For many of us, pets are more than just animals; they’re part of our families. Their companionship is unparalleled, their love unconditional. As more couples seek to personify their weddings with unique touches, the inclusion of pets in ceremonies and receptions has become a popular trend. But not every venue is open to our four-legged friends.
If you’re dreaming of a wedding with your dog in New South Wales or one of the beautiful destinations around Australia, we’ve curated a list of the top pet-friendly venues that could be your perfect match. But before we delve into that, let’s understand why incorporating pets into weddings has gained momentum.
The past few years have witnessed a surge in couples including their furry friends in their wedding celebrations. This trend is part of a broader shift towards personalising weddings, making them an intimate reflection of the couple’s shared life and values. After all, pets play a crucial role in many couples’ lives, and their involvement often adds a unique, heartwarming touch to the ceremony.
They could play roles from ring bearers to honourable guests, adding a dash of excitement and joy. This rise in pet-friendly weddings also underscores the demand for professional pet photographers who can perfectly capture these beautiful moments.
Hiring a pet photographer for your wedding is an investment worth making. These professionals are skilled in capturing your pet’s personality and charm. Whether it’s a spontaneous run down the aisle or a sweet yawn during speeches, these moments can turn into beautiful memories that last a lifetime.
Furthermore, pet photographers are also experienced in managing pets during busy events, ensuring the safety and comfort of your beloved pet while you’re immersed in your celebration.
Picking a venue for your wedding is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your planning process. When your pet is part of the equation, it becomes even more critical to select a place that can accommodate your beloved pet.
A pet-friendly wedding venue should not only allow pets but also provide a safe and comfortable environment for them. Here are our top picks for pet-friendly wedding venues in Australia that fit the bill:
Summergrove Estate, Tweed Heads, New South Wales
Offering stunning views of the ocean and hinterland, Summergrove Estate is a picturesque venue that is open to pets. The outdoor spaces are perfect for your pet to enjoy while you celebrate your big day.
The Farm, Byron Bay, New South Wales
This rustic farm is a pet-friendly venue and they are very accommodating when it comes to including your furry friends in your special day.
Fig Tree Restaurant, Byron Bay, New South Wales
This venue boasts panoramic views of the ocean and the hinterland. Pets are welcome, and the staff can help look after them during the ceremony and reception.
Riverside Ranch Retreat, Yamba, New South Wales
This venue offers a private waterfront location for your wedding and they warmly welcome pets. They have large open spaces, perfect for your pets to roam around.
Gum Gully Farm, Dandenong Ranges, Victoria
This farm offers a rustic and intimate setting for your wedding. They allow pets to join in the celebration, and they even have resident deer on the property.
Zonzo Estate, Yarra Valley, Victoria
This winery is a stunning backdrop for a wedding and is also pet-friendly. They offer dedicated staff to look after your pets during the event.
The Lake House, Daylesford, Victoria
With its six-acre country garden extending to Lake Daylesford’s shores, The Lake House offers a serene setting for your wedding. This venue is not only pet-friendly but also provides accommodation for you and your furry friend.
Mewburn Park, Maffra, Victoria
If you’re looking for a venue that combines history, charm, and beautiful landscapes, Mewburn Park is the place. This pet-friendly venue allows you to hold both your ceremony and reception onsite, ensuring your pet can be with you throughout your special day.
Planning a pet-friendly wedding requires a little extra thought. It’s crucial to consider your pet’s temperament and how they’ll handle being around large crowds. You also need to think about who will be responsible for your pet on the day.
Delegating a trusted friend or family member to keep an eye on your pet can help ensure they’re safe and cared for throughout the celebration.
Including your pet in your wedding can add a unique, personal touch to your special day. It’s a trend that has grown in popularity for a good reason — our pets are a part of our families, and having them with us during one of the most important days of our lives feels natural.
With the right venue and a skilled pet photographer, you can ensure that your pet-friendly wedding is a joyous and memorable occasion. And remember, the most important thing is to ensure the comfort and safety of your pet, making the day as special for them as it is for you.
By choosing one of these pet-friendly venues and adhering to our tips, you’re on your way to creating a memorable wedding day that truly reflects your family.
Located at Yarra Glen in Victoria’s picturesque Yarra Valley, Alowyn Gardens is an award winning garden with formal gardens, beautiful landscaping and most memorably, a 50 metre long (and fragrant!) wysteria covered tunnel.
Out superstar photographer Alex, was lucky enough to shoot this wedding and on a hot and sunny day in the middle of summer, got to enjoy the cooling shade and dapppled light of the wysteria tunnel with the ceremony held under it.
Following the ceremony, April and Adam enjoyed photos with their bridal party and then together under the wysteria before rejoining their guests for drinks and dinner.
Just before the golden hour and sunset Alex took the couple out to a nearby field for more photos to make the most of the soft light and gorgeous scenery. We think you’ll agree that it was worth the effort!
Flowering for approximately 4 weeks in October each, the arch looks great at any time of year with it’s welcoming shade and beautiful greenery, and is perfect for wedding photography.
Whatever time of year it is, Alowyn Gardens is always a lovely option for wedding photography. For a small fee, couples are able to access the gardens for their wedding photos even if they are not holding their ceremony or reception on site, but this must be booked in advance.
We were delighted to photograph Loretta & Geoff’s late summer Friday wedding with family and friends at the beautiful Polperro Winery at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula.
When the groom arrives with a bow-tie wearing dog, you know it’s going to be a great wedding! The dog’s wet paws all over the bride’s dress on arrival could have dampened the mood for some but not these two!
The marriage ceremony was conducted on the lawn overlooking the vines and the rolling hills of the peninsula, followed by a few photos of the newly married couple around the gardens and vines, before moving inside to join their guests for a long and leisurely lunch at this fabulous winery.
We love weddings on the Mornington Peninsula, so if you’re planning your own wedding or elopement on the Peninsula, please get in touch for a competitive quote as we’d love to photograph it for you!
Not quite an elopement, but almost!
Sharron & Paul, by their own description, are an ‘older couple’ and really only wanted a quick and simple marriage ceremony with their closest family so booked in at the Victorian Marriage Registry on Spring Street. A type of elopement wedding without really eloping.
Following their short but very sweet marriage ceremony we strolled over to Treasury Gardens for family photos and then a few low key and casual photos with the newlywed couple before they departed for dinner at The Langham.
In these strange Covid times we’re finding more couples preferring to keep their weddings smaller, more low key and some are eloping, but we’re still offering the same high quality and affordable wedding photography that our clients expect from us so if you’re starting to plan your elopement photography or wedding ceremony please get in touch for a competitive quote.
Melbourne’s Budget Wedding Photography were delighted to photograph the wedding of Robyn & David in Frankston recently.
With Covid-19 border restrictions in place, the guest list was reduced in size for those allowed inside the church for the ceremony, but nobody was left out! Friends and relatives in Melbourne and across the border in Adelaide and Sydney, were able to watch the entire ceremony and speeches which were all professionally live streamed in high definition using a 4 camera set up.
Not only were guests at home able to watch the live events unfold, but both the newlyweds and family will be able to enjoy watching the day again at a later date as the footage is automatically uploaded to a private server as it’s filmed. A very impressive service! If you’re considering live streaming your wedding ceremony or elopement in Melbourne then please get in touch and we’ll put you in contact with the live streaming wizards.
Following the ceremony and speeches, and while guests mingled (socially distanced obvs!) we photographed the newly married couple in and around the church since the Melbourne weather had done it’s occasional crazy thing and thrown up a storm for the day. The weather didn’t dampen anybody’s enthusiasm and the modern church served us perfectly for the wedding portraits so we captured a great selection of photos for the couple to treasure.
We were pleased to photograph L&C’s Melbourne marriage registry wedding which was attended by their friends and family, including the bride’s side of the family who took the time to fly out especially for it.
Following the ceremony and family photos outside the Old Treasury Building on Spring Street, Melbourne, we moved on to Treasury Gardens for some relaxed photos with the couple before they rejoined their guests for their wedding lunch.
Not being afraid to be themselves, the colour blue was very much the theme, with it appearing in the handcrafted paper flowers, the bride’s hair, jewellery and the groom’s outfit too. I thought the cowboy/girl boots were a nice touch.
We love photographing weddings at the Melbourne Marriage Registry and nearby Treasury Gardens so if you are planning a wedding please do get in touch to discuss your affordable wedding photography options.
Gary & Maryanne were recently married at the Victoria Marriage Registry in South Yarra. This is a private marriage registry and completely unrelated to the Victorian Marriage Registry in Spring Street, Melbourne CBD, but perfectly suited to small marriage ceremonies with just a handful of guests.
Housed on the ground floor of what seems to be a residential address this marriage venue also seems to double as an art gallery specialising in Aboriginal artwork which makes for a great backdrop for photos.
Following their short and intimate marriage ceremony, we were pleased to photograph their family photos at the nearby Melbourne Botanic Gardens in South Yarra.
Blessed with a warm and sunny day we spent over an hour strolling the gardens for photos of the couple following some more formal shots with their family and friends.
Hailing from the Mornington Peninsula, Gary & Maryanne enjoy visiting Melbourne so it seemed fitting that they should celebrate their new union with photos in one of their favourite photography locations in Melbourne.
When it comes to what many call the most important day in your life, it is difficult not to have your fur baby by your side. Your dog, after all, is part of your family. However, when you are caring for a puppy that has not yet been properly trained, problems may arise if you allow it to be part of something so special and grand. For instance, vigorous breeds like Maltese puppies or Golden Retrievers are too young for all the attention.
So where does that leave your pooch? Luckily, you can include it in your pre-wedding shoot! Here are some ways you can make your best bud a part of your wedding without it having to be at the venue on the day itself:
#1 Have it wear a similar outfit as you
Nothing is more adorable than your dog dressed up in fluffy layers of tulle or a tuxedo next to you in your photos. If your pup is a girl, have it wear a sparkling tutu. If your pooch is a boy, make it look as dapper as you by having it wear a silky bow tie.
#2 Cover it in flowers
Make your dog stand out in photos by outfitting it with a wreath of flowers. You may also have it wear a flower-covered leash around its neck. For consistency, make sure that you match your dog’s flowers with that of your wedding bouquet. Finally, take into consideration the flower of choice as it may be toxic for your pooch.
#3 Add its photo to your invitation
There isn’t anything more delightful than announcing your wedding day with a dog-themed save-the-date card. Have your photo taken with your dog, then add a cute caption like “Don’t furr-get our special day!” written on it. While you are at it, why not have your stamps customised as well? Your pooch’s face on the stamp will add both a personal touch and bring a smile to your guests’ faces.
#4 Put your dog’s face on the table numbers
Since your pooch won’t be able to say hello to your guests at your wedding, display its photo at the centre of every table. By turning your dog’s photos into table numbers, you can you’re your friends and family what a happy and proud fur owner you are. Here’s a cool tip: Don’t use the same photo for every table.
#5 Make it part of group photos
Welcome your pooch to your entourage by shooting a photo of it with your family, bridesmaids, and groomsmen before the big day. Have your photographer snap a few shots of you and your spouse-to-be holding your dog instead of a bouquet. Better yet, have everyone else included in the photo carry their pets in their arms!
#6 Have it do creative poses
Sure, your pup may not be well trained yet, but it doesn’t mean it can’t pose perfectly for a picture. Sometimes, the best shots are those that are candid. Try to be as creative as possible. You can kiss your pooch or have it sit beside your wedding dress or suit. If your dog is already trained, you can go for action shots. Simply talk to your dog photographer ahead of time so that you can work some great poses out. And make sure you have rewards such as treats and toys to keep them entertained and focused on whatever task you want them to do.
#7 Use its photo as a prop in your photo booth
If it isn’t possible to have your pooch at your wedding reception, make a big cutout of its face, then use it as a photo booth prop. It’s a great way to include your dog in your big day without it having to be at the venue physically.
#8 Make a large cutout of your dog
Who says you can’t bring your dog to your wedding? By having a life-size cutout of your dog made, you can make it a part of your entourage. You can carry your dog’s cutout while walking down the aisle or have your flower girl or ring bearer carry it. When it’s time for the family group photos, hold your dog’s cutout beside you.
The Bottom Line
All weddings are special. This is why everyone close to your heart must be there to witness your saying “I do.” Unfortunately, not all venues allow pets, so you have to get creative if you want your dog to be part of the most magical day in your life. Hopefully, these simple ideas will help make the presence of your pooch felt even if it cannot see you walk down the aisle.
Sam & John were married in the Rotunda at Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens with their nearest and dearest squeezing in to the rose covered structure in the middle of summer.
Being located in the middle of one of Melbourne’s most beautiful and manicured gardens meant that we had plenty of photo opportunities at numerous locations once the marriage ceremony had been completed. As the sun set to the west of the Melbourne city skyline we enjoyed the last of the light for the affordable wedding photography with the couple before moving on to their reception venue in South Yarra.
Are you planning your wedding at Melbourne Registry? We’d be pleased to hear from you, so get in touch to check your wedding date.
Clare & Maxwell hosted their wedding at the gorgeous Sunnyside Villa in Bacchus Marsh and the Budget Wedding Photography gang were asked to join them and document the day!
Following bridal preparations in Footscray, the couple were joined by 60 guests and married by their celebrant in the gardens of Sunnyside Villa.
The marriage ceremony was followed by family and bridal photos in the gardens. The gardens are extensive and beautifully maintained so absolutely perfect for use in wedding photography.
Our timing was great, as we just finished our photos before the heavens opened again – phew!