St Mary’s Catholic Church, St Kilda

At 214 Dandenong Road, in the heart of St Kilda, St Mary’s Catholic Church is a uniquely beautiful and convenient location suiting classic wedding ceremonies. This medium sized Gothic church, boasts ample grounds, arched entrance and connecting prespytery. The perfect venue for small to medium sized wedding ceremonies, where elegance and timeless style are high on the agenda. Built in the early English Gothic Revival style of bluestone, St Mary’s Church is notable for being the (according to Wikipedia Site) ‘purest example of Wardell’s parish churches which were built according to ancient ecclesiastical principles’. This gorgeous bluestone church, has much to offer and is suitable as both an enchanting backdrop for wedding photography, and as a charming interior venue for traditional wedding ceremonies. At Serendipity we love the substantial grounds, with many the large surrounding trees, and the russet toned slate roof tiles which are a stunning complement for a variety of group shots.

The foundation stone for St Mary’s Church was laid on 27 February 1859 by the Reverend Fitzpatrick, Vicar General of the Diocese, making the parish the oldest Catholic church south of the Yarra river. This stunning Gothic style church was designed by William Wardell, one of Australia’s most significant nineteenth century architects, whose well known works include St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne.


St Mary’s is notable for its remarkably well preserved interior. It has a wealth of internal fittings, including quality large stained-glass windows by artists Mayers, Settler and Mathieson & Gibson. Above the southern porches there are two nineteenth century spherical lights, which were originally in the school building. The Caen stone altar retains its original fixtures and curtains, and is the only non-Gothic feature, inspired by Roman design in the church of San Alfonso. The stone statues which feature in the exterior walls were also designed by Wardell. The interior of the church is simply breathtaking, the guilded stencilling decorating the walls is a detail we find fascinating at Serendipity,  we wonder if any readers knew the origins of this impressive aesthetic touch? On top of this, the interior provides ample opportunities photography during the ceremony. The stain glassed windows, lush red carpeting, high decorated ceilings, give the luxurious feel of a Cathedral, in a modest scaled building for more intimate wedding ceremonies. The gorgeous nave windows, elegant staircase, and timber entrance door all contribute to the overall aesthetic of the striking building, rendering it an unique and beautiful feature in your wedding day photographs.


For a traditional Catholic wedding, St Mary’s is a wonderful venue. Its proximity to the Melbourne CBD reception centres, and picturesque locations such as St Kilda Pier and  nearby gardens makes it a convenient and attractive option. St Mary’s boasts two entrances, a sweeping front driveway as well ample parking. The lovely garden surrounding the main church, and grand trees scattered across the front façade provide a stunning setting for outdoor photographs. The abundant foliage of the trees casts soft light over the wedding party as they are captured, and is a delightful accompaniment for wedding photographs set against the charm of the church building. The pleasant and well appointed presbytery which adjoins the nave, is a two story, Victorian style building. At Serendipity amongst the selection of weddings we have shot at St Mary’s, a few have witnessed unpredictable weather, and have greatly benefited from the large verandah, attractive gothic doors and deep porches of the presbytery. These well designed features offer sufficient capacity and charm to produce excellent family shots, even with implement weather.

The experienced team at Serendipity will expertly and artistically capture every moment, from your arrival at the church grounds, the vows at the grand alter, to graceful departure down the entrance stairs underneath a sprinkling of confetti and rose petals.



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