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  • Writer's pictureJohan the Celebrant & MC

Exploring some of Sydney's best wedding venues in 2023 with a Celebrant’s perspective

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Plus, my Fab Four Favourite outer Sydney wedding venues that I feel my review had to be shared with you.

Congratulations! You are engaged, and now it's time to start planning your big day. Amongst everything you have to consider, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the perfect wedding venue. With so many different options and unique features, it can be hard to know which venue will provide the best experience for you and your guests. As an experienced celebrant in Sydney, I have had the unique opportunity to work in some of the city's most popular wedding venues. I’ve reviewed each of these locations based on their unique features, amenities, and overall ambiance, so today, I'm sharing my perspective on some of the best Sydney wedding venues.

The Grounds of Alexandria

The Grounds of Alexandria provides an enchanting garden setting and a unique dining experience for your wedding reception that perfectly suits both casual and formal weddings. They have multiple spaces available, including The Atrium, The Potting Shed, and The Garden. The food is always delicious, and the staff are incredibly professional and accommodating. .

The pros include the breathtaking scenery, excellent menu options, and the overall ambiance. The Grounds of Alexandria's lush gardens are perfect for hosting a relaxed and intimate wedding ceremony, making it a favourite among couples looking for a natural and romantic atmosphere.

The Grounds South Eveleigh

Located within the old locomotive workshops at Sydney’s Australian Technology Park, The Eveleigh perfectly blends the elegance and sophistication of the golden days of steam engines with modern and sleek architecture. With an opulent balcony and staircase for grand event entrances, stunning vintage chandeliers and touches of marble and brass throughout, The Eveleigh will provide a gorgeous backdrop for Sydney’s most spectacular soirees!

L'Aqua Darling Harbour

L'Aqua is a premium wedding venue for your ceremony & wedding reception located on the top floor of Cockle Bay Wharf and this immaculate venue boasts an uninterrupted waterfront view of Darling Harbour. The staff is beyond professional and will help ensure your wedding runs smoothly. If you time it right you can enjoy the fireworks at Darling Harbour at no extra expense to your wedding budget, winning!

Curzon Hall

Curzon Hall is a century-old, heritage-listed mansion located North-west of Sydney. It's a popular ceremonial and reception venue and is known for its grand entrance, stunning architecture, and spacious dance floor. The venue has a rating of 4.7 out of 5, and it accommodates up to 450 guests.

Pros: The venue's old-world charm provides a fantastic backdrop that can bring a vintage touch to wedding receptions. The skilled team is committed to giving couples the perfect event. If you're looking for a reception within a castle this could be a good option for you to explore.

Pier One Sydney Harbour

Pier One Sydney Harbour is a stunning waterfront boutique hotel renowned for its luxury and elegance. The venue is located right under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and with a rating of 4.8 out of 5, you can expect nothing but the best. The professional team is incredibly reliable and capable of customising events to your desires.

Pros: The venue provides an unbeatable and picturesque view of the Sydney Harbour. Pier One also permits dogs to check in to the accomodation and their restaurant menu also caters for your four legged family member. If you're a dog lover and owner, and want your pooch to be included in your big day then Pier One is a venue for your consideration.

Doltone House

Doltone House is a fantastic venue with numerous locations around Sydney, including the iconic Jones Bay Wharf.

The pros include the chic decor, excellent food, and great service from the employees.

The Boathouse Shelly Beach

The Boathouse Shelly Beach is an intimate and romantic location situated on the water. The venue has excellent food options and a relaxed, beachy atmosphere, and the staff are friendly and professional. However, the space is quite small, so it may not be suitable for larger weddings. The downside is that accessibility can be an issue for some guests due to stairs.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

Ovolo Woolloomooloo is a unique and quirky venue with a fun and playful atmosphere. It won several design awards with its recent renovations a few years ago. Offering an (almost) electric neon church as the on-site ceremony option, everything’s been designed with intention and flair as published by The Salty Shutter.

Dunbar House Watsons Bay

Dunbar House is a beautiful heritage-listed mansion dating back to the 1830s and is the perfect setting for an elegant wedding with stunning views of Sydney Harbour. The staff are friendly and professional, and the food is delicious. However, the space can be a bit tight if you have a large guest list.

Merivale Venues: The Establishment Ballroom, The Ivy Ballroom, and more

The Ivy is a grand and impressive venue that can accommodate large weddings of up to 1,000 guests. Extravagant chandeliers and high ceilings give the space a sense of grandeur synonymous with Merivale experiences. Styled by Sydney's best in wedding planners, the popular reception venue offers award winning and creative catering to match the luxe surrounds.

Q Station Manly

Q Station is a unique and historic venue with a beautiful natural setting overlooking the headlands. They have several spaces available, including The Glasshouse and The Governor's Table. The staff are friendly and professional, and the food is good. If you (and your guests) are staying in the accomodation overnight, Q Station also offers a night Ghost Tour which I recommend. However, it can be quite chilly in the winter months, so be sure to bring warm clothing if you're planning an outdoor ceremony.

Taronga Zoo Mosman

Taronga Zoo is like no other wedding venue in the world. It's not every day that you can say "I do" with Sydney Harbour as your backdrop and enjoy a unique reception with wildlife as your guests. Taronga Zoo offers various spaces, all with a stunning view of the Harbour. This unique location ensures your wedding is unforgettable. One question to ask is how the venue will manage animal noise during your ceremony or reception. Additionally, you may want to confirm transportation for guests and the process for setting up decorations.

William Inglis Hotel Racecourse

William Inglis Hotel Racecourse is a 5-star wedding venue located in Warwick Farm, Sydney. This venue is perfect for couples who are looking for a luxurious and elegant wedding. The venue has various packages and offers that cater to different budgets and preferences. The staff at the venue are friendly, professional, and accommodating. They have a team of experienced planners who can help you plan your dream wedding.

One of the pros of this venue is the versatility it offers for customising wedding receptions to construct a unique and bespoke celebration reception for each couple.

Botanic House Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens

A hidden gem within the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens is Botanic House, a minimalist and contemporary event space. This versatile venue is the perfect location to host your reception after a dreamy ceremony out in the impeccable gardens. Overlooking a serene pond with magnificent palm trees and lush flora, this split-level venue opens out onto an alfresco terrace where your guests can enjoy the views of the garden.