Sydney Harbour Wedding Venues: My Ultimate Guide

Sydney Harbour is definitely a major draw card for both locals and tourists alike when enjoying everything that Sydney has to offer. It has always been a favourite for couples deciding to get married or eloping in Sydney.  Many of the waterfront venues have incredible harbour views no matter where they are located around the harbour.

The iconic harbour is expansive and has many different view points and locations to pick from when considering a Sydney Harbour wedding for your special day. Many of the wedding reception venues incorporate the spectacular views of Sydney Harbour and locations by bringing the outside in.

You can pick from wedding venues centrally located near Circular Quay (such as Aqua Dining, Quay, Museum of Contemporary Art or Pier One).

These venues show off the icons of Sydney such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Luna Park the skyline. Closer to the city there is Darling Harbour and Pyrmont – with a scattering of venues along the foreshore with L’Aqua, Dockside and Doltone House.

Between the Circular Quay and Manly you will find Gunners Barracks, Ripples Chowder Bay, Sergeants Mess and Q Station.

Tucked into Rose Bay there is the beautiful Catalina and Zest Point Piper. Watsons Bay features the wonderful Dunbar House and Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.

Further afield in different parts of the harbour you will also find Deckhouse, Sails on Lavender Bay, Zest at The Spit, Public Dining Room and The Nielsen.

Best Sydney Harbour Wedding Venues

  • Ripples Chowder Bay
  • Aqua Dining
  • Athol Hall
  • Gunners Barracks
  • Sergeants Mess
  • Q Station
  • Simmer on the Bay
  • Dunbar House
  • Public Dining Room
  • Pier One
  • Ovolo Woolloomooloo
  • Deckhouse
  • Doltone House
  • Cockatoo Island
  • Catalina
  • Burnt Orange
  • Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
  • Zest at Point Piper
  • Zest at The Spit
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)
  • Milestone Events
  • Quay
  • View By Sydney
  • Cafe Birkenhead
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Sails on Lavender Bay
  • The Nielsen
  • The Boathouse Blackwattle Bay
  • Taronga Zoo (Taronga Centre)
  • Bathers Pavilion (Balmoral)

Recommended Wedding Ceremony Venues

FAQs: Sydney Harbour And Its Wedding Venues

Where is it?

Sydney Harbour is a beautiful natural harbour that is a major feature of the wonderful city of Sydney, NSW in Australia. Is the perfect setting to consider for your wedding.

What is the best way to access Sydney Harbour and its wedding venues?

Most wedding venues located around Sydney Harbour can be accessed via road. There are a number of venues that can also be accessed via boat and other forms of public transport. A couple of specific locations such as Cockatoo Island and Fort Denison can only be accessed via boat.

How far are the wedding venues on Sydney Harbour from Sydney CBD?

The travel time to each wedding venue varies but it is from as little as 5mins up to 45mins (depending on the location around Sydney Harbour).

What are the best wedding venues on Sydney Harbour?

Ripples Chowder Bay, Gunners Barracks, Athol Hall, Aqua Dining, Dunbar House, Pier One, Sergeants Mess and Q Station are some of the best wedding venues on Sydney Harbour for you to consider for your big day.

How much do weddings cost here?

Being a premium location, you can expect to pay north of $160 per head for the perfect venue on Sydney Harbour.

Based on the number of guests, each venue will have different wedding packages to suit the style of weddings that they host. It is best to book in a site visit. Most wedding venues will have a dedicated wedding coordinator that can take you through everything they have to offer, discuss the general wedding setup for the venue, food and beverage packages and what they include that makes them stand out against the rest.

What type of weddings are common?

The wonderful thing about Sydney Harbour is the variety of wedding venues and locations available all around the harbour. From a sophisticated sit down reception, to a relaxed and romantic wedding on the harbour foreshore – there is a style to suit every type of wedding day.

Who do you recommend as supporting wedding vendors?

As Sydney is where I call home, I have worked with many lovely wedding vendors. Click here to view my Sydney Harbour wedding vendor recommendations.

How far in advance should I book my Sydney Harbour wedding venue?

Due to its overwhelming popularity, some venues are booked well over 12 months in advance. If you would like to have your wedding on a Saturday during the busy seasons, consider a wedding date 1 to 2 years in advance to ensure you are able to book the wedding venue and wedding vendors you want.

Sydney Harbour Wedding Photos

Bride and Groom on Ferry on Sydney Harbour overlooking Sydney Opera House

 

Why I Recommend The Sydney Harbour For Your Wedding (As A Wedding Photographer)

As a Sydney local I have always loved spending time on and around the harbour.

My dad has always sailed and I was fortunate enough to be able to explore Sydney Harbour both on and off the water. A lot of the wonderful memories that I have growing up in Sydney are now locations that host memorable weddings. Having this knowledge of hotspots and experience has been wonderful for me in helping my clients with their Sydney Harbour Weddings.

The atmosphere and location of weddings along Sydney Harbour would have to be the number one reason why I recommend it as your ideal wedding location. With the many venues on offer, they really encapsulate the beauty of Sydney and create a wonderful atmosphere for your wedding guests to enjoy.

Everyone remembers a wedding for the location and for the food. If you get those two things right then the rest of the wedding day falls into line.

The vast size of Sydney Harbour means there are so many wonderful and different wedding venues to pick from. From an intimate garden style wedding in a park along the harbour, to a black tie event at a fancy waterfront restaurant (like Catalina). Being able to choose the right venue is paramount to having the wedding celebration you want. When it comes to weddings a lot of people compromise an aspect of their day to suit another.

It can be difficult picking a location along the harbour for your wedding, however there are lots of great photo locations that are not restricted by venue. Scattered around Sydney Harbour are wonderful national parks, lookouts, beaches, parks and foreshores that can be used for taking photos.

So even if your venue has a breathtaking view of the harbour (but is not located right on the harbour) – never fear as there are plenty of opportunities to have photos by Sydney Harbour.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Wedding On The Harbour

  • The best time of the day for wedding photography is as the sun starts to set. Therefore, talk with your wedding planner and wedding photographer to discuss timings before you lock them in. This is especially important in the summer time when the sun sets so late in the day.
  • The wedding venues around the harbour are in a variety of locations. The have different aspects/views of the harbour and the sun sets in different locations all year round. It is best to consider where the sun will be when planning your wedding day (especially in the winter time when it sets early). You may find this may make or break a planned wedding ceremony location.
  • The weather in Sydney is generally pretty good, but it is usually a little breezy by the harbour. Make sure you consider this when thinking of hair styles, wedding veils, wedding styling and parts of your wedding day that you may do outdoors. It is better to be considered and comfortable than constantly dealing with a wild wedding veil.
  • Locations around the harbour are often busy on weekends and there can be a lot of traffic/parking. Consider picking wedding locations that are close to each other (including where you may get ready). This will reduce any unnecessary stress about travel for yourselves and your wedding guests.
  • If your venue is right on the water, consider getting picked up by water taxi at the end of the evening. It can be a great way to get away and have a wedding send off. They can then take you directly to a wharf or pier close to accommodation for the evening.

Things To See and Do

I always say that one of the best parts about wedding planning is the experiences you get to have along the way. Whilst planning your perfect wedding in Sydney, you may want to consider some of these activities to enjoy around the harbour.

  • Ferry to Manly – One of the best ways to see Sydney Harbour is by getting the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. It’s a beautiful ride across the harbour on one of the city’s iconic ferries.
  • A Dining Experience – There are a number of wonderful wedding venues that are also highly regarding restaurants. It can be fun to treat yourselves to some wonderful dining experiences whilst checking out prospective venues. Ripples Chowder Bay, Aqua Dining, The Boathouse Blackwattle Bay, Catalina or Quay (if you’re feeling fancy) all come highly recommended.
  • Cockatoo Island – Visit the the Australian UNESCO World Heritage listed site of Cockatoo Island. It is a former shipyard and originally was a prison for convicts. It’s vast history is interesting to explore now that it has been opened to the public. The island has a lot of the old buildings and machinery from it’s hay day and is a wonderful escape. You can even stay and camp overnight on the island in a tent!
  • Watsons Bay – A beautiful area located near South Head. There is lots to do in here (outside of checking out the wedding venues of Dunbar House and the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel). There are numerous coastal walks you can make around South Head and Vaucluse. During the summer time it is always nice to cool down with a refreshing swim at Camp Cove. If you are feeling hungry then I can recommend Doyle’s Restaurant for some wonderful seafood).

Hi, I’m Jack Of Jack Chauvel Photography

As you can tell, I absolutely love photographing weddings anywhere on Sydney Harbour. If you are thinking of hosting your wedding in Sydney we should definitely have a chat.