Looking for the perfect beach wedding venue in Australia can be a lot like trying to find a needle in a haystack...
It's not because it's hard to find a beach though, it's the opposite: there are just too damn many. Do you want to tie the knot on a surf beach or a secluded beach? Should your venue be right on the beach or a short walk away? And does having a beach wedding mean you have to have a blue colour scheme? Well, the answer to that last one is a definite no - if you don't want nautical stripes and anchor motifs, you don't have to embrace them. But whichever beachy option you do decide to go with will likely depend on your budget and style, as well as practicality, location and convenience. To give you an idea of the variety of beach spaces that are out there, we rounded up a collection of 13 venues that show off all the different ways you can do beach nuptials - because, after all, a beach wedding doesn't mean you have to get married on the sand. Just remember one thing: sunscreen.
It’s a little bit Miami, a little bit eclectic and a whole lotta cool: meet QT Gold Coast
, a hotel that’s more like the home of an insanely stylish friend. Just one street back from one of the Gold Coast’s famed sandy stretches, it’s only a short walk for you and your guests from your beach ceremony to your fun-filled reception. Of course, if you'd prefer to tie the knot indoors, the hotel can host your service, too. QT Gold Coast can accommodate both intimate weddings and lavish celebrations, and has four spaces for you to choose from: the Calypso Terrace and Pool Deck (where you can get hitched alongside an oversized flamingo sculpture), the Sunset Room and the QT Ballroom. For couples tempted to kick off the festivities a few days earlier, the hotel boasts two bars (one stocks 50 different tequilas), a sushi and teppanyaki restaurant, and a laid-back café. Oh, and let’s not forget the luxe spa, tennis courts, outdoor pool, and super-cute retro bikes available for hire.
Ocean views? Check. An opulent ballroom? For sure. Accommodation for all of your guests? That too. If that sounds like pretty much all of your wedding boxes ticked, hold onto your hat because that’s just what you’ll find at The Stamford Grand Adelaide
. For those with a hankering for a beach ceremony, you’ll have three locations to choose from: Glenelg Beach, Glenelg Foreshore or the jetty. If you’ve always fancied making an entrance, listen up: the hotel also offers a fairytale ceremony package, where you’ll be whisked off to your service by a horse and carriage. Once your ‘I do’s are over and it’s time for the reception, you and your posse will head for the hotel, where your celebration can be hosted in either the Grand Ballroom, the Moseley Room or the Colley Room. Both the Moseley Room and the Colley Room are located on the hotel’s first floor; the Ballroom features floor-to-ceiling windows, a large balcony and panoramic ocean views.
Smiths Beach Resort, just south of Yallingup in Western Australia, is perched on a stretch of pristine, blonde-white sand so pretty it’ll make even seasoned beach-goers look twice. It’s also in the heart of Margaret River, so when you tire of looking out over that too-blue ocean it’s only a short journey to the region’s famed vineyards and artisanal producers. Smiths Beach Resort boasts 55 rooms, a top-shelf restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a children’s swimming pool, tennis court and luxe spa. Unsurprisingly, the resort knows a thing or two about pulling off a beach wedding, too. There’s a dedicated team who will help you organise your day from start to finish. Ceremonies are hosted on the beach – forgot those high heels, you probably won’t need them here – before the party moves to Lamont’s Smiths Beach, the resort’s fine-dining restaurant.
There are no prizes for guessing where the ‘on the beach’ part of this venue’s name comes from (spoiler: it’s right on the beach). The Avalon on the Beach
sits on the upper level of Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club and is one of the Northern Beaches’ newest wedding spaces. It’s also a venue where your toes will hit sand pretty much as soon as you step outside. The venue’s convenient location means it also counts sprawling green parks among its neighbours, so if you choose to forgo a barefoot beach ceremony in favour of nuptials on more solid ground, rest easy knowing that your reception venue is still only a short walk away. You won’t have to worry about leaving any of your Facebook friends off your invite list either, because when the whole venue is booked out, it can host up to 250 guests.
Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more reasons to head to Queensland’s Palm Cove, along comes The Reef House
, a spectacular boutique resort that has all the feels of an intimate island retreat. Perched on the beachfront only 25 minutes north of Cairns, Reef House comes kitted out with an award-winning ocean-view restaurant and spa, and elegant accommodation you won’t want to leave. There are four options for your reception at Reef House: the restaurant, poolside, on the beach or in Brigadier’s Lounge, a bar that’s heavy on the colonial plantation feels. The Reef House’s selection of wedding packages covers cocktail and seated receptions, as well as ceremonies; some include sets of fairy lights, sole use of the venue, a chance to custom design your menu with the executive chef, a wishing well and preferential accommodation rates for your guests, just in case they want to stick around (warning: they will).
Beachfront wedding venues don’t come much better than Salt on the Beach
in Fremantle. Why? Because this space is on the beach. Yep, it’s not near, close by or adjacent: it sits smack-bang on a sandy stretch, or on the sand dunes if we’re being specific. This beachy bolthole has all the makings of a perfect coastal wedding venue: a sprawling terrace with direct access to the beach, a relaxed restaurant and a mezzanine. You can hire the whole restaurant out if you like or, if you’re looking to be surrounded by only your closest friends and family, the mezzanine can be hired as a stand-alone space - it accommodates 32 people for a seated reception or 45 people for a cocktail affair.
On one side of Stewarts Bay Lodge
in Tasmania you’ll find a beautiful beach, and on the other side you’ll find a forest and heritage-listed national park. Put simply, this nine-hectare property is where the beach meets the bush. Only 90 minutes from Hobart, Stewarts Bay Lodge is a venue where you won’t have to look hard to find your next Instagram shot. You’ll have two beaches – Stewarts Bay beach and Ladies Bay beach – available for your ceremony, and the lodge’s restaurant, Gabriel’s on the Bay, is your go-to for a waterfront reception. There are 40 on-site cabins dotted over 20 acres of bushland, meaning your guests won’t have to leave after the last glass of bubbly has been poured. For those guests staying overnight, the lodge can put on a recovery or morning-after breakfast at the restaurant buffet. Bonus!
An indulgent seafood menu and special occasions usually go hand-in-hand, right? Even if local lobster, Sydney rock oysters and Queensland mud crab aren’t quite your thing, that won’t be a problem at The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant, because their chefs are whizzes with grain-fed beef and poultry too. The location of the restaurant isn’t half-bad either: it sits smack-bang on the waterfront and has vistas over Fairy Creek Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean. The venue has more wedding spaces than you could poke a king prawn at, and your toughest decision about having your wedding at Lagoon will be picking just one. The Moonlight Room is the largest space and has floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto the deck; the Coral Grace Room comes complete with a private terrace, perfect for pre-dinner drinks.
The West Beach Bathers Pavilion
in Melbourne is a St Kilda institution, with a rich history stretching back to the 1920s. Following a snazzy renovation, the pavilion is all about making the most of the simple things (read: this is the kind of place where you kick off your shoes and snag yourself a primo perch in the sand). You’ll have three spaces available to you at West Beach: the Grand Beach Hall, which comes with panoramic bay views and seaside resort feels; the Gallery, which features antique lighting, exposed steel beams and bi-fold doors that lead to a large lounge deck; and the Tearoom, an undercover al fresco space for intimate gatherings. Meanwhile, the bar makes a great setting for informal affairs. The fare at West Beach has been designed to work with the beachy, laid-back vibes of the space, and the venue can cater for plated dinners, buffet receptions or cocktail affairs.
A secluded beach away from too many prying eyes will be all yours at Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club
in Adelaide. The club sits at the end of the promenade, and is 30 minutes away from Adelaide’s CBD. With two spaces available, which one you go for depends on what style of wedding you have your heart set on. The Upper Deck is perfect for making the most of those stunning views, and has a deck, balcony (say hello to alfresco pre-dinner drinks) and a dance floor. It’s also serviced by the kitchen and fully-stocked bar. Downstairs is the Mariners Bar, a more informal area where you and your guests can spill out onto the adjoining lawn – there’s a barbecue too. The club caters for seated and standing events, as well as dinner buffets. Expect menus that boast dishes including asparagus and brie tart, slow-roasted beef with cocktail potatoes, noodle boxes and cheese platters.
When a venue has views like the ones The Baths Sorrento
has, we think it’d be pretty hard for these digs to disappoint. Just an hour and a half from Melbourne, it's the perfect blend of beachy and elegant. There are two ways you can host your wedding at The Baths Sorrento: either through partial venue hire, or if something more exclusive tickles your fancy, you can book out the entire space. We know it’s going to be pretty hard to tear yourself away from that view, but when you do head inside you’ll find a contemporary interior, complete with sliding glass windows and doors, open fireplaces, polished wooden floorboards and access to two deck areas. For top-notch photo opportunities, you won’t have to look hard: kick off your shoes for a stroll along the foreshore, take a wander down the jetty or make for the neighbouring patches of green lawn.*
*Please note that due to a fire, The Baths Sorrento is currently not operating.