It’s not just the views that set this Yarra Valley wedding venue apart. The team at Bulong Estate Winery have thought of everything – additional power points, a walk-in cool room, a bridal suite, an outdoor stage, wet weather options and home grown wine are all part of the package.
They’re all the ingredients for an effortless, stress-free wedding that will save you money (and a headache) in the long-run and make life a million times easier for your vendors.
Read on to find out more.
Tell us a bit about your venue…
Our venue is in the middle of 80 acres of beautiful vineyard. From the venue, you overlook the vines and then out to spectacular mountain views, the biggest mountain being Mount Donna Buang. The whole property is actually 120 acres so you are very far away from anyone else… everyone just seems to relax as soon as they arrive.
The venue itself is intimate. We can seat a maximum of 60 guests inside. But outdoors we have a really big deck with an outdoor bar and a lovely lawn area. At the end of the garden there is an outdoor stage which is the most popular spot for wedding ceremonies. It is also where we put the bands that play in the summer for our open days.
The building has a modern feel to it, with lots of glass and white walls, and three sets of double glass doors open out onto the deck.
What inspired you to get involved with weddings?
The venue was a restaurant for many years. They did the occasional wedding which were always fantastic. When the property was sold a few years ago, the restaurant was closed and the building left empty, which I thought was a shame. I thought it was the perfect spot for a party or wedding, so I approached the owners and asked if I could run a function venue.
I have always wanted to run my own business, so it is a great opportunity for me. We also live on the property so it is excellent being a mum and being able to work from home.
Tell us about the facilities your venue offers?
Our main room can seat a maximum of 60 guests. Marquee’s on the deck can be used to seat more (max. 100). We can supply chairs, tables and white linen tablecloths to seat 60 guests. We have disabled parking, ramp and disabled toilet and baby change facilities.
- A bridal room for your private use on the day, for whatever you need it for, it has had porta cots setup in there for little ones to take a nap on more than one wedding.
- Our venue is kid-friendly with a lovely big lawn for them to run on and the dams on the property are well away and not within site of the venue.
- Full professional kitchen for catering, including walk in cool room (the caterers always love these!).
- We supply all glassware and staff for drinks service. And the wine is excellent, it is all grown, made and bottled on site, so you are looking at the vineyard that grows the grapes. We have a full range of wines Sparkling Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
- We have onsite parking.
- Sound system available for your use, just bring a laptop or ipod with play list ready to plug in. Or feel free to bring a band or DJ.
- Microphone, cordless or lapel, both available.
- Plenty of power points around the venue, inside and out, on the deck and the outdoor stage has power.
What do you think is the biggest selling point for most couples?
The biggest selling point would have to be the natural beauty of the property. Everyone arrives and says “wow, that view is amazing”. The property is an amphitheatre, with the mountains surrounding it, and the long straight lines of the vineyard all around the venue are just spectacular.
The other big selling point is that we are quite relaxed and flexible. We only do one wedding a day, so no-one is rushed out for the next wedding. We allow couples to come in and do their own decorating and style the venue the way they want to.
Finally, being a winery is a big selling point to a lot of couples. They love the romance of the vineyard and the wines. Even those who don’t drink wine still love the connection with the land around them and the beauty of the vineyard.
Do you offer onsite accommodation? Alternatively are there places to stay nearby?
We don’t have accommodation onsite, but there are lots of options nearby. Across the road we have Langbrook Estate vineyard that has a house and an apartment, so that is the closest. There are plenty of B&Bs of all different styles in the local area.
Kangaroo House nearby is popular for visitors from overseas because they have kangaroos all over their lawn and a tame kangaroo that comes to the back door to be fed. Or Hazeldene Resort down the road, that can be rented to sleep eight couples to stay in luxury with a pool and spa.
What’s your favourite thing you’ve seen a couple do at your venue?
Every wedding is amazing and I have loved them all. Every couple does something different. The best part is seeing how happy every couple is on their day and how happy their little personal touches make them.
I do love seeing the most made of the outdoor space, putting lights and furniture out on the lawn and deck to encourage their guests to enjoy the outdoors. Lighting can make such a difference if your wedding goes into the evening, and it can be quite magical if you use lights in the trees, the garden and marquee.
And what do you think would be epic at your property? Any ideas you’d love to see a couple carry out?
A big marquee put up to seat 120 or more people near our vineyard. It would have the vineyard on two sides with spectacular views to the mountains beyond. I also dream of the day that the bride arrives in a horse and carriage, I will go crazy with my camera that day.
Describe the kind of couples your venue generally attracts.
Our venue attracts couples who want a relaxed and flexible venue. They have visited lots of venues and found that they rush you in and out, have fixed and limited menu options and don’t let you do anything differently. Then they arrive at Bulong Estate and are just so excited to find somewhere that isn’t like that at all.
Our couples are generally people that were looking for a beautiful outdoor space, not just for their photos and outdoor ceremony, but also for their friends and family to enjoy and to have the option of eating outdoors if possible.
Any new additions on the horizon?
We have just built an arbour in the garden and have planted old fashioned climbing roses (Pierre de Ronsard) to grow over it. It will take a couple of years before they fully cover it, so I am looking forward to a beautiful end result.