The Western District of Victoria, which stretches from Ballarat in the east to the South Australian border to the west, is blessed with some amazing wedding venues. They are however not always easy to find. I’ve been fortunate to work at most of the major venues over the past five years, so I’ve got a bit of local knowledge when it comes to finding the ideal spot.
To help you plan your perfect wedding I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite venues (in strict alphabetical order) along with some photos and links to blog posts shot at each of them.
For people looking for more options along the coast, check out my guide to Great Ocean Road Wedding Venues.
I’ll be updating this list whenever I find new venues and if you know of somewhere amazing that I’ve missed please let me know so I can add them. If you have any questions about any of the Western District wedding venues listed, or don’t quite see the perfect one get in touch, I’m sure I’ll be able to help!
Blauvelt Park in Terang is a wonderful venue steeped in history. A former Presbyterian manse it has been lovingly converted into a stunning venue with several acres of manicured grounds.
One huge highlight is the hedge maze which forms the centerpiece of the gardens and provides a lovely spot to disappear to when it’s time for some portraits.
Chatsworth House is truly versatile venue located about halfway between Hamilton and Mortlake. In addition to the wonderful formal gardens the property also has some lovely trees and the rolling countryside is truly beautiful.
As an added bonus the property has several converted stable buildings which serve as ideal reception venues.
[October 2020 – It has come to my attention that Chatsworth House has new owners (if it’s you, congratulations, it’s an amazing property) and may or may not be taking new wedding bookings. I’m looking into this, so check back soon for more information]
Colac Golf Club
Colac’s golf club is a wonderful place to hold a wedding, boasting picturesque fairways, cute dams and a charming clubhouse in which to hold your reception with a minimum of travel required.
Located just north of Colac, Coragulac House is a splendid homestead with some truly rustic charm. It also has a wonderful brick built stable building which can serve as both an undercover ceremony venue or a nice spot for your reception.
Featuring amazing views along the coastline The Elliot in Apollo Bay is a stunning venue with plenty of space to make your day special. The house on site is an architectural marvel and is super photogenic for getting ready photos too!
A relatively new venue in the industry I seriously cannot wait to shoot there again!
[Update – October 2021 – It would appear the Elliot is not taking bookings at this time, hopefully this will change as the COVID situation rectifies itself, stay tuned for more details]
As we adapt to the post COVID-19 world, elopements and micro weddings are becoming increasingly popular. One upside of keeping things really small is being able to access more adventurous locations for your ceremony.
One of the most stunning spots for a wedding in the Western District is the Grampians national park surrounding Halls Gap. Offering stunning views and tranquil wooded areas, it might be just the spot for your big (little) day.
Mt Sturgeon Homestead
Just outside Dunkeld, Mt Sturgeon Homestead is an amazing venue with both a classic period homestead and breathtaking scenery. Overlooked by the Grampians it is definitely somewhere to consider if you want to capture that country style.
In addition to the homestead itself Mt Sturgeon Homestead has a converted woolshed that serves as a perfect reception venue so everything can happen all in one place.
Part of the Sovereign Hill estate just outside Ballarat, Narmbool is a fine example of the classic western district homestead with an amazing formal garden which can provide a superb location for a ceremony. The homestead is also surrounded by seemingly endless rolling pastures (around 20,000 hectares) which get some amazing evening light, perfect for portraits.
Reception needs are taken care of with a purpose built dining room, with seating for over a hundred guests.
Otways Redwood Plantation
One of the most magical places in Victoria, the redwood plantation in the heart of the Otways is a truly special place to have a wedding. Surrounded by trees which tower over everything it feels like it’s own enchanted kingdom.
Very very highly recommended.
Port Campbell Surf Lifesaving Club
While it might be more suited as a reception venue after outdoor ceremonies (I’ve shot a few inside when the weather has turned) the Port Campbell Surf Lifesaving Club is a wonderful space nestled away in a secluded cove overlooking the sea.
If a beach wedding with ocean views are on your list, this is definitely a venue to consider.
Sokil Arts Eco Retreat
Nestled in amongst the forest of the Great Otway National Park, Sokil provides a secluded retreat that is perfect for weddings (or really any gathering) that want to get away from everything.
With on site accommodation and catering facilities it’s ideal for creating a campground feel for your big day.
Tarndwarncoort (or Tarndie to it’s friends) is a sheep stud just outside Birregurra. The property has been in the Dennis family since it was built in the 1840s and has a truly homely feel to it.
In addition to the house and grounds the 1856 ciderhouse is a wonderful space that would make a perfect reception venue for a smaller wedding.
One thing the Western District has is a lot of awesome properties. If you are lucky enough to have the use of one there really is nothing better than making use of one for your wedding. There are plenty of local companies who can arrange marquee hire for your reception and most local caterers are comfortable working without a fully fitted kitchen.
An added bonus of having your wedding in your own back garden is you won’t have too far to travel at the end of the night when you are all danced out.
Recent Western District Events
- Scotts Creek Wedding – Jess and BillyA fun packed wedding deep in the Western District!
- Otways Elopement – Bec and TedA micro wedding in the Otways, featuring portraits at Castle Cove, the Otways Redwoods and Colac’s Botanic Gardens.
- Kirkstall Engagement Session – Casey and KyleA lovely engagement session in Kirkstall near Warrnambool
- Halls Gap Micro Wedding – Ash and LaurenWhile Lauren and Ash’s plans might have changed, this micro wedding in Halls Gap showed that small certainly can be beautiful.
- The Elliot, Apollo Bay – Joel & GemmaSitting high on the cliffs outside Apollo Bay The Elliot was a stunning venue for this amazing wedding.
- Scotts Creek Engagement Session – Jess and BillyThe best part of my job is getting to meet so many wonderful families and this session at Billy’s family’s…
- Blauvelt Park Wedding – Kerry and LeeKeri and Lee’s wedding took place at the truly wonderful Blauvelt Park in Terang, this historic Presbyterian manse has been…
- Colac Same Sex Engagement Session – Emily and ChingPortraits amongst the Canola blossom in Cressy.
- Branxholme Backyard Wedding – Archie and AllyArchie and Ally’s backyard wedding near Hamilton really was a magical day full of laughter and elegant details.