An insider’s guide to Sydney’s best outdoor wedding locations
In Part 1, we brought you some of Sydney’s most popular outdoor wedding locations. And with the magic of Sydney’s sparkling harbour, it’s easy to gravitate towards the city centre. However there are some treasures - just a little further afield - that offer beautiful scenery, lush surrounds and the perfect backdrop to say “I do” without the crowds and bustle of city life. In part two, we share some of our favourite secret spots of Sydney.
Written in the Stars
For lovers of destiny, you can’t go past the Observatory. The original star-gazing spot in Sydney enjoys an elevated position above the city, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking down from the celestial heavens themselves. While nestled on the fringe of the CBD, the serenity of this spot is a welcome surprise and makes it a favourite lunch-time refuge for Sydneysiders and tourists alike. Easily accessible by public transport, street and public car parking is also available.
When it comes to a wedding ceremony, you have two options: The Sydney Observatory or Observatory Hill Park.
Getting married within the grounds of the heritage-listed Observatory (one of Sydney’s oldest buildings) feels like inviting the Universe to bear witness to your vows. Rich sandstone, stunning floral displays and the iconic copper-roofed star-gazing dome provide a celestial backdrop for your photos. The Observatory only allows one wedding per day, so you’re guaranteed exclusivity for your wedding and photography, although the observatory itself will still be open to the public.
During the peak Marquee period (mid-November to mid-December and mid-February to mid-March), only the front gardens are available when hired with the marquee, however during the off-peak periods you can hire either the front garden or rear courtyard. The marquee itself comes complete with silk lining, fairy lights in the roof and rice paper lantern light fittings. It’s important to note the Observatory doesn’t have any provisions for wet weather, so you’ll need an alternative location as your backup plan.
Observatory Hill Park
Set behind the Observatory’s courtyard and overlooking the historic Rocks precinct, the public park and rotunda are a piece of picture-perfect heaven. Ideal for an intimate wedding, you can bring up to 30 chairs, a carpet and a table into the park, and while the park itself remains open to the public during your booking, you do have exclusive use of the rotunda during your booking (3 hours).
Happily, you don’t need a permit to take wedding photos on the same day as your ceremony, which means with the Observatory, ancient fig trees and million-dollar Sydney Harbour view surrounds, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your backdrop.
GOOD TO KNOW: Depending on which location you choose, you’ll need to book through a different website.
One of Sydney’s living museums, the heritage-listed Vaucluse House is just a short drive from the city centre, and yet you feel as if you’re stepping into another world. Originally Aboriginal land, there are still rock carvings visible on the wooded estate, and the 10 hectares house some beautiful and rare plants.
The Lone Pine Lawn is the perfect spot to bring old world romance to the 21st century. With its solitary pine tree, sprawling greenery and the stunning Vaucluse House as its backdrop, it doesn’t get much more fairytale than this. The nearby pleasure garden is a great spot for your wedding photographs, and the wide, covered sandstone verandah of Vaucluse House is available as a wet weather option if required. It’s also accessible by bus, train and ferry, with parking available during the day.
You can book both your wedding ceremony and reception together, and the art deco Vaucluse House tearooms are a beautiful (and easily accessible) option for your wedding reception. With offerings like cocktail lawn receptions, lunch and dinner receptions, it can comfortably accommodate up to 120 guests.
GOOD TO KNOW: If you’re planning for your wedding photos to be taken in the gardens and/or grounds of Vaucluse House, you’ll need to apply and pay an additional fee.
A Hidden Gem
Just a 5-10 minute walk from Double Bay Wharf, Blackburn Gardens are a little gem of the East. Perfectly proportioned with elevated access for additional drama and spectacular harbour views, the love that’s been poured into these gardens make it a truly special place to tie the knot. Sculptures, sundials and its very own secret garden bring a sense of whimsy and uniqueness to this intimate heritage location.
There’s limited street parking, but why have your guests fight the Sydney traffic? Hop on a ferry and arrive in style!
GOOD TO KNOW: The garden’s heritage listing means they cannot allow marquees, archways/arbours or carpets and ground coverings to be used.
Mother Nature has lent her helping hand to this spectacular spot, creating a natural amphitheatre for your nuptials. Located inside the National Park, the sweeping views across the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Fort Denison are totally swoon-worthy.
It’s perfect for weddings with up to 120 guests (although they may be forgiven for being momentarily distracted by the view), and the stone jetty, lush trees and water views are going to make your photographer very happy! It’s proximity to Athol Hall makes it an ideal spot for your reception to continue your celebrations into the night.
GOOD TO KNOW: You can book your wedding ceremony online, however if you’re also planning to take your wedding photos here, best to give them a call: (02) 9253 0880
From Here to Eternity
If you ever needed proof that size doesn’t matter, this tiny piece of paradise is it.
Entering the garden from an unassuming cul-de-sac street frontage transforms to a perch on the top of an escarpment, with a dramatic bird’s eye overlooking Palm Beach. You’ll hears gasps of amazement from your guests as they enter the garden, setting the stage for your show stopping ceremony!
With its name derived from the plants used in the garden (143 of the 148 species mentioned in the Bible), the land originally belonged to the Garigal people, and is now maintained by volunteers. There is a bible on site, and an ideal alternative for those wanting to marry a religious ceremony with the great outdoors. The Bible Garden is suitable for small, simple events with a maximum number of 60 people. With views this good, you’ll want to keep it a secret.
GOOD TO KNOW: The Bible Garden is located in a cul-de-sac, with only 3 parking spaces available, so best to arrange transport for your guests.
HAVE QUESTIONS OR WANT TO CHAT ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING EVENT? BENTWOOD EVENTS ARE SYDNEY WEDDING & EVENT HIRE SPECIALISTS
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