Are you planning an elopement or a small intimate wedding in Canberra? We have gone around the nation’s capital to find wedding venues that will actually do a wedding for twenty people or less.
Couples that are eloping aren’t necessarily having small weddings because they just want to save money. Most eloping couples genuinely do not want to have a big traditional wedding. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t want a beautiful wedding and that doesn’t mean that they aren’t prepared to spend proper money to get their dream wedding.
We have found that many venues don’t understand this and just won’t do small weddings. Either because they can’t make it profitable enough or they think their venue is just too big. My feeling is that they think it isn’t profitable enough.
Here is my advice for engaged couples looking for their perfect small wedding venue. If you find a venue that is perfect for you, but the venue feels that your wedding is too small, ask them what their ‘minimum spend’ is. That is, the minimum amount of money you need to spend to make the event profitable enough for them to take it on. You might find that it is not as much as you might think. Plus it means that instead of paying for dinner for 50 to 150 people, you can spend the money on the best food, drinks and styling and have the most amazing small wedding.
My second piece of advice if you are having trouble finding a venue, is to consider mid-week or winter weddings. Wedding venues are much more likely to want your business in these off-peak times.
Canberra is a beautiful location for an elopement and there are some really lovely intimate small wedding venues. From five-star hotels to rustic country venues. and the venue basically sets up the mood, the atmosphere and the experience of your wedding day. So choosing the perfect small wedding venue for your elopement or intimate wedding is a huge decision.
Here are some wonderful elopement and small wedding venues in Canberra that will ensure you have the most perfect day!
1. The Boat House
Address: Grevillea Park, Menindee Drive, Barton ACT
The Boat House is one of the most magical locations for an elopement in Canberra. It is located right on the shorefront on the beautiful shores of Lake Burley Griffin. This is a multi-award-winning fine dining restaurant with an enchanting atmosphere. This amazing wedding venue actually caters to elopements and small weddings!! Yaaay!!
This is one great restaurant. It has been listed in top 10 ACT restaurants in Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. And is one of the top-rated restaurant in Canberra (The Fork score of 9.4/10 | TripAdvisor 4.5 /5 | 4.7 on Facebook and Google).
Elopement Ceremonies are possible at The Boat House. There is the option to have a beautiful garden ceremony next to the lake and there is also a very nice wet weather back up option inside the venue.
The Boat House also has some photo locations onsite. There are small reserves of green grass and lovely trees on either side of The Boat House. And of course, it overlooks the Lake Burley Griffin.
For your elopement reception or dinner at The Boat House. There are 3 private rooms to choose from and all of them have stunning views to the lake and access to the gardens.
During the peak wedding periods of September to April you can book one of the rooms in The Boat House, as a minimum spend. Meaning that if you have less than 20 guests you just have to spend their minimum amount. This means you will just have to spend your money on the best wines, the best food, premium beers and cocktails, extra canapes… sounds tough 😉
During the off-peak season of May to August, there is no minimum spends required. Meaning you can get an amazing intimate small wedding venue for a very affordable price.
With over 20 years of experience in running weddings, you are in very safe hands with The Boat House. It is in a great location, in a beautiful setting with some of the best food in Canberra.
2. Elm Grove Canberra
Address: 230 Roden Cutler Dr, Jacka ACT
If you are looking for a country farm property to elope at, the Elm Grove Canberra might be the elopement wedding venue for you. This wedding venue is actually a working farm! They produce wool and hay. How awesome is that!!
The Elm Grove Canberra is a heritage-listed private property located in the northern suburbs of Canberra. And as the name suggests, the property has two magnificent elm trees on the property offering lovely shade for ceremonies.
It is a huge property so there are many potential locations to have your elopement wedding ceremony. Often it is held in the shade of the Elm trees in the garden. The working woolshed can be an amazing wet-weather backup option.
Elm Grove Canberra is an amazing place for wedding and elopement photos. It is a huge property to explore with an abundance of photo locations. There are huge open fields, trees, rolling hills, paddocks, rustic walls, old sheds and other farming buildings. So you are guaranteed some beautiful photos.
There is no permanent structure onsite for wedding receptions. So it is a blank canvas in that aspect. You could hire a small marquee, get tents and tipis. Or you could dine under the stars and get come caterers to look after you. There are some really great options.
3. Redbrow Garden Guesthouse (All Day Every Day Guesthouse)
Address: 1143 Nanima Road, Murumbatemen
Redbrow Garden is located on the northern outskirts of Canberra and is a beautiful lakeside property surrounded by stunning gardens. If you are looking for a relaxed garden elopement then this place just might be right for you. And this beautiful property can actually cater to smaller weddings.
There is onsite accommodation available, which means you will be able to spend the whole day in the one location without needing to travel anywhere. So you can spend more day with your family & friends.
The gardens are a perfect area for an outdoor elopement ceremony. There is plenty of land and trees so the gardens and lake are ideal for wedding photos afterwards.
Your reception can take place in the Redbrow Garden Undercover Deck. They can cater up to 120 guests, but they also cater so smaller more intimate numbers with just a minimum spend required.
If you are looking for a small wedding venue that has an enchanted, secret garden feel to it, then the Redbrow Gardens Guesthouse could be to perfect space for you.
4. Poachers Pantry
Address: 431 Nanima Road, Springrange NSW
Poachers Pantry has been one of the premier wedding venues in Canberra for many years. It is booked out years in advance, particularly during prime seasons. But did you know that they also cater to smaller more intimate weddings? Book an off-peak or mid-week smaller wedding, and this property could be yours with a minimum spend!
Poachers Pantry is a small family business that has been going for over 25 years and was built around a love of food and family. This property features, fine wines, one of the finest smokehouses in Australia and some amazing food. All located on one stunning rural property.
Ceremonies take place on the Homestead lawn and is a perfect location for exchanging your wedding vows. There are beautiful gardens, fields of long golden grass and vineyards around making it perfect for stunning wedding photos.
Intimate wedding receptions can be held in the restaurant or perhaps outside in the Veggie Garden or under the Elm tree if the weather is good and you want dinner under the star and fairy lights. And you are guaranteed some of the best regional food with their renown smoked meats and award-winning wines.
5. Ginninderry Homestead
Address: Ginninderry Park, 468 Parkwood Road, Via Macgregor ACT
Ginninderra Homestead is a lovely Georgian style bed and breakfast property with gorgeous gardens that located just 20 minutes from the heart of Canberra. This is a wedding venue is a 70-acre property that can fit up to 110 guests so it is more of a traditional venue in one sense. BUT you can still use this venue for smaller weddings and elopements, you just need to pay a surcharge to meet their minimum spend requirements.
And I think this property is a really great option for an intimate wedding or elopement in Canberra.
On-site accommodation is available at Ginninderra Homestead. And there are rooms available in the homestead and there is also a self-contained cottage. So you can easily get ready on the property and still not see each other if that is what you want.
Your wedding ceremony can take place at a range of locations. There is the sunken garden, wisteria walks or the formal lawn area with its central fountain and white roses.
There are beautiful manicured gardens, creeks and streams, rolling hills and mountain ranges out in the distance. So with 70-acres of land, there is a lot of beautiful locations for wedding photos. You will be spoilt for choice.
The reception room is called ‘The Grand’ and features high ceilings, chandeliers and a roaring fireplace. Depending on the weather, you could potentially dine out under the stars in the garden.
Like I said before, this is a venue that normally does larger weddings and they are very popular. So be prepared to pay for their minimum spend and also consider doing your elopement/wedding during off-peak season (winter) or mid-week.
6. Gold Creek Station
7. Tuggeranong Homestead
8. Pialligo Estate
9. The Chapel at Gold Creek
10. Hyatt Hotel Canberra
11. Rydges Capital Hill
12. The Abbey
13. The Truffle Farm
14. Hotel Realm
15. Crown Plaza Canberra
16. QT Canberra
17. Ainslie & Gorman Arts Centres
18. University House Canberra
19. National Gallery of Australia
20. Federation University
21. George Harcourt
22. National Press Club of Australia
23. Hotel Kurrajong Canberra
24. The Deck at Regatta Point
25. Pavillion Canberra