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Venue spotlight: Vintage and rustic

Laura Peppas

From historic buildings to modern wine bars, Canberra is full of hidden treasures when it comes to “outside the box” venues for your reception or ceremony.   

PARLOUR, NEWACTON

Dana_Henry_Rock_275-2 (1)DanODay_

Photo: Dan O’Day Photography

Nestled in the hip NewActon precinct, Parlour has a retro charm that draws you in from the minute you walk inside. Its setting is eclectic and elegant, making it the ideal spot for couples after an intimate and unique event.

PERFECT FOR

Couples looking for an event with flair and a touch of decadence.

“Couples can recite their vows on the outdoor lawns under the shade of an oak tree and celebrate into the evening with a cocktail or degustation-style wedding reception bursting with great food and wine,” says Parlour’s manager and events coordinator, Abby.

Photo: by Dan O'Day Photography

Photo: Dan O’Day Photography

OFFERINGS 

“We can help couples host their wedding from start to finish,” says Abby. “Planning starts with the menu, with the venue working with the couple to put together an individualised food and beverage menu which suits each couple’s needs and budget.” 

But with Parlour, the experience goes beyond the venue’s front door.

“We can help connect them with NewActon’s hotels, hair salons and day spa—all at Parlour’s doorstep—as well as Canberra’s most sought after photographers, florists and designer decorators. 

Abby says the lawns outside Parlour also provide the perfect location for a ceremony. 

“To book out the venue exclusively for a wedding day, we charge a minimum spend for the booking, which includes the entire food and beverage package, use of the space for the day, and does not include a room hire fee per se,” she says. “We do not add charges just because you are putting the word ‘wedding’ in front of the word ‘party.’” 

Dana_Henry_Parlour_DanODay

Photo: Dan O’Day Photography

CAPACITY

Function sizes range from 10 to 220 people. Parlour can accommodate around 200 people for a canapé/cocktail event and up to 60 for a sit-down event.

COST

Minimum spends for each day of the week are: Monday to Thursday $5,000; Friday/Saturday $10,000; Sunday: $6,000. 

Find out more: parlour.net.au

AINSLIE AND GORMAN ARTS CENTRES 

As two of Canberra’s heritage listed venues, Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres offer a distinctive and intimate setting for a wedding. 

Photo by Margan Photography

Photo by Margan Photography

PERFECT FOR

Couples craving a flexible space they can make their own, with beautiful garden options for drinks and canapés or ceremonies.

“The heritage building is a big drawcard for people – they have a connection to the place, they might have come to the markets or had music classes as a child, so it’s a part of their history and they want to come back,” says Event Coordinator Elizabeth Curry.

OFFERINGS

Couples can choose to hold their wedding reception at either of the newly refurbished Gorman or Ainslie Arts Centres. 

For outdoor ceremony or alfresco canapés and drinks, there’s a choice of two courtyards in the gardens at Gorman, or the grounds at Ainslie. A wet weather venue is an alternative included in the cost, saving couples the stress of constantly checking their Bureau of Meteorology app.

Photo by Andrew Sikorski

Photo by Andrew Sikorski

“On the big day, one of our staff members will be there for the entire time of hire to troubleshoot and help ensure everything runs smoothly,” says Elizabeth. 

“Other than that the couple are free to organise the styling and catering themselves, which means that every wedding that we’ve had has been completely unique and reflects the couple.”

CAPACITY

Gorman can seat 80 people in the main hall, while Ainslie holds approximately 160 people with a dancefloor.

COSTS

Venue hire for a wedding ceremony is $990. Venue hire for a reception (not including catering) ranges between $1400 and $3300, depending on whether it’s held during the day or evening, or indoors or outdoors.

Find out more: agac.com.au/space-hire/weddings

ELM GROVE

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Quietly nestled behind the northern suburbs of Canberra, this private, heritage listed property is the perfect combination of natural ‘remote’ beauty just minutes to ‘town’.

PERFECT FOR

Brides and grooms-to-be who are after an exclusive elegant vintage-style setting (with the option of a helicopter arrival!). 

OFFERINGS

Elm Grove offers exclusive use of the property for their ceremony and wedding photographs. Owner and Manager Yukari describes it as a “stunning property with a large array of photo opportunities. Couples can arrive in a helicopter, horse and carriage, trucks or wedding cars!”

“When on the property, people feel like they are somewhere very remote but it’s just minutes to town. Its natural beauty and wildlife has couples and guests feeling relaxed and in awe of what’s right on their doorstep.”

The Elm Grove team can set up all necessary items for ceremonies, including 28 white wedding chairs, a vintage signing table with linen and access to a Bluetooth speaker system and microphone. 

“As we pride ourselves on ensuring the day runs smoothly, the package also includes a one-hour rehearsal with the couple’s bridal party and celebrant prior to the wedding day,” Yukari says. 

“Couples can choose either a marquee or tipi for their reception,” says Yukari.

“They can also choose their own caterer that suits their needs and budget.”

Elm Grove

CAPACITY

Elm Grove caters for a maximum of 100 people for their receptions.

COST

ElmGrove_01

Elm Grove offer wedding ceremonies for $880, which includes the use of the private, heritage-listed property for up to two hours (additional time can be arranged). 

They also offer a helicopter arrival, with prices starting at approximately $600 on top of the ceremony price of $880. Ceremonies can be held under the majestic elm trees.” 

Elm Grove can also host wedding receptions from $3,300 which includes the ceremony, the hire of toilets, power, water and insurances. 

Find out more: elmgrovecanberra.com.au

TUGGERANONG HOMESTEAD

Tuggeranong_homestead_3

Photo: Keepsake by The Keeffes

Tucked away in the south side of Canberra, this property has everything you need for a charmingly rustic outdoor or indoor wedding.

PERFECT FOR

Couples who love heritage and history, and who want a vintage or rustic wedding. 

OFFERINGS 

The 70-acre Tuggeranong Homestead property features several different options including the sandstone paved cafe garden, barn, gardens, old school house, machinery shed, shearing sheds and homestead. 

“Ceremonies can be held under our famous 120-year-old oak and elm trees or in the garden or bandstand,” says the venue’s director Ann. “Receptions are usually held in our machinery shed with a marquee, or the homestead itself.”

“Our cattle can join in on the photos or some couples sit on the hay bales and make couches out them: we’ve also had a few picnic weddings and we are pet-friendly.”

Photo: Keepsake by the Keefes

Photo: Keepsake by the Keeffes

The property has a marquee that can be set up beside the machinery shed (included in the price), so couples get the best of both indoor and outdoor worlds.

“This gives views over the old-school house, gardens, the paddocks and the dam. We also encourage people to have croquet, a mechanical bucking bull or other activities at their wedding, as it’s quite a big area. Couples can really put their own stamp on their big day.” 

The Homestead has its own commercial kitchen, with some produce grown on site and the rest sourced from local markets.   

“We’re renowned for quality food in generous serves, and it’s wholesome and fresh,” says Ann.

Photo: Keepsake by the Keefes

Photo: Keepsake by the Keeffes

CAPACITY

The homestead can cater for 200 guests for roving canapés or if couples opt for a sit-down buffet, then 150 guests can fit comfortably in the machinery shed.

COST

To hire the property for the whole day (from 9am), including for the ceremony, the cost is $3,500. The homestead can also offer a canapé package from $25 per head, or a canapé and main meal/buffet package for $88 a head (with dessert optional) and there is a minimal tablecloth cleaning fee – so there are only three costs all up. 

Find out more: tuggeranonghomestead.com.au/weddings

This is a sponsored editorial. You can find out more about sponsored editorials here

This article originally appeared as part in UNVEILED Issue Two for Autumn/Winter 2017. Read it now here.

UNVEILED

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Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra’s senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra’s wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she’s not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea.

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