Glamping is the new trend for WA weddings

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Rhianna MitchellThe West Australian
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Simone Irvine and Angus Bartels on their wedding day at Mornington Springs near Harvey in February.
Camera IconSimone Irvine and Angus Bartels on their wedding day at Mornington Springs near Harvey in February. Credit: Dom Lim Photographer

It is one of the most important days of couples’ lives, so many are choosing to prolong the fun and host their weddings over an entire weekend.

Demand for glamping weddings — where the bride and groom and their guests stay on-site in dozens of luxurious tents pitched at often remote, picturesque locations — is booming across WA as more couple seek to get married in nature.

Jane Clively and Mark Armstrong bought the glamping business Soul Camping in March last year and they have just wrapped up their busiest wedding season yet.

“It was getting to the point where we could take two weddings every weekend from mid September to the end of April,” Ms Clively said.

“Next wedding season is already busier than this season, we’ve already got more weddings reserved for this year than we had for all of last season.”

The couple has increased their capacity to 95 bell tents, ranging from 4 metre tents for two people to 6 metre tents which are used as “honeymoon tents” or dressing rooms for couples on their big day.

They work with a number of wedding venues across the State including Linga Longa Estate near Balingup, Mornington Springs in Harvey and Fonty’s Pool in Manjimup.

More couples are seeking rustic, farmyard or bohemian outdoor weddings.
Camera IconMore couples are seeking rustic, farmyard or bohemian outdoor weddings. Credit: Dom Lim Photographer

All are enjoying increased popularity as more couples seek out rustic, farmyard or bohemian outdoor weddings.

Ms Clively said the glamping option allowed couples and their guests to celebrate beyond just one night. In most cases guests pay for their own tents and prices start from $340 for two people for a two night stay.

“It saves guests having to get taxis home and everyone gets to enjoy the entire weekend,” Ms Clively said.

It takes the team two to three hours to set up each tent, complete with hotel-grade bedding, bohemian quilts and battery powered lanterns.

Albany couple Simone and Angus Bartels hosted a camping wedding at Mornington Springs in February this year.

“It was amazing, it meant people didn’t have to worry about driving home or getting lifts, and we could get up and have breakfast in the morning and chat to people when they were waking up,” Mrs Bartels said.

“The tents were amazing, (Soul Camping) set it all up for us and we had champagne in our tent, it was luxurious and comfortable.”

Glamping Co was started in Perth by Nic Hopson and Kellie Germaine in 2015. They create luxurious pop-up tent villages across Australia, starting from $225 per tent per night, with optional extras including toilets, showers, private chefs and a camp butler.

Ms Germaine said they had been bombarded with enquiries.

“There’s a lot of people who think about going to Bali but it is expensive, so taking this route they’re still having a holiday but people can easily get there and experience luxury, and it’s easier for older guests to get there too,” she said.

“Weddings go so quickly so the beauty is that people stay for two nights and it makes it more of a holiday weekend.”

Linga Longa owner Rebecca Eaton and her husband bought the 700 acre property on the Blackwood River as a family holiday retreat. After the success of their son’s wedding at the venue in 2017 they decided to open it up to other couples and have been busy ever since.

The venue features a ‘forest cathedral’ in a pine plantation, commercial kitchen and alfresco dining space and a grassed area for camping — an option many couples take.

“It’s like a holiday (for guests.) By having a camping wedding everyone can catch up properly and it’s so relaxed,” Mrs Eaton said.

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