If you’re on the hunt for the perfect wedding venue in the Southern Highlands, Bendooley Estate in Berrima (just west of Bowral) is our top choice. As visual storytellers we love uncovering the history of people and places, and Bendooley Estate has an interesting story of it’s own. The owner Paul Berkelouw is a sixth generation antique book seller, and his family owned Berkelouw Books which opened in Rotterdam, Holland in 1812. When bombing in Rotterdam during World War II destroyed the families’ entire book collection, Paul’s father, one of the only two holocaust survivors in their family, relocated Berkelouw Books to Bendooley Estate. Paul now lives on the estate with his wife and 3 children.
Sophia and Dylan’s story begins when they met on the Endeavour – a replica of the original vessel sailed by Captain James Cook on his epic 1768–71 world voyage. Sophia and Dylan sailed the Endeavour as voyage crew, and during his speech at their wedding Dylan shared his first memories of meeting a severely seasick Sophia (we’ll spare you the details). It must have been love at first sight because despite living on opposite sides of the country during the lead up to their wedding, we could tell that they’re going to be best friends for life. They entered the reception hall full of their closest friends and family to the Austin Powers theme song, and followed a traditional first dance with a dance routine performed to the Blues Brothers’ Shake your Tail Feather. Needless to say, we had an awesome night celebrating with Sophia and Dylan, and we felt privileged to be there with an intimate group of 80 guests.
Below the video and photography from the day we’ve put together some key information about the venue to help you decide whether you’d like to celebrate your wedding at Bendooley Estate. You can find out more via their website.
We couldn’t resist sharing a few of our favourite photos from the day at the beginning! The full story starts here:
Bendooley Estate has so many beautiful ceremony spaces to choose from including the lakeside pavilion, expansive private gardens surrounded by some of the oldest pine and oak trees in Australia, the Homestead’s sandstone verandah, the vineyard and the book barn forecourt. The book barn is a unique reception venue with cathedral ceilings, exposed timber beams, beautiful big rustic iron chandeliers and walls filled with books. The converted barn can seat up to 170 people or 250 for more casual events.
The venue is fully catered for using locally sourced ingredients where possible, to take advantage of the incredible produce available in the Southern Highlands and regional NSW. If you’re considering Bendooley as your wedding venue you can see sample menus and choose complementing boutique wines. We can personally testify that the food is amazing! We also want to mention Kelly the event coordinator, Mark who managed everything on the day, and the staff who were all exceptional.
Huge thanks goes out to our assistant Gus from Ask Design who filmed with us on the day, we couldn’t have done it without you!