Our Hello Vendor profiles give you the chance to meet the people behind the brand. We’ve introduced you to celebrants, photographers, film makers, fashion designers and today we are pumped to catch up with Amy and her partner in crime Mel who know firsthand how hard it can be to find the perfect venue, which is why they invented WedShed – a shortcut to finding some of Australia’s best kept secrets.
Tell us about your background? Mine is in communications and PR and Mel’s is in events and customer service. It’s a pretty solid mix, we both complement the other’s skills. I also got married in January and Mel got hitched in December (both private farms – we’re walking the talk), so we really get how finding the right venue shapes everything that follows.
So what exactly is WedShed? WedShed is an online platform that brings together a collection of unique Australian venues that couples can book for their wedding. It’s a bit like Stayz or Airbnb, in that we list private properties, as well as a mix of amazing and quirky established ones. We use the word ‘venue’ broadly – these range from warehouses and woolsheds to wildflower farms and airplane hangars. The connecting factor is that they’re all awesome spaces that we ourselves would want to get married in.
And what was the inspiration behind starting it? We were living overseas and an engaged girlfriend back home asked for help finding a unique wedding venue, as she was struggling. So we jumped online (naively thinking ‘this can’t be too hard’) – and were quickly stumped. Unless you stumbled upon a lucky search term, the same stuff kept coming up. We knew there had to be more amazing spaces out there, and that there must be plenty of venue owners who wanted an easier way to connect with couples. So we decided to create that online space and bridge the gap.
Name three fave properties… Broger’s End in the Kangaroo Valley. It’s a 160-acre private farm with the most incredible converted machinery shed. 1000 Pound Bend in Melbourne is probably the most amazing industrial space we’ve come across, it’s also connected to The Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo, which is the first 24 hour chapel in Australia! Eagle Bay Brewery in the Margaret River Region is great too, plus it’s family-run.
How do you find your venues? A bit of a mix of online research, talking to people to get word-of-mouth recommendations and hitting the road to see what we can drive by. We’ve had people tag us in social posts to tip us off about different properties, which we love! It feels like you have your own little army of venue scouts out there.
What kind of animals can be found on these properties? You get a mix of critters, but generally the usual domesticated lot – horses, cattle, chooks, sheep. Maybe some roos or other wild ones if you’re lucky. We think animals make awesome extras in wedding photos and plenty of our venues are also pet-friendly, so you can bring your furbaby along too (this was really important for me, as my staffy is basically my first child).
What should couples look for in the perfect venue? It really depends what they’re after. I think that the flexibility to style the venue in a way that says ‘this is us’ is important. You know what they say about walking into a house and knowing it’s ‘home’? I think you get that feeling too when you’re looking at venues – some just get you excited. Go with your gut.
How does the site work? You can search by state, region, date, guest number, price and style. Once you’ve found a venue you’re interested in, hit the ‘send enquiry or arrange viewing’ button and your message will go directly to the venue owner or manager, who will then be in touch to follow up on your request. If you love it and want to seal the deal, head back to the venue’s profile and hit ‘book this venue’ and follow the next steps.
What’s the benefit of booking a WedShed property? More flexibility, the fact you can get married somewhere new and different, and the knowledge that you’re contributing to a regional economy. A good portion of our venues are set outside main cities, which means your wedding helps support local business and tourism to these towns. That for us and our couples, is a really good feeling.
How far in advance do couples need to book? To avoid disappointment, we’d always recommend booking early on in the planning piece.
Last but not least… Australia’s best kept secret? We’ve got a soft spot for regional NSW, Mudgee in particular. There’s just so much going on out there. That said, we’re also in the process of partnering with a couple of wedding venues that are destinations in themselves – an entire abandoned town in Northern Queensland that’s about to be rejuvenated as an events hub and a private island in Tasmania. Follow us on Instagram for updates!