Listed with the National Heritage, Rippon Lea House and Garden is set amongst the suburbs of Elsternwick, and features a stunning garden adorned with magnificent trees, a tranquil lake, and sweeping lawns. Nestled just 10 kilometres from Melbourne CBD, it provides a sublime setting a stone’s throw away from the city.
The scenic gardens at this historic property include the ornamental lake, extensive manicured lawns, a large fernery, stables and an orchard that all combine to create the ideal surroundings for all types of special events and occasions, especially wedding photography.
The house also features a splendid ballroom which leads out to an impressive sunken swimming pool, terrace and pleasure gardens that span to more than 14 acres. Most of the grounds can be used for garden wedding ceremonies, picnics and birthday parties, and family gatherings. The ballroom is also a great venue for gala dinners, corporate entertaining, and wedding receptions.
Rippon Lea – The Humble Beginnings
Rippon Lea was originally completed in 1868, built for Frederick Sargood. The man earned his money through selling soft goods on the Victoria goldfields. His house has been named after the maiden name of his mother, Rippon, while Lea is the English word that means meadow. This property was a large and self-sufficient farm that was around twice its current size today.
Originally, the mansion only had 15 rooms, but now, 33 rooms make up the house. Sargood moved into the house with Marian, his first wife, together with their 9 surviving children. The household staff was composed of a butler, 7 maids, a groom, a coachman, and 7 gardeners. Sargood is the epitome of a typical man who lived during Victorian age, practical and visionary at the same time. The house boasted an elaborate watering system located underground, with the house having its very own supply of electricity. A feature that was unusual that time, internal toilets were also used in the house. Sargood was also a very keen gardener with a particular interest in ferns and orchids. Most of his plants then were imported.
Weddings at Rippon Lea
Through the years, Rippon Lea has seen many developments and renovations as it was passed from one hand to another, and today, decades after its initial construction, the 14 acres of wonderful and charming gardens have become an ideal spot for wedding ceremonies and large events that can accommodate as many as 200 guests.
There are many excellent wedding photography locations in the expanse of its gardens that you can choose for photos between the ceremony and reception, each offering a spectacular backdrop and unique setting. With the original polished parquetry flooring still in place, wedding guests can dance the night away in the house’s Grand Ballroom with the large glimmering chandelier sparkling above while the bridal table for formal seated occasions is framed by the ornate balustrade that overlooks the dance floor. This is what makes Rippon Lea the ideal setting for classic and stylish wedding celebrations.
For those who opt for a more relaxed occasion, the Art-Deco style terrace serves as an alfresco entertaining space for all sizes of summer or spring cocktail parties. The evening can start with cocktails and canapes and a string quartet on the pool terrace before guests are invited inside for dinner, speeches and dancing.