Weddings At Centennial Park

Perhaps the closest thing to London's Hyde Park and New York City's Central Park, Sydney has its very own Centennial Parklands. Constructed on lands that were traditionally in the custody of the Gadigal Indigenous Australian people, Centennial park is 890 acres of urban parklands located in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales.

With wooded groves, open lawns, and a number of event spaces within the park itself, a Centennial Park wedding makes perfect sense for garden weddings and a cosy and elegant wedding reception. In fact, you could probably spend your entire wedding day at Centennial Park by:

  1. Getting ready at Superintendents Residence before sneaking in a first look with your soon-to-be-spouse.

  2. Then you can get married at one of the many outdoor wedding ceremony locations within Centennial Parklands after which, there are a endless photo opportunities for amazing wedding photography.

  3. Meanwhile, guests are enjoying the afternoon sun, champagne and nibbles at Centennial Homestead and await your formal entrance to begin the evening festivities.

  4. At the end of the night, you can return to Superintendents Residence or be whisked away to one of many 5-star hotels within a few minute's drive away (CBD, Double Bay).

As Sydney wedding stylists, we're always on the search for epic locations and venues and for couples who wish to keep things central to Sydney CBD, Centennial Park is definitely a top choice as an all-in-one wedding venue, bridal photo location, and reception venue.

Photo Credit:  Angus Porter Photography

Essential Information

Can we have our wedding ceremony here?

You sure can! Centennial Parklands has 10 distinct outdoor ceremony areas for you to choose from:

  1. Between Lily Pond & Duck Pond

  2. Between Willow Pond & Duck Pond

  3. Busbys Promontory

  4. Column Garden

  5. Rose Garden

  6. Church Grounds

  7. One More Shot Pond

  8. Paperbark Grove North (our favourite!)

  9. Pine Grove

  10. She-Oak Grove

Can we have a marquee wedding in Centennial Parklands?

Yes, but only if you hire Centennial Homestead or Superintendent's Residence.

Do we need to hire, get a permit, and/or notify Centennial Park of our intention to get married there?

Yes (to all of the above). You will need to either call (02) 9339 6699 or make an online reservation via their website.

Is there a fee for using Centennial Parklands as our wedding ceremony venue?

A hire fee of $900+ applies. This gives you exclusive use of the area for a period of 4-hours on the day as well as free range to use the park for wedding photography and videography.

Is the park dog-friendly?

Yes! This means that your fur baby can be a part of your wedding ceremony.

Is there on-site parking?

Yes. Parking in Centennial Parklands is free.

Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies Locations

Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 8.47.11 am.png

When hiring the grounds of Centennial Parklands for your ceremony, a typical hire period is for 4-hours. This is broken down into 2-hours for set up, 1 hour for your wedding ceremony, and 1 hour for packing down.

Given the size of Centennial Park, we advise that you do a site visit in person to see which area suits you best. We recommend visiting around the same time of day and season as your big day so that you can see the angle of sunlight and depth of shadows as these will impact how your wedding ceremony will look and feel.

Logistics allowing, it may be worthwhile to communicate with your wedding photographer to decide the best time of day for your wedding ceremony. A late afternoon ceremony is often the best time to avoid direct sunlight and harsh shadows.

There are restrictions to what you can do. For example, you are not permitted to peg items into the ground and there is usually a limit on the number of chairs allowed. Please refer to Centennial Parklands hire guide.

Since outdoor wedding ceremonies typically take place on grassy areas, you should consider how wet weather may impact the ground. For example, brides and bridesmaids should have heel stoppers to avoid sinking into the soft ground and to protect their shoes.

To give you some wedding inspiration, here are our favourite spots within Centennial Park and how we would style them.

Paperbark Grove North

Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 8.45.14 am.png

Why we like this spot

  • This spot has direct access from Parkes Dr (off Grand Drive). This makes it easy for your guests to find the spot and find nearby parking. The downside, however, is due to its proximity to Parkes Dr, Paperbark Grove North is less private than other outdoor areas.

  • One of the outstanding features of Paperbark Grove North are the Paperbark trees. They form a natural aisle and arch which you should definitely incorporate into your ceremony concept.

Styling recommendations

  • We believe that the best spot to host your wedding ceremony is towards Padding Gate as the trees are more dense in the area compared to the area closer to Centennial Homestead. There's generally more grass, and is on higher ground which means that the ground is less damp.

  • In terms of styling, we always try to work with natural elements. Therefore, avoid large structural backdrops. Instead, choose something that won't obscure the natural backdrop. Perhaps consider something like an asymmetrical floral install?

  • As for which direction to face, we suggest that the bride walks towards Paddington Gates. That is, the groom's back is facing Paddington Gates and he is looking towards Grand Drive.

  • Similarly, bamboo chairs, long timber benches, or ghost chairs would work really well with this setting.

    She-Oak Grove

Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 8.45.33 am.png

Why we like this spot

  • Unlike Paperbark Grove North, one of the things that makes She-Oak Grove is that it is more hidden away. That is, you will have a bit more privacy compared to being out in the open as it is surrounded by wooded groves.

  • A large rock nearby helps shelters the bride before her entrance - great for ramping up the anticipation of your arrival!

Styling recommendations

  • In terms of where to set up your ceremony, we always recommend working with the natural elements. As such, the large fig tree in the area can serve as a main eye-catching backdrop for your wedding ceremony.

  • A ceremony late in the day will make full use of the best natural light falling into the grove.

  • We recommend bamboo chairs, long timber benches, or ghost chairs as these elements blend in as opposed to stand out in the environment.

Column Garden

Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 8.58.04 am.png

Why we like this spot

  • The ideal open lawn as it has level flat grass surface.

Styling recommendations

  • We would use acrylic plinths and ghost chairs to avoid blocking the visual surroundings of the Column Garden.

  • Similarly, the hedges can serve as a natural backdrop therefore an arch is not advised. Instead, to draw the attention of your guests to where you and your partner will stand throughout your wedding ceremony, we will use acrylic plinths with floral arrangements to guide their eyes without blocking the view.

  • As this particular space is surrounded by flower beds, we advise doing a site visit in the same season as to your wedding date so that you may visualise what the Column Garden will look like.

  • Consider including a number of personalised signage along Grand Drive and Dickens Drive to guide your guests to the right spot. This is your chance to be witty and share insider jokes that only your inner circle will get.

    Ceremony we styled here

    Check out this recent ceremony we styled at Column Garden.

Reception Venues In Centennial Parklands

Centennial Park has 2 event spaces that may be used to host your wedding reception. Although not ideal, both offer a wet weather wedding ceremony option if required.

These are your venue hire options and how we would style them for a magical experience.

Centennial Homestead

51e05200-4a40-4029-9a0f-f37c1fbde852-171005-07.10.17 - Wedding-4.jpg

Centennial Homestead is split between two event spaces: The Kitchen and Wysteria Room. There is also an outdoor marquee option for larger weddings or for those of you who must have a marquee reception without needing to leave Sydney (howver, we recommend marquees for the cooler months).

In our opinion, this is a perfect combination of indoor and outdoor. If we had to describe Centennial Homestead, it would be "a modern and clean theme with a rustic twist".

Due to the abundance of ground to ceiling glass windows, both the Wysteria Room and The Kitchen receives plenty of natural light and if used strategically, can be surprisingly spacious.

As wedding stylists, we think The Kitchen is probably the more versatile blank canvas out of the two spaces. This is because the Wysteria Room comes somewhat styled already and as such, lends to a particular look and feel by default. The Kitchen however, can be emptied out with ease and we can be a lot more creative with this space because there minimal existing decor. However, The Kitchen is available for evening events only while the Wysteria Room may be hired all-day.

Included in the venue hire is a wine barrel that you may use as a cake table. Given the rustic nature of the space, this is handy in saving you money. Add some florals and candles and you're good to go!

For a marquee reception, we recommend a clear marquee. This will give your guests a sense of depth as they can see the night sky above them.

Marquee receptions look best with 2-3 long tables with a dance floor to the side. We recommend placing the bridal table with the back facing the short side of the marquee. A few different sized chandeliers  and hanging florals wouldn't hurt either. For example, imagine a cascading floral backdrop behind the bridal table. Wouldn't you fall in love with such a wild, organic and modern bohemian setup?

To avoid the Kitchen from looking like a regular cafe, we suggest using long timber dining tables with ghost chairs. This will give off a contemporary and rustic vibe which we think is really cool. An advantage of hiring The Kitchen is that the existing chairs are already natural timber.

In general, we prefer long tables over round table setups. Long tables lend to more inviting conversations without restricting guests to interact with those on their round table only.

Visit the Centennial Parklands Trust website for booking details and enquiries.

Superintendents Residence

Check out the space here.

Check out this recent wedding we styled at Superintendents Residence.

Photo Credit:  Soulmade Stories

Photo Credit: Soulmade Stories


Not many people know that you can actually stay overnight at Centennial Parklands, legally that is! And in a heritage listed building no less.

Built in 1982, the Superintendents Residence is a Victorian-style sandstone building that has a slate roof, timber floors and corrugated iron verandah. You may have driven past it without knowing.

We refer to it as 'Supers' as the full name is a mouthful!

You will find Supers at Paddington Gates, tucked in between Oxford Stree and Parkes Drive.

We love it as wedding stylists because it is a blank canvas with plenty of inspiring options available. Plus, selfishly, we receive generous bump-in and bump-out times which then allow us to create you next-level wedding styling for your special day.

Perhaps you can consider a modern bohemian theme?

Similar to Centennial Homestead, the Superintendents Residence can also accommodate a marquee reception, albeit a smaller one. In our opinion, Supers is the perfect all-in-one wedding day solution for smaller celebrations.

Whether you stay the night before and have a chilled and relaxed morning on your wedding day, or choose to have your own private after party late into the night, hiring Superintendents Residence gives you complete freedom.

We recommend a 10m x 15m clear marquee or a 10 teepee as there is little shelter from the elements otherwise. In the event of wet weather, this means that you can move your wedding ceremony from the front lawn into the marquee instead.

Think long timber benches for ceremony seating, mismatched lounges/stools for a breakout area, and ghost chairs with hand-written guest name decals for the gram.

An open air photo booth is a great way for guests to fill in the time gaps. Pair this with an open air dance floor with overhanging festoon lights so that you can party literally under the stars.

And we love to create open air lounges in a separate area so that guests can chat and chill. It is also very handy for new mums to nurse their bubs.

On paper, Supers can accommodate up to 350 pax and it is BYO-friendly. This is very rare for Sydney-city venues so use it wisely!

Superintendents Residence is also pet-friendly so bring your fur babies!

Visit the Centennial Parklands Trust website for booking details and enquiries.