Jess and Ben’s wedding was set within the plush Mulgoa Valley of Western Sydney, on a beautiful parcel of Native Australian landscape known as Fernhill Estate. Originally from Brewarrina in the far Northwest of NSW, Jess and Ben’s Fernhill Estate wedding was a fair distance from their hometown. I think that they chose the venue because of Fernhill Estate’s history, and connection to the landscape through the working equestrian facilities and horse racetrack (Fernhill Estate is home to several Melbourne Cup winners). I’ll admit, that whilst visiting the venue for the day, I too felt like I was hundreds of kilometres from Sydney (but we’re just on the western edge!).
As you drive down Mulgoa Road, you’re greeted into Fernhill Estate by a grand sandstone entrance. It’s not actually until you drive into the estate; past the horse facilities and racetrack on the right, around the pool to the rear car park; that you first see the manor house. And oh my gosh it is amazing! Fernhill Estate’s Manor Homestead is immaculate. Fernhill is one of Australia’s first land grants that was issued to Colonial Magistrate William Cox in 1810, who were important in the settlement of western Sydney.
Fernhill Estate is located on Molgoa Road near the Western Sydney suburb of Penrith. It is a massive parcel of land (around 384 hectares). Around 2 years ago, Rookwood Cemetery had plans to buy the estate and turn it into Sydney’s future resting place for the deceased. When the local community found out about this, the community petitioned the NSW Government, who eventually bought Fernhill Estate for the use of public enjoyment at a cost of around $27 million. Money well spent, if you ask me.
We covered the day with photography and films (you can view these in this blog post – scroll down!). Jess and Ben’s Fernhill Estate wedding started in the Manor house. Jess and her bridesmaids were getting ready in the main lounge room, where the massive floor-to-ceiling windows provided fantastic light. The great part about having a whole homestead to yourselves is that we were able to use lots of rooms to build on the variety in photographs. The homestead’s master bedroom was a nice backdrop to photograph Jess’ gown – see that photo in the collection below.
Whilst Jess was getting ready, Ben and his groomsmen were off the property to visit a family member who was unfortunately unable to make it to the ceremony. On their return, they got dressed in the groom’s quarters located in another building, about 1 kilometre away from the Manor (this helps you paint a picture of how large Fernhill Estate is!).
With Ben waiting at the end of the aisle, Jess walked out of the Manor’s double doors from the front lounge and made her way down the grand entranceway. With all their guests gathered in the Fernhill Estate upper garden, they witnessed some lovely nuptials.
After the ceremony, we didn’t need to venture too far for some Fernhill Estate wedding photos – we roamed around the Manor gardens to capture some portraits. Fernhill Estate is full of photographic variety – including the old sandstone outhouses and cottages, large trees, and a super old rose bush out the back (which was massive!). Honestly, it was difficult to not get carried away in the surrounding locations and instead, focus on a few key areas for these Fernhill Estate wedding photos.
Interestingly, the reception for Jes and Ben’s Fernhill Estate wedding was held about 1.5 kilometres away – still on the property, in a converted hay shed. To keep warm there was a large fire pit out the front, and the candle-lit reception kept a romantic atmosphere.
I’m glad that the NSW government purchased Fernhill Estate for the preservation of this piece of Australian history. This is a beautiful landmark in the Mulgoa Valley in western Sydney – and a venue that I recommend to everyone for its history, honesty and uniqueness. If you would like some further tips and information about your own Fernhill Estate wedding photography please feel free to contact me via this page.