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Image Credit: Revell Landscaping

With outdoor weddings becoming increasingly popular, it’s difficult for couples to decide which setting will best suit their special day. From romantic gazebos to idyllic views, Bhria Vellnagel explores the unique qualities of six sublime garden venues in Melbourne.

If you’ve always dreamed of getting married surrounded by the sweet scent of evergreens in a blooming paradise, then the below venues are for you. Catering to all types of styles and themes, these gardens are certainly a cut above the rest.

PICTURESQUE PARADISE

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, getting married in a tranquil outdoor space is ideal. Featuring manicured gardens, an on-site chapel and an indoor reception venue, as well as a picturesque lake featuring an adorable family of ducks, Ballara Receptions can be customised to suit any style of wedding.

Instead of the classic sit-down dinner, Amanda Webb, the owner of Ballara Receptions, says many couples prefer to host their reception outdoors. An outdoor reception can only expand your food and beverage options, as well. Why not include an ice cream cart, fairy floss machine or food trucks? While surrounded by vibrant greenery, you and your guests can partake in an array of lawn games or capture once-in-a-lifetime memories in an open-air photo booth. To decorate this stunning venue, Webb suggests using plenty of flowers. “Flowers galore would have to be [the] number one [outdoor wedding trend],” she says.

“We are [also] seeing a lot of added draping of fabric, [as well as] cute personalised stationery.”

Couples often shy away from booking an outdoor venue due to the risk of rain. While this might put a dampener on some weddings, Ballara Receptions has you covered. “We always have our chapel on standby,” Webb says. “[Equipped] with heating and air conditioning, [Ballara Receptions is] ready for whatever weather Melbourne has in store.”

Hosting only one wedding at a time, Ballara Receptions also gives you the freedom to move indoors at the drop of a hat to ensure your day is perfect, no matter the weather.

RUSTIC ROMANCE

Situated on 25 acres of rustic bushland, Inglewood Estate provides a truly unique outdoor wedding experience. Offering spectacular views of Kangaroo Ground, the venue is a remarkable space in which to host one of the most memorable days of your life. “[Inglewood Estate] is a stunningly peaceful location with a beautiful lakeside [area for your] ceremony,” says Kat Motschall, the venue manager at Inglewood Estate.

Featuring white timber folding chairs and a hessian/lace aisle runner, the outdoor ceremony location exudes country-chic charm. The venue also offers a signing table with matching chairs for your convenience. “We see a lot of unique floral arches and flower arrangements,” says Motschall. “Hay bales [are also commonly] used for seating.

With Inglewood Estate’s natural scenery serving as the perfect backdrop, you can choose to decorate the venue in one of its complementary design themes. Including on-trend metal or wooden signage, as well as other décor such as flower arches and timber chairs, your wedding will be transformed into a dream come true. Motschall says many couples are choosing to forgo traditional chapel ceremonies and host outdoor weddings instead, which create a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere. “[Before heading off for photography], guests can congratulate the couple [at the] chapel bar,” she suggests. The on-site non-denominational chapel is the venue’s helpful wet-weather back-up, which is always ready in the event of rain. Featuring antique pews and stained-glass windows, the chapel has a stunning hand-built stone exterior that’s ideal for photography.

Ballara Receptions

FIT FOR ROYALTY

If you’ve been swept away by a recent royal wedding, then Overnewton Castle is the venue for you. Surrounded by manicured English gardens, the historical castle is the perfect location for couples to exchange vows. “There is so much love in the air here,” says Emma Stott, the venue manager at Overnewton Castle. “Even the butterflies choose to migrate here.”

With five acres of private gardens, breathtaking architecture, and a wrought-iron gazebo decorated in twinkling fairy lights, Overnewton Castle is perfect for the bride who wants the royal treatment on her wedding day. Stott says she’s even noticed an increased demand for floral archways and the inclusion of animals in ceremonies at Overnewton Castle. “Couples are welcome to hire a marquee if they wish,” she says. “There are plenty of open spaces that can accommodate [them].” By including more greenery and your furry friends at the ceremony, you and your guests are sure to enjoy the day to its fullest.

With ceremony packages accommodating up to 120 guests, a red carpet walkway, and a clothed signing table with two additional chairs, the venue will ensure you walk down the aisle in refined style. “[Our non-denominational chapel] is included in our ceremony pricing,” says Stott. With an onsite honeymoon suite also available, you’ll be completely relaxed at the end of the day.

BOTANICAL BEAUTY

Set among the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens, The Terrace is the perfect place to host your reception. “What more could you want than [to have] your wedding reception in the middle of the garden of all gardens,” says Emily Major, the wedding and function coordinator at The Terrace. “Our floor-to-ceiling glass windows open up to our outdoor area, which boasts views of the gardens and Ornamental Lake.”

Major says garden weddings have become increasingly popular, as the abundance of nature emanates a fairytale theme. A sheltered reception venue, The Terrace will ensure your special day is remembered for all the right reasons.

With minimalist décor currently trending in the wedding industry, The Terrace’s botanical surrounds provide the perfect floral canvas. “Whether it’s green vines running down the centre of the table and cascading all the way to the floor, or vases overflowing with greenery, I’ve noticed more couples have been [gravitating towards] a green foliage theme,” Major says.

Accommodating up to 300 guests in a cocktail setting, The Terrace also supplies a delectable menu for you and your guests to indulge in.

THAT’S AMORE!

With an array of unique and quirky figurines and sculptures positioned throughout its stunning gardens, Villa Verde is a truly outstanding wedding location. Situated close to the airport, this breathtaking venue is owned and operated by the passionate Rocky and Antionette Barka, who will ensure your experience is completely personalised and everything you’ve ever dreamed of. “Our patrons feel very comfortable within such a sustainable and natural environment,” says Antionette Barca.

Featuring two lakes, a small vineyard, a Japanese garden with a relaxing waterfall, and an avenue covered in delicate blossoms, Villa Verde is perfect for a relaxed outdoor ceremony. For your reception, the iconic outdoor dining hall features a rustic 30m red gum table that is perfect for postwedding celebrations. “This 20-year-old garden [also] houses a rotunda that can be decorated with tulle and roses on request,” says Antionette Barka. “The photographic opportunities [at Villa Verde] are endless.”

To complete your wedding, some packages include tables and a red aisle runner, as well as chairs and chair covers. A light drizzle won’t spoil your wedding, as Villa Verde has on-hand marquees to ensure everything continues as planned.

EUROPEAN ESCAPE

If you’ve always dreamed of getting married alongside the stunning architecture and rolling rivers of Northern Europe, look no further than Aria at Windmill Gardens. Featuring a shimmering lake and a windmill, your wedding will feel like a dream at this unique garden venue. David Atanasovski, the owner and director of Aria at Windmill Gardens, says its extensive landscaping, authentic Dutch windmill, indoor and outdoor ceremony options, and unobscured water views deliver a venue with unrivalled individuality.

Featured on The Bachelor Australia, Aria at Windmill Gardens is one of the most romantic venues in Melbourne. Say your “I do’s” among its established topiaries and flowing willow trees, before taking a stroll around the gardens to capture your wedding photography. Aria at Windmill Gardens offers couples the choice between two outdoor garden ceremonies or a stand-alone chapel, so you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice when deciding where to wed. “Both [spaces] come with a variety of different setup options,” Atanasovski says.

Encompassed by floral breezes and open spaces, hosting your wedding at any one of these picturesque locations will leave you and your guests in awe of their unique beauty. With each venue offering a back-up option in case unfortunate weather strikes, you can rest easy knowing that drizzle won’t dampen your day. From manicured gardens and tranquil lakes, to rustic bushland, you’re sure to find the perfect venue to celebrate the love between you and your significant other.