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7 venues with private dining rooms... cue the intimate feels

Fact: there is no hard and fast rule about how many guests you need to invite to your wedding. 
Because while big parties are fun, sometimes a wedding with a guest list over the 100 mark just isn’t for everyone. Intimate weddings (and when we say intimate, we mean less than 30 guests) are on the rise, not just for fuss-free couples but also for those who want a menu with mouth-watering food and are prepared to cut numbers to get it. There are some other perks that come with having a low-key wedding, too. Firstly, you won't have to negotiate a super complicated seating chart and worry about where to seat your aunt's cousin's daughter's boyfriend. A cosier venue also means less space to decorate, so if the term 'DIY' makes you break out in a cold sweat, a private dining room will be much easier to manage. Then there's the fact that fewer guests means you'll be able to spend more time with those you do invite. To help you suss out if an intimate wedding might be for you, we've found seven venues that offer both private dining rooms and larger spaces - just in case you change your mind!

For a space like nothing you've ever seen before...

There’s no mistaking where the Butterfly Room at Adelaide's Singapore House gets its name. Spoiler alert: the walls are covered with more than 500 framed butterflies. The Butterfly Room is the venue’s private room (there is a semi-private space too, The Green Room) and has a flexible floor plan for up to 30 guests, so both an oh-so trendy long table or traditional split tables can be accommodated. The rest of the venue is just as unique, with dark wooden furniture, quirky light fittings and a scattering of Oriental-inspired kit. If the thought of having your reception in such a unique space wasn’t enough, then maybe the menu will get you across the line. The food here is a blend of several Asian cuisines; set menus and banquet offerings are available. 

For a venue that'll never go out of style...

The private dining room at ARIA Brisbane is classic and elegant; it also happens to have a gorgeous outlook to the Story Bridge. The space can be screened off from the main dining area by folding timber-panelled doors, and can accommodate 40 guests for a seated event or 60 in a cocktail setting. When it comes to the food, you won’t be disappointed. Choose between a tailored three-course menu or a spectacular seven-course degustation menu, with matching wines. Canapés more your thing? Expect to pick from a menu that includes pea cigar with pecorino and onion; quail scotch egg with harissa dressing; and snapper and leek croquettes. 

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For a French flair...

You won’t be able to help feeling a little bit sophisticated when you pass along the details of your reception at Ananas Bar and Brasserie in Sydney to your guests. That’s a big call, sure, but when the private dining area is dubbed Le Salon, it’d be hard not to feel posh when you hold your celebration here. For one thing, there’s the location: The Rocks, an area as famous for its glitzy residents as it is for its views. Secondly, there’s Le Salon’s good looks: this opulent space, curtained off from the buzz of the main restaurant, will make you feel as though you’re in a chic Parisian bistro, not smack-bang in Sydney’s peak tourist precinct.  

For a beachside beauty...

For a venue called Public Dining Room to have a private dining room seems a bit contradictory, right? Wrong, because that’s exactly what this Balmoral space offers. There’s also an outdoor terrace that could make the ideal area to mingle with your nearest and dearest before you move into the dining room for a gourmet feast. The private dining room can seat 30 guests and has panoramic views overlooking Balmoral Baths. Those with their hearts set on a beach ceremony are in luck: Public Dining Room is right on the foreshore, so it’s as close as you can get without your feet hitting the sand. That means that making the trek from ceremony to reception is only a matter of a few metres. 

For a hip drinking den...

Oenophiles, rejoice! This could be your dream wedding venue. The Must Wine Bar is a stone's throw from Perth's CBD and home to an award-winning wine list. The team here understand that a venue has the potential to make or break the success of any function, not just wedding receptions, so extra care has been taken to make sure everything here is world-class. Must Wine Bar boasts two beautifully appointed spaces: the Champagne Lounge and the Private Dining Room. The Champagne Lounge is a decadent area that sits above the venue's happening bistro; it has a gold and brocade themed interior and glittering chandeliers. The Private Dining Room is on the mezzanine level of Must Wine Bar and is a versatile space, with a layout that can accommodate a handful of different table arrangements. From the room you can catch of glimpse into the action-packed kitchen and bar or, if you want total privacy, the space can be screened off with sliding doors. 

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For a lovely loft...

A warehouse feel and Flinders Lane perch make Papa Goose unmistakably Melburnian. Inside, this venue is welcoming and warm, with dangling lightbulbs and timber accents. The main dining room is on the ground floor and can cater for events of 85 people. The Papa Goose Private Dining Room is also on the ground floor and works for smaller groups. It has exposed brick walks, a glass panelled wall and amber pendant bulbs. Upstairs, you’ll find a larger (but not too large) space: the Mary Fortune Private Dining Room. This room sits next to the Mary Fortune bar and has a glass feature wall, which looks through to stacked wine bottles. It also has access to an exclusive outdoor alcove. 

For a classic vineyard setting...

Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove is your chance to add a splash of Mediterranean style to your big day, from a venue perched on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula. The private dining room takes up a sizeable chunk (one quarter, if we’re being technical) of the main dining space and is partitioned off with glass and floor-to-ceiling folding doors. Oh, it has views over the estate too, and exclusive access to Montalto’s outdoor deck. There are three different function packages available, ranging from a silver offering to a luxe platinum package. You’ll be able to choose a menu that’s tailored to your tastebuds, and on the day you and your guests will be treated to your own dedicated waitstaff.

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