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#snapped: 7 venues with gorgeous photo ops

We don’t mean to burst your wedding bubble, but there’s one thing that’ll pop up in your big day photos more than you and your partner…

That would be your venue (there’s no need to stress about rogue bridesmaids or family members photobombing your shots just yet). When it comes to your wedding, there’s really no way around having your chosen space show up in your happy snaps. It’s inevitable. After all, the main purpose of any venue is to play host to your ceremony, reception or both, and part of those hosting duties includes providing beautiful backdrops or spots for your photos. Those locations might be within the venue itself, or they could be in the surrounding area - parks, beaches, alleyways and streets. Here, we've found seven wedding venues that tick both boxes. Each space is gorgeous in its own right and brimming with would-be photo locations, but also boasts some awesome places around the venue that you could use for photography too. Happy snapping!

For a beach babe...

You don’t have to look too far to see why The Bathers’ Pavilion in Balmoral made this list. This Sydney icon is almost swimming in photo ops. First up, there’s the beach: it’s within arms length (quite literally) and wandering up and down this sandy stretch will give you and your photographer no shortage of shots. Away from the sand, the Pavilion is flanked by grassy patches and other vantage points where you can snap away with bobbing boats in the background. Back at the Pavilion, stop to take a few shots standing by the Art Deco façade and then move up to the sun-kissed terrace, which has views out to Sydney Heads. Also inside, the walls of the main event space are clad with 1200 sheets of silver - the perfect shimmery backdrop. 

For a diamond in the rough...

On the spectrum of wedding venues, 1000 £ Bend in Melbourne is about as far away from the traditional end as you can get. With that title though comes some pretty spectacular photo opportunities. 1000 £ Bend is the space located behind the heavy sliding doors of the café of the same name, and its worn walls, ceiling beams and industrial-chic vibe creates a backdrop for out-of-the-box photos. Next door, The Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo has a similar look. Outside, Heape Court offers cobbled bluestone and exposed brick walls and, for even more Melbourne feels, you can explore the surrounding laneways. You could also walk to Flagstaff Gardens for a splash of greenery or traipse up to Flinders Street Station or Parliament House on Spring Street.

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For a hip Brisbane hub...

Lightspace in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley doesn’t have a bad angle. This versatile, warehouse-style space has a sleek aesthetic inside with polished concrete floors and lofty ceilings. Outside, a Japanese-inspired terrace will take care of any al fresco shots; it sits next to the railway line too for an extra edgy hit. You can take formal and candid photography within Lightspace, or you might explore the mix of surburban and industrial streets in the surrounding area. Hightail it towards the banks of the Brisbane River for some snaps along the tree-lined waterfront, or Newstead Park is less than a 10-minute drive away. 

For an arty powerhouse...

At a venue as famous as the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania, it’s hardly surprising that couples are given a tractorload of photography opportunities. Calling MONA a ‘unique’ wedding venue doesn’t quite seem to cut it when describing what angles you have to work with here. Depending on which area you book – among your choices are the light-filled Organ Room, the dramatic Void and the MR-I catamaran – you’ll have Derwent River views, sandstone slabs or striking architecture at your disposal. Even the stairways and corridors make great shoot locations. The concert lawn is popular for ceremonies and offers a stark green contrast to the sleek, avant-garde angles found inside the museum. Another out-of-the-box option is MONA’s gothic chapel.

For a sure-fire stunner...

As far as ranking beachfront venues goes, The Shorehouse near Perth rates pretty spectacularly well. For an uninterrupted beach backdrop, sun-drenched deck and grassy foreshore, The Shorehouse is where it's at. Throw in one of the orange and white striped umbrellas for a Hamptons-esque vibe. Kick off your shoes to walk along the sand and get some shots of you and your partner ankle-deep in the ocean. Remember to head back out at sunset, too. The streets that surround the Shorehouse are pretty in that coastal cool way, so can also be used for some surburban-style photography. Swanbourne Reserve and Melon Hill are close too. 

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Expect polished concrete floors and exposed beams.

For glorious gardens...

The photography possibilities at the Australian Botanic Garden in Mount Annan need little introduction. This is a venue for couples who want all of the outdoor location options – 1000 acres of options, in fact. Lovers of the tropics can snap away in the Connections Garden, or arty types can pose at Room with a View, a outdoor rammed earth sculpture. There are also lakeside locations, the Australian Plantbank, the private Fruit Loop garden, hilltops and a rainforest setting. Some areas can host ceremonies and receptions, but if you’re having your big day off-site and want to use the gardens for photography only, charges may apply. 

For vines, vines everywhere...

With a stunning sheltered courtyard, pretty gardens, and rows and rows of grape-dotted vines, Coriole Vineyards has all the ingredients for picture-perfect winery snaps. There is plenty of lawn too, which can be used for ceremonies, open-air receptions or pre-dinner drinks. Pose outside the ironstone barn-come-cellar door, or use the restaurant’s verandah for views across McLaren Vale. Make sure to take some wide landscape shots too, so you capture the corrugated iron roofs and creeper-tangled façades in all their glory. McLaren Vale is less than 15 minutes' drive from Moana Beach, so newlyweds and bridal parties can be whisked off for portraits on the sand.

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