Reception Venues Overlooking Sydney Harbour

Sydney is overflowing with superb restaurants, function centres, and unique wedding venues like warehouses, but the most sought-after ones are those which boast the best views of the Harbour.

Reception Venues Overlooking Sydney Harbour | Taronga Centre
Taronga Centre, Image Yulia Photography

Sydney Harbour is one of the most photographed destinations in the world. Ships sail in and boats fill the Harbour and thousands of tourists take pictures of the Harbour Bridge and the magnificent Sydney Opera House every day.

On a bright summer's day, the water is crisp blue, and the sunset is majestic! From cozy bars and sun decks overlooking the shimmery waters to Michelin-starred restaurants and lavish hotels superbly positioned for the best possible views, or even luxury cruises which give you the opportunity to see the Harbour from every angle, the choice of reception venues is really stunning and it will be hard to choose only one.

Much loved by tourists and Sydneysiders alike, the Harbour boasts more 240 kilometres of coastline which is dotted with adorable beaches, gardens and pockets of bushland. It is actually the world’s largest natural Harbour, and its most iconic features are the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. A photo featuring these iconic landmarks and serene blue waters in the background is simply a must for every couple celebrating their wedding in Sydney!

The bridge looks impressive in images because of its captivating steel arch which performs an intriguing dance of shadows every day. It is the tallest arch bridge in the world and its distinctive shape is why it was nicknamed ‘The Coathanger’. At the same time, the fascinating Sydney Opera House, with its wondrous manifold roof makes a wonderful photo backdrop because it shows many faces when you observe it from different angles.

Reception Venues Overlooking Sydney Harbour | Sydney Hotel
The Evoke Company

The city’s most prestigious restaurants, bars and function centres are superbly positioned to offer postcard-perfect views of the Harbour. You will find some of the best ones in and around Circular Quay, Lavender Bay, Woolloomooloo, Milson’s Point, Bennelong Point and Walsh Bay. These locations are exclusive because here, you will see the bridge and the opera from up close and admire every detail of their striking features. Glitzy venues with floor-to-ceiling walls are among the most sought-after function spaces in these parts of Sydney because they offer dining experiences enhanced with postcard-worthy views.

Superb viewing points also include Mrs Macquarie’s Chair which is a beautiful hand-carved sandstone bench with sweeping views of the Harbour and the world-famous Royal Botanical Gardens where you can find both gorgeous reception venues as well as open-air locations for your ceremony and photo shoot. Some wedding venues at the Rocks offer fantastic views of the Harbour Bridge. This area is quaint and steeped in history with its old buildings and cobbled alleyways which are perfect for vintage-style wedding photos.

One of the best ways to celebrate in Sydney is to host a reception on a boat and cruise around the Harbour to capture its most iconic features. It is also the best way to explore the city, so friends and family coming from afar will love the idea! You can hire any floating wedding venue you like, be it a luxury catamaran, a big boat or even an old ship with a distinctive retro flair. Just imagine exchanging your vows on the main deck and then dining in a wonderfully decorated reception room which is designed like a floating restaurant with big windows.

Reception Venues Overlooking Sydney Harbour | Sails Restaurant
Sails Restaurant

On a hot summer's day, a wedding cruise is a perfect way to experience the city because you get to enjoy a cooling breeze and spectacular harbour views while indulging in fantastic food and champagne. And in the evening, the city becomes even more magical because it is exquisitely illuminated. The Harbour looks its absolute best during the Vivid festival in the autumn months when the entire city becomes a canvas for majestic light installations. The Opera House and Harbour Bridge look exceptionally beautiful at this time of year and temperatures are not so harsh.

But for many couples, it is much more appealing to move away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and escape to a more tranquil place. Keep in mind that the sheer size of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are best perceived from a distance! Tucked away on a secluded beach or in a cozy venue surrounded by parklands and water, you can still see the harbour and its iconic features.

You can admire wonderful Harbour views from the best parts of Mosman including Bradley’s Head and Taronga Zoo, from the eastern suburbs – Vaucluse and also from Woolwich which is located on the lower North Shore of Sydney. In these areas, you will find some of Sydney’s finest wedding venues such as the iconic Taronga Centre.

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