to learn how to find them.

What makes an ethical caterer
An ethical caterer has a passion for taking responsibility for the resources they use and making that their inspiration for their business. It isn’t easy! But the waste-free movement has inspired so many conscious changes in the catering world and now couples are getting a more authentic offering.
Being ‘ethical’ is all about the decision to be conscious of the consumer power you have in hosting a wedding.

Image 2 & 3 via Tim Kindler

Choosing an ethical caterer
There are many aspects to selecting an ethical caterer and many can be personal reflections of your relationship and values. We’ve broken ‘ethical’ in the catering space into a few different interpretations and perhaps you’ll see a few of your own values speak through them.

Zero Waste
Knowing a business is focused on reducing or completely removing their waste is a very hot topic at the moment. Do they opt for minimizing single use, or choose reusable over compostable, and how do they order to ensure food isn’t discarded if not prepared? Do you feel passionate about leftovers going to homeless shelters or are you extremely anti straw? Ask the question and challenge your caterers to step into a zero waste zone.

What better way to get the day of your dreams than looking for a business who welcomes adaptability and revels in designing unique experiences alongside you. You work with a team who cares about you and your guests experience, pays attention to your favourite dishes and is delighted to whip up the meal you had on your first date.

Do they get excited to use lamb from your family farm and love finding ways to incorporate Uncle Mack’s cakes into their grazing tables? Ditch cookie cutter and have a team who supports, and fights, for what is uniquely you.

Image via Kate Sommer

Supporting Local
If you care about supporting local economies, find a business whose supply chain includes other local businesses. By simply asking how they choose their suppliers, can reveal a lot about how local their values are. Local also means there are less carbon food miles used to produce your dishes and you’ll be eating peak season produce as they’ll be buying from the area they are based.

At a time of drought for Australian farmers, booking a local caterer gives you all the feels knowing you are supporting the men and women who work so hard to produce our food.

Image via Michelle Fiona Photography

Business for Purpose
B Corp businesses have to go through a rigorous certification process to say they are a business for purpose. They meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, they have full public transparency, and uphold legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

No ‘wedding prices’ here. You know these businesses remain honest, good and deliver just what you ask for.

By staying true to what is right for you, you’ll form your own ethical approach to your wedding and it will make the hunt for your wedding tribe much easier. Take the time to reflect on what is ethical to you and seek what resonates. Your research will be done in a few quick calls and you’ll go back to feeling happy, peaceful and free to marry the one you love.

Ms Zebra Says: After featuring so many fantastic eco-wedding ideas last month, it’s certainly made me think twice about where everything is coming from! Catering is no different and I think it’s great what Dan the Man Cooking are doing in the market! Thanks for this great piece.

About Brooke Mills, Event Planner at Dan the Man Cooking: Dan The Man Cooking are an ideas-driven event catering company turning local, seasonal, and lesser known produce into dishes that feed your heart and rock your radishes. They create deliciously bold food, all whilst encompassing a zero waste mindset; taking responsibility for the resources they use. They are the only caterer in Australia that is B Corp certified, and they have an in-house eco-ethical event planner, making them the only stop for those planning an occasion with purpose.


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In considering this article it was nice to pause and reflect on the variety of weddings I’ve been fortunate enough to capture around Tasmania in the last decade or so. For a small state, we’ve got such a variety of landscapes, locations and venues that there’s always somewhere new to discover and capture.

The most memorable weddings to me, are the ones where the couple has really thought about their priorities and chosen a venue where they have the flexibility to have the exact day they dreamed of.

Whether it’s a simple beachside elopement or a more extravagant celebration, if you’re having a great time, you’ll have fantastic photos to remember it by. It was difficult to narrow it down, but I’ve chosen to write briefly about four very different venues where I have experienced some of the most beautiful and memorable Tassie weddings.

North – Clarendon Estate

Clarendon is a beautiful, historical estate just 30 minutes outside Launceston in the north of Tasmania. I love the versatility of Clarendon and it’s been incredible to see the different ways in which couples have made this venue their own.

The beautiful three-storey Georgian mansion is an incredible backdrop for photos and the surrounding 7 hectares of parkland offer walled gardens, avenues of elm trees and rustic outbuildings to explore.

Make sure to sneak outside at sunset for some photos before joining your guests and turning the music up, there are no neighbours to worry about!

Credit: Styling and floral by Bek Burrows

East – Avalon Coastal Retreat

The East Coast of Tasmania has always been a favourite getaway spot for Tasmanians wanting to escape and relax. Just 1.5 hrs from both Launceston and Hobart, Avalon is a 3 bedroom modernist dream house that sits just above the pristine coast line.

The lawns surrounding the house provide locations for your ceremony, cocktail hour or a more formal sit down reception, not to mention picture postcard views in all directions. The private beach is just a short stroll down the hill. I love to photograph weddings at Avalon. The colours and textures in the landscape are incredible and the light on summer evenings make for spectacular photos.

Credit: Table styling and floral by Bek Burrows

South – Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)

I can say honestly that MONA has been a game changer for weddings in Tasmania. Not content with being a world class museum, MONA is also intent on providing couples with a backdrop for their most important celebrations.

My first focus is always on people and emotion, but MONA adds an element of architectural drama to my images which is not possible elsewhere in Tasmania. The forms, colours and contrast of light and shadow make for a fresh and bold set of images every time.

At a venue where nothing is static, the MONA team have your back for anything from a low key elopement to a jaw dropping extravaganza. Seriously, check out what they have to offer. Did I oversell it? Nope, I stand by it.

Credit: All styling and floral by Bek Burrows

West – Highfield House, Stanley

Highfield House in Tasmania’s north west feels like a destination wedding at the edge of the world. Located 3 hours drive from Launceston, Stanley is a small town with (literal) movie set charm.

Highfield House is a beautiful historic property that sits amongst rich farmland overlooking the town of Stanley and the wild ocean beyond. The images I capture here have a rugged, remote and romantic feel to them which is quintessentially Tasmanian.

A charming chapel and a restored barn add to the richness of backdrops for your photos and the views from the expansive lawns provide the perfect location to capture those relaxed moments with a cocktail or two.

If you’re looking for a unique and private destination, you’ll be rewarded with unmatched views, absolute privacy and stunning photo locations.

Credit: Table styling and floral by Bek Burrows

Ms Zebra Says: I get so excited to see all of the amazing destinations in Tasmania that host weddings. Each individual and incredible in their own right. Thanks for sharing Jonathan – not only the beautiful images you create, but the fun places you constantly get to shoot!

About Jonathan Wherrett:  After a decade photographing weddings I get that it’s about a lot more than the photos. For me, it’s personal – I understand the planning, excitement and anticipation that goes into your wedding day. Many of the couples I work with travel to Tasmania for a destination wedding. It’s great to be able to share my experience with each couple, whether it’s recommending venues, locations or the perfect professional to ensure that your wedding day is flawless.


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There’s something simply magical about venues that let their beautiful, natural outdoor settings do the shining and set the scene for everything else. We adore the relaxed elegance of Montalto, and that its restaurant sits in harmony with its surroundings. With its floor to ceiling windows, it really takes advantage of its stunning views over the vines, olive grove, sculptures, lakes and wetlands… oh, and there’s even a little bit of ocean in there! It’s also amongst these landscapes where couples can choose a spot to exchange vows and have their photos taken, while guests relax with a glass of one of the Estate’s wines. Heavenly! Today, we’re chatting to Anna Shergold of Montalto about how special this venue is and why bridal couples love saying ‘I do’ there.

Where is Montalto situated?
In beautiful Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Please describe Montalto – does the Estate include a winery and olive grove?
Montalto Estate includes the vineyards and olives groves.

Is your olive oil produced from your own olive trees?
Yes, the trees are used to produce the olive oil which includes basil, lemon infused and also Limited Edition Extra virgin.

Image: Georgia Verrells

What wines are you known for? How would you describe your favourites of the wines you produce?
Being on the Mornington Peninsula we are a cool climate maritime estate. We are best known for our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. I am definitely a lover of Chardonnay. This is makes me a very lucky girl as Montalto produces at least four Chardonnays. My favourite would have to be ‘The Tuerong’ Chardonnay. Full of zesty citrus with intense flavours that just keep giving.

Are we able to buy these online?
Absolutely! The wines and olive oils are all available on-line via our website.

Your Sculpture Park is a feature of the property. How do the sculptures enhance and showcase the property?
Sculpture is an integral part of life at Montalto and a highlight of any visit to the estate. Our Sculpture trail includes 30+ permanent collections. It winds its way through the property and the beautiful natural gallery provides diverse settings for our pieces. You might find monumental works sited in open spaces through to more intimate pieces amongst the wetlands and vines.

Images: Georgia Verrells

Please describe Montalto restaurant. What do you consider makes it so attractive as a wedding venue?
With floor to ceiling windows throughout, the restaurant is the perfect place to hold your Wedding reception any time of year. It overlooks the estate with breathtaking views that change depending on the season.  Our food and wine offerings are second to none!

Do you offer alternative smaller spaces for small gatherings?
We also have our private dining room in the restaurant which holds up to 30 guests. It’s the perfect space for a more intimate wedding where the connecting deck is the perfect place for your ceremony and pre-dinner drinks and canapés.

You offer a wonderful menu with dishes including duck, spanner crab and much more. Where do you source your produce and how often does the menu change?
Our menu can change weekly, even daily depending on what’s available from Wendy’s kitchen garden. This produce is an integral part of the restaurant and what we offer on a daily basis.

Image: Adrian Tuazon Photography

Does the chef have a dish that he can recommend and that guests keep asking for?
This would definitely be the pork jowl and pickled rhubarb dish that is on at the moment.

If we are booking our reception with you for Winter 2020 for example, how can we be assured of availability of dishes that we love – do you offer menu tastings to the couple?
We do not offer menu tastings but our wedding menus certainly change, depending on the season.

Are you able to advise on wine matching with each course?
We would love to be able to offer guests advice on the best wine match for their chosen menu.

Images: Katie Harmsworth

What attracts couples to Montalto to have their wedding on the Estate?
Guests can’t go past the breathtaking views when they arrive on the estate. No matter where you are, there’s a view. With the opportunity to have both the ceremony and reception in one place it’s not only convenient but a stunning option.

You have a wedding team to assist couples. What are the elements you offer that are unique to your venue?
With several locations to hold your ceremony it’s simply a matter of which one you fall in love with more.

We are happy to arrange meetings with guests as often as required and always available by phone & email. We can recommend the perfect photographer/ celebrant / florist and also assist with arbours and styling if required.

Image: Dan Brannan Photography

A lot of us don’t have a clear idea on how to style our wedding. Are you able to offer fresh ideas to help us with this?
We work with several florists who have made our spaces look amazing dependent on what criteria the guests are after.  We are always happy to see what the guests envisages and help them reach this goal.

Do you coordinate every vendor and detail for the couple?
If couples are happy for us to coordinate the vendors we will.

For out of town wedding guests are you able to recommend accommodation nearby?
We have several properties within a 10-minute radius where we would recommend accommodation.

Images: Adrian Tuazon Photography

What inspires you and the team at Montalto everyday to strive to showcase this lovely venue and all that the Estate has to offer?
With breathtaking views, various ceremony options, stunning food and delectable wine, why wouldn’t you want to get married here?

Any hidden secrets at Red Hill you can recommend?
From to the numerous wineries, breweries, distilleries and the coastal town of Flinders that is only 10 minutes away. There’s so much to do if you have the time. You’ll certainly need to stay in one of the many stunning accommodation options available for both intimate and larger groups.

Image: Adrian Tuazon Photography

Thank you, Anna, for inviting us into the world of Montalto! It’s evident that your venue really cares about its bridal couples and making sure their special days run smoothly. Your food and wine also sounds extremely delicious! No wonder you create such memorable events. To find out more about this superb Red Hill venue, head on over to the Montalto website.

Image in banner: Karon Photography