Click on the icons above to share this blogpost with your friends!


Our TOP 5 Wedding Venues from 2018

Hello Future Brides and Grooms,

After a beautiful 2018 wedding photography season Surfin Birds Photography and Film has had a chance to look back at all of our gorgeous wedding venues from 2018 and share with you our TOP 5 FAVORITES.  We picked the wedding venues based on location, views, customer service from staff, accessibility to great locations for pictures, ample space for guests (dancing, eating, drinking, etc…), parking , lighting, weather contingency plans, and bathrooms. 

Unfortunately we couldn’t rate the venues based on price, cake or other items that may be in the venues terms and conditions.  Remember these ratings are solely from OUR perspective.


Coming in at number 5 on our list:

Schloss Maria Loretto at Lake Wörthersee

Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Carinthia, Austria

We love this venue for many reasons but the first big reason is the location:  Located right on Lake Wörthersee this venue offers stunning views of one of Austria’s largest lakes.  Crystal clear blue waters and beautiful sunsets over the mountains of Carinthia make for stunning sunset pictures.

This wedding venue offers a beautiful garden for a gorgeous outdoor ceremony.  Located next to the garden are several terraces with seating and umbrellas where guests can easily relax, mingle and have a few drinks either before or after the ceremony.

When you walk into Schloss Maria Loretto you are immediately greeted by a gorgeous large wooded staircase that leads you to the elegant dining room.

Once upstairs you and your guests are able to eat and drink comfortably in a very large room with high ceilings and windows throughout the room bringing in great natural light.  We found it very easy to photograph during speeches, dinner etc. without the feeling of tripping over guests.

Walk through the dining room and you will come to yet another large room where it is perfect for DJ or favorite band.  We found the room very spacious for the 1st dance and after party and while we can’t give specifics on if there are noise regulations at this venue, the band that was playing while we were there was rockin’ pretty hard.

Our other big reason for this venue making our TOP 5 list is the staff at Schloss Maria Loretto.  We were blown away by the customer service given by each and every staff member at this venue.  Each employee was polite, smiling, and eager to help whenever we or a guest needed something.

For that Schloss Maria Loretto comes in at number 5 on our list.


Coming in at number 4 on our list:


Gumpoldskirchen, Lower Austria, Austria

This charming venue stole our hearts with their surrounding vineyards, unique dining room and colorful flowers and plant arrangements throughout the venue.  We had no problem offering our couple an array of scenic areas for couple portraits: Vineyards are on the nearby hilltops, old cobblestone streets and lot’s of colorful backgrounds made this a top pick for couple portraits.

The venue itself is historic and offers a lot of traditional Austrian charm.  From the outdoor flowers to the cozy indoor “Keller”; if traditional Austrian is your style then this venue is for you!

Melkerhof offers a beautiful outdoor area for your wedding ceremony but if bad weather comes rolling in, there is space inside to hold the ceremony if needed. We love the dining area of Melkerhof: Five large wooden barrels line one of the Kellers´ walls giving it a very traditional feeling.  It ist spacious enough for about 60 guests.

Once again the wedding venue staff gave excellent customer service.  This venue has nearby hotels making it easy for your guests to crash after a long night, plenty of parking options as well and many hiking trails to explore the surroundings.

Overall we loved photographing at Melkerhof and we hope to be back again in the future.


Coming in at number 3 on our list:

Weingut Kolleritsch

Tieschen, Styria, Austria

While this venue is off the beaten path – roughly 2,5 hours away from Vienna – we found the travel well worth it. Weingut Kolleritsch has a perfect mix of traditional and modern and it serves as both a restaurant and a hotel making it a great place to wake up and start your wedding day with the Getting Ready on site. Since the closest town is still a few minutes away, this venue gives you and your wedding guests a lot of freedom and plenty of room for parking.

This wedding venue offers a beautiful outdoor gazebo next to a small pond where you can say your “I Do’s“.  We also found it to be a perfect place for group and family photos.

The dining area sits outside under beautiful arrangements of lights and green vines. It makes for elegant pictures and offers something different than what you might find at other wedding venues. A large room right next to the reception gives your band or DJ plenty of space to play your favorite wedding songs and allows your guests to freely dance inside or comfortably sit outside while still not missing any of the festivities.

What we appreciated a lot about this venue is the fact that it is family-owned and you can feel the heartiness and warmth in every corner of this estate!

Location, parking, plenty of space, lots of different picturesque areas, and amazing customer service make this venue our favorite no. 3!


Coming in at number 2 on our list:

Gut Schloss Lichtengraben

Bad St. Leonhard, Carinthia, Austria

This castle-like venue is also family owned: The married couple Rittler bought this remote place years ago to host events there, but also sell fish from their on-site pond. To maintain and preserve this historic estate, they started to host weddings. This venue is perfect for wedding couples that look for something unique, remote and quiet.

Located in the town of Bad St. Leonhard about 50 minutes away from Klagenfurt, this venue offers a vast array of areas to take pictures including an apple orchard, an old wooden bowling alley, old stone ruins and a romantic pond.

With room both outdoors and indoors there is plenty of room to host a beautiful outdoor ceremony and a lovely indoor reception.  The interior rooms are extremely charming and picturesque and every single one was furnitured individually.  Our favourite rooms were the main dining room with all the antlers and the old library room with a billard table and a liquor bar.

Got your interest?

Good! Because you won’t find many wedding venues that have charm like Lichtengraben! Excellent service, heartiness, hospitality and uniqueness make this wedding location a top choice for us.


AND….finally coming in at number 1 on our list…. Stiftsschmiede at Ossiacher See!

Stiftsschmiede at Lake Ossiach

Ossiach, Carinthia, Austria

If you book the Stiftsschmiede, be prepared to eat!  Well known for their fish, this restaurant and wedding venue located in the Austrian state of Carinthia will not leave you or your guests hungry.  The owner, who is also the head chef is incredible and we experienced anywhere from a 5 to 9 course dinner at each of the 4 weddings we had there this year.  In our opinion this venue is #1 for the food.

The venue is located right on Ossiacher See and offers beautiful scenery both day and night.  Due to the rooms upstairs, you can have your Getting Ready just meters away from your actual wedding. No need to mention that this venue offers several places to choose from for the couple portraits, family and guest photos!  They offer a beautiful indoor and outdoor area where your guests can eat, drink and socialize. The customer service from the Stiftsschmiede staff is one of the best. We found them accommodating for anything we needed while noticing that they were always attentive to the bride, groom and their wedding guests.

The monastery “Stift Ossiach”  is located right across the street offering not only a small chapel but also a courthouse. This makes it very easy to have the formal ceremony indoors and then walk right outside to the Stiftsschmiede!

Overall we love the Stiftsschmiede, we were there for 4 weddings this year and we can’t wait to be back next year.


That concludes our TOP 5 wedding venues from 2018.  We would love to thank ALL of the venues we attended this year.  Each one was extremely beautiful and we look forward to visiting you all in 2019.

You can check out our photo reportage from one of our many weddings at the Stiftsschmiede HERE.


Also, make sure to sign up for our NEWSLETTER below so we can keep you up to date with everything about weddings!

All the Best-

Surfin Birds Photography and Film