The Yarra Valley is stunning, right?
It’s the perfect place for a wedding.
What could be a nicer backdrop for a ceremony than a sweeping vineyard vista just one hour from Melbourne?
You may have been sold on the destination already just from the idea of having your ceremony among the grapevines.
There are still many venues within the Yarra Valley to choose from with differing size requirements, budgets, indoor/outdoor options and customisation flexibility.
As a Yarra Valley wedding photographer and life long resident, here’s my list of the
Top 5 Yarra Valley Wedding Venues:
No prizes for guessing this one.
Stones remains the most sought after wedding destination in the Yarra Valley and for good reason.
Between the Stables and the Barn, they cater to both small and large sized weddings.
Ceremonies can either be held in their romantic chapel, out on the lush lawn before the vines or under their massive oak tree.
There is also no secret that one of the prevailing reasons Stones remains at the top is its customer service and attention to detail.
This could not be more evident than in how much the energetic owner, Vonnie Frazer, involves herself personally in meeting with the wedding couples, the styling and floristry and on the day co-ordinating. Between herself and Michaela, you’re in the safest hands in the business.
Like any #1 Wedding Venue should, they also provide onsite accommodation at the newly built, but rustic designed Farmhouse.
2016 Pricing starts at $190 p/head plus a $1500 venue hire fee for the stables or $2000 for the Barn. This leaves Stones topping not just this list, but also the price list.
What makes Stones stand out to me and deserving of the title for the Best Yarra Valley Wedding Venue, is that delivering incredible, memorable weddings is the primary purpose of the business.
Not wine, not the restaurant, not the hotel…
And they do it better than anyone.
Yering Station is and has always been a household name in the Yarra Valley and their incredible wines have always waved the flag of the Yarra Valley abroad.
They were, in fact, blazing the trail for the rest of the venues as the first vineyard in the yarra valley way back in 1938 so its no wonder they’ve retained such a warm reputation in the region as the original vineyard destination.
They put the same attention into their events as they do their wines where you know you will get reliable service, great food and wine and Yering’s famous sweeping vistas.
Photos are from http://yering.com/
They have ceremony and reception areas to suit anyone’s taste; from their restored Historic Barn to their modern wine bar restaurant, and a wide allowance of guest numbers with a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 150. They also house one of the prettiest barrel halls I’ve seen which provides a unique location for wedding photography.
Food & Beverage pricing starts at $190 p/head plus $800 ceremony fee. There is also an additional security fee of $320 for weddings over 60pax and $620 for weddings over 120pax.
While they do not have their own on site accommodation, they are right next door to Chateau Yering, close enough to share the same driveway. Though the two are distinctly separate businesses, they certainly compliment one another with what they offer.
This venue may not be for everyone, but for those in love with historic Victorian buildings, heritage listed gardens, and elegant, classic interior design, Chateau Yering can’t be beaten. The drawcard here is the on-site hotel. If you love the setting for the wedding, then you will be right at home in the heritage listed five-star Victorian mansion.
Don’t be fooled by their dated site which appears to be a throwback to the historic era that they are famed for, they are one of only two forward thinking venues I’ve seen who have their site available in Chinese Mandarin.
Photos are from http://chateauyering.com.au/
They offer a 10% discount for weddings booked for Sunday – Friday. In other words, you’re paying an 11% premium for weddings on a Saturday.
A Garden Ceremony at Chateau Yering starts at $1200, which includes an undercover wet weather option.
Food and Beverage packages start at $150 p/head in the elegant Oak Room, which has a maximum of 130 guests and incurs a $300 fee for receptions of under 60 guests.
If you don’t mind your Yarra Valley wedding venue built on a golf course rather than a vineyard, The RACV Healesville Country Club is perhaps the most attractive all round wedding option.
When you consider that after the $80million remodelling of the entire premises, they offer affordable accommodation and EXTENSIVE facilities for guests who are staying. These include an 18-hole golf course, pool, gym, tennis court, kids playground, plus the actual wedding necessities like an indoor and outdoor ceremony space, ballroom for the reception and a bar terrace for drinks and canapés.
Another nice touch is the complimentary advanced tasting of your menu and the free accommodation for the bride and groom with 150guests or more.
Photos are from http://racv.com.au/
They are certainly the more affordable option as they are significantly under the cost of Stones or Chateau Yering, with a starting price of $160p/head plus a $1000 ceremony fee and far cheaper accommodation rates. The reception area is complimentary with 80 guests or more.
Like 3 of the top 4 venues, Balgownie can offer the comprehensive wedding experience of having your ceremony, reception and accommodation all on the one beautiful property with great views and very well maintained premises.
Like the RACV club, the accommodation here is more moderately priced than Stones or Chateau Yering, and comes with some great facilities like the day spa and tennis court. They also really excel in their organisation of activities at local attractions.
For these reasons, I really recommend Balgownie for wedding parties that are coming to experience the Yarra Valley beyond the wedding.
Photos are from http://balgownieestate.com.au/
A food and beverage wedding at Balgownie Estate will cost from $175 p/head and comes with a lot of inclusions for weddings of 80 guests or more (sit-down receptions are capped at 130 guests) such as hire of the Melba room with floor-to-ceiling windows for the reception, the vineyard facing marquee for the ceremony, a tasting menu and even a complimentary spa suite for the bride and groom.
Please note: all prices listed were taken directly from the venue websites or staff and are a reference only. If you notice any of the information to be incorrect, please email me at [email protected]