FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  

We pride ourselves on timely communication. If you have any questions, please send an enquiry or browse our frequently asked questions below...

What is ‘The Gabbinbar Experience’?

  • We provide all-day use of our historic estate and exclusive use once your ceremony starts
  • We deliver unequalled attention to detail so that you can relax with confidence
  • We offer flexibility so that your wedding can be unique, and we guarantee exceptional service for you and your guests.

Click to discover more about ‘The Gabbinbar Experience

What is the history of Gabbinbar Homestead?

Gabbinbar Homestead was first established in 1863. Initially built by Reverend Nelson, Gabbinbar passed to his son Sir Hugh Nelson, Premier of Queensland (1893-1898), and for many years afterwards served as the summer resort for Queensland’s Governors. Barry and Lynda Bernoth started restoring the Homestead in 1997 and Isaac and Mel Moody completed the restoration from 2011.

Where is Gabbinbar Homestead located?

Gabbinbar Homestead is a destination wedding venue that hosts weddings from across Australia and around the world. Our estate is located at the highest point in the city of Toowoomba, South-East Queensland. Situated on 25 acres adjacent to Toowoomba’s escarpment, Gabbinbar Homestead still exudes a charm from a bygone era. 

Where is the closest airport to Gabbinbar Homestead?

The Wellcamp Airport is located an easy 25 minute drive from Gabbinbar Homestead and has direct flights from Cairns, Townsville, Sydney and Melbourne.

Gabbinbar Homestead is located at a 90 minute drive from the Brisbane Airport. Regular coach services operate to Toowoomba from Brisbane with an easy air-train link from the Brisbane Airport.

What transport options are there in Toowoomba?

There are taxi and uber providers available in Toowoomba and they all service Gabbinbar Homestead. Most accommodation is available in Toowoomba City, which is close to numerous food and drink outlets.

Local bus companies such as Peter’s Coaches in Toowoomba can be used to transport guests to and from the Wellcamp Airport, around the city and to and from Gabbinbar Homestead.

Guests with cars, what do they do?

If guests have a vehicle, they are welcome to leave it overnight in our onsite car park (we have space for up to 150 cars) for collection the following day.

Taxi and uber services are readily available at the end of the reception for guest collection right at the front steps of the Homestead.

What accommodation options are there near Gabbinbar Homestead?

Within a 10 minute drive of Gabbinbar Homestead, there are thousands of rooms of accommodation catering to every budget. After confirming your wedding with us, our Wedding Planning Team can provide a current selection of suitable accommodation.

What is 'MyGabbinbar'

Once you have booked your wedding at Gabbinbar Homestead we provide you with your personal online login to our bespoke web application, ‘MyGabbinbar’, which allows you to stay connected and have all the information for your wedding at your fingertips.

You can have online discussions with the Wedding Planning Team and our Accounts Manager, upload inspirational photos, update your planning checklist and view information relevant to your wedding day.  

We also understand that face-to-face and phone conversations are important and therefore once you have booked a wedding at Gabbinbar Homestead we offer unlimited phone support and site visits by appointment.

What support will I receive?

Our Wedding Planning Team will assist you with every aspect of your wedding that is held at Gabbinbar Homestead and we have built an amazing web application called 'MyGabbinbar' which helps organise your wedding.  Our wedding planners work most days of the week and are available for support over the phone, in person during planning meetings and through the 'MyGabbinbar' app.

What time should my ceremony start?

We believe that every wedding should be unique, however as a general guide we suggest that you plan your wedding around the sunset. This is because it is beautiful for guests to experience the gardens in the afternoon and to enter the reception area while it is still light, while allowing the Bridal Party to capture stunning photos outside.

We would suggest that the ceremony starts 2.5 - 3 hours prior to sunset, please ask the Wedding Planning Team for exact recommended timing for your wedding day as sunset times change throughout the year. 

Do you cater for dietary requirements?

Yes! We cater for all dietary requirements separately for each course, as every wedding has some guests that have special diets. Normally, you do not need to choose your menu around any special diets as we modify or create separate meals for your guests.

Do you offer recommendation lists of accommodation, photography, hair and make-up, etc?

Yes! Once you have booked a wedding with us please ask us to customise a list for you!

Do you communicate with vendors such as photographers, musicians, videographers, prior to our wedding day?

After all the wedding details are finalised for your wedding day, our Wedding Planning Team will email each vendor with a detailed run sheet and other important information relevant to their role on your wedding day. A couple of days before your wedding day we call each vendor to discuss their expected arrival times and onsite setup details. The Wedding Planning Team are responsible for co-ordinating all vendors on the day to encourage smooth running of your wedding day, which allows you to relax and enjoy your day. We also provide the vendor with a print out of the most current run sheet on the day.

Who coordinates vendors on the day of the wedding?

We coordinate with vendors throughout the entire time they are required to be offering you a service. Even though they have a run sheet relevant to what they are contributing to your wedding day, we let them know of important timings like cake cutting, speeches, first dance, etc, so that they don’t miss those important moments due to eating their meal or taking a break.

Do you provide meals for our vendors?

Yes, we include meals and drinks for your photographer and videographer teams. The cost of this is included in 'The Gabbinbar Experience'. Additional charges apply for other vendors such as band members.

Can I have a ceremony rehearsal?

Rehearsals can be scheduled by appointment prior to your wedding day. These appointments are for one (1) hour and often scheduled around the same time of the ceremony so that you can see the angle of the sun and shading. Sometimes this is not possible due to other appointments previously scheduled. Often it is a challenge to get all the Bridal Party together for the rehearsal, however the most important thing at a rehearsal is for the Bride and Bridesmaids to practice walking down the aisle with the processional song.

It is nice if the Groom and Groomsmen are there but not essential. It may be more suitable to have a quick rehearsal on the morning of the wedding with the Bridesmaids so that the timing of the processional song is fresh in their minds. A Wedding Planning Team member will be available to co-ordinate the rehearsal.

What support do I receive at a ceremony rehearsal?

At the rehearsal your Wedding Planning Team will be there to co-ordinate the processional, including creation of suitable timing for your Bridal Party walking the processional. At the rehearsal and on the wedding day the Wedding Planning Team will cue the Bridal Party to the timing calculated and also cue the music on our extensive outdoor sound system.

When can I drop off my personal items and decorations for my wedding day?

An item drop off is arranged prior to your wedding day, which can be in conjunction with a rehearsal, and it provides an opportunity for you to drop off decorations and other relevant pieces prior to your wedding day. You meet with your Wedding Planning Team to check off items for setup on the day of your wedding. This allows for a very relaxing start to your special day, by just bringing in your wedding dress and getting ready for the day knowing we have all your personalised items already.

Who looks after all the little details on my wedding day?

Your Wedding Planning Team are the hosts of your wedding and will keep a keen eye on every detail. They are highly motivated to deliver on the plan you have decided together prior to the day. You can relax with confidence for the entire day knowing that you have a Wedding Planning Team that are going to give you cues and support for every important moment.

Our dedicated Wedding Planning Team members are your personal assistants on the day of your wedding. We set everything up for you, including your decorations (within reason). We even assist with attaching flower pins on the Mother and Father of Bride, etc., and we even have a sewing kit.

Can the Groom get ready onsite?

The Groom and his groomsmen can get those ‘getting ready’ photos in the Library or other front sitting rooms. Your Wedding Planning Team will greet them on arrival, offer drinks and are available to assist with various things like attaching flower pins to the correct side, etc.

Who coordinates the ceremony to start?

Before the ceremony start time, the Wedding Planning Team will assist with moving guests to the ceremony location and let your ceremony officiate know when the processional will commence to start the ceremony.

At the time of the all important ceremony processional, the Wedding Planning Team will collect the bride and her maids at the Bride’s Retreat and co-ordinate the processional as practiced at a rehearsal.

What if something goes wrong during our ceremony?

During the ceremony, the Wedding Planning Team will be there to ensure everything runs smoothly, including cueing music and managing the radio microphone for the ceremony officiate. On the day, we are prepared for all weather conditions and organise wet weather ceremony options.

Who ushers our guests for the reception to start?

The Gabbinbar Homestead team will usher your guests for the reception commencement, during this time the Bridal Party can get some last minute photos with the sun setting. Then head into the Bride’s Retreat to refresh and spend some quality time together. Your Wedding Planning Team will coordinate the Bridal Party entrance to the reception in conjunction with the MC and will cue the music start (which if you’re providing your own playlists we will press 'play').

What happens with all our outside ceremony and garden party decorations and items?

While your guests are enjoying the reception, we will be resetting after the ceremony and garden party. Any items are either re-used in other locations around the Homestead or alternatively placed back in storage for pick-up.

Do I have to arrange for my family and friends to pack up after the reception concludes?

No, you do not have to do anything! After the reception concludes and all guests have left Gabbinbar Homestead, we will then pack-up all your items and place them in storage for pick-up in the following days.

When can I access Gabbinbar Homestead?

You are welcome to visit Gabbinbar Homestead for a site visit in the lead up to your wedding day to show friends or family, enjoy a menu trial, choose ceremony or decoration locations, to have an engagement photo shoot or to show a third party supplier (such as a photographer). Please note that site visits are strictly by appointment and are not available on wedding days.

Who sets up my ceremony decorations?

The Wedding Planning Team setup your ceremony with the placement of your chairs, outdoor furniture and decorations (within reason). Decorations are not included in this package.

What seating is available for my ceremony?

A number of seating options are available; please refer to the Food & Equipment Menu for further information. We suggest seating for either a selection of your invited guests or for all of them to be seated during the ceremony.

Who provides the ceremony sound system?

Our professional sound system has speakers at six (6) ceremony locations around the estate. This system includes a radio microphone for your ceremony officiate and an input connection to a suitable device with playlists e.g. smart phone, iPod, etc. The Wedding Planning Team will cue the music for all aspects of your ceremony, including the processional, signing and recessional songs.

Do you provide a signing table for the ceremony?

We can provide a vintage, wooden signing table matched with two suitable chairs for all ceremony locations.

What do my guests do in-between the ceremony & reception?

It is lovely for guests to explore the grounds and the Homestead, play croquet and chess or relax in the front sitting rooms while you are having photos taken with the Bridal Party. Drinks and the Garden Party food will be served across the entire estate to yourself and guests during this time. In addition to the croquet and chess that we provide, you are welcome to supply other garden games or activities for your guests to do.

Do you provide seating for the Garden Party?

We normally place some high bar tables with stools, low bar tables with ‘Americano’ chairs on the Front Lawn for your guests to use. In addition, we have numerous teak bench seats throughout the gardens and a lovely, white lounge setting in the Tennis Pavilion.

What music is played during the Garden Party?

You can provide your own playlist for music to be played through our outdoor speakers or alternatively you can provide live entertainment. We are required to comply with regulated noise restrictions so please check with our Wedding Planning Team before finalising any outdoor live entertainment.

Can I BYO liquor & food?

Due to food and liquor licensing regulations, no BYO food or alcoholic drinks are allowed on site.

We make an exception for your wedding cake, but please note that any other food (including cheese wheels and dessert bars) is not permitted to be bought onto the estate. Remember our chefs love customising your menu if you are seeking options that are not included on our standard menu.

In some circumstances we will permit BYO speciality alcohol. Please check with us!


What happens if it’s raining on my wedding day?

Choose anywhere in our gardens for an outdoor ceremony or inside The Pavilion. In the event of unfortunate weather conditions (e.g. raining or windy) on your wedding day, we will liaise with you on the morning of the wedding to discuss the plan for the ceremony. If the weather looks unpleasant we will setup The Pavilion, however if the weather is inconsistent we will setup both the outdoor and undercover ceremony for your peace of mind. Our team assist with ushering your guests to The Pavilion and then up to the Homestead at the ceremony conclusion.

There are multiple locations on the estate that are suitable for photography if poor weather occurs. Our wait staff will still serve drinks and food to you and your guests wherever you are on the estate.

The Homestead offers the large front verandah with the two front sitting rooms and overflow option into the Ballroom for the pre-reception locations when there is unfortunate weather. Additionally, if there is cold weather the fireplaces will be on in the front sitting rooms and heating will be on in the Ballroom.

What equipment do you provide?

There are a number of different tables and chair options for both the ceremony and reception plus much more. We’d love to provide further information when you come for an estate viewing.

What is something unique for my wedding day?

Imagine you have just cut the wedding cake or have been announced into the Conservatory for the start of the reception. To the awe of your guests, spectacular fountain fireworks erupt above the glass ceiling in the Conservatory and waterfall behind the French doors in the courtyard. Fountain fireworks can work in all weather conditions. The price can vary, so please confirm all prices with the Wedding Planning Team.

What music options are there for my wedding reception?

The Wedding Planning Team will cue all music for your reception, including if you provide playlists to run through our professional sound system.

Alternatively, live music can add a great atmosphere to your wedding, whether it is a jazz piano player during dinner or a band playing your favourite songs to dance your night away.

Where do bands setup for the reception?

Bands or DJs normally set up in the Ballroom, but subject to your Seating Plan you can also have them perform in the Conservatory. It is the responsibility of the musician/DJ to provide their own sound system, however we encourage them to plug into our professional sound system in order to distribute the sound more evenly throughout the Conservatory and Ballroom, they will remain in control of volume levels. Gabbinbar Homestead is required to comply with some regulated noise restrictions.

The Wedding Planning Team will be in contact with the musicians/DJ in the week of your wedding to arrange the suitable setup time, they are welcome to setup on the day of your wedding.

What setup is there for a cocktail reception?

For cocktail-style receptions we provide high bar tables with stools, low bars for guests to sit around with ample seating. Discuss setup of a cocktail-style reception with the Wedding Planning Team.

I’m thinking about having an outdoor reception, is that possible at Gabbinbar Homestead?

We welcome outdoor receptions; there are two locations most popular:

  • The Pavilion is a great outdoor space for your reception. Due to the distance from our kitchen, food service can sometimes be slower, however, the Wedding Planning Team will factor this into your run sheet.
  • A marquee on the Croquet Lawn can make for a magical outdoor experience, while still connected to the main Homestead for easy bathroom access (additional marquee charges apply).
Wet Weather

If wet weather occurs on your wedding day, a decision at 7am on that day will be made by the Wedding Planning Team if the reception will be setup in the Conservatory instead of the planned outdoor reception area. This doesn’t apply to marquee receptions, as it is a suitable wet weather option.

Music

After dark, a band, DJ or other playlist can not be played in the gardens, except for music softly playing on the Gabbinbar gardens sound system and not loud enough for dancing. The only exception to this is for the first dance if it is held in the gardens, however still no band or DJ is permitted.

Surcharges

No surcharges apply for outdoor receptions on the Croquet Lawn, in The Pavilion or under a marquee. Surcharges may apply for receptions held on the lawns, as additional equipment and lighting is required.

What is food like at Gabbinbar Homestead?

At Gabbinbar Homestead we understand that the quality and presentation of food at a wedding is a vital part in making your special day exceptional. We like to offer country hospitality with generous portions to ensure your guests are content after their ‘Gabbinbar Experience’. Where possible our food is sourced locally. We offer menu trials in the lead up to your wedding to give you confidence - and allow you to make any changes you wish.

How flexible is the menu?

Our Menu can change at any time, due to availability of products and also improvements made on the menu. You can customize your menu, so please let us know.

Are children allowed at Gabbinbar Homestead?

Children are most welcome at Gabbinbar Homestead and we offer an alternate menu for you to choose from. Children between the ages of 2 and 13 receive a 50% discount on all prices. Infants are at no charge.

Can I taste the menu I want served at my wedding?

You are welcome to trial your chosen menu at Gabbinbar Homestead (additional charges apply). We offer this service so that you can have real confidence in the food quality on your wedding day.

Can I setup payment plans?

Our Accounts Manager is available to assist with your account including the setup of personalised payment plans that suit your individual circumstances.