Al-Ru Farm – Adelaide’s Best Garden Wedding Venue
Adelaide is a beautiful city, graced with hills, vineyards and parklands. If you are wanting an outdoor or garden wedding you will probably be spoilt for choice. But with so many gardens to choose from, do any stand out from the rest? I’m more than excited to say yes – I have found Adelaide’s Best Garden Wedding Venue.
Al-Ru Farm has an internationally recognised garden of 10 acres, and offers all the romance you could want on a wedding day – from rose gardens to woodlands, a lily pond, and even a lake. But don’t be fooled; there is more to this stunning garden than first meets the eye.
Adelaide’s Best Garden Wedding Venue
Today I had the pleasure of visiting Al-Ru Farm in person, and I’m so glad I did. While the online photos were stunning, I don’t think you can capture the feel of a place until you have been there and met the people behind it, and gained a sense of who they are. Meet Ruth and Alan, the owners who have so lovingly devoted their lives to this garden, and you will start to understand why there is something different about Al-Ru.
Ruth and Alan purchase Al-Ru in 1981 and have been transforming the garden ever since. Originally from Europe, Ruth has a background in antiques and worked as a specialist antiques dealer sourcing furniture directly from France and England. Her style has worked its way into the gardens, with the same kind of charm you would expect from the French countryside. Behind Al-Ru is a rich story, with people’s lives woven into the tale. I immediately gained a sense that this was not just a garden; this is Ruth and Alan’s home, their passion and their life story.
My First Impression
The first joy of The Homestead is a drive up the long, graceful driveway surrounded by beautiful scenery. As I entered the beautiful property the main house appeared in sight. Al-Ru was beautiful, charming and looked majestic in the afternoon sunlight that was streaming in. I stepped out of my car and a friendly cluster of chickens and a curious guinea fowl greeted me. The guinea fowl, whose name is ‘Bird’, was keen to check out the inside of my car and the camera I was holding, and followed me closely like a shadow. The air was still, the farm was quiet and peaceful. Afternoon sunlight gloriously poured in over the paddocks and through the trees, with a brilliant golden glow. It was beyond magical, as though the garden were basking and singing in the light. Bright pink bougainvillea flowers crept up a paned window of the main house and I walked past a quaint greenhouse with little white trim glass panels. It was as though you had entered into a magical world of its own. It had a personal touch, and all the charm and authenticity of a real working farm.
The Gardens of Al-Ru Farm
Milos, part of Al-Ru’s wonderful team, greeted me. He was incredibly relaxed and accommodating, taking the time to show me around the gardens and explaining things in detail. The grounds were everything I had anticipated and more; they were an adventure of intertwining pathways, leading us through the most amazing and enchanting world.
Lily Pond Lawn
The first area we came upon was the Lily Pond Lawn. It gets its name because of the beautiful pond filled with lily pads, and a secluded lawn area right next to it where you can have your wedding ceremony. The lawn area is secluded, surrounded by all kinds of plants and there are magnificent trees overhead that provide lots of shade in summer – a big plus for Australian weather! Rows of charming pillars follow the edge of the lily pond, with rustic beams overhead, creating a beautiful kind of archway. It is a relaxed and idyllic setting to say “I do”.
White Wedding Garden
We then wandered through another archway, into the White Wedding Garden – this one even larger and longer than before, completely covered in flowing greenery. We emerged to discover a picturesque white rose garden. Lattice and white roses enclosed one end, with the archway framing the opposite side. My favourite part was the little side entry that connects to the car park; once you leave your car and pass the willowing peppercorn trees you are met with the most charming little archway, overflowing with flowers and foliage. It looks straight out of a fairytale and invites you down a pretty brick pathway.
The Homestead Lawn
There’s something truly relaxing about being outdoors; perhaps it’s all the fresh air and sunshine. Right next to Al-Ru’s stately homestead is a large and graceful lawn area, lined with trees and foliage. It is perfect for pre-reception canapés or even having your reception right under the stars. In my visit today, deep fuchsia bougainvillea flowers were blooming to perfection. Obviously when getting married in a garden, the seasons do come in to play, but the one thing I was really taken by was that there is always a ‘hero’ feature in each section of the garden, no matter the season. Ruth has planned the garden meticulously, and no matter the time of year it is a joy to behold.
Formerly once Ruth’s antique store, the Barn has gone through quite a journey and transformation. Antique mirrors line the walls with chandeliers hanging from the raised ceiling. The space is filled with character, charm, and a sense of Al-Ru’s story. A pretty entrance with French patio doors opens to reveal the warm and romantic interior.
The Hay Shed
Right next to the Barn is the Hay Shed, a semi open building with a large stone fireplace and wooden feature wall. It is filled with character and steps down into a quaint stone patio with trellis-like canopy flowing with stunning foliage. When the wisteria blossom, the patio is draped in a curtain of delicate purple blossoms. The patio faces a spectacular lawn area and in spring it becomes a sea of white with daisies, tulips, daffodils and irises.
We wandered further through the garden until we came to a sizeable lake, with large majestic gum trees and roaming countryside creating a picturesque backdrop. It is a truly romantic scene, and there is a large lawn area immediately next to the lake which is perfect for a marquee wedding.
The Exit Driveway
I thought that entering the property was beautiful, but was pleasantly surprised to leave on an equally striking driveway. It was long and lined with tall Poppler trees. Paddocks were on either side, glowing in the golden sunset and a little family of roos watched curiously as I drove past. It was a beautiful send-off, just as magical as my welcoming entry had been.
A Lasting Impression
I left Al-Ru with a lasting impression. More than the garden’s spectacular features, there was a real sense of story, care and passion behind all the details. The garden is as vibrant as Ruth’s personality. Al-Ru is genuine, and run by heartfelt people. This enchanted place is Ruth and Alan’s way of sharing their passion with the world; it is their life work on display. They kindly open this piece of paradise, their home, and invite you in.
During the course of the afternoon I had asked Milos for advice on how to choose a wedding venue, and he summed it up perfectly. He says it’s more about the feeling of a place than it is about the practicalities. You need to feel right about the place; comfortable and at home, and like something about it resonates with you.
From my own experience I can testify that Al-Ru is an authentic place; there is nothing fake, phony or set-up about it. It is a genuine rambling country garden. Ruth might be spotted wandering around collecting mushrooms. The chooks might come scuttling past, and Bird the guinea fowl may offer his assistance in showing you around. You may even get to meet Blossom the pet cow.
Visit in person and you will fall in love with the garden. Linger longer, and you will fall in love with the heart and story behind it. If you are looking for an idyllic place to get married, beautiful beyond description, with a real sense of authenticity, then Al-Ru is for you.
Adelaide’s Best Garden Wedding Venue is a treasure, tucked away in the hills. The adventure of this enchanted world awaits.
Adelaide’s Best Garden Wedding Venue
You can find more about Al-Ru Farm or make an appointment through their Website
Al-Ru Farm is located at 1/1016 One Tree Hill Rd, Sampson Flat SA.
By the way, weren’t the photos in this post just drop dead gorgeous? We were lucky to work with 3 photographers to show you every nook and cranny of Al-Ru for this post! You can find out more below:
Luke Simon Photography
Find out more about Luke here:
Scott Goh Photography
Find out more about Scott here:
Little Car Photography
Find out more about Sarah here: