One of the questions people ask me when they know I am a celebrant, is "where is the most interesting location you have performed a wedding?" or other people ask "Where are people getting married these days?"
I have had a bit of a scan through the archives and reflecting on a pretty busy and full Summer of around forty weddings, here goes...
In the city itself, I rather have enjoyed the 'chapel like' ambience of the Waterside Pavilion at Mawson Place. As much as I say this, and as much as I want to support new tourism ventures, I fear that the installation of a skating rink adjacent to this lovely building may compromise it as a wedding venue. The Henry Jones Art Hotel and MONA are standouts, as is the stunning Islington Private Hotel. Peppermint Bay, Cascade Visitors Centre and Barilla Bay are three great 'one stop shops' for ceremony and reception. If you are into heritage, the National Trust property Runnymede has lovely gardens in which to marry, and the beautiful 'Music Room' as a wet weather back up.
Hobart's Town Hall boasts the most magnificent ballroom, resplendant with fully working pipe organ, This is an inexpensive venue to hire, full of 'W'OW' factor, and sadly many locals have never even been there. The other perennial but often forgotten location is our Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. The conservatory is splendid throughout they year, and an all weather wedding venue. There are just so many spots in the gardens to choose from, weather permitting, and it is so close to the city if you have lots of interstate guests to consider.
Within thirty minutes of Hobart we are spoilt for choice. I find Meadowbank Estate (recently re-named Frogmore Creek) consistently outstanding and the staff totally professional, as is Home Hill with Rosemary Bennett taking care of every detail. Ian Smith's Stonehouse Gardens at Ranelagh is slightly off the beaten track but worth considering. Further afield, the property called Southerly at Clifton Beach is little known but a great contemporary hem overlooking the surf beach. Avalon Coastal Retreat just south of Swansea is iconic, beautiful, unparalleled... and recently joined by a new sibling Avalon City Retreat, a 'pod' perched high up on a building, overlooking the city, parks and river. Please call me if you like the look of this... I am SO keen to perform a wedding here!
So those are the venues that spring to mind. Some of the most memorable have occurred on Mount Wellington and Mount Nelson, some of the parks and beaches around the town, and even on the waterways. I did a wedding in a gun magazine on the Queens Domain and the couple had to actually construct a floor and bring in portaloos... quite an effort but they achieved a great atmosphere. Sitting in the Judges seat at the old Penitentiay and Criminal Court, I once had to 'sentence a couple to life together'. Another great wedding I recall, was held in the church ruins at Port Arthur.
Hobart has just unveiled an absolute treasure in the re-vamped Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, and the director Bill Bleathman said they are keen to take bookings for events. This most amazing space, renovated beyond belief, with wow factors galore, has to be the 'go to' venue for marriages in the coming season. I cannot wait to receive my first booking for a ceremony at TMAG!