An insider’s guide to getting married on the Mornington Peninsula
When it comes to the landscape of talented wedding professionals and the glorious local regions in which we can celebrate a wedding day – we know these two things to be true; The Mornington Peninsula is a melting pot of beautiful venues, scenery, food and wine, and all of that is regularly captured in superb fashion by one of our photographic favourites, Jeremy Blode.
Jeremy has a passion for his craft, that’s no secret, and for the hundreds of couples who have stood before his camera on their wedding day, the memories he helps create are timeless and treasured.
Combining this creative skill with his knowledge for the Mornington Peninsula region that so many choose to land upon to say their “I do’s”, we thought who better to help us shine a spotlight on this little slice of Victorian heaven.
Just one hour south of the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, you’ll be greeted by fresh sea air, creative local cuisine and a wine region that boasts some of the countries best. Couples by the dozen flock to the area when seeking their ideal location for tying the knot, and nobody knows why better than local photographer, Jeremy Blode.
Jeremy and his gorgeous young family, complete with wife Rachel and daughter Bella, proudly call their holiday home in the area’s popular Red Hill one of their favourite spots in the world, spending every chance they can enjoying the local sights and sounds. It’s no wonder he’s among one of the best placed to share his thoughts on why you should be married locally (and a hint from us: booking a local means knocking off any pesky travel fees!).
But more than just weddings, Jeremy also shares with us some great eats, adventures and local businesses worth checking out.
Jeremy, nuptials on the Peninsula, we’re all about it. Tell us, why should couples add this special spot to their wedding planning itinerary?
It’s such an amazing and visually diverse location for a wedding, and so close to Melbourne too. From hay bales in big paddocks and enchanting forests, to beaches, barns, restaurants and vineyards, you really can have it all on the Mornington Peninsula, no matter your wedding style!
The venues down this way are also renowned for incredible food and wine, so you’re not only spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning photo opportunities, but world-class dining experiences as well.
I also love the pace of the Peninsula. It’s a lovely opportunity to make a weekend of your celebrations and really take in what this beautiful area has to offer over a couple of days.
And we’re of course here to talk weddings and how to bring the best day to life. What are some of your personal favourites when it comes to local venues and suppliers?
There are so many! The Mornington Peninsula has really taken off as a creative hub of small businesses, especially in the wedding industry. Some of the incredible vendors we’ve always admired over the years include amazing planners Pop Up With Style and floral wizards Poppy Culture and Hello Blossom.
There is of course also the impeccable food offering that’s hard to beat, with the likes of Johnny Ripe (amazing desserts), exceptional caterers like Provider and so many small, local businesses that make the most of the perfect local produce that surrounds them. Not to mention the amazing Melbourne based caterers that regularly travel to the Peninsula, like The Big Group and Cookes Food.
When it comes to venues, it’s just as hard to narrow it down to only a few favourites! Some of my favourite places to celebrate include Tanglewood Estate, The Epicurean, Jackalope, Merricks General Wine Store, Polperro and Port Phillip Estate.
Photos! What are some of your favourite locations for documenting a couple’s dream day?
The are so many, that’s why celebrating in this area is such a dream! From the incredible cliffs in Flinders to the national parks in Boneo and Arthurs Seat, Rach and I love to scout locations that are specific to each couple – we love to chat with you, get to know you and put together a curated list of special photo spots that are perfect for you, your wedding location and the time of year you’re getting married.
That’s what we did for the lovely Issy and Max here – exploring the cliffs and blow hole in Flinders was just perfect for them!
Can you give us any inside information when it comes to accommodation for couples and their guests? Are there any venues that accommodate both the wedding and accommodation that you can recommend?
Tedesca is a new restaurant on the Mornington Peninsula with stunning accommodation attached. It accommodates intimate weddings of up to 40 people for lunch or dinner.
Jackalope is the perfect spot for ceremony, reception and guest accommodation all in one, and you can do everything from intimate ‘I dos’ to complete hotel buyouts where you’ll enjoy exclusive use of the whole property.
Polperro is also a beautiful option for weddings and accommodation in one spot, with their divine restaurant and cellar door perfect for any celebration, and the choice of luxury villas amongst the vines or the stunning 1950s Polperro Farmhouse.
Port Phillip Estate allows you to hold your ceremony out on the deck surrounded by stunning views, provides beautiful food and acclaimed wines for your reception and offers unique luxury accommodation on site – the whole package!
Lindenderry features gorgeous garden ceremony settings, large reception venue and boutique accommodation in the form of 40 individual guest rooms.
Not to mention all the amazing Airbnbs and private accommodation options in the area!
While we know you’re married to your beautiful wife Rachel, tell us, if you had your time again, where would you wed on the magical Mornington Peninsula?
Can we get married at all the venues?! There are honestly so many we love!
Rach and I had a marquee wedding on my grandparents farm, and the most important things to us when planning our day were beautiful food and drinks for our guests (our friends and family still talk about the sake and lychee martinis we served, 5 years on!) and a lovely relaxed setting that allowed us to have some of the celebrations outside.
So with that in mind, we’d be so happy to have an intimate wedding at Tedesca Osteria in Red Hill. We went there for lunch for my birthday, and while we were standing on the balcony enjoying the custom cocktail we were served on arrival (not to mention the incredible scenery!), we actually turned and said to each other “if we had our time again, this would be a pretty special place to get married!”
The food is to die for and the open kitchen feels so warm and inviting, it’s like dining at a friend’s house. The menu is always changing depending on what local produce is available in the area, and there are so many spots nearby that would be perfect for the ceremony. Even the playlist at the restaurant was beautiful and really set the tone for the space. So much to love!
That being said, we both have huge families and there’s no way we’d get away with only inviting 40 guests! So Tanglewood would be our next pick – a marquee and some tipi style tents on their beautiful estate with our favourite caterers and a DJ with some accompanying musicians for an epic party.
What style of wedding or kind of couple do you think suits this romantic region best?
I think anyone that wants a really relaxed wedding that guarantees a great food and wine experience for their guests should absolutely consider getting married on the Mornington Peninsula. The weddings I shoot here are always so much fun, and just feel like a warm and welcoming family dinner. The atmosphere when you’re down by the coast is hard to beat!
For a couple spending the day or weekend down the Peninsula planning their wedding and meeting with their venue/suppliers, tell us how they can best use their time.
I recommend starting the day with a coffee and pastry at Millers Bread Kitchen in Dromana. Everything is baked on site using the freshest locally sourced ingredients – you won’t be disappointed!
You can stop for a bite at The Epicurean in Red Hill for a relaxed, Italian lunch, complimented by wines from over 50 wineries on the Mornington Peninsula (tip: check their Instagram page or call ahead to make sure they’re open as it’s a popular space for weddings as well).
Walk off the pizza on The Red Hill Trail – it starts right behind the restaurant. It’s a beautiful walking track that follows the route of the old Red Hill Rail Line to Merricks. So private and peaceful!
On your way back to town the next day, stop off at Torello Farm’s farmgate store and be transported to Tuscany while you stock up on local, seasonal Peninsula produce for the week.
On a nice afternoon, detour to Polperro for wine and cheese on the lawn overlooking the vineyard.
And if you don’t have to rush back home, finish the weekend with a casual dinner at Alatonero for a Greek feast in McCrae. It’s right opposite the beach, so you can eat inside or get takeaway and have a beachside picnic right across the road.
Hot spots! Give us your best!
- Coffee and pastries: Miller’s Bread Kitchen in Dromana
- Fresh local seasonal produce: Torello Farm in Dromana or Mossy Willow Farm in Main Ridge on Saturdays
- Cheese: Red Hill Cheese
- Wine: Red Hill Wine Collective
- Nature walks: Red Hill Rail Trail, any walk along the foreshore from Safety Beach to Portsea, Seawinds Gardens in Arthurs Seat National Park and the Two Bays Trail
- Art: Pt.Leo Estate Sculpture Park
- Lunch for a special occasion: Tedesca Osteria, Red Hill (a MUST visit if you can swing it!)
- Beautiful lunch or dinner: The Epicurean, Alatonerro or Petit Tracteur
- Stop off for wine and cheese/snack: Rare Hare at Jackalope (on a cold day) or Polperro Lawn (on a warm day)
- Homewares Shop: Red Hill House
- Massage: Red Hill Spa
- Facial: Marci Wellness in Red Hill
- Yoga: Hot Hut in Red Hill
- Market: Emu Plains Market in Balnarring
- Stay for your Honeymoon: Jackalope Hotel
As you can see from the stunning accompanying imagery, Jeremy Blode is a photographer that is full of talent. His expertise on this romantic region is second to none, so we couldn’t imagine anything better than having him guide you through your wedding day photography, so you can relax in the knowledge that not only does he know the area, but his images are simply sublime.
If you’d love to snap up Jeremy’s talents for your own wedding day, get in touch here (we recommend getting in as quick as you can!). Plus, if you mention this article at the time of booking, Jeremy will upgrade your 8 hour photography package to include 10 hours of coverage. How amazing is that? Valid for bookings made before October 30 2020.
All photography by Jeremy Blode.