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From beaches to rooftops and from city to country, we’ve rounded up 17 brand new (or beautifully revamped) wedding ceremony and/or reception venues from right around Australia! Some of these diverse event spaces and locations may even take your fancy as your bridal shower, hen’s or buck’s party venue too.

1. Cropley House – Baulkham Hills, New South Wales

Set upon five sprawling acres of parkland, this 1920’s Georgian revival mansion was once a boarding school. Now it’s a dream wedding ceremony and reception venue for couples seeking understated elegance (with the smattering of chandeliers – because sometimes a little glitz is in order). Cropley House boasts two ballrooms named for royalty, indoor and outdoor ceremony options and a charming rose garden.

Capacity: 160 seated

2. The Aviary – Southbank, Victoria

There’s now a glasshouse atop Crown in Melbourne. With such a location, city skyline, Yarra River views and lush rooftops lawns, are simply gilding the lily that is the Aviary. The transparent structure is fully air conditioned and heated to contend with the city’s notorious fickle weather, while allowing an unobscured, outdoorsy feel. Imagine dining and dancing under blue skies or glinting stars with no fear of a little rain dampening your wedding day.

Capacity: 400 seated, 550 cocktail

3. Whitesands – Shoal Bay, New South Wales

Neighbouring and family to the Shoal Bay Country Club, Whitesands offer multiple spaces for weddings of most sizes. Plus there’s the convenience of a toes-in-the-sand or wharf ceremony mere steps away. The venue is awash in white and natural hues, in keeping with coastal surrounds, for relaxed, beachy weddings with a good dose of timeless style.

Capacity: 600 standing

4. Isabella Fraser Room – Melbourne, Victoria

Named after the historic State Library of Victoria’s first known staff member, the Isabella Fraser Room has just been opened to the public. This gallery style space is a bit of a blank canvas. It’s flooded with natural light from over-sized windows and blessed with lofty ceilings. Showtime Event Group can help you transform it for your dream day.

Capacity: 200 seated, 220 standing

5. Loyal Hope – Fortitude Valley, Queensland

The 1920s facade of Loyal Hope of the Valley is charming. But just wait until you get a peek inside! The county hall style exterior hides an interior of polished old world style. You get to enjoy the entire venue – with its shiny floorboards, tall ceilings and restored lustre – all to yourselves. You’ll find us at the subtly glamorous, glossy green-tiled bar, of course!

Capacity – 80 seated, 100 standing

6. The Atrium – South Yarra, Victoria

A grand, cathedral-syle glasshouse with lush garden views that houses a sumptuous menu by Blake’s Feast sounds like the makings of a good party to us. But this Atrium is here for a good time, not a long time. Popping up on Dog Flat within the Royal Botanic Gardens for half of this December 2019 only, you’d better get in snappy quick if you like the idea of being wed here.

Capacity – 240 seated, 350 standing

7. The Lushington – Woolloongabba, Queensland

It’s right there in the name. This industrial, warehouse style wedding venue can look pretty lush. At The Lushington, there’s plenty of space available to style exactly as you dream your day to be…or to reserve for dancing. If the warmth of exposed bricks and beams, polished concrete and lofty ceilings appeal, this one just might be for you. Photography: Kate Robinson

Capacity – 200 seated, 400 standing

8. The Houses – Brisbane, Queensland

Howard Smith Wharves have opened up not one but four new event spaces. Collectively dubbed “The Houses” each space is named after a garden element and each has its own individual styling. Bougainvillea is largest decked out in fancy French oak, aged zinc and marble. The next is Greenhouse with its breezy English glasshouse style. The Citrus and Wisteria spaces are smaller perhaps suited to your bridal shower or an intimate morning after brunch.

Capacity – 200 standing

9. Bannisters Port Stephens – Soldiers Point, New South Wales

Capture that “away on honeymoon” feeling early with a wedding at the new Bannister’s hotel in Port Stephens. Here there two spaces to choose from; the Rick Stein restaurant (hello, seafood reception feast) or the glamorous poolside Terrace Bar.

Capacity – 180 seated, 200 standing

10. Freedom Shores – Woodwark, Queensland

A secluded tropical wedding ceremony and reception is always a good idea. Freedom Shores has the pristine beach, lapping waves and swaying palms to bring this vision to life, all just a short distance from the hub of Airlie Beach. Now to swap ‘I dos’ upon rolling landscaped lawns surrounded by bushland or a private beach, kissing the Coral Sea?

Capacity – 120 seated

11. Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park – Sydney, New South Wales

Facing the manicured greenery of Hyde Park, Sheraton Grand Sydney is available for weddings of distinction. They’ve got a range of private spaces and no less than three ballrooms to consider for your special day – including the Grand Ballroom which can host the most epic of celebrations along with the hordes of special guests that come with them.

Capacity – 530 seated, 900 standing

11. The Calile – Fortitude Valley, Queensland

Is your wedding style cocktails and canapés by the pool or on a rooftop (if so, please invite us)? Or is a deluxe ballroom more your speed? This Brisbane hotel can offer both. Best of all, they offer a spa service prior to your happy walk down the aisle and a pool cabana for two awaiting you the next morning… Photography: Sean Fennessy

Capacity – 300 seated, 500 standing

12. Robertson Park – Watson Bay, New South Wales

Can’t decide between mansion, ocean bay or park views for your outdoor marriage ceremony? You don’t have to choose at Robertson Park, just outside of Dunbar House. This lawn features a shady Moreton Bay Fig tree said to bring peace, abundance and – watch out – fertility. What a perfect excuse for an intimate picnic instead of a huge reception. Photography: Ann Marie Yuen & Studio Zanetti

13. The Savoy on Little Collins – Melbourne, Victoria

With a self-proclaimed “old world charm” to its Victorian-era exterior and covetable Art Deco interiors, the new Savoy is a refined wedding destination amid the hustle and bustle of the city. This is a space where Champagne towers, tinkling piano and dedicated concierges for the bridal couple are certainly at home.

Capacity – 160 seated, 320 standing

14. Daydream Island Resort – Whitsundays Islands, Queensland

Many a bride and groom-to-be’s dream wedding (or elopement) destination is finally back! Fully recovered from tropical cyclone Debbie, Daydream Island is now taking bookings for tropical weddings as it reopens, refurbished and better than ever. You could even be married in an underwater observatory as marine life swims all around you!

Capacity – 200 seated, 250 standing

15. Sunset Terrace – Scarbourough, Western Australia

An expansive Indian Ocean vista is only the beginning of the benefits of hosting your wedding at the Sunset Terrace, new to Scarboro Function Centre. Fresh air, fairy floss sunsets and having Scarborough Beach mere moments away are all bonuses.

Capacity – 150 seated, 250 standing

16. Altar Electric – Collingwood, Victoria

The rockin’ and rollin’-est little chapel in town has found a permanent home at School House Studios. Taking inspiration from Las Vegas-style wedding ceremonies, the Altar Electric’s weddings are intended to be fuss free yet still festive and fun. And now they’ve got lounge-y, neon-accented space for your reception too…spangly Elvis impersonator optional (though we thoroughly recommend it).

Capacity – 20(ish) party-people

17. Sperry Tent – South Yarra, Victoria

If you miss out on the rather small availability window to book the aforementioned Atrium, then Blake’s Feast is now also offering a Sperry Tent. Also hosted within Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, this stylish marquee is the grandest looking tent you ever did see. Photography: Dean Bradley

Capacity – 250 standing

If you’re still looking for your perfect wedding venue, then here are even more beauties!

Ms Zebra Says: What a great list of potential venues! From beachside to city, everyone and every theme has got a place – thanks Ms Fleur De Lys for gathering this great list!

About Ms Fleur De Lys: Aside from being Ms Polka’s Editorial Assistant, Ms Fleur de Lys is also Polka Dot Bride’s Melbourne correspondent so you’ll see her running all over town finding wedding inspiration. As both a lifestyle journalist and cocktail aficionado, Fleur appreciates the power of words whipped up as deftly as a good martini.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are part of the Polka Dot directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

We are huge fans of live music and the special energy and atmosphere it brings to a wedding. Today we chat to Renee Anderson of band Tobi Tobi who is no stranger to weddings, having performed at oh-so many and can be booked out years in advance! The two-piece of Tobi Tobi is made up of Renee on guitar and vocals and Jamie Barlow on double bass. They are Melbourne-based but love to travel, and even played at The Bachelor’s Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich’s wedding at Masseria Potenti, a classic Italian villa in Puglia. Renee’s passion for what she does, her industry, for weddings and for LOVE really shines through in this interview, and reminds us not to overlook the power of music and what it can add to your big day.

Describe Tobi Tobi in three words…
Ohhh, this is fun already… I’ll be back after I consult my Thesaurus…

Lovesome – I can’t believe this is a word but it means inspiring love, loveable, I think that’s what we do at weddings, make people feel extra love. They don’t need to love more, but sometimes brides need to snap out of the organisation mode they have just spent weeks, months or years in and snap into the moment. Music can do that.

Hardworking – this one is a touch boring after the last one, but I am extremely hard working, I am on my email, all day, learning songs, writing songs. I love it though!

Friendly – we are just two silly goats who love what we do.

Image by Lost in Love Photography

How did Tobi Tobi start and what has it become since then?
Well, I was singing at a pub in Ascot Vale and I had been for, I think, four years (I was rapidly becoming a part of the furniture). Anyway, a lovely girl named Georgia asked if I could play at her wedding. I mentioned that my partner Jamie played double bass and she loved that idea. It was THE PERFECT start, but it set the bar high. Jamie and I sat in the middle of a dam on a dock, surrounded by lush green, playing to the guests up on the bank. ‘Twas gorgeous! I thought to myself, “I want to do this, alllll the timeeeeee!”

How do couples book you for their wedding? What’s the process?
They usually shoot us through an email to [email protected]! Then we send our packages page and go from there!

Do you book out quickly? When should couples book you in if they want you to play at their wedding?
Yes, yes, please contact us ASAP if you would like us to be a part of it. Sometimes we are booked two years in advance. Other times couples are lucky and we just happen to have that day free only a few months in advance. I guess it’s hard because sometimes couples don’t find us until later on in the process, but whenever you know you want us please do reach out and hopefully we are free on your date.

Image by Lost in Love Photography

What kind of input do couples have in the song choices for their wedding?
Couples have as much or as little input as they would like. We send every couple our song list and sometimes couples highlight the songs they like, sometimes they leave it up to us, other times we get specific set orders like “play this song, then this, then this song”. We like alllllll the ways. We love it when couples suggest their own songs for the special moments, however, we always ask that couples trust us.  If we don’t think it’s going to be special enough, we will tell you. We do try our best though to make it work and often times the suggestion turns out great!

What are your favourite songs to play at a ceremony?
‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ by Elvis, ‘Be My Baby’ by The Ronnetts, ‘First Day of My Life’ by Bright Eyes,  ‘Cavalier’ by James Vincent McMorrow, ‘To Build a Home’ by Cinematic Orchestra, and ‘The Blower’s Daughter’ by Damien Rice.

What about at the reception?
We are quite often only involved in ceremonies and canapés. We always recommend either a full band or a DJ to follow us in the reception spot! Receptions are so fun but I am a full-blown nana and love to be in bed by 10pm. Ha!

Do you take requests from guests?
I love a good request. It’s so nice when people come up and say, “Hi, you remind me of such and such, can you play this song?” And it’s extra nice when we know the song and we can play it for them!

Image by Erin and Tara

Why is good music so important to a wedding?
People spend so much money on flowers, layout and venue etc (all important), and quite often music is the last thing on their minds. However, this is changing heaps – in the last year I have had people contacting us first to ask what dates we are free, and god I love those emails.

The music is like the vibe or veil that falls over your day, it creates or adds to the atmosphere. Think about when you’re standing in your kitchen and your favourite song comes on and you start dancing around or singing or maybe you just feel happy. Those feels are what music adds to the day.

I always say to couples, “If you are not going to choose us, that is so so fine, but please consider live music, especially during your ceremony.” I have had numerous celebrants tell me, “It’s just so much better with live music”. Clicking play on an iPod honestly can be clunky and, no offence to the beautiful celebrants in this world, but their speakers are usually only perfect for a voice running through it. So, you have this stunning location, ridiculously beautiful bride holding romantic flowers, then blerrrggggh! A song from an iPod coming crackling through this tiny speaker – it’s just a buzz kill!

If you’re deadset on a song you have loved for all your life and want that exact Beyoncé version, then bring or organise your own sound system and get your Uncle Bob to stand there and fade in and fade out. Also make sure all the songs are downloaded to your phone!

Image by Lost in Love Photography

Are there any venues you work closely with or have played at numerous times?
Yes, we love Stones of the Yarra Valley, they run like clockwork and all the staff are delightful. We play there once every few weeks and music sounds THE BEST in their chapel! Also, really loving the warm and rustic feel of Zonzo. Rupert on Rupert is cool, and Glasshaus in Richmond. Ohhh, also Barunah Plains. That place is just wonderful.

What’s been your favourite wedding venue so far?
Gosh, this is an impossible question. Well, I am going to mention a few. Stones of the Yarra Valley, Villa Passerini in Cortona, Belmond Hotel Caruso on the Amalfi Coast – there are no words for this place. La Badia in Orvieto – the grand video of us playing in the church was taken there by the wonderful photographer Katie Grant. I also adore Jackalope and Masseria Potenti. Everywhere can be so nice though with a few little touches!

Have you noticed if your band plays at a particular style of wedding more than others?
Hmm, you would think this! However, I would have to say no. I think because we play most styles from different eras it makes us sort of adaptable. I am glad because it keeps things interesting; one wedding will be loving the pop classics like Ed Sheeran, the next will be all about Nick Cave and Bob Dylan. One of my alllll time fave weddings was on a rooftop in Denmark. This couple chose a small group of people, I think there may have been 20 or so attending and we played classics from the 90s and early 2000s, like ‘Kissing You’ by Des’ree. There was a little bonfire and the couples all stood around us hugging and slow dancing and watching us. It was like a private concert.

You’re based in Melbourne but travel the world. Tell us about some of the overseas weddings you’ve been a part of…
I love all the weddings, do not get me wrong, but there is something very special about having your family and friends with you in the same town, possibly exploring, but most likely just hanging out in some Tuscan villa. It means the wedding day is super comfortable, because everyone has already met and hung out in the days before. I remember every single overseas wedding and I think we have played over 15 or so now.

Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich’s wedding was pretty special, in one of my favourite ever wedding venues – Masseria Potenti. It has this rustic sort of Mexican feel, there are cactuses up against beautiful white walls, gorgeous rugs in the hallways and on the floors of all the rooms, dusty orange tiles… Music wise, Tim was all over it. He wanted the ‘The Blower’s Daughter’ by Damian Rice and they used our version of it in the wondrous video by Moon and Back seen here.

Anna was the chillest bride. I asked her what song she wanted for her bridesmaids to walk down the aisle to and she was pretty much like, “Oh, whatever you think, lovely!” So we sang ‘Come Away with Me’ by Norah Jones for her bridesmaids then ‘The Blower’s Daughter’ for her.  Then we played a canapé set and their first dance later on in the evening. THEN we drove 10 hours to our next gig in France. Face palm, but we love it!

Image by Bayleigh Vedelago

The next one that immediately comes to mind was Amila and Robbie’s on the Amalfi Coast. Talk about OTT in an amazing and classy way. They started their wedding at the Grand Hotel Conventi in what I guess you would call ruins of a church on top of a cliff, with a hotel attached to it below. They then put everyone on a bus and headed to Belmond Hotel Caruso – and honestly, I think I left some of my heart there it was so beautiful. There is one of those fancy pools that doesn’t have an edge, looking out over the magical cliffs of Amalfi. There are so soooo many more but I would be here all day.

Images by Lost in Love Photography

What do you love about playing weddings?
Ohhhhhhhhh, so muchhhh!!!! Mainly, I think I love it because I can see how happy it makes the bride. Sometimes brides will smile at me half way down the aisle and give me a little giggly wave and my heart just melts. Or I can see the tears running down their eyes! I love the atmosphere, everyone is happy on wedding days. I am the most grateful person in the world to get to be a part of the magic and help create some.

Best testimonial you’ve ever received?
This one is pretty special from a pop star in Hong Kong:

Renee & Jamie…. Where do we start? I really wanted to leave a review/feedback for you but didn’t know where! So here I go haha. You two are a beautiful couple, thank you for sharing your music and soulful voice at our wedding. I knew from the first moment I heard you online that you were special and that you sing from a place deep within. I cried the first time I heard you sing, and I teared up again with the music you shared with us on our special day. I thoroughly enjoyed your rendition of I won’t give up, I knew it from the start that you would do an amazing job. Thank you for all the songs you learned for our wedding. Our guests were all raving about your music and your voice. Thank you for making our day extra special 🙂 much love, Robynn & Jon

It’s that much more special because this came from a fellow singer!

You’ve just released a new single called ‘Ice and Rum’ – have you played it at any weddings yet?

OHHHH, no we haven’t! We should though. I think it would suit most people’s weddings. I am so nervous about playing my own songs. Eeek! Okay, I’ma do it!

How do you balance playing weddings, events, shows, releasing music? What do you do in your downtime?
At the moment, it feels like we have zero downtime, but we do love movies. We watch about three a week of all genres. I also love reading, it’s part of the reason I love Europe in the summer, because I finally get a chance to be away from everything and read. The rest of the year I just don’t get time, so I squish as many books in as I can when I’m on working holidays!

Images by Kreativ Wedding and Elk & Willow Photography

What else does 2019 have in store for Tobi Tobi?

We have just hired a publicity company to help get ‘Ice and Rum’ out there so maybe a show or two. Maybe more new singles, more weddings, a few overseas adventures in various countries from May through to August, and just lotsa, lotsa love!

Thank you Renee for sharing Tobi Tobi’s story and so many wonderful wedding tips and memories through your words and videos. What a treat to feature your blissful tunes on Polka Dot Bride! To find out more about Renee, Jamie and their band, head to the Tobi Tobi website.

Headshot courtesy of Lost in Love Photography

The two that got away… D and J eloped from Chicago to Sydney’s Northern Beaches, where the pair celebrated an intimate wedding ceremony surrounded by a flood of sunshine, gently crashing waves and a salty breeze. Exchanging carefully chosen, affectionate words, the two embark on their next journey together – one that was worth waiting 50 years for. Sharing their first dance with sand between their toes and live music in their ears, a small picnic in this serene setting, followed by a stroll past the Sydney Opera House, was all the newlyweds needed to make their reception perfect for them.

Lovereel’s videography team was there to capture the most special souvenir these two lovebirds could take back home – the memory of their wedding day on film.

Ms Zebra Says: I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed a few heartfelt tears watching this gorgeous elopement. Lovereel captured the moment in a stunning tribute to their love!

About Lovereel: With various wedding video options to choose from and all the raw footage at your fingertips, Lovereel offer an affordable yet highly professional wedding videography experience.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are part of the Polka Dot directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

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