If you’re looking for a destination wedding option that doesn't require international travel, then the Margaret River region is a brilliant option. This heavenly slice of Australia is comfortable drive from Perth or one quick flight from Melbourne straight into Busselton. It's one of those rare places that ticks all the boxes: Scenic? Check! Affordable? Check! Adventure? Check! Beaches? Check! Great food and wine? Check! Check! Check!
Let’s break down how your wedding weekend could roll out, keeping all your friends and relatives having the best time before
and after your simply stunning, barefoot beach ceremony on Gnarabup Beach.
If you’re flying in from Perth, Melbourne or Sydney, we strongly suggest flying in a day (or even two) earlier so you can check into your accommodation, get settled, and triple-check you have the rings, dress, lucky garter or whatever else you need.
If you have forgotten something, then the charming towns of Margaret River itself, Busselton and Dunsborough are small but should stock anything crucial you’re after. There are plenty of shuttle services and transfer options if you don’t want to drive yourself.
So, arrive, settle in, regroup and then go out for dinner at one of the area’s top eateries if you feel like splurging or something a little homier if you want to keep it casual. There are plenty to choose from and our team can give you ideas if you get stuck making a choice.
‘The last supper’ as a single person might sound very melodramatic but it can be hugely meaningful to walk one of the area’s piers with only your parents and siblings at sunset before joining the rest of your family for dinner. Or perhaps you want to go out with your separate groups of mates one last time – whatever you want, the South-West can deliver.
Try not to go overboard – you don't need to be nursing a hangover on your wedding day from too many celebratory shots the
Naturally, your wedding and reception will be on Gnarabup Beach with us. Kick off is in the late-ish afternoon so you may find yourselves with a morning to kill (glamorous brides should take note that it always takes longer to get dressed, and have your hair and make-up done than you think it will. A 3:30pm start doesn’t mean you can start getting ready at lunchtime, especially not if you want your photographer and videographer to catch behind-the-scenes snaps and footage).
Some couples want to channel their adrenalin – there are lots of ways to work off some of the excitement in the early morning. You can go stand-up paddle boarding at dawn, play a round of golf or even go for a bike ride. We don’t recommend taking in any of the more extreme activities – like rock climbing or zip lining – because potential bumps, bruises, roasties, scrapes and grazes really don’t photograph well.
Parents can take children to indoor play areas, petting zoos or museums to burn off some steam – after all, weddings are for grown-ups and
can be boring for the littlies. Give them a special treat so they also have something to look forward to.
Now you can go wild! When the dancing wrapped up and how extensive your drinks package was will determine whether you’re up early for hiking or dawn-patrol surfing, or whether you want to gather for an easy brunch at one of the beautiful wineries that Margaret River is famous for or come back to the White Elephant Café on Gnarabup to relive the night. Perhaps you’ll even head to the winery that produced your stand-out wedding wine and see its origins for yourself.
If you wantsome newly wed alone time, your guests will have plenty to :
Go wine, craft beer or chocolate tasting, or pop in at a distillery to get the finer points of crafting superior spirits.
Head out for a scuba dive or even just snorkel around fascinating sites like Busselton’s jetty, which is alive with marine life.
Think picnics at a gracious wine estate; scenic flights over the beaches, ocean and forests; or sunset cruises.
Head outdoors for zip-lining canopy tours, getting lost in several of our mazes, biking through the national parks on eco-adventures, skating at the dedicated skate park, go caving or climbing to the top of a lighthouse.
Those with more of a cultural bent can explore the museums, galleries, restored heritage buildings and Aboriginal culture.
One of the best things to do after weddings from September to December is go whale watching – there is nothing as thrilling as seeing these incredible creatures breach the waves and come down with an almighty ‘slap!’ into the water.
All images below are courtesy of Margaret River and Busselton Tourism Association - if you hover on the image, you'll see the