As Sydney-based wedding planners and stylists, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful event venues, right on our doorstep. Harbour views, beautiful beachside venues, edgy urban warehouse, you name it, Sydney has it.
At Honey Lane we love this stunning city of ours, but we also love spreading our wings and creating extraordinary events at venues outside the big smoke. Cue one of our favourites, Redleaf Wollombi in the Hunter Valley.
Now if you’re someone who questions whether you need a passport to cross the Harbour Bridge, I can assure you, the Hunter Valley is really just a hop, skip and jump from Sydney.
Pack some snacks, put together a killer Spotify playlist and the 2 hour trip will be well worth it.
A tiny taste of Tuscany
On the drive to Redleaf the rich green pastures of the region’s farms give away to serene bushland before you get to the property, nestled in its own little valley a few minutes from the nearby town of Wollombi.
Set on 10 acres of privately-owned land, Redleaf boasts 6 king-sized bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a swimming pool, wood fireplace, billiards room, library and your own private lake.
As you make your way down the long winding driveway the venue’s breathtaking main villa comes into view, and it’s not difficult to see why so many couples are choosing this secluded spot for their dream wedding day.
With a Tuscan-inspired peach exterior, climbing rose bushes and immaculately manicured lawns, Redleaf really is straight out of the pages of a glossy travel mag and with the region known for its wineries and outstanding local produce, it’s the perfect weekend escape for both you and your guests.
Your wedding weekend – all in the one spot
When you book Redleaf for your wedding or event, you have exclusive use of the whole property for the weekend. Sounds amazing, even more so when you drill down and realise just how much, time, stress and effort this can really save you on your wedding day.
Imagine being able to have a small rehearsal dinner, your wedding and a recovery BBQ all on the one property. Add to that you have your wedding night accommodation sorted plus rooms to spare for your bridal party or close family. The villa is large enough that both partners can get ready on site without seeing each other before the ceremony, plus, the grounds of property are stunning and varied so there is no need to go off site for any of your wedding photography. See what I mean about a one-stop venue?!
Spoilt for choice
When it comes to designing the layout and styling for your wedding day, Redleaf has the versatility and the space for couples looking to craft a personal day that reflects them and their tastes.
The area directly at the front of the villa can be used as a ceremony space, cocktail area or even for your reception dinner, accommodating up to 200 people with long, rustic-style tables.
Other ceremony options include in front of the property’s lavender garden or next to the gorgeous man-made lake.
If your guest list is maxing out and you’re looking at 200 plus people, a marquee can be installed on the expansive front lawn for dining, drinking and dancing under the stars.
One of the most charming parts of the property is the ‘Pizza Kitchen’ building. Situated to the right of the main villa and tucked away behind perfectly manicured hedges, it’s the ideal shady spot for canapes, cocktails or recovery drinks the next day. Inside the building there is a commercial kitchen and food prep area, giving your caterers the space to do their thing out of the sight of guests.
For those thinking, ‘This venue sounds incredible, what’s the catch?!’, we should flag there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to planning a Redleaf wedding.
First off, when you book Redleaf you are booking the property only which means you have to bring everything in for your event. We’re talking all event furniture, lighting, a marquee if you choose to have one, caterers and bar staff, even down to portable bathrooms and a cool room.
Now this is all completely achievable (particularly with Honey Lane on board to take care of your planning and styling!), but it is definitely worth factoring in when you’re pulling together your budget and logistics for the big day.
One of the most appealing features of Redleaf is that it’s private and secluded but on the flip side, this means there are no public transport links and… no Uber. Parking on the property is extremely limited so the best bet for getting your guests to and from the wedding is to charter buses.
And finally, as the Hunter Valley is just that - a valley - mobile phone reception at Redleaf is patchy at best.
The good news is that it’s the perfect place for that digital detox you’ve been talking about all year!
Photography: The Wedding Architect
Photography: The Robertson Photography
Venue: Redleaf Wollombi