FAVOURITE WEDDING VENUES HUNTER VALLEY

by a Hunter Valley wedding photographer

Wedding Venues Hunter Valley

Find the top Hunter valley wedding venues. Reviews of the best wedding venues Hunter Valley from a wedding photographer who has photographed them all. Written by a Hunter Valley wedding photographer who has shot well over 400 weddings!

The Hunter Valley is famous for its wine, its food and it is now one of the most popular places to have a wedding. The Hunter Valley is my backyard and I am there most weekends. Having shot well over 400 weddings, I have seen a lot of wedding venues. And the Hunter Valley has some of the best!

There are so many wedding venues options for couples to choose from. Every time I go to the Hunter Valley I see another place has starting to do weddings. But the Hunter Valley is not just Pokolbin. The Hunter Region is a huge area.

If you asked me what my favourite wedding venue is, I would probably say “anywhere I haven’t shot before.” I love the variety and exploring new places. Photographically it is always exciting to be in new surroundings and environment. But there are definitely some criteria that I personally prefer in a wedding venue.

In this article, I really want to tell you my favourite wedding venues in the Hunter Valley from a wedding photographers point of view. The venues I have chosen are more for weddings of 50-150 people. If you are having a small wedding or elopement, some of these venues may not work for you, as there may be minimum numbers, min spends etc.

Mindaribba House

What I look for in a wedding venue

There are a number of factors I consider when looking at a wedding venue. As a photographer, sometimes you look at the venue and just can’t wait to shoot there again. Other times you think that it’s going to be a challenging day. Having said this, my favourite Hunter Valley wedding venues all have a couple of things in common. They are all in a beautiful location, have amazingly friendly venue staff, and most have the ability to have everything on site. Where the start of the day, to the end of the night can be done at the one location.

Onsite Accommodation

The beauty of the Hunter Valley is that there is a lot of accommodation available on places like Stays & Airbnb and even some larger hotel chains. But I think it is even better if there is good onsite accommodation available. Firstly for the wedding couple, and secondly for their guests. Everyone can just walk back to their rooms at the end of the night.

Having onsite accommodation for the wedding couple, really takes away any travel stress or time pressures on a wedding day. Knowing that you can walk to the ceremony can definitely ease your mind.

I personally love it when couples both get ready at the same property. They usually just get ready in different rooms on different floors and I’ve never had a couple accidentally see each other unless they want to. What is great about it, from a photographers point of view, is that I can just walk between both of you during the preparations. It makes preparation photos much easier and more relaxed for everyone.

redleaf wollombi wedding

Ceremony Locations

Being able to have the ceremony at the same place as the reception is another major factor that I love. It makes it much easier for yourselves and for your guests. Have your ceremony, mingle with your guests, have drinks & canapes, do some photos, then walk into the reception. Easy! No travel involved for anyone.

Some Hunter Valley venues don’t do that many weddings and don’t necessarily have the best locations for wedding ceremonies. There might be ugly backgrounds, bad light, no shade, too tight a space etc.   As a professional wedding photographer, you learn how to work around them, but in the back of your mind, you know things could be better. If you are planning an outdoor ceremony check out my outdoor wedding ceremony tips.

A decent wet weather option is also a plus. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I shot a wedding ceremony in a carport because of the rain. There was no other alternative on the day, so it wasn’t ideal.

So look for a place with a great ceremony location and a decent wet weather alternative.

Photo Locations

Being able to do photos on site is another factor that I look for. Some venues have stunning landscapes and scenery, which means there is no need to leave the property to get some beautiful photos. I also love a venue that has a fairly large property so that you can get a nice variety of locations and looks. Ideally, there should be some trees and shade, because the Hunter Valley can be an extremely hot place, particularly in the summer months where it can crack the forties!

The Reception Venue

This is very much a personal choice. But if you are getting married in the Hunter Valley, I prefer the setting to be individual and unique to the property and the landscape. From a rustic barn-like property to an elegant restaurant. What I hate the most is when a room looks like a generic function room that could be anywhere in the world.

If you’re getting married in summer, then you should also look for a venue with air-conditioning or with lots of outdoor space so guests can get fresh air and a breeze. And in winter a fireplace or firepit is a bonus.

Adams Peak

The venue staff & management

I have been to a lot of wedding venues, and I can tell by the way the staff and management interact with themselves and with other wedding vendors, how the service will be.

For example, there are a couple of very popular Sydney wedding venues that used to work at a lot… I like to call them ‘wedding factories’… and the staff just looked depressed and overworked. They never smiled and barely interacted with guests. Then you look at the supervisors/managers and you can see that they looked stressed and also barely smile. I am a firm believer that the way owners & management treat their staff, will reflect on the service given.

So when you are talking to coordinators or property owners, if they are not particularly friendly, helpful & accommodating when you first meet them, just imagine what they will be like on the day, when the pressure of a wedding is on them.

My favourite wedding venues Hunter Valley

So this is a list of my favourite wedding venues in the Hunter Valley, They really reflect the style of weddings I like to shoot and cover the points I have listed above. You can’t go wrong going with any of these places. It will basically come down to your personal preferences.

There are in no particular order… they are all awesome!

Circa 1876

64 Halls Rd,

Pokolbin

Website

 

What I love:

- Accommodation very close at The Convent. Properties on the same road offer more accommodation options.

- It has one of the nicest locations for an outdoor ceremony.

- Lots of beautiful locations for photos onsite, all within walking distance.

- Reception room itself is absolutely stunning with its exposed timber beams.

- Food & service is always amazing!!

- Up to 150 guests

 

View Circa 1876 wedding here

 

IronBark Hill

694 Hermitage Rd,

Pokolbin

Website

 

What I love:

- The whole wedding from start to finish can take place at this amazing venue.

- Beautiful chapel overlooking the vines with one of the only chapels in the Hunter with air conditioning.

- Lots of land, so plenty of locations for beautiful photos.

- Stunning air conditioned reception venue with amazing food and staff.

- Staff are amazing!!

- Up to 150 guests

 

View IronBark Hill wedding here

 

 

Adams Peak

66 Adams Peak Road,

Broke

Website

 

What I love:

- The whole wedding, from start to finish, can take place at this amazing venue.

- Accommodation onsite. Plus some beautiful private accommodation at Broke.

- Beautiful mountain backdrop for ceremony.

- Lots of land, so plently of locations for photos.

- Rustic reception rooms. Two options.

- Owners are amazing!

- Up to 160 guests.

 

View Adams Peak wedding here

 

Peppers Creek

1946 Broke Rd,

Pokolbin

Website

 

What I love:

- The whole wedding from start to finish can take place at this amazing venue.

- Accommodation onsite.

- Beautiful little chapel set amongst the vines.

- Lots of land and locations for photos.

- Beautiful reception room with a huge fireplace which is perfect for winter weddings.

- Staff are fantastic!!

- Up to 180 guests.

 

View Peppers Creek wedding here

 

 

Mindaribba House

532 Tocal Rd,

Tocal

Website

 

What I love:

- The whole wedding from start to finish can take place at this amazing venue.

- Accommodation onsite.

- Various options for outdoor ceremony.

- Beautiful property with lots of land and locations for photos.

- Staff are wonderful!

- They are building an Indian Tent which should be completed by July 2019.

 

View Mindaribba House wedding here

 

wallalong house wedding

Wallalong House

76 Wallalong Rd,

Wallalong

Website

 

What I love:

- The whole wedding from start to finish can take place at this amazing venue.

- Some accommodation onsite in historic house.

- Beautiful ceremony location between two large fig trees.

- Beautiful gardens and grounds for photos.

- Permanent Indian tent as the venue.

- Awesome friendly staff!

- Up to 150 guests.

 

View Wallalong House wedding here

 

Wandin Valley Estate

12 Wilderness Rd,

Lovedale

Website

 

What I love:

- The whole wedding from start to finish can take place at this amazing venue.

- Lots of accommodation onsite for guests.

- Beautiful locations for outdoor ceremonies, but also a great wet weather barn location.

- Lots and lots of Kangaroos.

- Huge property, so lots of land and locations for photos.

- Beautiful reception venue set next to cricket oval.

- Up to 120 guests.

 

View Wandin wedding here

 

Bistro Molines at Tallavera Grove

749 Mount View Rd,

Mount View

Website

 

What I love:

- Small house onsite, perfect for Bride or just the couple to get ready at.

- High up on a hill, so it has stunning views of the Hunter Valley.

- Lots of land and vines to plenty of locations for photos.

- One of the best restaurants in the Hunter Valley.

- Amazing owners and staff!

- Up to 90 guests.

 

View Bistro Molines wedding here

 

 

Margan Wines & Restaurant

1238 Milbrodale Rd,

Broke

Website

 

What I love:

- No onsite accommodation, but some beautiful private accommodation available across the road and plenty on the same road.

- Beautiful mountain backdrop for ceremony.

- Plently of vines and land for photos.

- Reception is a stunning barrel room.

- Some of the best food in the Hunter.

- Up to 120 guests

 

View Margan wedding here

 

 

 

 

Redleaf Wollombi

2480 Wollombi Rd,

Wollombi

Website

 

What I love:

- The whole wedding, from start to finish can take place here.

- Luxury Tuscan ispired house with lots of rooms.

- Beautiful grounds for photos.

- Up to 60 guests or hire a marquee for larger weddings.

 

View Redlead Wollombi wedding here

cavanagh photography

Blair Athol Estate Wollombi

518 Narone Creek Rd,

Wollombi

Website

 

What I love:

- The whole wedding from start to finish can take place at this amazing venue.

- Accommodation onsite.

- Moutain top location for your ceremony.

- Huge property, so lots of land and locations for photos.

- Beautiful reception venue.

- Awesome owner!

- Up to 80 guests.

 

View Blair Athol Estate wedding here

 

tocal homestead wedding

Tocal Homestead

957 Tocal Rd,

Paterson

Website

 

What I love:

- The whole wedding from start to finish can take place at this amazing venue.

- Accommodation onsite.

- Beautiful ceremony location.

- Large property, so lots of land and locations for photos.

- Beautiful reception venue.

- Up to 120 guests

 

View Tocal Homestead wedding here

 

Bimbadgen Palmers Lane

Bimbadgen Palmers Lane

790 McDonalds Rd,

Pokolbin

Website

 

 

What I love:

- The whole wedding from start to finish can take place at this amazing venue.

- Accommodation onsite.

- Beautiful ceremony location overlooking mountains.

- Large property, so lots of land and locations for photos.

- Beautiful reception venue.

- Reception can be held outdoors under the stars.

- Up to 130 guests

 

View Bimbadgen Palmers Lane wedding here

 

 

Your own place

If you are lucky enough to own a property in the Hunter Valley, or someone in your family owns a property in the Hunter Valley, you should definitely consider using it for your wedding.

 

I absolute love shooting at private residences or family properties!!

 

The photos will have more meaning and be more personal to you. Plus you will have photos at locations that no one else will have.

So if you have a family farm... use the barn or the hay shed. Or if you have a property with a decent size backyard... hire a marquee. Then get some caterers or a food truck. It will be awesome!