Whether you are planning to have a big and loud cultural wedding reception or a small and intimate wedding reception, we have put together a list of Sydney wedding reception venues that will not disappoint.

Wedding receptions come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and flavours – just like you. And contrary to what you will see in the majority of wedding photos, you will spend most of your wedding day at your wedding reception venue.

Cultural traditions play a significant role in determining how many guests you are obligated to invite (as much as you may want to have a small guest list, your parents may say otherwise).

With half of our population of 25 million either born overseas or has at least one parent who was, I wouldn’t be surprised if your parents had some say in the wedding reception venue you end up in. This is because if you’re from a Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Italian, Macedonian, Greek, Indian, or Lebanese background, I know exactly how difficult it is to do things your own way.

Where most list-style blog posts fail is that they end up being way too general.

“Top 10 wedding receptions in Sydney” definitely gets the eyeballs but they tend to fall short by offering irrelevant suggestions.

For this reason, I spent a few days researching the different types of wedding reception venues available in Sydney to give you something useful.

i. The Best Hotel Wedding Reception Venues In Sydney

They’re not usually the first choice for the modern Australian couple but hotel wedding receptions are more common than you think. Plus, they’re all-inclusive and customer service for both you and your guests tend to be top-notch.

Pictured above: InterContinental Double Bay

A benefit of having a hotel wedding reception is that you may have more generous bump-in times for your wedding stylist compared to a busy venue that also does a lunch service. When your wedding stylist and/or wedding florist get early access to your venue, they can do more amazing things.

These are the best hotels in Sydney to have your wedding reception:

  1. Hyatt Regency, Sydney
  2. InterContinental Hotel, Double Bay
  3. Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

ii. The Best Reception Venues For Large Ethnic Weddings

Large weddings are beautiful. Ask anyone from a Jewish, Lebanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Indonesian and Chinese heritage what family means to them.

Family is everything.

Sometimes, you just cannot avoid a large and loud wedding reception. A ‘small’ wedding for certain cultures can start from 200 pax and I know from experience that having 600 guests is quite the norm for some cultures. For this reason, I’ve found a list of wedding reception venues that can cater for more than 250+ pax:

  1. Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf
  2. Villa Capri, Cabramatta
  3. Hyatt Regency, Sydney
  4. InterContinental Hotel, Double Bay
  5. The Fullerton Hotel (formerly The Westin), Sydney
  6. The HIGHLINE Venue, Bankstown
  7. The William Inglis Hotel, Warwick Farm
  8. Grand Royale, Granville
  9. Le Montage, Lilyfield
  10. Doltone House, Sylvania Waters
  11. Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

iii. The Best Rustic Wedding Reception Venues In Sydney

Rustic weddings have a strong country, garden or farm-like influence and if you don’t want an overly modern and minimal look to your wedding reception, most rustic wedding reception venues are well and truly outside of Sydney. But not all as you will see:

  1. The Grounds of Alexandria, The Garden, Alexandria
  2. Athol Hall, Mosman
  3. Banjo Paterson Cottage & Restaurant, Gladesville
  4. Q Station, Manly

iv. The Best Wedding Reception Venues In Sydney With High Ceilings

Part of the appeal of high ceilings is related to a general preference for space but behavioural and brand evidence suggests that there’s more to it than that.

Source: Jack Chauvel Photography

Research has shown that high ceilings promote a sense of freedom, creativity, and abstraction. Personally, I love high ceilings because there is something grand about having all that headroom (I hate feeling cramped).

So here are the best wedding reception venues in Sydney that offer high ceilings:

  1. Hyatt Regency, Sydney
  2. Doltone House, Heritage Wharf @Jones Bay Wharf
  3. The HIGHLINE Venue, Bankstown
  4. Beta Bar, Sydney
  5. Sergeants Mess, Chowder Bay

v. The Best Reception Venues For Chinese Wedding Banquets

If your parents (or in-laws to be) are dead set on having their 10-course Chinese banquet (complete with lobster, mock shark fin soup, crispy skin chicken) and nothing else, the cold hard truth is that you will have a difficult decision to make.

Do you choose the deliciousness of food or do you make the ambience of the venue as a priority?

For many of you in this predicament, it is okay to choose the former – after all, the wedding reception is usually the biggest wedding expenditure and most people do remember the menu (especially the older folks).

Some large reception venues partner with Zilver (a Cantonese/Chinese restaurant) to bring in caterers to provide a Chinese banquet experience. But to be completely honest – they’re nowhere near the same. So for this reason, the following recommendations use in-house chefs.

These are the best wedding reception venues if you need an authentic Chinese/Cantonese banquet spread:

  • Mr Wong, Sydney
  • The HIGHLINE Venue, Bankstown
  • Villa Capri, Cabramatta
  • Sky Pheonix, Sydney
  • Marigold, Haymarket

vi. The Best Wedding Reception Venues With Waterfront Views In Sydney

view from sunset room at watsons bay boutique hotel

Being a coastal city, Sydney is spoiled for choice when it comes to wedding reception venues with waterfront views. You can pretty much point your finger anywhere along the coastline and find a suitable venue.

So to make the choice easier for you, I’ve put together a few of our favourites:

  1. Jonah’s Restaurant, Palm Beach
  2. The Bather’s Pavilion, Balmoral
  3. Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, Watsons Bay
  4. The Blue Room, Bondi
  5. The Boathouse, Palm Beach
  6. 12-Micron, Barangaroo
  7. Catalina, Rose Bay
  8. Cafe Sydney, Circular Quay
  9. The Boathouse At The Spit, Mosman
  10. Beachside Dojo, Manly
  11. Sergeant’s Mess, Chowder Bay
  12. Gunners Barracks, Mosman
  13. Epicure at Taronga Zoo, Mosman

vii. The Best Industrial Wedding Reception Venues (also known as blank canvases)

For the couple who wants an edgy backdrop – think converted warehouse and exposed bricks – these are our top picks in Sydney:

  1. Carriageworks, Redfern
  2. Cell Block Theatre, Darlinghurst
  3. Beta Bar, Sydney
  4. Simmer On The Bay, Walsh Bay
  5. Three Blue Ducks, Rosebery
  6. Turbine Shop, Cockatoo Island
  7. The Studio, Rosebery

Some tips on getting the best wedding reception photos

Your wedding reception can produce the most meaningful moments.

But due to lack of natural light, wedding photos taken during reception can be a bit ‘meh’. Therefore, it is important to ask a wedding photographer to see examples of their wedding reception portfolio. This is because wedding receptions tend to be much more difficult to photograph well.

Therefore, picking the right wedding photographer is critical. It is so easy to be fooled by daytime photos so always dig a little deeper.

Be sure to bookmark our list of the best wedding photographers in Sydney. I’m sure that it will come handy in your wedding planning.

bride at head table as father of the groom gives a speech at Epicure, Taronga Zoo | photographed by
mother of the groom cannot contain her laughter during wedding reception at Zest Waterfront Venues, Mosman | photographed by Angus Porter Photography
bridesmaids give a combined speech at Angelos By The Bay | photographed by Angus Porter Photography
Chinese husband and wife dance at Sergeants Mess

Venues pictured above: Epicure, Taronga zoo | The Boathouse At The Spit | Angelos By The Bay | Sergeants Mess

Fact: the venue that you choose for your wedding reception will have a direct impact on how your wedding photos will turn out. And, if you want your wedding reception photos to shine, you need to invest in a wedding stylist, preferably before you even decide on which venue you want to for your wedding reception. Or at the very least, hire a wedding florist with a decent budget.


Saturday is the most popular day for weddings. This is because guests do not have to take a day off work for the wedding itself and can enjoy themselves without needing to take the next day off work.

For this reason, most popular wedding reception venues will not have discounts for Saturday weddings.

Ultimately the price per guest will depend on a few factors. Seasonality has a small role (e.g., winter bookings tend to be cheaper than summer, Saturday rates tend to be cheaper than Sunday). However, the customisation you want will have the biggest impact on how much your final wedding reception bill will be.

As a rough guide, you can expect to pay anywhere from $90 per pax towards the lower end of the market and upwards of $200 per guest at popular in-demand wedding reception venues.

Some wedding reception venues in Sydney will have strict noise curfews. This will depend on the local council that they operate within.

To get the best answer, contact the event/sales manager of your reception venue to confirm and make sure that you get it in writing in your contract.

Almost any business that has a liquor license will not allow BYO alcohol.

To get the best answer, contact the event/sales manager of your reception venue to confirm.

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