FAQ

FAQ2018-07-12T20:17:54+00:00
Do we have exclusive hire of the venue?2018-07-12T19:51:57+00:00
  • We ensure exclusive venue hire for our wedding couples and their family and friends ie. only ever one wedding booking per day. For this reason, wedding receptions cannot be booked for dates if the cottages are already reserved for other external guests. Our cottages are available for hire 365 days of the year, regardless of whether we are hosting a wedding or not. Securing your date ASAP is imperative.*
  • Our Cellar Door is open every day from 10am till 5pm (except Good Friday and Christmas Day). If you are concerned about privacy you may wish to opt for one of our more private ceremony locations set back on the property rather than the Poplar Grove.

When do we have access to begin setting up our DIY reception?2018-07-12T19:52:25+00:00
  • We allow 2 days either side of a weekend wedding, or 1 day either side for a midweek event, for set-up and pack-down. We do not do back-to-back weddings. Therefore, there is a 3-5 day turnaround for wedding bookings. Our philosophy is not to cram in as many weddings as possible per season, rather, we want your event to be as relaxed and peaceful as possible, so there is no rush with settings, decorations or wedding preparations.

Do you offer ceremony only options?2018-07-12T19:53:02+00:00
  • Ceremonies on weekends (Fri-Sun) during Autumn and Spring are limited as these days are generally reserved for reception packages, but please do not hesitate to contact us for availability – it doesn’t hurt to ask! Please note, ceremony bump-in is 10am the day of the event, with bump-out 10pm.
  • Ceremonies cannot be booked the same day as existing reception bookings, or vice versa. Ceremonies may be permitted on the days either side of an existing wedding booking depending on the location and subject to negotiation with the couple already booked.
  • *Ceremonies can be booked regardless of external cottage bookings.

What is the maximum number of guests you can accommodate?2018-07-12T19:54:54+00:00
  • Our property can cater for a maximum of 150 guests with our Outdoor option. The Wine Cellar (indoor setting) will accommodate 100 guests seated (more at a pinch) or 150 cocktail.
  • For weddings of 120 guests or more, additional toilets will need to be supplied. We can organise for toilets with lighting to be delivered at cost.

What are the conditions of hire?– Power, Water, Toilets, Rubbish, Music & Curfew2018-07-12T19:55:53+00:00
  • For weddings held in the Poplar Grove & Wine Cellar, power, water and access to the Cellar Door toilets are included in the venue hire.
  • For wedding receptions held elsewhere on the property, toilets and a generator will need to be hired at cost. Plus, BYO water.
  • Everything needs to be left as found!
  • All furniture and styling/prop items need to be returned in the condition they were supplied. Please return clean and dry.
  • All decorations, rubbish and empty bottles need to be removed and either taken away or put into the supplied rubbish bins within 12 hours of the event (by midday the next day at the latest), with the property grounds to be restored to their original condition. Most bespoke DIY venues do not provide rubbish removal – we save you time & money with this service.
  • Broken glass, cigarette butts, sparklers, confetti, rose petals, bottle tops, straw from hay bales, and candle wax residue left behind may all affect your bond refund.
  • In consideration of our neighbours, all music must stop by 10pm (Sun-Thurs) or 11.30pm (Fri & Sat) with guests to depart reception space by 10.30pm (Sun-Thurs) or midnight (Fri & Sat). Curfew is strict.
  • If the music is too loud for the site (and/or neighbours) then it must be turned down immediately upon request. Failure to do so will result in music being halted.

When do we get access to the venue for set up?2018-07-12T19:56:47+00:00
  • Bump-in for vendors/suppliers is 10am. Bump-out is to be completed by 5pm. Access outside these hours is not guaranteed without prior discussion.
  • Wine Cellar access for set-up and pack-down is 10am-5pm. Similarly, access outside these hours can be organised with prior discussion.
  • If you have not booked the Wine Cellar, there is no access to this space (including for set-up, pack-down or storage purposes).
  • Weekend (Fri-Sun) reception packages: 2 days set-up and 2 days pack-down either side of the event date (5 day turnaround)
  • Midweek (Mon-Thurs) reception packages: 1 day set-up and 1 day pack-down either side of the event date (3 day turnaround)
  • Ceremony Only celebrations: set-up can commence 10am the day of the event, with pack-down to be completed by 10pm same day.
  • We have put together a DIY toolkit* for couples setting up their event. It includes commonly requested items that have often been forgotten eg. hammer, mallet, zip ties, electrical tape, blu-tac, bin liners etc. There are also ladders available onsite for set-up and pack-down purposes. *This is not an exhaustive supply so please endeavour to bring all items you think you will need. Please ensure all vendors have brought extension leads with them.

Are there any restrictions on the suppliers/vendors we employ?2018-07-12T19:57:38+00:00
  • You can bring in any caterer you prefer – from food trucks to 5-course degustations, it’s entirely up to you! Depending on the style of food offered at your event, please note that a generator may need to be hired for your caterer (for example, some deep fryers can overload the circuit, or if you’re having multiple caterers).
  • There is no commercial kitchen or refrigeration onsite for catering purposes. We strongly advise you hire a mobile cool room.
  • All alcohol must be served by one of our exclusive bar operators (Van Dan Vintage Caravan, Williams & Co. or the Stonehurst Team). No alcohol is to be self-served. RSA will be enforced.
  • Only Stonehurst wines can be consumed on the property, all other drinks (beer, spirits, cocktails, softdrink etc) are BYO.
  • Self-catering and BYO venues such as ours will save you money as you don’t have to spend a fortune on set menu and drinks packages with marked-up prices. Plus you have the flexibility to tailor your food and drink and create your dream menu! Think favourite craft beers, signature cocktails, or even sangria!

What is the security bond and do we get it back?2018-07-12T19:58:16+00:00
  • On top of the applicable venue hire fee and wine purchase requirement of each of the different packages, a refundable security bond is also payable. It is completely refundable after the event provided all clauses in the venue contract are observed.
  • Reception packages = $1000 Refundable Security Bond
  • Ceremony Only celebrations = $500 Refundable Security Bond
  • Intimate Package = $500 Refundable Security Bond

Once we have booked what is the payment schedule?2018-07-12T19:59:14+00:00
  • For Ceremony Only or Intimate packages, $500 refundable security bond and 50% venue fee deposit (refundable for 30 days only) is due at the time of booking to secure dates; Then the balance of 50% is due 30 days out from the wedding.
  • For reception packages, $1000 venue fee deposit is required on booking to lock in dates, with a $1000 refundable security bond due 30 days later; therefore $2000 total payable to confirm booking.
  • Then the balance of 50% is due a year out from the wedding;
  • The remaining 50% balance is due 30 days out from the wedding.
  • Please note if you are booking within the year of your event, we can renegotiate the due date of that first 50% payment.
  • Wine payment must be finalised 30 days out from the wedding.
  • Payment for hire of all furniture and styling/prop items must be finalised a fortnight out from the wedding.
  • Payments a problem? We can arrange monthly instalments after your deposit and refundable security bond is paid.

What happens if I need to cancel or change the date for my wedding?2018-07-12T19:59:56+00:00
  • You will forfeit your venue fee deposit upon cancellation (unless cancelling within the first 30 days of booking).
  • Cancelling prior to 6 months out from the date of your event, you will receive a full refund of all monies paid (minus the deposit).
  • Cancelling 3-6 months before your event you will receive a refund of 50% of all monies paid (minus the deposit).
  • No refund due if cancelling later than 3 months out from your event.
  • A $200 administration fee applies if you wish to change your date and/or you wish to downgrade your package eg. from Wine Cellar to Outdoor, or a reception package to a ceremony package.

What is not included in the Reception Packages that I will need to organize? (Outdoor & Wine Cellar)2018-07-12T20:00:39+00:00
  • Outdoor Package: marquee/tipi, tables, chairs, styling/decorating, refrigeration, cooking & cleaning facilities (incl. bench-space, lighting & shelter), crockery, cutlery, glassware, napery, extension leads, AV equipment & PA system NOT included.
  • Wine Cellar Package: styling/decorating, refrigeration, cooking & cleaning facilities (incl. bench-space, lighting & shelter), crockery, cutlery, glassware, napery, extension leads, AV equipment & PA system NOT included.
  • Please note, although we do include some styling objects/props (eg. arbour, barrels, signage etc.) and furniture (tables & chairs in the Wine Cellar package), we do not assist with any set-up, styling or decorating duties. You may wish to hire a professional stylist; though clever, capable family and friends can also assist with this role. We allow plenty of time for set-up and pack-down to ensure a complete DIY event is very possible.
  • Our role at Stonehurst is not to coordinate your wedding on the day. However, we do offer on-the-day coordination as an option for couples who request it ($1000 for 10 hour service).

We want to have an ‘unplugged wedding,‘ is there mobile reception onsite?2018-07-12T20:01:19+00:00
  • Mobile reception and GPS are unreliable throughout Wollombi Valley. Perfect for ‘unplugged’ weddings!
  • Wifi access (at the Cellar Door/Wine Cellar/Grove Cottage/Poplar Grove) is available for cottage guests only. There is also a landline phone.
  • Optus and Telstra users will get full coverage at both Wollombi (10min drive) and Millfield (4 min drive).

How does the accommodation proponent work?2018-07-12T20:02:49+00:00
  • We have seven self-contained vineyard cottages on our property, each with kitchen facilities, spa baths, wood fires, private verandahs, country breakfast hampers provided, bbqs, complimentary port & chocolates and a late midday checkout.
  • The seven cottages can sleep up to 33 guests in total with the use of double sofa-beds and single folding and trundle beds.
  • For weddings of less than 40 guests, four cottages accommodating up to 12 guests (6 x queen beds) is inclusive in the venue hire (2x 2 bdrm; and 2x 1 bdrm). An additional 2 guests can stay at cost on a double sofa-bed. Additional cottages are available.
  • For weddings of 40 guests or more, all seven cottages accommodating up to 20 guests (10 x queen beds) is inclusive in the venue hire (3x 2 bdrm; 4x 1 bdrm). An additional 13 guests can stay at cost on double sofa-beds and single trundle/folding beds.
  • For couples booking the ‘Intimate’ package, three cottages accommodating up to 8 guests (4 x queen beds) is inclusive in the venue fee (1x 2 bdrm; and 2x 1 bdrm). An additional 10 guests can stay at cost on double sofa-beds and single trundle/folding beds. Additional cottages are available at cost.
  • Depending on your package, either 1 or 2 nights accommodation is included in your venue hire (except Ceremony Only packages). Please know you are most welcome to extend your stay in all, or some, of the cottages either side if you wish to take full advantage of our set-up and pack-down policy (3-5 days). The cottages are otherwise available for external guests to book outside your included night stays.
  • Only the queen beds are included in the venue hire. Any guests on sofa/folding/trundle beds are at an additional cost; $59 per person per night, or $30 per night for children up to 12 years of age. Infants under 2 stay free unless the hire of a port-a-cot is required.
  • There are some additional air mattresses available for hire if you need to squeeze a few more guests in. However, keep in mind all the cottages have a maximum occupancy on them for good reason – we are on tank water and septic, and additionally, would like to guarantee enough hot water for all paying guests.
  • Check-in is 2pm.
  • Check-out is 12 midday.
  • The cottages are self-contained, and not serviced until the end of your stay.
  • If you require a linen change, there is a charge for this.

Is there room onsite or locally for my guests to stay?2018-07-12T20:07:09+00:00
  • We open the property up to camping for events. Our designated campground is down by Wollombi Brook and campers are charged at a flat $20 per person rate, whether it be for 1 or 2 nights. Depending on number of guests wishing to camp (more than 10) we may insist that a portable toilet/shower is hired for campers. Please know, Wollombi Tavern (short 8km drive from Stonehurst) offers a free camp in their reserve by the creek.
  • Within a short drive of Stonehurst Cedar Creek there is an array of other local accommodation providers – from farmstays and B&Bs to guesthouses and luxury villas. Visit the following sites to search and book online
  • If you would prefer all your guests to stay in the one location, we recommend the following larger hotels:

Is there any transport locally?2018-07-12T20:10:18+00:00
  • Please know that taxi service is limited. Cessnock Radio Cabs will transport guests to and from our venue, but charge a return trip from Cessnock (40 minute round trip) on top of the distance between Stonehurst and your destination. They are less likely to service the area if a Hunter Valley concert (at Bimbadgen, Roche Estate or Hope) is the same evening as your event. Unfortunately, prime wedding season (Sept-May) coincides with Hunter Valley concert season, be mindful!
  • Also, not that easy for guests to phone up on the night and book a taxi with no mobile reception so please insist guests have transport to and from the venue arranged in advance.
  • We encourage carpooling if there are some designated drivers amongst the group.
  • It is our recommendation that you organise a shuttle bus/coach if you have a large group of guests requiring transport to and from our venue:

Is there a wet weather ceremony option?2018-07-12T20:10:56+00:00
  • Our Homestead ceremony location is offered as a backup wet weather option for outdoor ceremonies at no charge.
  • For couples that have not already hired our Wine Cellar (indoor setting) for their reception, this space will be available as a backup wet weather ceremony option for a surcharge of $300.
  • For outdoor receptions, if a marquee has not been hired, couples can upgrade to our Wine Cellar package the day before the event. The difference in payment must be settled before access is granted (approximate cost $2800 but will vary depending on your current package/inclusions).

Are there any restrictions we need to know about?2018-07-12T20:12:57+00:00
  • No fireworks or fire lanterns.
  • Only rose petals and biodegradable confetti permissible – but are not to be left scattered on the ground. We recommend bioconfetti.com.au which is water soluble and easily dissolvable.
  • Outdoor braziers, firepits and candles are subject to location and local fire ban rulings – and must be preapproved by us. We do ask that they are up off the ground as to not burn holes in our lawn. We have fire pits available for hire if required, BYO firewood.
  • We request that music is facing back onto our property rather than towards the direction of any of our neighbours.
  • If music is deemed too loud for the site and/or our neighbours, volume levels must be turned down on request. Failure to do so will result in it being unplugged.
  • We have a strict no pet policy for our cottages and overnight camping. Pets (on leash) are allowed during wedding ceremonies and at our Cellar Door/Poplar Grove. We recommend Akuna Pet Resorts at Sawyers Gully for boarding facilities or Applegums Hunter Valley for nearby pet-friendly accommodation.