Parliament House


Parliament House and Melbourne wedding photography have almost been seen as synonymous with each other in some quarters! Tradition, desire, the magnificent façade, perhaps notions of democracy, who knows what it is, but there would not have been a Melbourne wedding photographer alive who has not frequently climbed right up the grand flights of steps to photograph in the entirely grand and beloved surrounds of the portico of Parliament House. Year after year, decade after decade Parliament House never goes out of style.

serendipity photography parliament house

At Serendipity Photography we appreciate the classic columns, the luxurious (and clean) marble mosaic floor, with Roman origins clearly flagged, even the high Victorian iron lights and the carved doors can’t quite shake off the sensation of being located the Forum (centre of the ancient city state and the known world.) If you listen closely perhaps the voices of the Imperial Senators might momentarily rise above Spring St traffic — certainly this was the vision of the young colony ambitiously reaching past the British Imperium to something altogether more important and fundamental. Even if today ancient seats of Roman and Greek democratic governments are also only a place of grass and broken stones and harried tourists; the real life of the Forum pulses here now– temple colonnades, porticos and pediments are but an architectural shorthand for the system of government bequeathed to us and embraced by us in all its traditional pomp, rude shortcomings and ancient glory.

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Parliament House is one of Melbourne’s best known landmarks. Its history extends back to the colonial years of the Victorian state. In 1851, even before the colony of  Victoria had acquired full parliamentary self-government, Governor Charles La Trobe instructed the colonial surveyor, Robert Hoddle, to select a site for the colony’s new parliament to meet. Hoddle selected a site on the eastern hill at the top of Bourke Street which at that time, when few buildings were more than two storeys high, commanded a view of the whole city.

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serendipity photography parliament house

Despite its protracted construction and evolution of the design, the building today feels very much a single entity. The flow of the rooms, particularly taken in context with the main façade leading to the Queen’s Hall and the parliamentary chambers, is both logical and visually impressive.


The warm golden tones of Parliament House’s exterior, and its abundant list of architectural features such as corinthian columns, hand carved sculpture reliefs, ornate balconies and the grand stone staircase, lend themselves spectacularly to classic and elegant wedding photos. The experienced staff at Serendipity look forward to capturing every subtle moment of your special day expertly, with the elegant style of Parliament House as a distinctive backdrop.

Oe of the features that makes Parliament an evocative destination, particularly for those from overseas, is Melbourne’s trams. The city circle tram is decorative in attractive colours for wedding photography, and many tram drivers are willing to wait for a couple of minutes so that we can offer a couple some iconic Melbourne images.

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We invite you to explore more images and ideas in Serendipity Photography’s page on the fascinating history of Parliament House, and on the Serendipity blog page on the beautiful surrounding wedding photography locations that help to make Parliament House  such a desirable destination on your wedding day.

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Nearby Wedding Photography Locations

Because of it’s proximity to various beautiful locations, Parliament House is one of Serendipity Photography’s favourite places shoot classical wedding photos — or perhaps to update it with a combination of old and new with a contemporary themed shoot. Near to the Renaissance inspired Old Treasury, and the lush Treasury Gardens, as well as Gordon Reserve, Parliament House allows the photographers at Serendipity Photography to capture your magical moments. The Stanford Fountain, a gorgeous Baroque inspired fountain in the Gordon Reserve, creates lovely gothic inspired photos. Just behind it, the Hotel Windsor stands, that paragon of Melbournian grace and luxury, and the Princess Theatre, which Serendipity Photography loves to shoot in soft romantic photos.

2 Responses to “Parliament House”
  1. Robert 4 April 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    We loved the massive architecture and historic exterior of Parliament House. We’re so happy we chose it as a location, it was such an beautiful place to capture romantic wedding pictures

    We absolutely love the way Serendipity took the photos — they used the classic colours and gorgeous columns to create some truly creative and atmospheric compositions.
    Helen’s dress looks just amazing against the golden sandstone and the day looked even more perfect in our wedding photos! Parliament House is a perfect location for capturing true elegance.

    Helen and Robert

  2. Mags 25 March 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    We had shots at Parliament House, its just a perfect way to finish your evening!! We loved the grand steps and columns. Its also very clean and sheltered and the door carvings are lovely! My favourite part was the photographs looking down the steps over the city lights, gorgeous romantic pictures! Thankyou Serendipity :)

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