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Peterson House Weddings

I have lost count as to how many weddings I have photographed at Peterson House and you really can’t go wrong with Peterson House weddings in the Hunter Valley.

It is located right in the heart of Pokolbin on the corner of Broke Road and Wine Country Drive. So pretty much everyone visiting the Hunter Valley will drive past Peterson House. It is best known for its amazing sparkling wines. Who knew there were so many types of sparkling wine? They are so good and we actually bought cases of their sparking and used it for our own wedding.

It is also known for its award-winning food, that comes out of Restaurant Cuvee. So it is pretty obvious why Peterson House is so popular for weddings!

petersons house hunter valley wedding

Peterson House Wedding Chapel

Peterson House also recently build one of the best sandstone wedding chapels in the Hunter Valley. And I really mean that. It is a beautiful sandstone building with handcrafted timber trusses and it has been cleverly designed and it great for photography. There are large double wooden doors, high ceilings, a rustic chandelier and it can accommodate up to 150 wedding guests.

It is spacious, yet still feels quite intimate when you are inside. There is also an upstairs balcony section where more people can sit. They have also built a church bell. So the bells can ring out across wine country when you are officially married!

It also is fully air-conditioned!! Woo hoo!

In Summer, I hate churches or chapels in the Hunter Valley that are not air-conditioned. Why? Because they tend to be about ten degrees hotter inside than outside. And it can get very hot in the Hunter Valley. It routines goes above 40°C and I have had three weddings where people have collapsed from the heat of a church or chapel in the Hunter Valley. So by having your wedding ceremony here, you can rest assured that your guests, and particularly your older and very young guests, are comfortable and well taken care of.

Here are a few photos from weddings I have photographed at Peterson House Chapel. This will give you a good look at the set up of the chapel and what it looks like before guests arrive.

petersons house hunter valley wedding
The styling from this set of photos was done by Jade Macintosh.
petersons house hunter valley wedding
petersons house hunter valley wedding
peterson house weddings
petersons house hunter valley wedding
This is the view from the balcony area
petersons house hunter valley wedding

Here are some photos from real weddings photographed at this beautiful chapel. As you can see there is a large area for guests to mingle as well a pretty grand driveway and fountain.

peterson house weddings
petersons house hunter valley wedding
petersons house hunter valley wedding
peterson house weddings

Garden Wedding Ceremonies

If you prefer the outdoors, you can also choose to have your wedding ceremony in the gardens. There is the option to have your ceremony down by the vineyard with the jetty and dam in the background.

Or you can have the ceremony in front of Petersons House restaurant itself. It is a lovely aluminium and sandstone building with a high pitched roof and it makes a nice rustic backdrop for your ceremony. Before the chapel was built in 2019, this was the main location used to have most of their wedding ceremonies. I think it gives a nice relaxed garden atmosphere to weddings.

I love outdoor wedding ceremonies but the only issue I have with outdoor ceremonies at Peterson House is the lack of shade. So on hot summers days, you will be in full sun. So I would not recommend an outdoor ceremony here is Summer. Winter would be perfect! Autumn and Spring would also be lovely but later in the day, towards sunset. For a summer wedding you should really consider their beautiful wedding chapel for the ceremony.

Peterson House Wedding Photos
Peterson House Wedding Photos
Peterson House Wedding Photos

Peterson House Wedding Photos

Peterson House is a beautiful location to have your wedding photos. There are a few locations onsite for photos. There are a large number of vines surrounding the property. As well as some lovely gardens areas between and around the buildings on the property. They also have a beautiful dam with a small jetty which is perfect for photos at sunset.

As with all the wedding photos, the best time for photos is at sunset. And I would definitely recommend doing your couple portraits at sunset. If you do choose to do them earlier when the sun is still high in the sky, the light can be pretty harsh and unflattering, particularly if there are no clouds. There are a couple of shady spots where you can head to. A small cluster of trees is located near the entrance to the property. As well as another cluster of trees on the other side of the lake. And at the very back of the property, there are a few big trees and some more lovely vineyards.

It is also worth noting that you are not able to do any drone photography at Petersons House as there is a small airport located right across the road.

Peterson House Wedding Photos
The jetty with Peterson House in the background.
Peterson House Wedding Photos
These are the vines that look out from the reception room.
Peterson House Wedding Photos
peterson house weddings
Peterson House Wedding Photos
The best photos at the jetty will be taken at sunset.

Peterson House Wedding Venue

There are two locations where you can hold your wedding reception. In Restaurant Cuvee or in their marquee.

The marquee at Peterson House is a permanent structure located on the grass near the vines. I have never photographed a wedding in the marquee, but it looks like a really nice option. It can hold more than the restaurant, with a capacity of 200 guests. It can fairy lights, chandeliers and the side of the marquee open up fully, so it will almost feel like you are dining in the vines.

As with all marquee weddings in the Hunter Valley, I probably wouldn’t do them in winter as it gets freezing at night. The coldest wedding I ever shot was a marquee wedding in winter and it was so so cold.

Restaurant Cuvee is where I have photographed all my Peterson House weddings. It is located in the main sandstone building but at the opposite end to the wine tasting room. The room has huge beams of recycled timber and iron and it has beautiful views over the vineyards. It has a lovely rustic elegance to it. The restaurant has won numerous industry awards over the years so you know that the food is amazing. So you know you will never run out of bubbles.

I have photographed smaller more intimate wedding there as well as larger weddings as well. They can accommodate up to 140 wedding guests.

This is the reception room. On the right-hand side of the building is the reception room. On the left-hand side is generally the dancefloor area.
peterson house weddings
Peterson House Wedding Photos
Peterson House Wedding Photos
Peterson House Wedding Photos
Peterson House Wedding Photos
Peterson House Wedding Photos
peterson house weddings
The dancefloor was in a different location for this wedding. Inside the restaurant on the timber floors, as opposed to on the verandah area.
peterson house weddings

As one of my past couples, Sarah & Luke, said in an interview with Hunter Valley Wedding Planner Magazine:

“Peterson House was the perfect balance of elegance and homeliness without pretension. We were able to have a small, intimate wedding at a beautiful location, at a reasonable price.”

Sarah & Luke. (The Peterson’s who actually got married at Peterson House)

2019 Wedding Photography

2019 was another awesome year for us with wedding photography taking us all over Australia and around the state of NSW.

Wedding photography has allowed me to go to some dream locations around Australia and shoot some wonderful couples. Some highlights and things that just happened this year at weddings are…

  • I only had two rainy day weddings in 2019 which is totally unheard of. Normally I would have had a lot more.
  • Most of my couples this year wrote and said their own personal vows and had unplugged weddings… which is amazing! It makes it really special and more personal. I highly recommend that all couples do this.
  • I had an amazing wedding in Alice Springs where the couples gifted me my first Acoubra Hat!
  • At weddings, I saw Kangaroos, wombats, alpacas, horses, cows, dogs and even one red belly black snake.
  • I was lucky enough to do an elopement at Uluru, which has been in my bucket list for years.
  • Who knew there was a mountain top in the Hunter Valley where you could have a wedding? I shot one!
  • I shot my first wedding where half the bridal party were acrobats and I shot many weddings with no bridal party at all.
  • Had a wedding on Halloween night with a Tim Burtonesque feel.
  • Brides had many different styles of dresses. I had brides with black, red, pink, gold and silver dresses, and there might have been one or two in white ;) There was one bride with a $20 wedding dress that looked awesome and one with a dress that probably cost more than my car, that also looked amazing.
  • There also were lots of Brides and couples in general wearing boots. Which makes sense since to do a lot of country weddings.
  • Sadly towards the end of the year, most of my weddings were affected by the bushfires to some extent. Either by the smoke or actually trying to get to the wedding. The worst was a Port Macquarie wedding in November where roads were closed everywhere because of fire. But I managed to take a big detour around the fire and make it to the wedding. You will see some really crazy skies in some of the photos below.

Thank you to all the amazing wedding venues, wedding vendors and other wedding photographers who refer us. And of course a huge thank you to all our amazing couples who have trusted us to capture your most special day.

Wedding photography for 2020

My wedding photography has been changing and evolving over the 12+ years of shooting. In past years I have focused on different areas to work on, improve or just take more of. Do more night photography, do more drone shots, use more flash, use less flash etc. But my unofficial goal over the last couple of years, and going forward, is to take more meaningful images. And I think my work is attracting more like-minded couples who want this. Without couples who fully trust you, that open themselves up and actually be themselves then I can’t take the sort of images I would like to take artistically. This is how I like to shoot now…

  • Zero posing. I actually really don’t pose couples at all. I don’t like it in wedding photography because it is too contrived and gives the photos less meaning. I talk to couples, joke with couples, tell them to run through some grass or have a quiet moment together on the hill as the sun sets. And I do give a little direction if you get stuck and just stare at the camera, like a deer in headlights. I understand why some photographers pose couples more, and it’s because they can create the perfect image… which is awesome… but for me, no posing means for meaningful photos for the couple.
  • Get more couples to be themselves and show their real personalities. Forget everything you think wedding photography will be like. With me, there are no rules. Do whatever you like, be whoever you really are… as long as you stay true to yourselves. Because this is when you get real natural photos without any forced smiles. These sort of photos will mean more to you in years to come.
  • More fun and craziness. Weddings and wedding photography doesn’t have to be serious and boring. I want my couples to go crazy and have the most awesome time ever at their wedding! As long as it is legal and no one is going to get hurt… you can do whatever you want!

So with all that being said, here are a few of our favourite images from 2019.

confetti wedding
central coast wedding with bushfires
champagne spray at wolgan valley wedding
alice springs wedding in the dust
groom crying when seeing bride
drone photography wedding
dog resting on wedding dress
wedding confetti throw
circa 1876 wedding

Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding

The Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding of Ellie & Alex was easily one of the most stunning ceremony locations I have ever photographed. With one of the nicest couples you could ever meet. And who knew you could have a mountain top wedding ceremony in the Hunter Valley?

Ellie & Alex first contacted us, asking if we were interested in photographing their wedding on a mountain top, called Yellow Rock in the Hunter Valley. We were so excited! I don’t think anyone has ever had a wedding ceremony there before. I don’t think many people have ever been there and I could barely find any information about this amazing and historic location anywhere.

Logistically it is a bit of a nightmare to get to organise for them. It is really difficult to get to. It takes about an hour to get up there by 4 wheel drive and there are some parts that are a little sketchy. They contemplated catching a helicopter up to Yellow Rock, but that didn’t seem possible. And the whole idea nearly fell through. But they were pretty determined and they found a way to make it work for their wedding day.

Once up there the views were absolutely breathtaking. They had an unplugged ceremony and said some really beautiful vows, from the heart, which had everyone there in tears. If any engaged couples are reading this, I highly recommend you write your own personal vows to each other. It makes a ceremony so much more personal.

Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
wedding rings in box
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding

Yellow Rock is a very significant location for Aboriginal Australians. The Traditional owners of the land, where Yellow Rock is located, are the Wonnarua people.

Here is a little excerpt about Yellow Rock, which was read out at their wedding ceremony by a friend and a proud Wiradjuri woman:

“Yellow Rock, also known as the Big Lizard by Aboriginal people, is the site that we stand upon today. The Dreamtime tells us that many thousands of years ago there was a Great Lizard who wandered in from the coast, carving all the rivers of the valley as he went, causing water to flow out to the sea and give life to those who lived along their banks.

One day, Great Lizard carved a path to this location where he met two guards who were standing in his way. They told Great Lizard they had had enough of his wandering and ordered him to not go any further.

But, Great Lizard wouldn’t listen, so the two guards hurled a big rock at him, which stopped him in his tracks and turned him to stone.

To make sure Great Lizard doesn’t wake up and wander off again, the two guards turned themselves to stone and now they stand either side of Great Lizard and guard him for the rest of time, and till this day they still stand as they were.”

Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding
√

Yellow Rock overlooks the Broke area of the Hunter Valley. I have photographed so many weddings down at Broke and always looked up at this mountain thinking how nice it would be to photograph a wedding up there.

Yellow Rock is a stunning place to have a ceremony. It is not easy to get to, but it is well worth the journey. I hope you enjoyed this stunning Yellow Rock Hunter Valley wedding. And I hope this post has opened up the opportunity to other adventurous couples to have their wedding ceremony at this stunning location.