How do you take your wedding photos up a level? It’s not with great lighting (although that helps too) – it’s having an amazing backdrop.
Yes, you and your partner are important too, but there's something about city/beach/forest views that will make your photos even more fridge-worthy. Chalk it up to the power of Mother Nature. Now, we happen to be super lucky in Australia because couples are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing what views they'd like. Want to cement your newlywed status overlooking vineyards and valleys? Not a problem. Keen to be close to the water? Done. To find the creme de la creme of backdrops though, you only need to keep reading. We're sharing nine of our favourite venues from right across Australia, all of which have the kind of outlook that will make you double-take. In fact, we're willing to bet these views will have your guests reaching for their camera before you can ask, "Valencia or Mayfair?"
The view from Regatta Rose Bay
is spectacular. Located alongside the marina at the end of the promenade, this venue has one of the best waterfront outlooks around. Whether you’re in the main restaurant or outside on the deck, you’ll be able to take in the sparkling water and the sight of boats gently bobbing up and down. There are two options for your reception. Casual, laid-back events or cocktail weddings can be hosted in The Blue Room, a semi-private dining area that boasts views of the harbour and Rose Bay Marina. To make your day feel more exclusive, you can also hire out the entire venue. Regatta Rose Bay is ideal for couples seeking waterfront views, but don’t necessarily want a beach wedding. If you do want to get your feet sandy, Redleaf Beach is just up the road.
Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is known for its pristine beachfront settings, but head inland and you’ll find green pastures, private valleys, pretty gardens and imposing escarpments. You’ll also find Maleny Manor, a grand estate that can host a range of events from intimate celebrations and elopements to festival-inspired weddings. Naturally, the views from Maleny Manor’s perch are out of this world. You’ll even be able to catch a glimpse of the ocean. To really take in the view, there’s no better spot than the hilltop pavilion. In true Queenslander style, the pavilion has open sides, and an arbour walkway connects it to the main house. Ceremonies can also be held on the lawn or under the lofty boughs of a 100-year-old tree. Maleny Manor has six luxe suites too, so you and your bridal party can still soak up all the property offers even after your reception has wrapped.
Located on Portsea's front beach, the Portsea Hotel
is a perfect blend of contemporary style and classic good looks. Swap vows on the north-facing terrace and lawn area to have ceremony photos complete with uninterrupted panoramas of the beach. Be sure to take some shots in the hotel's gardens and by Portsea's historic pier too. The hotel can accommodate seated and cocktail receptions, plus has flexible reception rooms that can cater for intimate groups or lavish parties with 300 guests. The Nepean Room is ideal for larger celebrations and comes with its own terrace, which can be used for pre-dinner drinks and canapés. Couples seeking a more intimate reception can head upstairs to the Portsea Deck. This covered, open-side space has stunning views of Port Phillip Bay and will definitely boost the glam factor of your big day.
The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant
has an unusual perch; it overlooks two bodies of water – Fairy Creek Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean – so there really are views from every angle. Make the most of this beautiful outlook by hosting your ceremony on the lawn or beach, and then wander the foreshore for your official photography. While you’re busy snapping away with your photographer, your guests can sip sundowners and graze on canapés on the Deck Bar. You’ll join them here before heading inside for your reception. The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant has seven spaces for you to choose from, and each area comes with ocean views, floor-to-ceiling windows and an al fresco terrace.
No matter where you look at Stewart's Bay Lodge
, you'll find views that are hard to tear your eyes away from. To one side of this Tasmanian lodge is a beautiful beach. On the other side, forest and heritage-listed national park. The lodge sits on a peaceful nine-hectare property, and you won't have to look far to find locations to add to your wedding photography hit-list. Fancy a beach setting? Take your pick from two stretches of sand - Stewarts Bay Beach or Ladies Bay Beach. Once you've wrapped up your photography tour, move to the lodge's restaurant, Gabriel's on the Bay, for your reception. Don't worry, the view from inside is just as good as it is outside.
There’s no chance of running out of photo ops with a wedding at Summergrove Estate
. The estate is set on a 73-acre property on the Tweed Coast hinterland, so expect sweeping views of deep valleys, lush pastures, towering trees and even the ocean. Be sure to schedule in time to take some frames at dusk and as the sun sets – the light is better than any filter you'll find on Instagram. The estate is available as an exclusive-hire venue, so on the day it will be all yours. Vows can be swapped on the lawn or in the charming on-site chapel (yep, there are amazing vistas at both locations). Follow up with an alfresco celebration –
how does long tables under twinkling fairy lights sound? –
or head indoors to the bright and contemporary reception room.
Noosa is synonymous with blue water and sun-kissed settings. Sails Restaurant Noosa
embodies that aesthetic. An elegant beachfront space, the restaurant is super versatile and
has a convenient location. Indoor-outdoor space is something Sails Restaurant Noosa excels at, because as well as the main restaurant area there is also a private grassed patio. The patio has uninterrupted views of the foreshore and also gives you direct access to the beach. This floor plan creates a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere. Pair those feels with Noosa’s balmy weather and you have all the makings of a dreamy summer reception.
vines are delivered at Zonzo Estate
in Victoria. One of the Yarra Valley's most popular wedding venues, the estate is as loved for its outlook as it is for its intimate, rustic charm. The estate used to be a dairy, and a restaurant now lives in the old milking shed. It's a contemporary and warm space, with a crackling fireplace, polished floors and huge floor-to-ceiling windows. It has access to a terrace area, which can be used for your cocktail hour, a dance floor or as an extension of the restaurant. There are other farm-style spaces too, including a neighbouring shed that makes a stunning ceremony setting. It boasts double doors that open to views across an unforgettable Yarra Valley vista.
If Pullman Bunker Bay Resort
were a person, it would be a supermodel. This luxe pad in Margaret River is incredible and boasts stunning scenery to boot. Beach ceremonies have the Indian Ocean as a backdrop, and the resort’s grounds can be used for services too. Couples have the choice of a smattering of reception spaces. Marquees are available in a range of sizes and styles, and can be dressed up with timber flooring, red carpet entrances and incredible chandeliers. The restaurant terrace has jaw-dropping ocean views and makes a gorgeous spot to sip pre-dinner cocktails with guests before heading to dinner in Windmills (another function room) or a marquee.