Sakura Masthead

Love + Light in Rutherglen

Beatrice Smith

Always dreamed of a country or vineyard wedding?

The chance to explore these fantasies is just one of the reasons to head south to picturesque Rutherglen this February for the very first Love + Light Wedding Festival.

Surrounded by some of the best wine country in Australia (and just four hours drive from Canberra), Rutherglen is a historic town filled with heritage buildings and surrounded by wineries, hatted restaurants, intimate wine bars and venues purpose-built for celebrations. And absolutely perfect for destination weddings.

The Love + Light Wedding Festival was created to showcase the region’s venues, vendors and suppliers, allowing you to envision your special day with everything at your fingertips.

“We want couples to walk away feeling inspired and engaged, knowing exactly where to hold their special ceremony and how it’s going to play out,” explains event founder and wedding photographer Georgie James.

“It’s going to be a tantalising treat that’s fun, engaging, light and exciting.”

Taking place across the weekend of 17 and 18 February, the festival is also the perfect excuse for a romantic getaway and a cheeky glass of wine or two with that someone special.

THE PERFECT VIBE

If you’ve been looking for a destination wedding venue a manageable drive from Canberra, is relaxed yet elegant and with the capacity for insanely good food and wine, look no further.

“While the essential wedding elements of fine wine and superb food are a given in the region, Love + Light will showcase Rutherglen’s new creative pulse,” explains Indigo Shire Council’s tourism manager Susannah Doyle.

“Think edgy styling with a hint of rustica, historic winery venues and secret natural settings, brought together by a collective of talented innovators and artisan services.”

EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE

With all seven participating venues set up as ‘wedding ready’ during the festival, all you have to do is show up. This means you’ll be able to compare which venue is the best fit in real time.

So what can you expect from the venues themselves? Think rustic elegance at John Gehrig Wines, a waterside setting at Lake Moodemere Estate, a ceremony in the vineyard at Tuileries, a reception surrounded by hundred-year-old wine barrels at The Pickled Sisters, an authentic homestead at Olive Hills Estate, an outdoor setting draped in festoon lights at Buller Wines and an actual castle at Mount Ophir Estate. There really is something for every taste.

Click here to browse the participating venues.

MEET THE LOCALS

As one of Australia’s premier wine and food regions, Rutherglen is used to hosting a wedding or two. In fact, a whole host of luxe suppliers catering for every type of celebration have set up shop in the surrounding region, including: Peppermint Studios, Jillian Franklin Designs, Bourke Hire, D&D Letterpress, TipiKata tipis, Dough Re Mi, Blissful Love, Little Red Robyn and more.

These photographers, stylists, florists, celebrants, caterers, cake suppliers and dress designers will be there across the weekend so you can touch, taste and smell their offerings and get to know the people behind the products.

Take a look at the vendors here.

TAKE YOUR TIME

While Rutherglen is just a four-hour drive away, don’t worry if you’re not able to get away from Canberra on Friday—you won’t miss a thing! The weekend will kick off on Saturday night with a runway show followed by a full day on Sunday with all the venues decked out in their celebratory best.

 

 

BUT. If you are able to drive up on Friday, why not spend Saturday morning exploring the countryside or popping into a cellar door or two? Did we mention that it’s the weekend after Valentine’s Day (belated celebration, anyone?) If you need more inspiration, check out our Rutherglen trail.

EVERYONE’S INVITED

While Love + Light will be carefully curated (just like your big day) don’t hold back when inviting along your bridal party or anyone else whose opinion is important. The more the merrier!

There are group booking ticket specials for the festival and plenty of fantastic group activities across Rutherglen including cafes for brunch, galleries, restaurants, cycling tours, farmers markets and a sleek wine bar on the main street.

the essentials

What: Love + Light Wedding Festival
When: Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February 2018
Where: Various locations across Rutherglen, North East Victoria, four hours from Canberra. Albury Airport also has flights from Canberra
Cost: $25. Group ticketing options available
Book your tickets now: loveandlightweddingfairs.com.au

All photography: Georgie James Photography

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Editorial Coordinator involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise you’ll find her at the movies, ordering a cheese board or ordering a cheese board at the movies. More about the Author