With 15-17 months to go until D-Day, we have decided we should probably decide on a venue…

So far we have looked at two venues, with another three to go, before we make a final decision.

We’ve got a couple non-negotiable areas that complicate our search, like the menu (vegan with gluten free options please!), a natural backdrop within an hour of Brisbane and of course, a style that is very ‘us’. In other words – no small feat.

Now, dear blog reader, I assume that if you’ve come to this blog that chances are high you are also looking for one, or all of those things too. So I thought it’d be a great idea to share my thoughts on a couple of the venues we have visited and a heads up on the places we will be inspecting soon.


1. The Panorama, Tallai


Set high on the picturesque Panorama Drive in Tallai QLD, The Panorama is a stylish, minimalist luxury home with stunning views of the Gold Coast skyline and Hinze Dam.  They allow small functions (up to a maximum of 60 people) and would be ideal for engagements and small weddings.

The facts: All events are self-catered, with a large-ish kitchen perfect for entertaining.  The deck would fit 60 people quite comfortably with rectangular tables, but probably closer to 50 with round tables.  The house sleeps 16 all up, which would be great for a bridal party or immediate family.  Minimum night stays apply, but there are savings to be had in May/June/July.  As there are a gazillion different tariffs it’s best to contact the owners for a quote, but expect at least $5,000 to host a night here (but don’t forget the potential savings on accommodation and DIY’ing the whole affair!). Sleeps up to 16 people.

Tallai WeddingCeremony setup by Circle of Love Weddings

Pros: Intimate setting. Accommodation included for guests, and close enough to Gold Coast for additional accommodation.  City views and dam views giving the best of both worlds.  Relatively blank canvas making it easy to inject personality into your wedding.

Cons: A ceremony on the hillside (which is a beautiful backdrop) could be slightly treacherous for occasional heal-wearers. Particularly vicious bad weather would literally dampen your festivities as there isn’t a lot of wet-weather cover (except the deck covering) which wouldn’t shield wind.  No live music is allowed at the venue.


2. Branell Homestead, Laidley

nguyen308Photography by Jonas Peterson

Tucked away in a country setting near the town of Laidley QLD, Branell Homestead is a lovely bed and breakfast.  Boasting a gorgeous pavilion for hosting events, it has a lot going for it nature-wise.  Have your ceremony under a big tree near the house or at the pier on the lake – both are beautiful backdrops for your ceremony.

The facts: Isolated setting. Events are self catered, with a new catering/amenities block being built as I write.  The pavilion would comfortably fit up to 100 people.  Rates are based on under 40 people/over 40 people, peak/off-peak seasons and an option of Wednesday/Saturday weddings.  Expect to pay anywhere from $1500-3500 to host your wedding here (including two night’s accommodation). The homestead sleeps up to 8, with an option for camping on site.


Pros: Beautiful setting, particularly for wedding photos.  Great PA/Sound system, perfect for a swinging party as the owners are very chilled about reasonable music levels into the night.  Accommodation is magnificent, including many baths, large beds and a home theater! 

Cons: Quite a secluded area, despite only being an hour out from Brisbane.  Not very many places to stay in Laidley and immediate surrounds, but they do supply you with a list of nearby accommodation.


 So what’s next?

Over the next few weeks we will be tackling three more shortlisted venues.

Bundaleer Rainforest Gardens – who’s chief I already have on good authority, can work miracles with a vegan menu (including soy free!).

Kenilworth Homestead – another self catering venue.

Boomerang Farm – Bit of a wild stab in the dark, because I’m pretty sure they don’t allow self-catering but the look and feel appeals to me, so we will see!

Have you discovered any great venues?  Drop a suggestion in the comments below!

Silvia xx


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