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Your dream wedding

The drama of the guest list, catering to a menagerie of food requirements and dealing with last minute hiccups is all part of planning a wedding. Take it from this bride who was married in the Hunter, a Maitland wedding will take a lot of stress out of your special day. Why book a function centre when you could book a historic manor? Why stay on the seventh floor of a ten story building when you could enjoy the intimacy of a boutique cottage? Venue, catering, flowers, even the all important hens and bucks party can be ticked off your wedding to do list in Maitland.

Tocal Homestead was built in 1841 and has beautiful old world charm. An expansive estate of rolling paddocks makes it ideal for outdoor weddings. Following them on Instagram, I’m always surprised by how each wedding looks unique within this one venue. From classic wedding décor, rustic charm, fountains of flowers to teepees draped in fairy lights. You dream it up, they can help make it happen. Sprout Catering is their onsite caterer and I’ve been to multiple functions where this crew cater and you’re in for a treat.

Mindaribba House offers privacy, unique appeal and a variety of services. I can’t get over the picturesque gardens, including a view of Paterson River, and how this house can be styled to any theme. Their glorious white marquee receptions sit beautifully within the tranquil setting making an elegant statement. Did I also mention they have a pool? Wedding pool party anyone?

For a romantic escape, Calvin Estate in Luskintyre, fits the bill. The wine barrel clad walls of the reception area remind me of the spectacular wines originating from this region. Here you can complete your fairytale wedding with a horse drawn carriage too. What an experience to hear the bride arrive to the clip clop of hooves.

Maddies of Bolwarra is a bed and breakfast and a wedding venue. With a spectacular Moreton Bay fig that creates the perfect backdrop and symbol for beginning a new life together. I was married under an impressive tree and there’s something extra special about the experience. You can truly personalise this venue with the all essential wedding scrap book or Pinterest flair which I recommend every couple should have.

Mansfield House is an opulent building with space for your ceremony, reception and a beautiful private garden to enjoy a glass of champagne. Mansfield Catering Maitland supply a menu to suit both your taste and budget with the region’s fresh produce taking centre stage.

Scenic Morpeth provides the trifecta of weddings with venues, accommodation and photographic  brilliance. Morpeth Common’s avenue of trees suits both an outdoor wedding and reception. Morpeth Bridge over the Hunter River is perfect backdrop for unique wedding photos. There are also a number of beautiful churches with quintessentially English exteriors and stunning stained glass windows. Morpeth has the added bonus of terrific accommodation for your guests like The Bronte Guest House, The Villa, Surgeons Cottage and Morpeth Cottage.

Maitland Town Hall, Walka Water Works and surprisingly Maitland Gaol are typically Maitland and  my top picks for nuptials with a difference.

Maitland Town Hall transforms into a theatrical wedding venue with a stage to match. Ideal for music lovers looking to have a wedding singer or band at their reception or even the ceremony itself. I’ve seen the hall’s impressive architecture pop with flowers from Morpeth Flower Gallery. Their handy work, especially their floral centrepieces and divine wreaths, is stunning. Just visiting their shop will get your botanical mouth watering.

Walka Water Works is rustic and industrial, making for the perfect outdoor ceremony. It’s singular  brick chimney and pumping station are in the elegant ‘Victorian Italianate’ style. Wedding photos taken here are spectacular because it is a place like nowhere else.

Then there’s Maitland Gaol. You’re going to have to trust me on this one. Get past the jokes about ‘getting less for murder’ and ‘the old ball and chain’ and explore a wedding venue that is memorable, versatile and huge. In my experience the amazing staff are always ready to translate your wedding options into this unexpectedly flexible space. Imagine this, your guests move from your ceremony in the old chapel or the beautiful lawn of the exercise yard. The sun is setting over the sandstone walls. They enter B Wing and instead of an empty hall studded with heavy wooden and cast iron doors they find rows of candles throwing shadows everywhere. A huge banquet table covered in bouquets and fine china stretches seemingly as far as the eye can see. What a reception!

I admire that Maitland is a place where historic meets contemporary. No matter what you want for your day there are flexible, unique and slightly twisted options at your fingertips.

Story by Genevieve Graham