Planning your big wedding day? If so, you’ll be hosting one of the most significant celebrations in your lifetime. And choosing the right venue is key to your wedding’s success.
A wedding venue is more than a scenic backdrop. It’s a place where you’ll celebrate love and make memories with family and friends. It’s also where you’ll take your first steps with your new spouse.
In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a wedding venue, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great wedding venue?
Choosing the right wedding venue can take the stress out of your special day. You’ll want a venue that suits the style of your wedding, your budget and the number of guests. You’ll also want a venue that is there to support you, to make your day as seamless and stress-free as possible.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a wedding venue.
- Picture perfect. Most engaged couples want a wedding venue to reflect who they are. They strive for a picture-perfect venue—perhaps one that is architecturally beautiful or one that has breathtaking natural landscapes. Refine your search for the best venue by first considering the style, tone and feel you want.
- Top-notch facilities. Top-notch wedding venues have flexible spaces of various sizes and provide a wide range of services to meet all your needs. That can include providing tables, chairs and linen. It can also include sound, vision and lighting services. You’ll likely want a dance floor, quality cuisine (beautifully plated) and more.
- Convenient location. You’re best to consider many factors when choosing a location. Accessibility, access to accommodation, transport and parking might be important. If you’re holding your venue further afield, you might want shuttle or other travel services for the convenience of your guests.
- Impeccable service. Ask about staff and service levels when choosing a wedding venue. Friendly and experienced staff, ready to provide personalised and attentive service, will make your day super special.
- Flexible packages and pricing. Renting your wedding venue is usually a major expense. You’ll want to research packages and pricing at a few venues so you fully understand your options. Flexible packages can help keep you budget in check without compromising on your wedding.
The best wedding venues in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.
Shrouded in the iconic majesty of the National Library, Bookplate is a charming venue for weddings. Renowned for its kaleidoscopic stained-glass windows, Bookplate offers various spaces for ceremonies and receptions, indoors and outdoors, including with views across Lake Burley Griffin and Patrick White Lawn. Fine-dining menus and premium beverages make wedding days even more special.
On Google, Graham Haberfield wrote, “The food is contemporary and tasty, the décor unique, the service swift, efficient and unobtrusive.”
The National Arboretum has a selection of romantic settings for memorable weddings, all with stunning and spectacular views. Venues include the Village Centre, with its award-winning architecturally designed building featuring soaring ceilings, and the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion with floor-to-ceiling glass and private balcony. Weddings can also be held in forests and gardens. Ginger Catering presents food and beverage packages for seated and cocktail weddings.
Don Brackenreg wrote on Google, “Beautiful spot for a wedding, great views over Canberra.”
The National Museum of Australia, an architecturally stunning building, is an ideal venue for unique weddings right on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The Museum has sweeping decks, expansive windows and impressive indoor and outdoor spaces with mountain, city and lakeside views. Wedding packages are flexible and include exceptional food and wine. The Museum is one of Canberra’s most sophisticated wedding venues.
Shane King wrote on Google, “A wonderful open space with the lake on its backyard.”
Tuggeranong Homestead is a heritage-listed wedding venue offering rustic old-world charm in a country setting. Set among 70 acres, this country setting provides total seclusion. Tuggeranong Homestead features stunning gardens, fountains, a gazebo and spectacular scenery for miles. It’s a beautiful setting for wedding ceremonies and receptions, with exclusive use. Professional service and quality food complement each wedding day. Wedding photographs are spectacular at this location.
On Google, Attila Ovari wrote, “Great venue, great service and awesome food.”
The National Gallery of Australia is a sophisticated location for those seeking a culturally rich wedding venue. Situated along the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, it features world-class function spaces, including the heritage-listed Sculpture Garden. The Gallery caters to intimate and large wedding receptions, with The Gandel Hall accommodating up to 350 seated guests. Cocktail receptions are available. Food, wine and service are impressive.
Jill Taylor wrote on Google, “The gallery is my favourite spot in Canberra.”
Tucked away in its own private parklands on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, The Boat House is a stunning and award-winning wedding location. The Boat House offers breathtaking views of Kingston Foreshore and surrounds. It’s a sophisticated venue with fine-dining and personalised services. Each wedding reflects the married couple’s unique wishes, needs and values.
On Google, Damian Tolson wrote, “Wedding reception for the ages. Good food and attentive staff. Perfect venue for celebrating the perfect couple.”
If you’re looking for more information on wedding planning, you might like out articles on the best wedding photographers, wedding & marriage celebrants and wedding bands, DJs and musicians Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with wedding venues in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the wedding venues listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a wedding venue cost?
Many factors are involved when choosing a wedding venue. One is the number of guests you’ve invited. The additional services you want can influence cost. Location and the quality of the venue can too. It’s best to sit with a wedding contact at each venue and nut out a detailed costing, so there are no hidden surprises.
What questions do I ask a wedding venue?
Consider questions around date, number of guests that can be accommodated and if other events are taking place at the venue on the same day. Ask about wedding packages and what’s included. You’ll likely want to ask about room set-up and decorations. It’s important to ask questions about food, alcohol and your wedding cake needs. Payment and insurance are also important topics to ask about.
What is included in a wedding venue package?
Most wedding venues offer packages to provide flexibility. Packages generally include costs for venue hire for ceremonies and receptions. They also include pre-wedding and reception food and beverages, staff, agreed level of service and requirements like table settings and cake tables. Packages can also include services like stages, light, visual and sound.
What are the most popular months for Canberra weddings?
Summer is a popular time for weddings in Canberra. Having said that, many weddings are held in other seasons. Some couples want to get married in warmer months and others in cooler months.
How far in advance should I book my wedding venue?
It’s always best to plan well in advance so your wedding day sparkles. Many wedding planners recommend booking up to 18 months in advance, especially with more popular venues. Some require even more time, and some less. Saturday is the most popular day for a wedding.