St Paul’s Cathedral

Standing proudly on the bustling corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets, St Paul’s Cathedral has long held a firm place in Melbourne’s heart. Since its construction the Cathedral as played a remarkable part of Melbourne’s history. This stunning landmark is a highly sophisticated venue for Anglican wedding ceremonies. The Cathedral’s visual appeal and iconic location, render it an extremely popular destination both for grandiose wedding ceremonies and as a backdrop in location shots. At Serendipity Photography we adore St Paul’s, as well as being a highly regarded venue, it offers an abundance of visual features which cater to classic and contemporary weddings, making for a gorgeous selection of photos. For couples who want to make an distinctive urban statement, St Paul’s Cathedral is an ideal site for glamourous and large scaled weddings. 

The Architectural style of the Cathedral is described as Gothic transitional. It was designed by the distinguished English architect William Butterfield, who was noted for his ecclesiastical work. The foundation stone was laid in 1880, in fact on the site which held the very first Christian Services in Melbourne. As is often the case as cities and their populations expand, the original church was demolished to make way for a grander venue. The construction of St Paul’s Cathedral occurred in stages, with architect Sir Joseph Reed stepping in to assist William Butterfield in 1884. On 22 January 1891 the Cathedral was consecrated, although it was not the building we see today.  The erection of the spires did not begin until 1926, and then to the design of John Barr of Sydney rather than using the original design of an octagonal central tower and gable west end towers of Butterfield. In the 1960s extensive work was carried out on the exterior, and in 1989 a major National Trust appeal to enable the restoration of the Cathedral’s magnificent organ. And in 2009 restoration works were carried out to the exterior and interior of the Cathedral, securing its aesthetic quality for many years to come.

The exterior of St Paul’s Cathedral is a wonderful example of late 19th century Gothic-Revival architecture. From the moment your sleek car pulls up right outside the front entrance, and you make your way up the elegant stone staircase, your day will be captured in style, for there are stunning details present everywhere you turn. The glass processional doors provide a wonderful light filled entry to the Cathedral. Allowing the wooden doors to remain open and welcoming, these beautiful, light filled doors also provide protection from the weather and the city noise! The doors which were designed by artist Janusz Kuzbicki, feature biblical scenes and iconographic symbols of the four gospel writers. Once through the impressive entrance it will be difficult not to marvel at the expansive interior décor. The interior is renowned for its wonderful carved cedar woodwork, tessellated tiled floors, stonework and stained glass. The full length pews provide elegant comfort and exceptional views of the ornately carved walls and ceilings, National Trust listed organ, and Persian tile. During the ceremony the atmospheric light streaming from the stained glass windows, casts subtle light over the bridal party. The experienced team at Serendipity enjoy the romance and aesthetic sophistication provided by this grand Cathedral.

The stunning architecture, attractive location and noble proportions make St Paul’s Cathedral an incredibly grand complement for a wedding day set to a society maximum. Placed across the street from Flinders St Station and Federation Square, this Cathedral is nestled within a catalogue of landmark architecture, so that from every angle you and your wedding party will be provided with unique and picturesque backdrops. After the ceremony the Cathedral’s easy access to a myriad of CBD reception centres, and proximity to alternative locations such as the Yarra river, the Royal Botanical Gardens and Southbank (just to name a few) provide no shortage of photographic opportunities. 

At St Paul’s Cathedral weddings mainly take place on Saturdays. Whilst it is possible to secure ceremonies, due to the many other events that occur in the church calendar, opportunities are limited. Serendipity recommend booking early if your heart is set on a St Paul’s wedding. If you would prefer to simply take in the splendor of the Cathedral on your way to other CBD locations, features such as the rear staircase are perfect for beautiful gothic style photographs. This elegant stone staircase, with boasts curved iron gates, faces onto Chapter house. Because of the picturesque quality of this detail, at Serendipity we have observed it can be quite heavily frequented by wedding parties, so if you prefer a quieter location it is worth considering the backdrop in off peak season. A discussion with the Cathedral’s Verger beforehand is highly recommended. St Paul’s Cathedral respond to enquiries from Monday to Friday, between the hours of 9–5. For information on wedding dates or tour times visit their website: http://​www​.stpaulscathedral​.org​.au/​c​o​n​t​act




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