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There’s something a little magical about Tindarra Resort – and that 300 metres of spectacular river frontage definitely has something to do with it! We were itching to find out more about this incredible wedding venue, so we sat down with Emilly Atkinson, Tindarra Resort’s wedding and events coordinator. We asked her everything from the history of the venue and the best photo spots, to what the ceremony and reception spaces are like and why weddings here are simply extra special. One of our favourite things we discovered is that couples can have exclusivity of the venue, so you can spend your whole weekend with just your nearest and dearest here. No more spoilers though… Emilly tells the story of Tindarra Resort absolutely perfectly below!

Hi Emilly! Where exactly is Tindarra Resort?
Tindarra is in Moama, NSW. We share the NSW/Victoria border with Echuca – historic Murray River towns! You can find us on Perricoota Road just a couple of blocks over from Woolworths.

Tell us about your venue’s history…
We actually have some really interesting history, dating back to the 1800s! In 1842 a London man by the name of Henry Lewes and his partner Charles Throsby started Moira Station with a small flock of sheep. At the time, Moira Station had river frontage along the Murray River and so Lewes employed a shepherd to look after his flock. This led to shepherds hut being built and being the first dwelling in Moama. With help from The Friends of Old Moama (TFOM) and surveyors plans dated 1851 the location of the Shepherds Hut was identified as being on the river frontage of Tindarra Resort. In November 2015, Tindarra (with TFOM) unveiled a plaque that marks the location of the Shepherds Hut to commemorate the historic discovery.

The property was later owned by Kojiro Kasumata a Japanese market gardener who during World War 2 was incarcerated in Tatura as a prisoner of war. A gentleman named Ivo Ham looked after the property in Kojiro’s absence and in the early 1950s Ivo bought the property. Kojiro continued to live on site in his one room hut and his kitchen was a square water tank with the front cut out and a hessian bag for the door. The Ham family owned the property until 1977.

Today, the resort is family-owned and we can only wonder what Henry, Kojiro and Ivo would make of the changes to the property if they were alive to see it today.

Images: Matt Beaver and via Tindarra Resort 

Why are weddings at your venue so memorable? What does your venue offer that is unique?
I think there are a couple of reasons why weddings at Tindarra are so memorable. Firstly, our exclusivity offer (I’ll go into more detail about this later) allows our couples to fill the resort with their family and friends *exclusively*. This allows them to spend time with guests they may not have seen for years, or who now have children etc and they can spend some quality time with each guest before the big day.

Another great thing is our couples have full access to myself throughout the planning process and on the day. I’m here to answer all the emails and phone calls about nightmares they’ve just had, suppliers pulling out, finding new suppliers or even just to catch up on the goss or hear about their newest member of the family. The Tindarra team and I cover all bases leading up to and on the day to ensure they can remain stress free and enjoy every single second. Who says wedding planning needs to be stressful?

What do you think is special about being married in the country?
I think a lot of people have some sort of connection to the country or the river. They may have grown up there, have family living there or it’s their go to holiday destination. Personally I find the country relaxing and calming. Especially on the river surrounded by big gum trees and beautiful birds.

Images: love by shae and Christopher Winship Photography

With river frontage being a real feature of Tindarra Resort, what are the attractions this offers and how can couples make the most of it?
Many of our couples like to showcase the river to their city folk with a cruise on one of Echuca’s historic paddle steamers. We arrange all of this for the couple and can be utilised as a welcome cruise, something for guests to enjoy while the couple is getting photos, or the final hoorah the following day. We also have a mooring so the cruise begins and ends right on the banks at Tindarra.

Another fun way to really incorporate the river is to arrive by boat! Many of couples have their own boat or are involved in the Southern 80 ski race, so arriving by boat can be quite personal for them plus it’s a super fun way to unwind before the ceremony. Don’t worry though, we have plenty of hands helping them get from the boat to the ceremony so there are no wet legs!

Does your team offer styling services?
We have a large range of furniture and styling items (like wishing wells, table numbers, candles, rugs and much more) that are all complimentary for our couples to use over the course of their wedding weekend. Full set up and pack down is done by our team, including any styling touches the couple brings. Everything is set up the day before the wedding so our couple can see how the space looks and is confident it is where it needs to be.

Image: Jasmin Tarczon Photography

How can a couple make the most of the natural setting – does Tindarra lend itself more to a rustic natural décor style or does any style work?
I think a great thing about our venue is that you can dress it up as little or as much as you like. You can keep it simple and use the surroundings to your advantage or dress is up with beautiful coloured florals and furniture – everything compliments the venue really well!

Do you still see wedding décor ideas that surprise and delight you – even after being a part of so many weddings?
Every wedding and couple is so, so different. I feel like I get a little surprise every weekend. Often the colour of the flowers surprise me the most.. Some couples I think will go ALL out there actually end up keeping it low key with just greenery and on the flip side some couples surprise me with the amount of colour in their florals.

Images: love by shae

Is there a particular style of wedding that you mostly host?
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of beachy/boho/Hamptons vibe. With beautiful white stools, tall tables, cane couches, gold cutlery and peachy/pink colours themes. Stunning!

What’s your ceremony space like? And do you have wet weather options?
Our ceremony space is on lush green grass with… you guessed it! A river back drop! Most couples will also complete their signing in front of a huge gum tree – does it get more Aussie than this?

We have two wet weather options, both with river back drop; in our large marquee or our rustic bar. Although, we are super lucky with the weather in Echuca/Moama, and so far, have only moved the ceremony three times.

Where are the most popular spots at your venue for wedding photos?
Depending on the height of the river, there is great spot on the banks with an old fallen tree. You’ll find most of our couples here catching the bright pink, purple, and orange sunsets. We also have beautiful gardens around the resort and bush land areas which are fantastic for photos.

Images: Jasmin Tarczon Photography and Prue Peters Photography

What options are there for receptions and how many guests can you cater for?
We offer buffet, canapé or sit down receptions. We can host up to 250 guests canapé and 160 sit down. Our onsite accommodation can host 115 guests.

Tell us about the food and drinks…
We have a variety of menu options including canapé, gourmet BBQ and roast buffets, alternating or feast style sit down meals. A lot of couples have come to me and asked if there will be enough food if they choose canapé and I can assure you, there is a lot! No late night Maccas run required! Our feast style option allows couples to pick 3 main meals and these are served in the middle of tables allowing guests to try a little bit of everything. All of this is done by our incredible onsite caterers Two Tarts Catering – Lorelle and her team are seriously amazing!

What on the menu would you recommend?
Gosh… It’s too hard to choose!

Canapés: chicken wonton cups, crispy pulled pork tacos and beef sliders
Sit down: braised beef cheek and slow cooked rosemary and garlic lamb
Dessert: Sticky date pudding with caramel sauce, every time!

Image: love by shae

Do you offer advice on local suppliers?
We do! Echuca/Moama is flooded with incredible wedding suppliers, we are so lucky! When our couples first book their wedding with us, I send them our ever-growing recommended suppliers list. This list has a range of suppliers from celebrants to bands, videographers to cake makers and even baby sitters and dog sitters, all to suit different styles and budgets. PLUS they are all suppliers that we know and trust for our couples to get the best results for their dream day.

Would you suggest a wedding weekend if guests are travelling from afar? How can you assist with this?
Absolutely! We encourage all of our couples to make a weekend out of their wedding celebrations. The day can come and go so quickly, with family and friends travelling long distances. Something we offer is exclusivity of the resort. Try saying ‘exclusivity’ really fast three times! This means, you have the entire resort accommodation (and its facilities) from the day before your wedding till the day after. There are so many advantages to this! Many of our couples have been so glad to be able to catch up with their family and friends the day before, say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ to everyone so on the day they can really relax and enjoy spending time with their guests without the stress of greeting everyone.

Another great perk of exclusivity is the ability to host pre and/or post wedding events. This could be a welcome BBQ by the river or a recovery brunch by the pool. If you’re anything like me, you will absolutely LOVE having a mimosa or espresso martini by the pool while nursing your sore head and feet.

Image: love by shae

What attractions are there in your area of Echuca Moama that would wow wedding guests?
Of course the river is the main attraction so you can’t go past a cruise to wow your guests. We also have an abundant of great restaurants, cafes, wineries and our very own distillery. The Port area of Echuca is riddled with history and there are many tours you can take. In this area you’ll also find horse and carriage rides, chocolate company, Holden museum and much more!

What is the thing you most enjoy about your job?
It might sound cliché… But it’s the people. I absolutely adore meeting our loved up couples and helping them bring their dreams to life. I have been incredibly blessed with the couples I have met and can honestly say I have made life long friends! But to pin point a part of my job or a moment in the weddings that I enjoy the most, it would have to be watching the grooms face as he first sees his beautiful bride walking down the aisle. I have cried so many times watching their reaction. How amazing is love?!

Thank you for sharing the Tindarra Resort story with us, Emilly! What a stunning venue you have there – and what a history too! To find out more about Tindarra Resort, head on over to their website or the Polka Dot Directory.

Header image: love by shae