THE South Coast is on the wedding destination radar with at least seven different wedding venues around Nowra being sought out by local and out-of-town brides.
Just a handful of these venues include Terara House estate, the Butter Factory restaurant, Driftwood Shed, Pyree Hall, Blackwood Manor, Worrigee House, Cambewarra Estate Winery, Shoalhaven Lodge and the Nowra Golf and Recreation Club.
Following the latest local wedding trend is Jack Rabbit Caterers’ executive chef Gordon Macdonald, who said the fashion for vintage-style weddings was steering brides towards the South Coast.
“Our little community halls, like Pyree Hall, provide the perfect canvas for a bride to style her wedding exactly how she wants it – and you could not ask for better backdrops for photography than our country lanes and beautiful beaches,” said Mr Macdonald.
“We’re finding that brides just want to be able to control every detail of their special days, from the decorations to the food.
“They’re looking for unusual venues they can put a stamp on. They also look for professional help to make the day memorable and the South Coast has plenty of both.
“A lot of today’s brides are interested in simplicity and sustainability and details are important to them.
“They like to talk to people who understand that and who take the time to listen to what they want and I think they find that here on the South Coast,” he said.
Mr Macdonald said on-site caterers like Jack Rabbit Caterers were really taking off on the South Coast for every kind of special event from weddings to corporate functions.
“We’re all about great country food, served up with city style, and we source our ingredients locally where possible, even growing a lot of our own, this is what people look for,” he said.
Owner Michelle Newhouse of Blackwood Manor, just one of Terara’s wedding destinations said the South Coast was becoming extremely popular with the Sydney market.
“It’s a great option for people from Sydney and even further north because it is reasonably close and is also a beautiful location to have a wedding,” said Ms Newhouse.
“They know they are getting better value for money at venues on the South Coast.
“More couples are opting for destinations where they can stay for the weekend and spend more time with friends and family to get more out of their wedding and have a longer celebration,” said Ms Newhouse.
Shoalhaven Tourism Board chairperson Catherine Shields said in most seasons couples were choosing the South Coast as a destination wedding, which prompted Shoalhaven Tourism’s decision to launch a wedding destination website on Friday, August 30.
“People come from far and wide to the Shoalhaven for their wedding, bringing about 300 people for every three weddings to the local area, generating tourism and money for the local economy,” Ms Shields said.
“We’ve recognised this boom and have created a designer website, specifically laid out for couples to plan their destination wedding in the Shoalhaven,” she said.