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It’s a big day so you want to make it memorable, right? Whatever you’ve got in mind – sun-kissed beaches, grand houses, wineries, farms – Geelong and the Bellarine is the place to get all the fun of a destination wedding but without the expense of long flights or the need for a malaria jab.

Beach babe

There’s no wind machine required to get your dress and hair flowing dreamily at these coastal venues. It’s sea views all round at the iconic At the Heads, perched over the water at peaceful Barwon Heads.

Wander from the sand to the aptly-named The Dunes Ocean Grove and you’ll get slick architectural design featuring soaring windows that showcase panoramic views of long curling waves.

Upstairs at 360Q enjoys stunning views over Queenscliff Harbour and its multitude of white yachts.

Luxury estates

If you want to play ‘Gatsby’, take out the entire Campbell Point House, a grand French chateau style masterpiece overlooking Lake Connewarre. For peak elegance, head to Lancemore Mansion Werribee Park, set alongside one of Victoria’s most opulent heritage estates and formal gardens.

A vine time

Everyone loves a winery and the region has dozens to choose from. Particularly special on the Bellarine is having the twinkling blue waters of Port Phillip as a backdrop to the vines, and they don’t get much better than at Jack Rabbit with its outdoor terrace perched on a hill, or Terindah Estate. Head inland to Mt Duneed Estate, on the outskirts of Geelong, and you’ll swap sea views for the picturesque Barrabool Hills.

Rustic elegance

If you really like your wine, you might want to surround yourself with barrels at Geelong’s Provenance Wines, set in a gorgeous bluestone building within the heritage-listed Old Paper Mills precinct. There are lovely views over the rolling hills of the Moorabool Valley at Clyde Park, and functions are held in its rustic Barrel Room and adjacent outdoor terrace.

Fantastic Farms

Farms are the go if you’re looking to capture photos amongst rows of trees or enjoy the bucolic beauty of the countryside. Merne at Lighthouse is an award-winning venue set amongst olive groves and vines. Basil’s Farm is part winery, part orchard and kitchen garden with functions held in the settler’s style farmhouse, surrounded by lawns and cottage gardens.

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