We were recently asked by our bride & groom to find a suitable location for the bridal party photographs close to the wedding reception, Dedes Restaurant at the Sydney Rowing Club in Abbotsford. The venue is right on the water and the couple were keen to maintain the waterside theme yet happy to leave it up to us to decide where best to take the photos.
So a brief look around the neighbourhood and we stumbled upon the perfect spot. Only minutes from the restaurant is the original Animal Quarantine Station dating back to 1917 when it was first opened. The park is appropriately named Quarantine Reserve and is now open to the public.
It’s one of those places that I’m sure the locals know all about but like to keep secret from the rest of us. After all it’s right on the water and would make a really nice place for a family picnic. There’s plenty of parking too.
But the plan wasn’t to throw a rug down and nibble on cucumber sandwiches. It was, to enjoy the scenery, the company of best friends & family, and sip on a glass or two of champagne!
The first spot you’ll notice are the old stables. The timber boards make a terrific, rustic backdrop for photographs of both the bridal party and just the bride & groom together. There’s some really soft available light that’s ideal for shots of the couple, and in the afternoon the space between the two buildings is in the shade. And being a large open undercover space means it can also be used during wet weather. Fortunately, the place hasn’t been used to accommodate animals since 1980 so there’s no problem with the smell.
Take a stroll down to the waters edge and you’ll pass through open grassed areas that could also be used for photographs. But we were keen to make the most of our time by the water and so candid shots through the small forest of pine trees was our preferred option.
The scene then opens to views across the water to Cabarita and taking a deep breath fills the lungs with the invigorating smell of the salt air. You’ll notice the sandstone wall on the southern end of the park provides another background.
There’s some very cute, albeit small beaches with large, determined mangrove trees protruding through the sand. Yet there’s plenty of room for the bride & groom, at the very least, to take a stroll and enjoy the sand between their toes. In fact, why not let the whole bridal party kick off their shoes and get their feet wet!
For what it’s worth, it’s the sort of wedding location we would prefer to keep a secret…