1172 Wildwood Road, Yallingup Siding
Ph: (08) 9755 2000
A Testament to Love
All eyes are on the groom anxiously awaiting his bride – until a sudden ray of sunshine signals her arrival.
With the ceremony over, the newly wedded couple mingle among the guests and blooming roses within the secret walled garden. Eventually leaving their enchanted world, they drift over to the styled tepee on the open lawn for the anticipated festivities.
Meanwhile upstairs on the deck, Rivendell Winery Estate owners Darryn and Celia Gruenthal watch over the unfolding wedding. Testimony to their organisational skills, they appear remarkably relaxed and Celia shares, “We’ve learnt to staff up and outsource the catering side of all of our events.” Which in this case involves a grazing board, pizza van and a dessert bar.
Rivendell offers affordable low-key wedding packages right up to high-end fine dining functions tailored by Catered by Jaqueline or local chef George Cooper from Tiller Dining. With her wedding planner hat on, Celia arranges the styling, celebrant and alcohol, among other things, and functions are generally capped at 100 guests creating a relaxed atmosphere evocative of the region.
Situated in Yallingup, Rivendell has been a permanent fixture on the Margaret River trail since 1985 and was once famed for its restaurant. Now the estate offers weddings, functions, a cellar door, picnics, coffee, accommodation, workshops, tours, massages, a tennis court, and the famed vineyards with 30-year-old vines yielding cabernet.
The grounds include two secluded gardens devotedly maintained by Darryn, including a walled garden intimately hugged by a manicured hedge perfect for creating dream-like weddings. There is an open area perfect for both intimate and large functions and events (including a jazz concert planned for the following evening) and a function room with an adjoining deck overlooking the grounds.
Even if you’re not a wedding guest or staying in one of the nine villas, the cellar door is open from Friday to Sunday and showcases Rivendell Winery Estate Wines and Forester Estate wines from the Lifestyle, Premium Range and Reserve Range. There are also ‘help yourself’ picnics offering local cheeses, charcuterie and other goodies from the region.
When Celia and Darryn met, she had relocated from Norway and was working as a marine scientist for the oil and gas industry in WA, and Darryn was a financial planner in Perth. They married in Darryn’s homeland in Zimbabwe and laugh about their reception when a crocodile gate-crashed the dance floor.
Craving a sea change from Perth, Darryn says, “We bought our share of the 110-acre Rivendell property and became co-owners with my Mom and Dad in 2015.”
As the wedding flows as freely as the champagne, and shoes and inhibitions are shed, and with thankfully no sign of reptilian gate-crashers, there’s no denying that Rivendell is indeed a testament to love.
By Carmen Jenner