We are taking a peek at some of the Hunter Region’s most exceptional venues, photographers, beauticians and transport companies. These are some of the area’s best-kept secrets, so we are very excited to share them with you. All of the suppliers found on the following pages are located within a short distance from each other so if you are looking to plan your wedding in this beautiful area of the world, everything you need will be right at your fingertips.
Photography on Hermitage
Photography on Hermitage is headed by Chris Elfes, a former graphic designer who has now spent more than 22 years photographing sporting events, fashion and weddings. Chris was part of Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games’ photographic team at the 2000 Olympics and has worked on many assignments for fashion magazines. His knowledge of these industries enables him to capture movement on the day as well as special moments in a beautiful manner and with expert precision.
Chris’s style can be defined as photojournalistic with a distinct editorial and fashion vibe. His work incorporates elements of glamour, but his skill as a photographer means that he can bring a natural and candid element to the table too. On the day, couples can expect to be encouraged to move and do things rather than stand still in one spot in order to capture those candid, beautiful shots.
Chris splits his time between Australia and the UK and is available in the Hunter Valley from August to May, and in Europe during June and July.
p 02 4938 3547 e email@example.com w photographyonhermitage.com.au
Adams Peak & The Barn
A rustic, relaxed, earthy venue brimming with country charm. The owners of this intimate nook in the Hunter Valley know a thing or two about weddings. Having been
in the industry for almost 80 years — owning bridal and menswear stores in Sydney and wedding reception venues in Queensland — the Fox family purchased Adams Peak almost 13 years ago. Daughter Karyn was the first to wed on the property five years ago and, following the wedding, she and husband, Michael, moved to the area and renovated the barn to create a rustic venue where couples have now wedded for three years.
This venue is very special because, despite its location in the Hunter Region, it offers something different from a barrel room or winery. Complete with magical views, this extremely private spot in the heart of the countryside offers an earthy blank canvas that can be personalised by each couple. The venue makes for a beautiful and relaxing weekend getaway for couples looking for something a little less formal but brimming with down-to-earth charm.
66 Adams Peak Road, Broke 2330 m 0402 277 206 e firstname.lastname@example.org w adamspeak.com.au
Arrive First Class
This Newcastle-based transport company services Newcastle, the Central Coast and Hunter Valley and also offers transfers to Sydney. Born out of a bad experience at their own wedding, Arrive First Class’s owners wanted to create a company that offers excellent service on that all-important day. The focus is on providing personal, refined, reliable, discreet and, above all, safe chauffeurs.
All Arrive First Class’s chauffeurs are prepped and trained to cater for the big day and will go above and beyond to ensure each couple’s wedding is perfect. On one occasion, after having dropped both bride and groom at the church, the Arrive First chauffeur drove back to their house to collect the rings to deliver them to the groom in time for the ceremony when one of the groomsmen realised he had forgotten them. The limousines themselves are first class and the company offers packages that can be tailored to suit each couple to ensure a VIP experience for all.
33 Burwood Road, Whitebridge 2290 m 0421 036 280 e email@example.com w arrivefirstclass.com.au
Exquisite Cakes by Lennert
The freshest ingredients sourced locally make for delicious wedding treats. Exquisite Cakes by Lennert offers couples a stunning selection of wedding cakes, dessert buffets and macarons. The company delivers throughout the lower Hunter Valley Region and prides itself on being local through and through. All products are made from scratch using fresh ingredients without preservatives.
“We are local,” says co-owner and executive pastry chef, Lennert De-Visser. “We have seen too many cakes, purchased in Sydney and transported, collapse in the heat of the car or through being stored incorrectly. On many occasions, we have been called in to repair cakes where possible or even start again, which can be a challenge late on a Friday afternoon!”
The team consists of an executive pastry chef, Lennert, who co-owns the business with his wife, Rienna, head decorator, Kylie, who is also a qualified pastry chef and won first place in the Newcastle Show for her wedding cake in 2014, and two apprentice pastry chefs, who are aspiring to be decorators as well as skilled pastry chefs. Rienna will guide the bride and groom through the process of choosing their cake theme and style and work out the best size, shape and finish to meet their needs, desires and budget where possible. Price depends on how the cake is decorated and how many people it feeds. The average rate is $450 and, unlike other vendors, the company doesn’t apply a surcharge for weddings.
130 Vincent Street, Cessnock 2325 p 02 4991 6517 e firstname.lastname@example.org w exquisite-cakes.com
The Hunter Celebrant
Ensuring couples feel relaxed and comfortable throughout their ceremony. Anthony Burke is an authorised marriage celebrant based in the Hunter Valley. Following his
own wedding in 2008, Anthony yearned to be a part of other couples’ important life celebrations and for the last six years has been building his own small celebrant business.
“I tell all couples who are looking for a celebrant, ‘Find the right celebrant for you’. Although all celebrants do the same job, we are all different in our styles and approaches. “I am just myself, what you see is what you get. I am a light-hearted and bubbly person, which is my style of ceremony. Yes, it is an important and serious commitment being made, but we can also add a light-hearted touch.” Anthony loves doing weddings in the Hunter Region with its beautiful vineyards but he is able to travel anywhere within Australia. He is also licensed to perform marriages in Hawaii. His standard fee is from $550 and this includes ensuring the wedding conforms to Australian laws.
Anthony's top tip: “Discuss your ceremony with your celebrant. Think about what type of ceremony you would like, whether you will be writing your own vows, if you would like a longer ceremony or something short and sweet. I like to talk about YOU and we can create a ceremony that reflects your relationship”
PO Box 61, Cessnock 2325 m 0439 601 852 e email@example.com w thehuntercelebrant.com.au
Wed surrounded by a pristine natural landscape This beautiful venue offers a unique setting for nuptials and wedding celebrations. Catering for up to 100 guests on-site, with overnight accommodation available for 32 guests, the exclusive 100-acre property is a magical weekend getaway for couples looking to get out of town. Its connection to the pristine natural landscape surrounding it and the selection of on-site accommodation and facilities, such as the two resort-style pools, tennis court and native organics day spa Nourished, make Noonaweena an easy and attractive option with fewer hassles.
“The view looking west out over the valley and Yengo National Park is certainly the showstopper of the property,” says Jackie Alley of Noonaweena. “It creates the perfect backdrop for a ceremony, turning on its magic at sunset. However, there are many more stunning natural backdrops around the property to capture a range of different photographic options including waterfalls, beautiful gardens and idle laneways covered by towering gums.” The venue was designed with bringing people together in mind. Weddings in particular are a magical moment in time where couples and their friends and family can relish the opportunity to escape and come together surrounded by such a special natural landscape.
1442 George Downes Drive, Kulnura 2250 p 02 4376 1290 e firstname.lastname@example.org w noonaweena.com.au
Jill's Beauty Room
For brides who want a classic and sophisticated look. Jill’s Beauty Room has been in operation for approximately 10 years and is headed by Jill Plasto, a qualified beauty trainer who started her career with Estée Lauder more than 30 years ago. Jill and her team pride themselves on classic and sophisticated looks for brides.
“What I want my brides to be able to do is look back at their photos in 20 years’ time and say, ‘I still love my look’ and ‘My makeup on my special day was perfect’,” says Jill. “My brides tell me they want their husband to recognise them as they walk down the aisle, not for them to have so much makeup on that it does not look like them. After talking to grooms, they have all said that that is really important to them as well; they don’t want someone standing up there next to them who they don’t recognise.”
In addition to providing the makeup on the big day, Jill’s Beauty Room offers a number of treatments such as facials, hot-stone massages, manicures and spray tans all set in a beautiful rural location, just 45 minutes from the Central Coast. Jill’s Beauty Room services the mountain area, including Kulnura, Mangrove Mountain, Somersby, Yarramalong, Central Coast, Wollombi, Hunter Valley and Central Coast.
m 0408 514 230 e email@example.com w jillsbeautyroom.com
Lovedale Wedding Chapel & Reception
Lovedale is a gorgeous new ceremony and reception venue nestled in the Hunter Region. The beautiful building was built by hand in 2004 by the property owner, Bob Carmichael, whose motivation sprung from the desire to create the first country-style chapel in the area.
“As we are a brand-new reception centre, we have found every wedding has been special in its own way,” says Bob. “As every wedding should be unique and a reflection of the couple themselves, each party has had their own style or theme.”
Though now only 10 years old, the building is in the style of a white timber country chapel built more than 100 years ago. This makes the venue unique as it is still the only chapel of this kind within the Hunter Valley. The owners of the Lovedale Wedding Chapel are also the operators and, therefore, the needs of their clients are their priority. “We strive to accommodate various couples’ wishes,” says Bob. “The private estate is exclusive for each couple on their wedding day.”
Benefits of choosing Lovedale include the stunning outlook across the valleys of Watagan and the Brokenback Ranges, a vast selection of caterers and the fact that wedding parties are able to supply their own beverages if they wish.
842 Lovedale Road, Allandale NSW p 0447 923 888 e firstname.lastname@example.org w lovedaleweddingchapel.com.au
Look no further for a heritage-listed building steeped in antiquity. The magic of this building is in its exciting history. Originally built in 1840 by convicts, Mulla Villa later acted as police headquarters as well as a convict jail. It has in more recent years been made available to the public for weddings and the venue offers something exceptional to anyone who chooses to wed there.
“In the past, the weddings have been small and intimate,” says Mulla Villa’s owner, Don Spencer. “We are now building onto the existing buildings, following the same heritage style so we can provide this atmosphere to larger weddings.” The venue is currently undergoing an addition so that it will soon be able to cater for up to 150 guests. As Mulla Villa is family run, weddings held at the venue are inherently personal in nature. The owners are happy to accommodate specific needs and requests from the couple and are keen to share their property and all its history with soon-tobe- weds.
The owners’ advice to couples is to bring a basic idea of what they want on the big day. “We will work with them to develop ideas from there,” says Don.
3174 Great North Road, Wollombi NSW p 02 4998 3338 e email@example.com w mullavilla.com
Stonehurst Cedar Creek
For a wedding with a magical connection to the outdoors. Stonehurst Cedar Creek, situated in Wollombi Valley in the Hunter wine country, is a picturesque and charming venue that caters for both the wedding ceremony and reception. This rustic venue is a seventh-generation family farm, taken over by its current owner, Daryl Heslop, in 1964. The first wedding took place in 2005, and in keeping with its family-run vibe, this first wedding was the owner’s daughter’s. Seeing how beautifully suited the property was to weddings, and due to receiving so many requests to utilise the property this way, Daryl decided to open it up to the public as a wedding venue in 2013 to let people share in the magic of Stonehurst.
The property’s 550 acres include vineyards, bushland, creek-side areas, poplar groves and homestead gardens, making this venue a dream come true for anyone who wants a connection to the outdoors for their big day. Also on-site are six cottages overlooking the vineyards, with each available for booking for your wedding. Prices differ depending on the scale of your wedding. For parties of more than 40, charges include: $1000 venue hire; $1000 minimum wine purchase; and all six cottages required to be booked. For smaller, more intimate weddings of less than 40 guests, price is on application.
1840 Wollombi Road, Cedar Creek 2325 p 02 4998 1576 e firstname.lastname@example.org w cedarcreekcottages.com.au
Church of St Michael
This historical sandstone church welcomes couples. For couples searching for a traditional and historical site for their ceremony, look no further than the beautiful Church of St Michael in Wollombi. The first wedding ever to be held at this 175-year-old venue was in the 1840s, making the Church of St Michael one of the oldest consecrated churches still in operation in NSW.
“It is an intimate and picturesque location in the historic village of Wollombi where a true sense of country welcomes you,” says the church’s owner, Phillipa Heslop. “The church
is yours for the whole day and everything can be done your way, from flower arrangements to pew decorations. Following the ceremony, the grounds provide a delightful setting for a celebratory glass of champagne and photos.”
The community-owned Catholic church embraces all denominations and civil ceremonies, providing a relaxed, flexible option for all couples. There’s a great range of accommodation and reception venues nearby, with Stonehurst (above) less than a 15-minute drive away. The Church of St Michael is available for the affordable price of just $400 for the entire day’s hire.
2887 Wollombi Road, Wollombi 2325n p 0417 436 279 e email@example.com w saintmichaels.com.au
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