Yarra Valley Wedding Seasons : A Quick Guide

Boutique Winery Wedding Venue
of the Year:
Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges,
2019 & 2020

What’s the best time of year for a Yarra Valley vineyard wedding?

As with all your wedding decisions, you’ll read heaps and hear plenty of opinions on every aspect of how to plan your wedding but at the end of the day, it comes down to you and what you both want and love.

Blogs from people from the wedding industry can be helpful though, as you’re getting their specialist point of view from one who is there on the ground and who’s done this before. And as the manager of a Yarra Valley wedding venue, and as someone who has lived on a Yarra Valley vineyard for years, I can honestly say that I love every season in the Yarra Valley.

Each season brings its own beauty and charm. And ultimately the question to ask yourself first is…

What sort of party do you want to have at your wedding?

If you want your guests to be outdoors dancing barefoot into the evening then you’re going to choose the warmer months where a balmy night is more likely. Or if you picture yourself and your friends gathered around an outdoor fire under a starry night sky, wearing fabulous warming wraps and coats, we’ll be steering you towards a cooler time of year (fires are generally permitted in the Yarra Valley from April to September).

If you’ve decided you want to get married at a winery, it’s always good to weigh up the pros and cons of what the vineyard will look like in each season too, to help you decide what the best time of year is for YOUR Yarra Valley winery wedding.

Snapshot of your Spring Wedding

Across the vines budburst is happening, spring flowers bring colour to the gardens and everything is gorgeous. Surely? And yes it is, to an extent. People are often surprised when I explain that it takes a bit of time for those first tiny spring shoots on the vines to become the lovely luscious green vines that you may be expecting. While the gardens have lovely spring flowers in September, in the vineyard only a few tiny shoots are just starting to appear on the vines. So if you are picturing lustrous green growth and lots of flowers in the garden, then look at late Spring – October, even into November.

At this time of year the weather fluctuates from gorgeous to somewhat overcast and soggy. So be prepared with a wet weather plan and a few outfits to suit whatever happens.

In the vineyard:

  • September – Budburst begins and the first tiny shoots appear. The vines can look quite bare this month.
  • October – the vines grow much bigger and by the end of the month have their lovely green appearance.
  • November – The vines are a woolly green, and will look much the same now until late March.
  • The bright newness and growth all around you.

  • Spring flowers in the garden. There’ll be a super selection of flowers for your bouquet and decorations.

  • The weather is warming up and in later Spring. The days can be warm and sunny.

  • It could be wet. But that’s fine, if you have a wet weather plan.

  • Check of the average overnight temperatures as they can be a bit cool until late November.

Snapshot of your Summer Wedding

Overall summer in the Yarra Valley means lovely warm to hot weather, less chance of rain and great for planning an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception.
Bear in mind, in the heat of an Australian summer grass and lawns can become dry. Which is one of the many reasons why vineyards are so popular for summer weddings, because they retain their greenness.

In late summer some vineyards will have nets over their fruit. The fruit is ripening and they need to protect them from birds. Nets may be able to be removed for wedding photography, but ask well in advance.

In the vineyard:

  • December – The grasses are starting to brown off and the vineyard is lush and green. By now the vines may have had a trim, which makes them look nice and neat. Nets may be going out.
  • January – Grapes are visible on the vines. Nets may be on some of the vines.
  • February  – The grass around the vineyard and between the vines may have yellowed if it is a hot summer. Dam levels will be dropping and possibly disappearing as the vines are watered. Harvest is starting for some varieties so there can be a lot of activity in the vineyard and winery. Nets may be on some of the vines and may be getting removed from others for harvest. The first picking will usually start this month and continue into March and April. While this shouldn’t effect your wedding at all, don’t be surprised by the additional activity around the vineyard and the sudden disappearance overnight of the ripe fruit into the winery.

Fire danger. While none of us like to think about it, we absolutely should as it is a reality. As with most areas of Australia these days, the Yarra Valley can be affected by bushfires. And while the chances of your wedding not being able to go ahead due to fire danger are slim, it is something you have to be aware of when planning a summer wedding. February is the month with the highest fire risk, but bad days can happen anytime during summer. Just remember the highest priority is your safety and the safety of your guests and staff.

If you are booking a summer wedding ask your venue, and other suppliers, about their bush fire plan and policies.

  • Hot sunny days and little chance of rain.

  • Evening celebrations are ideal as it’s light late and evening temperatures are often pleasant.

  • It is a very popular time for weddings, so you’ll need to book well in advance to get your preferred date.

  • You may get an intensely hot day, so make sure you have a plan for dealing with extreme temperatures.

  • While you may love the heat, just remember that your guests, hair, make-up & flower will wilt faster in the heat!

Snapshot of your Autumn Wedding

When we say autumn, everyone immediately thinks of spectacular rich autumn colours. If you are a fan of autumn colours then a vineyard is a great choice for your wedding and photos. But top tip, our vines at Bulong Estate are green until the end of March. For peak autumn colour, I’d recommend you aim for a wedding date towards the middle of April. And a month later by mid May the vines will be mostly bare of leaves. As with anything to do with nature, none of this can be predicted down to an exact date, but in general in autumn our entire property is a riot of colour, as our gardens are full of deciduous trees and plants, which also put on their autumn show and they ‘turn’ and change colour at differing times.

In the vineyard:

  • March – The vines will be green for most of this month. A little bit of Autumn colour will start to show towards the end of March. Some grapes, especially red wine grapes will be picked this month.
  • April – The harvest has finished (unless it is an unusually late year). The vines are rapidly changing colour and will have peak autumn colour the middle of the month.
  • May – The leaves have started to drop, there are some bare parts of the vineyard. After the first good frost the leaves will suddenly drop off over night. By the end of the month the vines are bare.
  • Spectacular autumn colours in the garden and vineyard.

  • The hot weather of summer has passed. The days can be warm and sunny during the early parts of Autumn, the nights start to get cooler.

  • If you are planning an outdoor event you will get warmer weather during March. May is more likely to cool, especially at night.

Snapshot of your Winter Wedding

Winter is often the least busy season for Yarra Valley weddings. Yes it’s cold and there is an increased chance of rain, so it often doesn’t appeal to couples wanting to spend any part of their wedding ceremony or party outside. However we’ve put on many a winter wedding where we’ve all embraced the cold and made the most of this beautiful time of year. Think outdoor fire pits, mulled wine and beautiful coats which all make for a wonderful event. And umbrellas and gumboots make for fun photos.

And of course some Yarra Valley venues and suppliers may be offering, or open to discussing, discounts to encourage a few more bookings at this time of year. At Bulong Estate we offer 10% off your invoice for winter bookings.

In the vineyard:

June/ July / August
Winter is the wettest time of year in the valley, with more chance of rain than any other time of year.
The mornings are misty and frosty. The vines are bare and have gone to sleep for the winter. This is when the pruning happens, so at some point during winter the vines will have their long brown twiggy canes pruned off and they will be neat and tidy ready for spring.
There are also sunny winter days when the winter sky is a beautiful blue and the starkness of the vines against the green grass is gorgeous.

  • Stunning atmospheric light for photography (not forgetting the fun gumboot shots too).

  • Potential to find good value deals from venues and suppliers

  • More wedding dates to choose from as it’s low season

  • The chance to wear beautiful layered clothes and stylish coats and make your wedding cosy around open fires or outdoor fire pits.

  • You have an increased chance of rain and temperatures can be in the single digits.

Summing up: The best season for your wedding at a Yarra Valley winery

As I mentioned at the start of this blog, each season has its own beauty here in the Yarra Valley and all wineries have weather and colour unique to them too. And essentially it actually comes down to what you and your partner are most comfortable with – it’s not just about the beauty of your surroundings on your wedding day, it’s about a whole lot of other factors; the cost of low season vs high season, choosing dates near public holiday dates, and YOU – if you wilt in the heat, avoid January and February, if you feel the cold, forget August dates! Visit the wedding venue you’re considering, wander around with the venue manager, ask them all your questions, ask to see photos of different real weddings they’ve had in different seasons, stand in the spot where your reception would be, and get a real feel for how your wedding would look and feel at that venue in the differing seasons.

Ultimately it’s about you and your partner feeling really comfortable and relaxed with the date you have chosen and with the venue and their staff and all the suppliers assisting to make your wedding day fabulous. Make the most of what your chosen season gives you and enjoy.

Drop us and email or call us if you’d like any more information about seasonal weddings, potential dates or if you’d like to arrange a time to visit.