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7 ultra-luxe venues that will up your wedding game

Warning: having your wedding at one of these digs will make you want to walk down the aisle to Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’.
Or you could body roll, but maybe that’s just us. It sounds far-fetched (Iggy playing, not the killer moves), but we're pretty confident you won’t be able to helping feeling a bit swanky at these boltholes. How do we know? Oh, maybe it’s because these venues put the ‘luxe’ in ultra luxe. It could also be that some are on islands that top many a traveller’s must-visit list, or that others keep company with some of the best five-star hotels in the world. These venues have mastered the art of fancy, and that includes the weddings they host. Welcome to the wedding high-life... don’t be surprised if you never want to leave.

When you want the textbook definition of paradise...

On the northern-most tip of Hamilton Island sits Qualia (say it with us: kwah-lee-ah), a boutique resort that has earned a reputation for delivering on all things luxe. Each of the 60 accommodation pavilions have views of too-blue ocean and secluded sundecks; the Windward Pavilions and the Beach Houses both have private infinity pools. Be prepared to spend your days exploring neighbouring islands, diving with brightly-coloured fish on the Great Barrier Reef or, if a slower pace is more your thing, book in for the spa’s signature treatment, Bularri Yarrul, a hot stone massage using 300-million-year-old stones. Qualia caters for intimate celebrations - swap vows in Hamilton Island’s white timber chapel (or gather on the resort’s lawn if you've got a smaller group) then head to Long Pavilion restaurant where you can make use of the private dining room... or just hire out the entire restaurant. If it’s an al fresco affair you’re seeking, arrange for candlelit tables to be set up by the water’s edge at Pebble Beach, either by the pool or in the restaurant. But the best part about celebrating at Qualia? You don’t have to look for a honeymoon destination – you’re already here. 

When you want city chic...

A glam hotel meets a city setting at Park Hyatt Melbourne. The hotel has four wedding spaces: Trilogy, the Ballroom (above), Cuba Lounge and Fairmont. So, put simply, you’re sure to find a space that matches your style, Pinterest board and guest list. Wedding packages change according to the room, but could include extras like personalised menus, complimentary car parking and a night's accommodation at the hotel. Once you and your bae have said ‘I do’, you can take off on a photography tour around the hotel, as well as the neighbouring Treasury building, Fitzroy Gardens and St Patrick’s Cathedral. Don’t worry, your guests will be just fine sipping bubbly and grazing on canapés at radii, the hotel’s restaurant and bar. Couples who tie the knot at Park Hyatt Melbourne will also enjoy free honeymoon nights at other Hyatt Hotels & Resorts around the world (your total spend goes towards how many nights you’ll receive).

When you want a backdrop that needs no filter...

When it comes to a venue with a view, Southern Ocean Lodge in South Australia has got you covered. Perched on a secluded cliff on Kangaroo Island, the luxury lodge has an uninterrupted outlook over the Southern Ocean and island scrub. For a sophisticated and intimate wedding, this is your place; it’s also your go-to for destination wedding feels without having to break out your passport. The Lodge only caters for small wedding groups, and your wedding party will need to snag a cluster of suites (check out the website for its policies). In your suites, expect to find king-size beds, sunken lounges, glass-walled bathrooms and an outdoor terrace, complete with day bed. When you’ve had your fill of taking in that view (it may be a while), mosey over to the lodge’s Restaurant, which serves up a regularly-changing menu and produce-to-plate fare. Of course, let’s not forget the spa – because, you know, staying at ultra-luxe digs can be hard work – which offers a pamper-perfect treatment menu, Indigenous healing rituals and beauty products made from local Kangaroo Island ingredients. 

When you want top-notch fare close to the water...

There’s no mistaking where you are once you’ve looked out the floor-to-ceiling windows at Quay – both Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are just across the water. Foodie couples will be well-acquainted with this award-winning restaurant from Peter Gilmore, who boasts both impressive culinary credentials and a number of gongs tucked up the sleeve of his chef whites. You’ll have three spaces to choose from at Quay: the Upper Tower, the Green Room and the restaurant. The Upper Tower delivers on wow factor, with a 250-degree view of the harbour and room for 32 guests. On the second floor is the Green Room, which comes complete with two spacious terraces, while the restaurant has a versatile floor plan (read: there’s room for a dance floor) and the option to use the Upper Tower for pre-dinner drinks and canapés. Which space to take advantage of isn’t the only choice you’ll have to make with your Quay wedding. Picking a menu, be it sit-down or cocktail, is a decision that warrants just as much time – expect offerings such as jamon and truffle butter crostini, congee of mud crab, steamed pink snapper with shaved southern squid, and seven-texture Valrhona chocolate cake.

When you want need-for-nothing digs...

What do you get with a wedding at Maitraya Private Retreat in Albany? Oh, you know, just  access to 500 acres of secluded bushland, a white-sand beach, a sprawling residence that sleeps 16, an indoor heated pool, a swimming lagoon, lake, tennis court and even a putting green. Will you want to make a permanent move to Maitraya? Probably, yes. You can opt to hire the retreat for your ceremony only, but one glimpse at these digs will make you want to have your reception here too. Maitraya also takes care of your grand arrival – the estate boasts both a private airstrip and a helipad. You know, for when your equally fancy friends want to touch down. The team at Maitraya will be on hand to help organise your other wedding suppliers too, and have contacts with chefs and caterers, photographers, nanny services, beauty therapists, marquee hire and celebrants.  

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You can have these digs all to yourself.

When you want to tie the knot like an A-lister...

For a splash of glam out of the CBD, head to InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, which, after a fancy-pants facelift, is one of Sydney’s hottest digs. Once the Ritz Carlton (where the likes of Madonna and Elton John have holed up in the past), the revamped hotel is all about delivering the kind of luxury that never goes out of style. The 140 rooms and suites have everything you need in the days before, and after, you say 'I do'. And there are more than a dozen wedding locations available, including the pillarless Grand Ballroom. This opulent space can accommodate 350 guests, so you can even invite your neighbour's sister's best friend's boyfriend. The hotel also has a rooftop pool, perfect for donning oversized designer sunglasses and topping up your tan, an intimate restaurant and a chic bar.

When you want classic luxury...

For a venue sure to receive the ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s of your guests, Chateau Yering in the Yarra Valley could be your go-to. This historic homestead sits smack-bang on a 250-acre estate and boasts 32 beautiful suites, guest lounges dotted with antique furniture, an award-winning fine-dining restaurant and heritage-listed gardens. If that wasn’t tempting enough, Chateau Yering also makes one mighty fine wedding venue. Take advantage of the gorgeous gardens by having an outdoor ceremony (fear not, there are wet weather options too) before making for the elegant Oak Room for your reception. The Oak Room is a super versatile space for weddings and has a flexible floor plan that can be altered to suit a formal sit-down dinner or casual cocktail celebration. Chateau Yering offer a handful of dining and sommelier-designed beverage packages, too. To kick your wedding up a notch, arrange for swanky extras like a dance floor, candy buffet, and croquet and bocce.

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