Bendooley Estate Wedding

Bendooley Estate Wedding

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Wedding Photographer

Richard Johnston

At Lonely Hunter, we only photograph a limited number of weddings each year and do book out quite far in advance. 
Don't leave it until we are already booked before you decide to make an enquiry..


Elizabeth & Jules – Bendooley Estate Wedding

The wedding of Elizabeth and Jules took place at the picture-perfect Bendooley Estate. Bendooley Estate, if you haven’t heard of it, is a beautiful country wedding venue located in the Southern Highlands of NSW. I knew heading into this Bendooley Estate wedding that it was going to be nothing short of amazing! On the day, their wedding ceremony took place at Bendooley’s Lakeside Pavillion and the reception went down in the famous Book Barn which is not to be confused with The Stables. Another building which has recently been constructed on the Estate.

On this occasion, I should probably mention the weather considering it was slightly different from the norm. Even though I knew it was going to be a winter wedding, I didn’t anticipate the arctic-like conditions we received. That’s right, it was cold! And when I say cold, I’m not talking 17 or 18 degrees like you would expect from any normal winters day. I’m talking wind chills of 3 degrees!! On the morning of their Bendooley Estate Wedding the news report said it had actually started snowing during a football game at the MCG in Melbourne the night before. How often does that happen?

For their Bendooley Estate wedding, Elizabeth and Jules enlisted the help of their close friend Nina who is a wedding planner and operates under the business name ‘Nina Ma’belle weddings’. Nina helped organise and oversee the entire day. She did an absolutely stellar job putting their winter wedding together which is why I wanted to give her an honourable mention. The couple used many other talented vendors for their Southern Highland’s wedding, but thanks to Nina their whole day ran exactly as planned.


Both bridal parties started their day at a lovely little property just ten minutes drive from Bendooley Estate. The property had two separate homes at either end of the land which made it the perfect place for Elizabeth and Jules to get ready without seeing each other. Jules and the guys got ready at Coromandel Lodge while Elizabeth and her entourage chose Coromandel Cottage for their prep.

When I arrived in the morning, the ladies were in the midst of getting ready with hair and makeup being completed. The ladies all seemed quite relaxed while soaking in the atmosphere and making the most of the special occasion.
One of their guests decided to play a little running joke on the ladies by saying it had started snowing in some of the surrounding suburbs. On any other occasion you would have laughed this off but because of the extremely cold temperatures, it was easy to fall for.

While all this was taking place, Jules and his mates were busy keeping the fire going at Coromandel Lodge in order to stay warm. All the while enjoying a few beers and some friendly banter. Before the guys knew it though, it was time to start getting ready. Coromandel Lodge provided a great canvas for their prep photos with lots of interesting elements to use in their photography. Prior to leaving for their Bendooley estate wedding Jules decided to commemorate the occasion by having one last practice run when it came to opening the bottle of champagne with a sword. Safe to say he nailed it in one go..



Elizabeth and her entourage arrived at their Bendooley estate wedding before the guys. The plan was that they would wait inside the famous Bendooley Estate homestead while the guests and Jules found their way to the ceremony location. On this occasion, their ceremony was moved from the lawn beneath the Bendooley trees to the lakeside pavilion. It wasn’t raining but it was fair to assume it was due to the arctic-like wind and temperatures.

As everyone took their positions Elizabeth emerged from the homestead arm in arm with her father who walked her down the aisle. Jules looked on with a giant grin as his soon to be wife made her way to him at the end of the aisle. The celebrant for their Bendooley estate wedding was Pip Best, who is also one of their close friends. Pip did a wonderful job marrying the couple. She shared some heartfelt words and kept their guests smiling from start to finish.

Immediately after the ceremony, with Elizabeth by his side, sword and wine in hand Jules got the party started by opening the bottle of wine in the fastest way possible. They both took turns at filling the champagne tower before mingling with their guests.


After a short period of mingling, it was time to start the location shoot. I knew the freezing temperatures and howling wind at their Bendooley Estate wedding wasn’t going to make for the most pleasant experience during this section of the day. But because Elizabeth, Jules and their bridal party were absolute legends, they pushed on and brought lots of good energy with them.

Because their entire wedding occurred on site, we didn’t have to venture far for their photos. The good thing about Bendooley Estate is that there was plenty of varying backdrops to use in the photography and these were all located within a very small vicinity. This meant we had slightly more time for photos than if we were having to move around a lot or having to travel from A to B.

Both Elizabeth and Jules battled on with the conditions for a solid half an hour before calling time on the shoot. Even though this was half an hour short of the time that was allocated, I couldn’t blame them. I was quite impressed they managed to last as long as they did. I was also happy to return to their reception at that point knowing we had taken an array of amazing photos!



While Elizabeth and Jules headed off to enjoy a few drinks with their guests we began photographing all the details in their reception room. The reception for their Bendooley Estate wedding took place in the famous Book Barn. If you have seen other images or been to a wedding at Bendooley Estate then you may very well know this room. The room setting and tables were all meticulously styled. Absolutely every detail had been well thought out for their wedding.

Soon after, Jules and Elizabeth made their entrance to a standing ovation from their guests. Once everyone took their seats it was time for the formalities. I always seem to say that the room was filled with lots of smiles, tears and laughter but that really is what occurs at weddings when speeches are given and this Bendooley Estate wedding was no different.

Post speeches was the cutting of the cake and the first dance. This all went off without a hitch and it wasn’t long before the bride, groom and guests began unwinding on the dance floor.



Thanks again for having me along to photograph your Bendooley Estate wedding Bess and Jules! It was definitely one to remember!


Venue – Bendooley Estate | Planner – Nina Ma’Belle Weddings | Celebrant – In Light Ceremonies | Florist – Floreat Floral | Make-up – Primrose Playfair | Hair – Renee Sayeed | DJ – Aslan | Saxaphone – Bermuda Social Club | Hire Items – Ashdown and Bee | Champange Tower – Champagne Tower Sydney