If you're planning a wedding in Sydney and looking for a wedding venue you are going to be spoiled for choice. Being a wedding photographer in Sydney, I've seen hundreds of wedding venues. I'm always being asked where my favourite venues are and why.
I love weddings where everything is in the one spot. There are beautiful venues in Sydney that can accommodate the ceremony, the location photos and the reception.
I've often said that the most difficult part of a wedding is the logistics. Getting from one place to another can be stressful and time consuming. Time that could be better spent hanging out with your guests or being able to allow more time for the location photos.
So if you can combine the different sections of your wedding into the one venue its an absolute win win situation. Plus your guests can arrive at your wedding ceremony and won't need transport again until they're going home after the reception ends.
So my Top 3 favourite places to shoot at that incorporate all the elements of the day are as follows.
1. Dunbar House.
Dunbar House is a beautiful heritage building in Watson's Bay, Sydney. Its located right on the water and wedding ceremonies can be held outside the front of the venue under a huge old fig tree with full water views of the harbour and the small beach in front. If it's raining there is a back up option of having the ceremony inside Dunbar House while still maintaining the water views through the windows that expand across the front of the house.
You can have your photos afterwards right outside on the beach or in the park. Another photo location option is Camp Cove which is a two minute drive away from Dunbar House. Camp Cove is one of my favourite wedding photo location spots in Sydney and you can read all about it here in my previous blog post about my favourite location spots.
Guests can enjoy canapes and drinks on the balcony upstairs while you're away getting your photos done.
If you choose to have your ceremony elsewhere you can still use Dunbar House as the wedding reception venue.
If you'd like to check out Dunbar House, you can view their website at www.dunbarhouse.com.au
2. Sergeant's Mess.
Sergeant's Mess has fantastic harbour views. Its on the hill directly above the harbour right next to Chowder Bay, Mosman.
They have a terraced lawn area outside which is a perfect location for wedding ceremony's. Guests can watch you get married with an expansive view of Sydney harbour as the backdrop. There is also a backup plan of having the ceremony inside or on the balcony in case of rainy weather.
Photo locations at Chowder Bay Beach, the Jetty and a small bush track are located within walking distance from Sergeant's Mess. Guests can enjoy the views from the balcony with drinks and canapes while you're having your photo session.
Bradley's Head and Balmoral Beach are both a short drive away if you prefer.
You can check out the Sergeant's Mess website at www.sergeantsmess.com.au
3. Gunners Barracks
There are three different choices of where you can have your ceremony at Gunners Barracks. Two different lawns with different harbour views or the Gunners Barracks Courtyard. One lawn on top of the headland has 180 degree views from the Gap, right around to the City. The other lawn also has harbour views and a heritage sandstone retaining wall, which in itself makes a for a great backdrop for some photos afterwards.
Photo locations within a one minute walking distance include a bush walking track with amazing afternoon light. The lookout which has full harbour views and views of the venue itself, once again with great light in the late afternoon. There's also the downstairs lawn with the heritage sandstone wall and doorway.
Straight after the ceremony guests can relax with drinks and chat while checking out the harbour views provided at Gunners Barracks.
Take a look at Gunners Barracks on their website. www.gunnersbarracks.com.au
So there you go. They're my Top 3 favourite venues that can also accommodate ceremony's and have great photo locations close by. I tend to find couples are more relaxed when everything is in the one place. Sometimes, obviously this isn't possible, for instance if you want a church wedding or a ceremony in a specific place. All of these venues can cater just for the reception component of your day. You don't necessarily have to do the ceremony or location photos there if you don't want to. Your day, your way...