2013 was a pretty massive year for us in weddings. Here are a few of our favourites… enjoy!
2013 was a pretty massive year for us in weddings. Here are a few of our favourites… enjoy!
Any event at The Convent Hunter Valley wedding is bound to be simply amazing. They do lots of weddings and they do weddings really, really well. They have an amazing team, in a beautiful location and they can tailor each wedding to suit your needs and style.
I have photographed countless weddings at this amazing wedding venue. And I can confidently say, that if you have a Convent Hunter Valley wedding, you will most probably have a fantastic wedding and a fantastic experience of planning a wedding.
This is my guide to having your wedding at The Convent and Circa 1876 in the Hunter Valley. Written by a wedding photographer who has photographed many many weddings there over the years.
The Convent is located 2.5 hours drive from Sydney up the M1 or about 40 minutes from Newcastle. It sits in one of Australia’s best wine regions, Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley.
It has a very unique location and is basically part of a large estate consisting of three main buildings. The Convent, Pepper Tree Winery and Circa 1876. Pepper Tree Winery is a separate business and not associated with the others. The Convent is located at one end, Pepper Tree is in the middle and Circa 1876 is at the other end of the property.
The Convent and Circa 1876 are part of the Escarpment Group, which owns five luxury hotels and resorts. They have properties in the Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains and all of the properties are beautiful wedding venues.
This beautiful property is a large Hampton property with European luxury interiors and an Australian country house feel. It consists of:
Circa 1876 is a multi-award winning, hatted restaurant. It is also the main location for most weddings. The majority of weddings at The Convent will have their wedding outside in the gardens, followed by the reception inside Circa 1876.
What I love about the food at Circa 1876 is that there is a true ‘paddock to plate’ philosophy. They have a chicken coop, beehives and gardens onsite which they grow and use for food. There is also a head gardener that looks after it all. And during a wedding ceremony, and during pre-dinner drinks, you can actually see chefs in the garden collecting fresh vegetables and herbs. Which is pretty wonderful to see.
The reason why it is called “The Convent” is because it was once home to the Brigidine order of nuns in Coonamble. It was built in 1909 to house a community of Irish born Catholic nuns who were setting up schools in Australia.
I found out this information while shooting a wedding at Circa and a guy said to me that he is from the town where this building originated from. I naturally thought he was crazy. But it turns out he wasn’t.
In 1980 the building was no longer being used and was in danger of being demolished. A joint project between Peppers Guest House, James Fairfax and Robert and Sally Molines (now running Bistro Molines), they carefully dismantled the building. The building was moved 600 kilometres from Coonamble and reconstructed to where it sits today in the Hunter Valley.
Back then, it was under the Peppers brand, until it was bought by the Escarpment Group in 2016.
One of my biggest tips for couples when organising a wedding is to try to get accommodation at the same place where you are having your wedding. By doing this you will reduce any unnecessary travel time, and because you don’t have to travel anywhere, it will definitely reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
There are four neighbouring properties just behind The Convent which offer boutique accommodation, which are good options for you and your family and wedding guests.
My two favourites would have to be The Woods, and Carriages Boutique Hotel & Vineyard. I have done Bride & Groom preparations at both these properties and they both offer great accommodation with lots of room in a country setting.
The good thing about Carriages is that there is also a small walking track that links it to The Convent, which is handy if you have guests or family staying in both.
But if possible I would recommend that you book accommodation at The Convent. It means you will be onsite for your wedding, making it so much easier for yourself.
It features 19 luxury rooms in its boutique accommodation. There are four rooms types:
Pro tip – Book Convent accommodation early!
The Convent will hold multiple weddings every weekend. They may have a Friday, Saturday and even a Sunday wedding. So accommodation will book out early. So book it early to avoid disappointment.
And tell your guests to book accommodation early as well. It’s not unusual for the whole of The Convent to be booked out by one wedding. Also note, if there is a concert in the Hunter Valley, accommodation everywhere will book out and also increase in price.
I would recommend that couples both get ready at The Convent. It makes it much easier to photograph both of you as I can easily walk between rooms.
You can still get ready at the same place and not see each other.
Generally speaking one of you will get ready in one of the rooms on the top floor, while the other will get ready downstairs or out the back in the garden rooms. It makes it really easy not to see each other.
One of you will also leave for the ceremony before the other, so it is quite easy to avoid seeing each other if that’s what you want.
This couple below actually got ready on the same level with the same adjoining balcony. With rooms at each end of the balcony. One they were dressed, they did a ‘first look’, because they wanted to do some photos before the ceremony.
In their wedding brochure, they say that you can have your ceremony in one of six locations.
The reality is that every single wedding I have photographed there has had their wedding ceremony at the Circa 1876 Gardens unless it has been moved because of rain.
The Gardens is, without doubt, the best location for your wedding ceremony. It has been designed to have a ceremony here.
The photo below was from my first wedding I photographed there. Back in 2012 when the place was called Roberts. It started getting more and more popular for weddings that the grass dies from wear and tear. It turned into more of a dirt track that they tried to grow back over the off-season. Then in 2016 or 2017, they put a path and paved area in, which looks lovely as well.
The main reason I like the ceremony location so much is because of the light. The sun will be behind the couple and it is filtered through the trees making the light even on faces and much softer overall. The direction of light is perfect!
If it does rain on your wedding day, there are a few ceremony options that I know of.
The Chapel would be a good wet weather option but only if your numbers are relatively small. It is a fairly small space inside there.
The Grand Marquee, located towards The Covent end of the property could be another good option. Particularly if you have large numbers.
The only place I have actually photographed a wet weather wedding on the property is on the verandah/deck of Circa 1876. Where the dance floor is normally located. As you can see it’s not too bad an option. It looks onto the vines, but can get pretty tight with a lot of people and photographically speaking… it is quite heavily backlit.
If it is only a really light drizzle on your wedding day, I would be pushing for an outdoor ceremony first. Use this only if you really need to.
The wonderful thing about having your wedding here is that you do not need to travel anywhere else to do wedding photos. It is set is such a picturesque location that all you need to do is walk outside and you are ready to take photos. Everything is in walking distance, so no transport is needed.
Here are a few of my favourite images from weddings around The Convent and Circa 1876 in the Hunter Valley.
There are a few options for your wedding reception at The Convent.
I have never done a wedding reception in The Chapel or the Grand Marquee. But I have done one wedding at Restaurant Eighty Eight. And I think it was in Restaurant Eighty Eight because there was already a wedding in Circa 1876. Every other wedding at The Convent Hunter Valley has been at Circa 1876.
Restaurant Eighty Eight is located inside The Convent building itself. It is ideal for up to 50 guests and is a beautiful intimate room that opens up to the Wisteria courtyard.
Circa 1876 is where 99% of wedding receptions happen. It is set up perfectly for weddings. You have the ceremony in the garden, have drinks outside, then enter the French doors into this historic cottage and into this room…
Circa 1876 has been the location for so many beautiful weddings in the Hunter Valley over the years. It is an amazing wedding venue that has seen so incredible moments happen and every single wedding has been totally different but the love and celebration from family and friends is the same.
The ‘First Dance” and party afterwards happens on the deck adjacent to the reception room. So wedding guests can party the night away on the dancefloor or stay inside and drink and mingle.
The Convent Hunter Valley
88 Halls Road, Pokolbin, NSW 2320
I photographed my first wedding at The Convent Hunter Valley back in 2012 when it looked a little more rustic and it was under different owners. But they did beautiful weddings back then and they still do weddings extremely well today. The difference is now, people know how good a wedding venue they are and they are booked out every weekend.
When I look at wedding venues, there are three main factors which, in my opinion, make some better than others
The Convent Hunter Valley ticks all these boxes for weddings and even more. Cassie and her amazing team will make sure you have the wedding of your dreams and I can confidently say that if you have a wedding there, your wedding photos will be beautiful.
Hey, I’m Adam. I’m all about capturing couples in a relaxed, unobtrusive way with a bit of awesome!!
If you love natural, candid moments and hate anything cheesy, then check out more of our work.
The Bistro Molines Tallavera Grove wedding of Chloe & Andrew’s was a pretty awesome day to be a part of.
I was up before sunrise on a cold misty morning to capture this amazing day. This beautiful wedding was a day-time wedding in the Hunter Valley. The wedding ceremony was held at St Patricks of Nulkaba and the wedding reception was at Bistro Molines.
We hope you enjoy this beautiful Bistro Molines Tallavera Grove wedding. Here are a few of my favourite images from the day :)
The Putta Bucca House wedding of Naomi & Dane was one of those weddings where everything falls into place just perfectly. It was a gorgeous day, beautiful light, amazing location and with two of the nicest people you could ever meet.
The wedding took place in Mudgee, at an old historic house from 1827 called Putta Bucca House. The wedding ceremony took place in the garden, while the reception was held in a marquee onsite. And with 25 acres of land to explore, there was plenty of places for photos.
To get some of the photos you will see, these guys walked through some of the meanest, most prickly grass you have ever seen. It may have looked like dry grass, but it was basically prickly thorns in the shape of grass. And for the last photo of the night, Dane literally threw Naomi over his shoulder and stepped over a wire fence in the dark.
So enjoy Naomi & Dane’s beautiful Putta Bucca House wedding in Mudgee :)
Hair & Make up: Luxe Makeup Artistry
Flowers: Mudgee Florist
Celebrant: Kali Newcomb
Cake: Who ate the cake
Band: White Tree Band
Decorator/Stylist: Domayn Events
The Stanley Park wedding of Pippy & Jarad was a beautiful winter wedding in one of the grandest waterfront venues in the Newcastle & Port Stephens area.
Stanley Park is a huge historic, eight-bedroom homestead set on 28 areas of land right on the waterfront. It is located in the suburb of Fullerton Cove, which is just twenty minutes from Newcastle or twenty-five minutes from Port Stephens. It is a huge, historic two-storey homestead built-in 1897. And it is an absolutely stunning place to have a wedding!
The girls got ready onsite at Stanley Park, while the boys got ready at some nearby accommodation near Port Stephens.
The wedding ceremony took place at a church in Newcastle called Sacred Heart Cathedral. My favourite moment from the church was when the bride’s parents walked her down the aisle and she sees her soon-to-be husband for the first time.
After the church ceremony, we drove back to Stanley Park and did a few photos outside the homestead and around the very old and huge Moreton Bay fig. Which is an iconic spot for photos at Stanley Park and also a popular location for wedding ceremonies.
The bride & groom spend the rest of the afternoon chatting and eating with their guests. There was lots of food, a beer truck and various wedding games. And then, right on sunset, we took a few photos of just the two of them.
Once the sun fully set, the fog rolled in and the temperature dropped considerably. And everyone gathered in the amazing marquee by Beavis Your Event Team. There were some touching wedding speeches and some crazy dancing. Pretty much all the ingredients needed for an awesome party.
So I hope you enjoy this amazing Stanley Park wedding! It was a wonderful day to photograph and I can’t wait to shoot more weddings there in the future :)
I am totally jealous of any Wagga Wagga wedding photographer because they have locations like this right on their doorstep. When I scouted this wedding on Google earth, I saw a really dry, dusty land. But when I arrived the day before the wedding to scout it out in person, I couldn’t believe how beautiful and green everything was. Canola fields and lush green rolling hills covered with sheep and endless photographic locations.
The wedding of Sophie & Shane is pretty much my ideal wedding. Amazing relaxed, fun couple and all in held in a stunning location… perfect! They got married on their family sheep farm, in Wantabadgery which is near Wagga Wagga. The wedding ceremony was held in their amazing driveway with hay bales for seats and the reception was out the back in a huge hay shed. It is such a big property, with so many possible photo locations that i could have shot there for days and still not scratched the surface.
Here are just a few of my favourites from the day and if anyone needs a Wagga Wagga wedding photographer, just let me know as I’d love to shoot in the area again. So enjoy the story of Sophie & Shane’s beautiful farm wedding.
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…
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.
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 would like to shoot more in 2020…
So with all that being said, here are a few of our favourite images from 2019.