19 July 2021

August wedding, indoors and out

| Pommy bastard
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Ok, a mate from the UK is coming over to Canberra to get married.

I’ll say that again, as it bears repeating.

A mate from the UK is coming over to Canberra, with his English wife to be, to get married.

Just don’t ask, ok?

READ ALSO The best wedding venues in Canberra

He would like a suitable outdoor venue suggested for the ceremony, but with a fall back location in case the weather on the day proves to be too cold/wet/cold and wet/warm/hot.

Could the good denizens of the RiotACT offer (sensible) suggestions please?

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Michele the Celebrant11:37 am 22 Jun 10

I’ve read through the posts and there are some good suggestions. First off though, Pommy bastard, do your friends know that according to the Marriage Act of 1961 (which is still current) that they must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form with their celebrant a minimum of one month and one day before the wedding? For instance, if they plan to marry on August 2, they must get the Notice to the celebrant by July 1st.

The form is available for download from the Attorney-General’s site. When completed, and this includes having signatures witnessed by a diplomatic officer or a public notary – see details on the form – it can be scanned and emailed to get to the celebrant by the required date. Or posted, ideally by registered post. One party to the marriage can do this lodging if both are not available to sign the Notice.

Having said all that, here are my ideas on venues.
My thanks to Rougelette for kind words, and I am looking forward to her wedding at Rose Cottage in October. I agree that Rose Cottage is an excellent venue for a winter wedding – inside, near the fireplace.

I’ve been working with another winter bride, thinking about good venues in August. We thought of quite a few places with fireplaces. I think that she and her fiance will marry at the Diamant.

University House has a large room with fireplace. Hill Station did have a cosy lounge with fireplace and Hill Station used to be one of my favourite wedding venues. Now I’m sad to say, Hill Station has closed for business.

I think the fireplace at the Kurrajong would be too public. Can’t recall the fireplace at the Brassey but there is a sunny enclosed courtyard. A couple from Adelaide is coming to get married in Canberra next month and I think they’ll actually marry in their suite at the Hyatt. The Hyatt has some large suites with fireplaces as I recall but even a small suite at the Hyatt is cosy and pretty special. The bathrooms are legendary.

The Boathouse has a fireplace and superb views but I think the fireplace part is not available for ceremonies. Their other rooms would let in lots of winter sunlight tho’.

The Botanic Gardens would be good on a sunny winter day because so many Australian native plants flower in August, but a bit too chilly if it’s full-on winter.

The Ginger Room at Old Parliament House is, in my memory of weddings there, dark and cosy. Garden-wise, the courtyards would not have much going for them at this time of the year. Likewise the Rose Gardens – nothing much doing in the winter.

Cuppacumbalong’s been mentioned and they had a gorgeous fireplace room, but that venue, as far as I know, has closed permanently. As has Madew winery which was great for winter weddings.

For spectacular winter light, the Leonard French windows at the National Library are magnificent. Would give unique memories of the National Capital. Perhaps an arrangement could be made with Bookplate cafe. I have beautiful photos from weddings there – it’s quite cathedral-esque.

The Carillon. I would not recommend a wedding there in August EXCEPT… wait for it!…. Right at the top of the tower!! Yes, there’s a small room there for intimate weddings. As you can imagine, the views are stunning. I think Wendy Hudson from Botanic Gardens has the catering contract there, and her food and service are excellent. I guess you contact the National Capital Authority if you want to book this unique venue.

My last suggestion, and thanks again Roguelette, is my own lovely garden. It’s available for small, quiet, intimate weddings on weekdays at no extra cost. If the weather’s unpleasant, we can hold the ceremony in my meeting room with windows to the garden on three sides.

Pommie bastard, if your friends would like to contact me via my blog Michele the Celebrant, I can send them photos from 2 winter weddings in my garden. There are many bare trees, so lots of winter sunlight. I have a huge tree covered in winter-flowering apricot blossoms as I write. It’s right in the middle of the garden and there are quite a lot of winter flowers, like camellias, violas and hellebores. Your friends’ winter wedding would be so welcome here.

My wife and I were married in Nara Park, part of Lennox Gardens, which is on the shores of the Lake. Having said that, there is a small slope in the park, so if the day is windy, you could always alter your plans to be out of the wind somewhat.

Our day was in October (statistically a windy month), but we had a glorious day of fine,calm weather :)! I don’t know if you could rely upon this in August, though. Along those lines, something to keep in mind is the airport – winter fog often grounds flights from either coming or going, so you’d want to advise interstate or international guests to get in the day before if possible.

Celebrant was Peter Hyland, http://www.weddingcelebrant.com/. Peter was very helpful and patient with my wife, who speaks English as her second language, and he struck the right balance between being formal and being friendly.

The back-up/wet weather venue we had was the Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club – and we had our reception there. Food was good, and the event organiser, Laura-Kate Gregory, was very thoughtful. Website: http://www.cscc.com.au

Our photographer was Thierry Nguyen Cuu…see http://www.nomadphotography.com.au.
We were very impressed with Thierry’s skills and his willingness to work together with us on our special day.

It is not the fanciest location in Canberra, but the gardens and the Yacht Club are only about 700 metres from each other. It’s about a 10 minute walk around the edge of the lake when everyone has good clothing on, or a 1 minute drive :). It is also nice to have wedding photos with colourful yachts in the background!

Genie said :

I attended a wedding at a cottage in Hume, in winter. It was a really nice small venue, and the couple had only planned the wedding a few weeks earlier.

That would be Hill Station.
Nice venue with an attractive surrounding garden.

I attended a wedding at a cottage in Hume, in winter. It was a really nice small venue, and the couple had only planned the wedding a few weeks earlier.

Although if you need help I heard on the radio this morning there is a wedding expo on at the AIS on Sunday (?) Perhaps you can go attend with all the bridezillas ??

Clown Killer makes a good point. If it’s going to be winter, there might as well be some snow! Thredbo is lovely or there’s a bunch of lovely resorts in the general area.

five or six people, from the old dart? wig and pen.

Clown Killer9:26 pm 12 May 10

Not Canberra but … Thredbo – on a sunny day beneath the Ramshead is a manic spot. Or the chapel with the bells pealing through the valley – very romantic. Reception at The Denman, Credo or The Black Bear.

OPH is good, we had our June ceremony in one of the dinning rooms. We did’t get any catering, we had the reception somewhere else. You can hire it as a wet weather option as well.

I am getting married at Rose Cottage in October – the indoor/outdoor option was also an issue for me – $450 to book the indoor area which also gives you access to the grounds as well. But seeing the further details – may be a little bigger than what you need – the indoor bit seats about 150 – however they do have a little bar and a little cafe which may be options.

Our celebrant does very small ceremonies that she is officiating for free in her garden (which are lovely and if I didn’t have as many guests as I do I would have jumped at the chance to use it). Her name is Michelle – and I found her here on the Riot Act to boot!.

wedding: St John’s Reid

Reception: A pub with a roaring fire (Old Canberra Inn?).

It will be freezing and windy – if the weather happens to be fine, there will be plenty of “outdoors” outside the church, people can linger in any sunshine for a bit.

Pommy bastard6:57 pm 12 May 10

Thanks again folks! Keep ’em coming…

Nice courtyard at The Brassey and several rooms as alternates if it rains. Forget anywhere near the lake if the wind blows. There are ads on the TV for a big Wedding fair at the AIS on Sunday so the OP will have all the info he needs if he goes up there.

grunge_hippy4:36 pm 12 May 10

we got married at the carillion, but that was in january. It would be damn cold in august out there on the lake.

It’s May now. Good luck finding any venue that will have any vacancies in August. Unless you meant August 2012.

Didn’t the Carillon blast off last week?

Woody Mann-Caruso2:13 pm 12 May 10

For 5-6 people, get married out on the point near the Carillion. If it’s windy, move back a bit into the circle of trees. If it gets rainy, just stand under the Carillion.

(Some muppet has labelled the Carillion as the National Capital Exhibition on Google Maps. I’ve just asked them to change it.)

troll-sniffer1:50 pm 12 May 10

Something made me think again about the headline for this post.

au·gust? ?/??g?st/ Show Spelled [aw-guhst]
1.inspiring reverence or admiration; of supreme dignity or grandeur; majestic: an august performance of a religious drama.
2.venerable; eminent: an august personage.

Perhaps it’s to be an august August wedding?

The revelation concerning the expected numbers changes the picture somewhat. I’m with BimboGeek… virtually any venue in Canberra with a courtyard would be suitable, perhaps it’s time to let the fingers do the walking…

la mente torbida12:56 pm 12 May 10

Explain that to me again…friends want to come from the UK and get married in Canberra….for free?

Sneak into the arboretum on a Sunday

Botanic gardens, $500 to book it and part of that includes a pre-arranged backup venue for bad weather.

For such small numbers and a tiny budget I’d be looking at going to a pretty hotel like the Kurrajong or Brassey, booking a tiny room (or just sharing the celebration with whoever happens to be around) and doing the wedding in their gardens if the weather’s fine then going in to the restaurant/bar to celebrate. It doesn’t sound like you’ll need much attention so they should be pretty happy to have you, particularly if you choose a weekday!

Actually even OPH/Ginger Catering might be happy to have you use the courtyard for a while if the day you want is quiet – choose a non-sitting week and confirm the day closer to the date.

Pommy bastard12:08 pm 12 May 10

Oh, and to answer the numbers and type question.

Numbers 5-6 people.

Type, quiet and unfancy.

Pommy bastard12:06 pm 12 May 10

Many thanks kind folks, a litte adendum which I should have put in the OP.

Likely cost of these venues?

Any free venues that can be used?

+1 University House, excellent venue.

Have you told them that August is Winter in the Southern Hemisphere? It’s hibernation time! The only place in the ACT that I could imagine being suitable for an outdoor wedding in August is the Jervis Bay Territory.

My dad used to tell me that mad dogs and Englishmen went out in the midday sun, but he never mentioned that Englishmen were also stupid enough to go outside in Winter!

troll-sniffer11:16 am 12 May 10

One thing a lot of couples forget is how little light there is around in the late afternoons right up until October. Any wedding later than 2pm runs a risk of running out of useful light for the all-important wedding photos.

The biggest problem for Nuptialis Canberrus is the ever-present wind. Even a mild day in August is generally rendered cold by the westerlies. Probably hardly noticeable to hardy poms but worth keeping in mind for the locals.

Venues? University House with its sheltered courtyard. The Hyatt with its sheltered courtyards. Lanyon. Federation Square is not a bad option either, despite its fully commercial bent. Old Parliament House gardens.

Hmmm context is everything: they are heading down-under in middle of winter!?
What are they after? Motorbike wedding in Captains Flat? Kangaroos? Function centre?
How many people?

I did stumble on some people preparing a bush site out within the Tidbinbilla pine plantation: paths, benches etc for a true bush wedding. That must have been unusually Australian.

Holden Caulfield said :

Old Parliament House, maybe. Ginger Room could be good and you could probably get one of the old dining rooms for a private function.

+1 – though the caveat is that OPH weddings are handled by Ginger Catering.

Note that in nominating OPH, I’m not saying the rose gardens next to it – those are booked via the National Captial Authority.

I am referring to the courtyards within OPH itself. Got married there in April last year. Elected not to have the reception there, but that’s another story. Everything went smoothly on the day, and they do use one of the Members Dining Rooms (with a view back up the hill towards New Parliament House) as the wet weather backup.

The house and surrounds make for great photo opportunities – nice stark white of the building, etc etc.

Holden Caulfield10:16 am 12 May 10

Old Parliament House, maybe. Ginger Room could be good and you could probably get one of the old dining rooms for a private function.

The Hyatt is probably a bit obvious, but if the weather is good you could do the ceremony over the road at (or near) Lennox Gardens.

Boat House by the Lake?

What about Cuppacumbalong at Tharwa, is that still in operation?

ConanOfCooma10:07 am 12 May 10

I have to ask… WHY?!?

I can’t really suggest anywhere in Canberra, but keep the coast in mind for a backup. The weather should be much warmer down there.

Another option is the Rose Cottage place near Chisholm on the Monaro highway. They have some pretty gardens and a nice function room that you can move the wedding indoors if you need to.

the senate rose garden is always a favourite, with the lobby (or whatever it is called now – is it still the lobby?) across the street a good function venue that can also be rearranged to host the ceremony if needed in case of inclement weather.

the anu also has function rooms available and their campus is a beautiful setting for nuptials. could contact their switch who’d doubtless put you on the merry-go-round to find the right choice of venues therein.

coroboree park, ainslie, is also very pretty, under the awning of mt ainslie’s afternoon glow – with the hall there a prospect for inclemency fallback.

good luck. there are many worse places for the couple to escape their family ties and have a bonza wedding than canberra!

Mr Cholet and I were married at Lanyon Homestead. If it is a daytime event and it’s nice it would be a fabulous location as the grounds and views are beautiful. Obviously in August in Canberra you don’t want to be hanging around outside at night. Luckily, they have a lovely cosy inside area with a wood fire and can always set up a marquee with heaters if that’s not big enough.

Once you are there it seems like you in the back of beyond. The historic surroundings lend a bit more to the event as well, (although being from England, as am I, your friend may feel the word “historic” is a little overstated!).

Having said all that, it would be a lot cheaper to stay in England and make use of their history, summertime etc.

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