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Yarra Valley Wedding Venues

Top 10 Yarra Valley Wedding Venues

By local wedding photographer Rick Liston

Here it is, my list of the Top 10 Kickass Yarra Valley Wedding Venues for 2021.

Congratulations on considering the premier region in the state for your 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 and giving your guests an unforgettable weekend away.

However:

There are still many Yarra Valley wedding venues to choose from with differing size requirements, budgets, indoor/outdoor options and customisation flexibility.

Who am I to make this list? Well, I’m a wedding photographer who works almost exclusively in this region and have been a life long resident. I’m a part of wedding days from start to finish in all conditions and all seasons, all over the Yarra Valley. Frankly, I think I’m in the best position to make this list. For this exact reason, I also made a comprehensive guide to getting married in the Yarra Valley which you can check out here: Yarra Valley Wedding Guide

I’ve listed the venues in alphabetical order. We’re all different and each venue offers its own unique value which can be perfect for you.

Top 10 Yarra Valley Wedding Venues

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

 

Starting off the list is the family-run Acacia Ridge.

The first thing you will notice when meeting Cathy and Lachie, is how incredibly approachable and accommodating they are. If you felt daunted or overwhelmed by meetings at any of your other venues so far, you are going to feel right at home here with this family run business.

Their setting is, quite frankly, picture-perfect. Set back from the Melba Hwy in Yarra Glen, they benefit from far-reaching views over their vineyard to the mountains beyond.

The ceremony spot sits right at the base of the vines and is overlooked by an 1850’s miner’s hut and their new and ever-improving reception area; a boho-inspired marquee with its open air views over the Yarra Valley.

Acacia Ridge can accommodate up to 140 seated guests or 200 guests for cocktail reception in the barn and 200 seated or 280 cocktail style in the marquee.

The beauty of this is your complete flexibility for catering. You’re not restricted to a dining package, you can bring in food trucks, order pizzas, or, my personal favourite as she has served the best meal I’ve ever had at a wedding, Jessie from Locavore Studio.

I can’t recommend these guys enough if you’re after a down to earth venue with stunning Yarra Valley views and incredible flexibility on catering.

 

 

In the company of only a handful of Yarra Valley wedding venues, Balgownie Estate 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.

The accommodation here 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.

A  wedding at Balgownie Estate will  come with a lot of inclusions for 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 deck or marquee for the ceremony, a tasting menu and even a complimentary spa suite for the bride and groom.

The historical home of one of Australia’s most famous women, Dame Nellie Melba, Coombe Yarra Valley offers unique, heritage buildings inside exquisitely manicured gardens with a modern, light-filled, architectural reception area. The dance floor is underneath a still functioning clock tower.

They compliment their award winning premises with region leading food and wine and the utmost professional staff.

Their menu is expertly designed by one of the Yarra Valley’s finest head chefs, Neil Cunningham. I am consistently blown away by his food and if you get the chance to try it before selecting your venue, I’m confident you’ll be blown away too.

Walking around their beautiful property, you get a great sense of being inside a secret garden, with boundless photo opportunities at every turn.

If you would like to have your ceremony at Coombe, there are many beautiful options including under the 180 year old oak tree, in the Italian garden or on the lawn in front of Coombe Cottage with a wet-weather option inside the Melba Gallery.

Ceremonies give you access to the gardens for your unmissable wedding photos. I particularly love Dame Nellie’s homestead with its vine-covered, outdoor spiral staircase! We can also take a walk down their avenue of elms or into the paddocks that overlook the valley. 

If what you really love about Yarra Valley venues is getting away from the city and enjoying the isolation of country VIC, exchanging the vineyards for a landscape of rolling hills populated with sheep, while still only being an hour and twenty minutes out of the city, then you can’t go past Flowerdale Estate. The staff here are deadset legends and its onsite accommodation facilities are fantastic, complete with a tennis court, swimming pool and billiards room, so you can really give your guests an extended, unforgettable experience in the valley of 1000 hills.
 
One of the things that always captures my heart about Flowerdale Estate is the farm animals that love coming and saying hello. Come and interact with the goats, a huge pig, and all the sheep in their paddock for some hilarious and super cute photos.
 
They have multiple ceremony spots to choose from including a perfectly manicured lawn that runs adjacent to their homestead and is enclosed by a lush hedge and rose garden. Or you can have it by the lake, under the gum trees with a more natural arbour made of tree trunks. Then there’s also under the magnificent oak tree in front of the pavilion. The good thing is they’re all so close together, I often use elements of each for photos throughout the day.
 
If you visit Flowerdale Estate for the scenery, you’ll fall in love with it for its all round ability to put on an amazing day. The reception is held in a gorgeous open air pavilion that can be protected from the elements with a few clear blinds. The high ceilings and views of the hills mean your guests get to enjoy the surrounds of the part of the world you chose to get married in all night long.
 
Another advantage of being out this way is the clear, pollution free skies that allow some incredible star gazing. Take a breather from your wedding and follow me in the paddock at night for perhaps the most magical photo you’ll ever have in your life.
The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at Immerse is how welcoming they are. I’ve heard from so many couples who have booked Immerse because of how they were treated in their meetings. You’re looking at a team who will be there for you the whole way and never make you feel like a number on a balance sheet. The second thing you’ll probably notice is their beautiful chapel, set at the end of a row of vines and leaving you and your guests completely weather protected for the ceremony.

The floor to ceiling windows on the rear wall give everyone the magnificent outlook of the vineyard laden hills behind giving you the ultimate Yarra Valley backdrop when you’re exchanging your vows.

It’s those hills behind the chapel that we can head up to for your location photos and there’s no better way to take a few moments with your partner and celebrate your marriage just the two of you (and me!), looking out across this beautiful part of the world where you chose to hold your wedding day.

If you’ve ever been to a wedding where you spent the whole day driving from one location to another you probably quickly decided you never want to put yourselves or your guests through that on your own wedding day. With Immerse’s onsite accommodation, you can arrive in the early afternoon, get ready in seperate rooms, have your ceremony, location photos and your reception without leaving the property and only have to stumble to your bridal suite at the end of the night. There are many hidden savings when doing it this way, like not needing to hire a fancy car and not paying for your photographer and videographer to sit in their cars driving from location to location. We can spend all that time snapping away instead!

The reception hall at Immerse always seems to have that magical balance of never feeling too full, nor too empty and has a massive dance floor. Make sure you go with the option of the hot jam doughnuts at the end of the night! You won’t regret it.

Where to even start? Perhaps by stating confidently that you have never been to place like Projekt 3488. There is no comparison. It is in a world of its own.

You won’t find a vineyard or a winery, a brewery, or even paddocks with grassy fields. That’s not what Projekt is.

It’s an experience. One that you and your guests won’t be forgetting any time soon.

As soon as you arrive in an unsuspecting area of Warburton and see the strong double red brick facade of what was once a masonic hall, with monkeys on the walls and coloured lights beaming through the small circular window upstairs, you’ll have an idea what you’re in for.

Owner and creator Mark Fenech and his partner Sandi will take you on the tour of their masterpiece. Mark, like Projekt, is one of a kind. Both charming and disarming, you’ll be shocked at how quickly you’ll find yourself talking so frankly with someone you’ve only just met. He is intrinsically linked with the venue as it is not just his creation for a place to gather and celebrate love, but also his home.

You’ll see immediately that it’s impossible to just make a wedding venue like Projekt. It only comes from a lifetime of tastefully collecting interesting bits of furniture and decor. Mark’s gift, and there’s no other word for it, at creating an atmosphere like this, works as a natural magnet for other exceptionally talented artists who have lended their craft to the walls, ceilings and entertainment that makes Projekt 3488 stand alone as the most unique wedding venue I’ve ever seen.

The enchanting reception hall offers incredible versatility to transform from a ceremony space, to a dining hall to a dance floor thanks to Mark’s ingenuity with the invention of a concertina table that’s frankly hard to explain but never fails to gain the awe of guests as they watch the transformation in action. If this were a club, you’d be hard pressed to find a better one in Australia. If an epic dance floor experience is high on your list of priorities, look no further.

The garden at Projekt is yet another extension of Mark’s infinite creativity. In the space of just a few years, Mark has transformed a carpark into a secret garden that appeals to all ages. Watch your grandparents and kids alike get lost in its wandering pathways, ponds and perfectly placed flora. Your guests will love the hidden seats, the outdoor fire pit and the upstairs deck overlooking the Warbuton mountains. With its proximity to the Redwood Forest and the Yarra River, there are no shortage of photo locations nearby, but of course, you could always get them all done onsite!

Projekt really is a year round venue as it doesn’t rely on the outdoors or weather to give your guests an incredible experience. Nearly all of my favourite nights out in the Yarra Valley have been at winter parties here. This is also a great way to to trial the party atmosphere!

Another great thing about Projekt is it probably won’t leave you on the fence. You likely found this blog by googling Yarra Valley wedding venues and had a vineyard venue in mind. So you’ll either read this and know it’s not the venue for you, or you’ll drop everything to visit it and will be incapable of finding anything else like it. If you want to give your guests the gift of having something to brag about to everyone they encounter, this could be the venue for you.

The Riverstone Estate offers another spectacular natural setting. Perched atop a hill in between Coldstream and Healesville and surrounded by vineyards, it’s one of the few venues that genuinely offers 360 degree views, perfect for an outdoor ceremony. This also means a fantastic sunset no matter which time of the year it is.

They have endless photo locations with that country charm of long grass, weeping willows, pale fences, old dead trees and even the Yarra runs through the property.

You’ll be transported in comfort in their golf buggy to the best spots on the property when it’s time for your location photos. This will be one of your favourite parts of the day as you enjoy a moment of relaxing peace together down by the river, complete with a cheese board and a few drinks. This is the first chance you’ll get to have a private moment with each other in the wake of all the ceremony action. From here we’ll kick off your bridal photos, and embark on a fun journey to all of my favourite spots.

When the sun starts to set, I’ll come and fetch you and we’ll head off once again to the back paddock this time to enjoy a famous Riverstone sunset session with the golden light streaming through the vines and long grass.

They have a stunning bay window in a private room for those gorgeous full body dress photos. It’s is a perfect spot to escape from the reception for a brief respite with your new husband/wife during the wedding and just be in each others’ company, even just to eat without being interrupted!

They also offer a terrific off season rate from May to Sep. Given that you aren’t reliant on vineyards being in season at Riverstone, due to their sensational views all year round, this makes for a great deal if you’re looking to save a bit on your Yarra Valley wedding venue.

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 impeccably curated buildings complimented by delicately landscaped gardens punctuated with majestic old trees. This combination will appeal to anyone and makes for seemingly infinite photo opportunities. From the moment you drive up their oak tree lined driveway, you’ll realise you will run out of time long before you run out of locations.

They provide onsite accommodation at The Farmhouse, a beautifully Tuscan inspired design that fits in perfectly with neighbouring venue Meletos where you can enjoy a sensational breakfast the morning after your wedding. Meletos also hosts its own brewery which makes for a fun spot to grab a few drinks with your bridal party before the festivities of the day begin.

With so many the buildings onsite tastefully covered in Boston ivy, Stones changes its character so colourfully throughout the seasons and I honestly couldn’t tell you which I prefer. You’ll love it here all year round.

Delivering incredible, memorable weddings is the primary purpose of the business.

Not wine, not the restaurant, not the hotel…Weddings.

And it shows.

 

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.

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.

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.

Zonzo Estate is an incredibly versatile property with a very unique and tasteful design. It’s based on the fundamental offerings of impeccable Italian cuisine overlooking a stunning vista of vineyards and rolling hills. With an enviable, lush green lawn reaching up to the restaurant’s outdoor dining area, you will see everyone in their element running around, kicking the footy, taking selfies.
 

They provide three fantastic options for the ceremony. Either outdoors on the lawn, in the barrel room for a rustic vibe, or in the more modern cappella complete with AC, all of which provide your ceremony with a view to die for.

Once the ceremony is done, your guests will get their first taste of Zonzo’s famous cuisine as they mingle on the lawn, while we can head off to any number of photo locations around the property. So whether you’re a fan of photos in the vineyard, an open field, a tree lined driveway, afloat on a dam in a boat, or under a set of festoon lights, Zonzo has you covered. They also have a spectacular view of the sunset that’s very close to the restaurant, meaning you can easily duck out for a quick photo sesh of golden light and back in before anyone knows you’re gone.

If you’ve ever been to a wedding and left hungry, you’ll know that’s something you’d never want for your guests. Trust me on this. No one is leaving a Zonzo wedding hungry. In fact, I advise my couples getting married here to have a day after plan of eating all their leftovers. It’s insane. First they hit you with the seemingly endless canapés including the most incredible arancini balls, then it’s a round of charcuterie, then pizzas, and that’s all before the mains come out of giant platters of meat and vegetables. So you’ve got to strategise. Don’t make the rookie mistake of going too hard on the pizzas and bread and being too full when the mains come around. Don’t forget to save room for the dessert and possible gelato cart!

RICK LISTON

Artist of rad love stories, four pillars fanatic, lover of the ocean, father to a mermaid.

Just to recap, here in no particular order is my list of the Top 10 Yarra Valley Wedding Venues you should consider for your wedding.

 

  • Stones of the Yarra Valley
  • Zonzo Estate
  • Riverstone Estate
  • Projekt 3488
  • Acacia Ridge
  • Flowerdale Estate
  • Immerse Yarra Valley
  • Coombe Yarra Valley
  • Yering Station
  • Balgownie Estate