Sydney wedding venues that are not shit
Let’s talk wedding venues in Sydney. Everyone is different, and in a city like Sydney with a relatively small range of wedding reception venues available, it’s hard not to feel deflated when you’re looking for something different and unique.
When it comes to finding a unique wedding venue (or any unique wedding option really), here is my simple rule – THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. Told ya it was simple. ANYWHERE can be a wedding venue! If it can hold people, has a bathroom and power or a place to store the booze, then it’s a venue. If you twist your mind away from that stereotypical ‘set menu, white chair covers’ idea of what a wedding SHOULD look like, and open up towards the possibility of what a wedding COULD look like (think cosy candle lit bar with rustic wooden bar tables, or graffiti covered alleyway with milk crates and beer pong!), then you’ll find a whole world of new options open up!
“ANYWHERE can be a wedding venue! If it can hold people, has a bathroom and power or a place to store the booze, then it’s a venue.”
Here’s what I want you to do. You and your partner write down a list of all the places you like to spend time. Parks, cafes, music venues, restaurants, pubs, bars, family/friends houses, sporting fields, clubs. Write em all down. Now, pick your favs and start emailing managers/venue/staff/owners/local council/your mum to ask if they’d be open to hosting an event! Easy peasy.
You may get a few knock backs, or some who are a bit hesitant, but seriously it could not be more easy. Maybe you need to offer to pay for some extra staff to help lighten the venues load, maybe you need to rent in extra chairs, maybe you need to get Uncle Bruce to pick up 14 bags of ice on the way to the reception so the beer doesn’t get hot. But seriously, it’s actually possible and relatively easy to host a gathering of people in ANY location.
And to help you get started, here are a few of my top picks for ‘out of the box’ wedding venues in Sydney..
(upon writing this article, I started writing down all my favs/dream wedding venues and realised there are a BILLION of them. So this will be in two parts..)
“Write down a list of all the places you like to spend time. Parks, cafes, music venues, restaurants, pubs, bars, family/friends houses, sporting fields, clubs. Write em all down.”
Umm. Beer. Good beer. And a giant warehouse and carpark. I don’t think I need to say much more. I know they don’t normally take event bookings (and they are in a residential area so noise restrictions do apply) but I have recently spied a wedding on Young Henry’s instagram account, so I reckon if you’re open to a middle of the day wedding (which means you have plenty of time for an after party!) then this could be perfect..
The Imperial Hotel has had a facelift recently, and my god she is looking more fabulous than ever! But the history of this iconic pub still remains, as do the divine performances and flamboyant queens. There are plenty of spaces to choose from, with options for 8 guests right up to 300 guests.. that means you have room to invite every bloody person you know and scream “LOOK AT ME IM FABULOUS AND IM GETTING MARRIED”. Who doesn’t want that on their wedding day?!
Like it or not, weddings leave a huge footprint behind on the world. They also can cost a lot of money. Its so easy to get caught up in spending all this cash on your dream day, and I often here people saying ‘I can’t believe you are going to spend all that money on ONE day’. While that is true, it is still your wedding day and it should be celebrated in a special way. But how do we shake off that guilt? The Freedom Hub is an ethical wedding venue in Waterloo, hosting ceremony and receptions in their incredible warehouse space, who then use all their profits to support people who have experienced modern day slavery or human trafficking within Australian borders. Your wedding has the potential to make an actual fucking difference in ending modern day slavery. How incredible is that?!
Sydney’s tallest, newest and best kept secret wedding venue. On the 86th floor of Sydney Tower (or Centre point tower to those in my generation.. I just cant call it anything else!) is a function space called the STUDIO with the most INCREDIBLE VIEWS of Sydney. Best suited to a cocktail/stand up style wedding, but they do have sit down options. Oh, and the food it bloody top notch. This venue is perfect if you have lots of friends and family traveling from overseas for your wedding – they will be BLOWN AWAY with the views.
Dog lovers and fur parents, rejoice!! The Carrington is a dog friendly pub and your pooch is more than welcome (I actually think they prefer dog patrons in some cases..). I recently styled a wedding at The Carrington with a ring-bearer puppy dog and I was lucky enough to make him a FLOWER COLLAR! Guys, a dog wearing flowers in a pub! DREAM COME TRUE! You can book out just a corner of The Carrington, or the whole bloody place for a minimum spend (no booking fee, whoo!) and they have a wide range of food + booze options to suit everyone.
“Tokyo Sing Song loves a party..” Yeah me too. Funky, quirky, unique, dark and lil bit dirty. Tokyo Sing Song has so much fucking great potential for a wedding. Imagine saying your “i dos” on that stage, like a real fucking rockstar, followed by an epic dance party and shots at the bar. Exclusive use during the week (‘Wednesday weddings’ are the new ‘Saturday Weddings!’) or available until 8pm on weekends. And you’re already in Newtown, so who knows where the rest of the night might take you..
Photo by Nina Claire Photography
Full disclaimer – the Balmain Hotel was my wedding venue. AND IT FUCKING RULED! We hired out the bistro area for the night and held the ceremony in the beer garden. We had a billion mini burgers, hot dogs, nachos, and an open bar, 55 of our best friends and one KICK ASS party. Plus, The Balmain Hotel already looks incredible so you’ll save big bucks on wedding decorations.
Alright, so there is this week’s brain dump on Sydney Wedding Venues that are not shit. I already have a list of another 20 billion* other potentially excellent/non-shit venues, so keep an eye out on my social medias for part two.
*Actual number is more like 17.