By Virginia Lawrence, Celebrant
Choosing the right venue is probably top of the list when planning your perfect Dandenong Ranges wedding and is a fantastic opportunity to stamp your personality on the day.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by choice. I live in the beautiful hills village of Kallista and have at least 25 completely different wedding venues and locations within a 10-minute drive from home! Take a moment. Shut your eyes, imagine your wedding day.
Capture the atmosphere, feel the vibe. The dress, the flowers, the cake – they’re all important, but at the heart of the day, it’s all about the feels.
I recently married a couple in one of our century-old community halls. Family and friends filled the space with hand-made decorations, provided flowers from their gardens for the bouquets, shared home-cooked food. We felt part of a long tradition of families coming together in that space over the decades. We felt surrounded by love and warmth.
Outside ceremonies are always special. Pick a lookout where you stand high up with an incredible vista. I always feel a sense of excitement, adventure and unlimited possibility at these places. Or choose one of the amazing old gardens nestled in the hills. The atmosphere changes with each season and each garden offers different opportunities to create your own magical setting. Talking of magical, our forests hold beautiful secret spaces where time stands still and beautiful bird song accompanies your words of love. Perfect for smaller weddings or elopements.
If food is your thing, we have a huge choice of quirky cafes, traditional pubs, niche restaurants, quaint tearooms, and wineries. Your favourite may not normally do weddings, but don’t be afraid to ask! Think outside the square. You can get married any place at any time. Love films? What about the cinema. Art lover? Ask a local gallery or artist studio. Can’t get enough curry? Have a food truck in your backyard. Adrenalin junkie? Get married on a rope course in the trees.